The Healthy Celiac Podcast

My Story with Depression and Celiac Disease Ep. 28

October 04, 2021 Belinda Whelan Season 1 Episode 28
The Healthy Celiac Podcast
My Story with Depression and Celiac Disease Ep. 28
Show Notes Transcript

On this week's show I am sharing a very real and raw experience of my personal journey with Post Natal Depression and Celiac Disease in the hope that I can help others.

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Music Credit 

Speaker 1:

So something I've wanted to share with you guys for a while is my story with depression and how I think it came on due to having celiac disease and how I've kind of dealt with the , and how I've been on medication and since come off it . So I , I really wanted to share this story because I want people out there to know that they're not alone. If they're going through the same struggles as me and I also wanted to share my story, because I want you to also be aware that it can happen to anyone. And depression comes basically out of nowhere. And I do feel that there are a number of factors that led towards my downhill, but I also do believe it just hits you before you know it, and it's hard to just come back from it , um, you know, quickly. So it's a journey. And I think that the more we talk about mental health, the more that we can help others, I truly believe that the more that we, we keep this an open story and share it with people. The more that, you know, if, if there's signs that you see that someone else you know, is struggling with, you might be able to step in and help them. Or, you know, you might be able to notice things in yourself quicker as well. So I was diagnosed with postnatal depression, and I truly believe that it didn't start straight after my daughter was born. I think it started quiet quite a few months afterwards. So maybe maybe six to eight months after she was born. So she was not an easy baby. I have three children and her being the last and I just expected that she would be crazy like the other two. And when she was born, she was a nightmare, both my husband and I didn't get sleep for about three months. She just screamed and screamed and screamed all night. Every night. She was the most unhappy baby. And I seriously said to my husband, there's something wrong with this child. This is not normal. And if she'd been my first baby, I would have just thought it was normal. And I seek help. I spoke to multiple experts who all told me, she's just a new baby. She's just getting used to the weld and it will get better. It gets easier and blah, blah, blah, and all this. And it took me to work out that she had something wrong with her. So I actually worked out that she had cow milk, protein intolerance, and she was getting affected through my breast milk. So I eliminated all dairy from my diet because it is not just from the lactose it's from all dairy. So I eliminated all dairy from my diet. So I was now on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet. And I must admit that that was a lot harder than just the gluten-free diet. So yeah , I'd made my whole lifestyle again, had been turned upside down because I now had to adapt to a new way of eating. And I was happy to do that because I wanted to breastfeed and I wanted to give my daughter the best eye in life that I could by breastfeeding and doing the same as what I'd done for my other two children. So that was a challenge that I'd put on myself. And I'm glad that I did it. And I've since learned that I'm actually lactose intolerant. So it's done me a massive service anyway. So, so from there she got a lot better. Once I cut out the dairy and I continued to breastfeed her and things went along smoothly. For quite some time, everything seemed to get on track. You know , she was sleeping better. I was getting better. I was getting more sleep. Everything was all fine. And then I D I don't even know how old she was, but things went down . Whew , slowly. So my husband works away. He works away for a week at a time and he's home for a week. So week on, week off. So I feel like I have two personalities. I'm the happy go. Lucky mom , when he's home. And I'm a little bit more stressed out and anxious when he's at work because everything is on me. So anyway, things started to sort of get harder and harder and harder. And it was to the point where I was struggling to do the dishes. I was struggling to put the rubbish out. I was struggling to get out of bed in the morning. And I put all of these things down to just being a mom of three kids and busy, and then the paranoia setting . So I had , um, quite severe paranoid thoughts. And I , I thought my husband had done all these horrible things. And it sounds terrible to talk about now, but looking back, it was so real at the time. And I remember talking to my sister about it and she just was like, no, none of that's true. That wouldn't have happened, you know? And I won't go into all the details, but basically she ays my mind and I cruised along for a little bit longer. And then I started to think that I was being spied on. So I was having really weed thoughts really, or like to look back now and just think, wow, I actually believed that someone was spying on me and I, I didn't have thoughts of who it could be, but I felt like someone had hidden cameras throughout my house and was spying on me. I felt like I was being watched all the time. And I remember my mum was over one day and I lost the plot. I absolutely lost it. I was bawling my eyes out. And I was telling her all these things that I had assumed that were going on