To have PPD up to four years undiagnosed? This is a long story and may be TMI but...
I feel like I've been living under a black cloud since the birth of my first child four years ago. I had a traumatic experience during pregnancy; I moved two times while I was pregnant, had no emotional support from my child's father during the pregnancy and was discriminated against due to age when I gave birth. My labour was over 28 hours long and although I had family members at my bed side who are RN's, I was not allowed to express the pain of labour like other moms do. Nurses at the hospital told me I was too young to have a child because I was 17 (despite financially supporting myself and the baby as well as a large amount of family support). My child's grandmother told me to have an abortion and that I would never get anywhere being a young mom. Since then, I have worked really hard, gone to college and university and have many successful moments. However, I have been berated by other family members.. no one would babysit for me so I can go to job interviews during the first year so I can continue to have an income after the savings were depleted. I was told by my father that I am a bad parent and that I should be in four walls everyday taking care of my child although I was his sole support and needed a job to take care of necessities and bills. I lived with my parents for the first year and my son and I would have to go other places so he could play because my grandmother was too concerned about my child breaking her china pieces. I again felt helpless and unsure if I could be a parent. I knew in my heart that I was doing a great job.. my child had my full attention, loved, was always fed, well clothed, and I was very involved in ensuring I was knowledgeable of his development. I was never late for a schedule paediatrician appointment.
I allowed my child's father to be a part of our life in early 2009 when I moved into my own apartment and it proved to be one of the worst decisions I ever made. He abused me and neglected our child when I went to work. I always felt really depressed and thought there was no end in sight. Our child was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and displayed mild but serious signs of it. His father had Asperger's Syndrome and had a lot of the same behaviours. At first the diagnosis was crushing but I began to participate in support groups and therapy for my child. We tried to get him on daycare but there was a large waitlist in our area and since I could not afford to pay for it 100% plus expenses I had to wait 2 years before he was enrolled in daycare. I never went out and at that point, I had no seen any of my friends in two years. I lived far away and no one visited. I first sought medical help in June 2008 after an attempted suicide and depression that last two years but received stigma instead. I felt like the psychiatrist was not listening to me or the family dynamic I described. I felt like he berated me by calling me stupid and selfish when I felt guilty enough and just wanted the pain to end. He just prescribed meds that did nothing, up the doses and just made me drowsy.I waited a long time to see this psychiatrist and I was told that the wait for another one would be much longer than a year He diagnosed me with Bi Polar disorder which later ended up as a misdiagnosis and was used against me in court. My child's father "lost it" one night and beat me severely and went after our child. I phoned the police and he was arrested. The police found out about my previous suicide attempt months before and contacted child welfare authorities whom removed my child immediately. I know that it is characteristic of PPD to want to harm your child but I had never and have never done such a thing. My misdiagnosis of a serious mental illnesses made it take longer to get my child back home but months later it finally happened.
I recently "quit" my job as a Manager at a retail store as the depression began again as I experienced discrimination from supervisors because I had to leave shortly after the shift was over to pick up my child. I felt stigmatized at work because I asked my employers for a shift that accommodated my son's special needs and my need to meet those. A co-worker said my child was a retard that and it was my fault for having a child. I asked for my two vacation after being part of the company for a year and having not received it. I needed the time off to some how cope with how I was feeling. I got the time off and then the day I was due back, I began to miss work and fell behind on bills. I felt no motivation to do anything and I knew that I was feeling depressed again but because of my previous experiences with medical professionals, I was afraid to seek help.
Now, I am engaged to a person who treats us the way we deserve to be treated. He is employed, well educated and very good with my child. I am pregnant again and we planned our pregnancy during a time where the depression had gone away for six months. I am in my 14th week of pregnancy and I have started to feel depressed again since the 6th week. I used to take my child to daycare every morning but now my fiance has taken over that. I've felt too crappy to get out of bed unless I had to go to the washroom or to bath, clothe and groom my child. Most times I won't eat unless something is brought to me. I don't take care of myself like I used to (grooming, hobbies, etc,). It's resulted in more arguments with my partner as he has taken over most of the things I used to love doing. I don't cook or clean any more. My child told me that he doesn't think I love him anymore and it breaks my heart because I don't know how to explain to him that I love him and that everything I have been through and continue to go through is for him. I just feel so sad and helpless.. not enough to seriously harm myself but I wish the pain would go away. Sometimes I do not want to play with my child but just lay down. I am afraid to see another doctor about this because I feel that I would not be taken seriously or misdiagnosed again OR that child welfare would be contacted again. I want to be better for my child, my spouse and myself so that I can be the best parent I can possibly be.
Could PPD be what I am experiencing and can it really last this long being undiagnosed?