Welcome to the first interview in support of Maternal Mental Health Week. A week designated to reducing stigma, sharing information and providing support to those who need it. #maternalMHmatters
Kaiden is a lifestyle & parenting blogger, freelance writer and SAHD to a wonderfully energetic boy affectionately called ‘tiny tornado’. Kaiden has been struggling with depression since he was little, although only recently diagnosed with severe depression, and has been living with short-term memory loss for the past three years which has been brought on due to the depression worsening. You can find out more via the links below.
What is your experience with mental health?
Since I was younger I’ve struggled with depression, although I’ve not always been aware I’ve had it, and it’s only gotten worse. For the past 3 years I’ve also been living with short-term memory loss, which has been brought on from my depression worsening.
When did you know something wasn’t right?
I think I first started questioning whether I had depression back in 2013, two years after my Dad passed away. Then after my son was born I went into deep depression and had an obsession with death surrounding my son. I was convinced he was going to die and I wouldn’t leave his side, I also would never sleep at night unless I collapsed from exhaustion. I thought that if I wasn’t there to protect him that he would pass away. Eventually I started sleeping but I would lie there awake preparing myself to find my baby dead. After about a year, I started thinking that I needed help but didn’t know how to do it.
Did you seek professional help/support?
Yes! I eventually got the help I needed, with the much-needed push from my partner. I’m now on medication and I’m seeing small improvements. Slowly but surely.
how did you find asking for help?
I was so nervous and scared about telling anyone, even my partner, in case I just got told I was being silly. I didn’t want people to not believe me. I also just thought that if I tried to forget about it that it’d just ‘disappear’ and I’d be fine after a while.
What informal support did you seek?
Other than finally going to see my GP and discuss how I have been feeling, which she then immediately diagnosed me with severe depression and memory loss, I only spoke with my partner about how I felt. My partner knew for ages but didn’t know how to approach me about it, only once I was diagnosed did my Mum and other family get told.
How are things different now?
I can now look back on my life and see I’ve been struggling with depression for many years, since I was little. I now have my self-care things that I do which help me cope day-to-day but I have a long road ahead of me. I just hope that my memory loss improves as so far, that’s the only thing that’s remained the same (or gotten worse at times).
What would you say to someone reading this who is struggling?
I know everyone says the same but that’s because it’s true. Please don’t be afraid to get help. Even if it’s talking to a friend, family member or someone online… get help wherever you can and feel comfortable with. The first step in talking to someone will be the best thing you can do. Without talking you won’t be able to get the help you need and deserve.
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to comment or share
If you’re struggling and in need of support I have begun to compile a list of supportive links via my SUPPORT page but you will find a larger more comprehensive list over at PNDandME‘s page. Below is also a map of support services in Scotland.