in my life and things that happened in the past. And she was just looking at me like, what are you talking about? Where's these come from? And I was just beside myself. And at that point, looking back, I remember that the thoughts in my mind was so powerful that when I would go to bed at night, that would just play or event and over and over. And I was checking things on my phone. And I was looking back through messages and emails and photos, and trying to get to the bottom of all this nonsense that was in my head that I truly believed was real and I couldn't sleep. So it kind of spiraled from there that I wasn't getting sleep again. And this whole craziness that I shouldn't even use that word, it's terrible to call myself crazy. But that's what it felt like. He felt like I was going crazy. And it , it just spiraled again. And this particular day that my mom was over, she said to me, Sherry's honey. I think you've got depression. I was like, what are you talking about? How could I have depression? And I couldn't believe what was coming out of her mouth because it just didn't feel real. It didn't feel like I could have happened Persian . So my mom decided I needed to go to the doctor. And I went to see a doctor just to get help with sleep. And my doctor gave me it actually wasn't my normal doctor. It was just any doctor that I could get in to see my doc . This doctor gave me some sleeping tablets. And she said, you're going to need someone home with you. You can't take these with three children in the house because that will knock you out and you will not wake up if your children need you. So I took these sleeping tablets and I had the best night's sleep for about three nights on these tablets. And just, oh , they just made such a difference because I was getting sleep. So that made a huge difference. And I felt like I was doing better. And then it just, it just didn't get better. This, the having the sleep didn't really make that much of a difference. So I went to my doctor, my actual normal doctor that I've been seeing for years. And we chatted and we talked about what had been going on. And , and she said, I do believe you've got postnatal depression. And I remember saying to her, how, how does this happen to someone like me? I such a happy person. I'm positive. I'm the person that helps other people. I don't need help. I don't want help. I'm not that I, it just didn't feel right to me. If that makes sense. It didn't feel like I could get to that point. And this sounds terrible, but I always thought that depression was a mindset thing. And that you could just talk your way out of it. And that people just, you know, they were feeling a little bit sorry for themselves. And that's, that's so awful that I thought that way, but I wasn't aware of what act , you know, what depression actually ease . And the way she explained it to me made me feel a lot better. And she said to , uh , think of like type one diabetes billing day , no one, no one can do anything about getting type one diabetes. It just happens. And it's exactly the same as depression type one diabetes doesn't pick and choose it. Just, you just get it. And it's the same with depression. And when she said that was like, wow, I did not know that I thought it happened because of a whole heap of different reasons. And that, that was not one that I, I was aware of. But having said that months and months, and months, and months later after I'd been diagnosed with postnatal depression, I found out that gluten had been sneaking into my diet. And I still to this day think that that may have triggered something in me as well, because depression is a side effect of celiac disease. And as we know, what, what, you know, what main problems are gluten. So, so lo and behold, I , I do believe that there were, I guess, a number of things that probably led to my diagnosis, but part of me strongly believes that the gluten played a very significant role in me, in me getting to that point. So I do wonder if having the gluten in my system did just tip me over the edge and just, you know, had that spiral effect. I don't know, because after I had my first daughter, I, I never had any F any feelings or any thoughts, like I had this time around. Um, and, and that was when I was diagnosed with celiac disease. So yeah, it's, it's interesting. It's, it's, it's one of those things that I guess I'll never know, but I do wonder whether it played a little bit of a role in me getting to this point. I think what's important to share is it can happen to anyone at any time and you just need to look out for people. And this is why I spoke last week about asking people if they are actually okay. And , and being aware of, you know, the words that they use and what they say, because, you know, I told people things for quite a while and no one really, I guess, heard me or notice what I was saying. And, you know, maybe I could have got on top of things a little bit earlier, but my mom was the one that she was like, this is not, this is not right. This is not you Belinda. There's, there's something going on here and you need to go and speak to a doctor. So how I've come out of this now, it has been wonderful. I felt like , um, I felt like I'd , I'd gone back to my old self when my husband and I went on holiday together this year, we had six days away, just the two of us. And it, it made me realize what I needed to do for ne because for such a long time, I have been putting everybody else first. You probably heard this one before we mums tend to do it a lot. And I was putting everybody else before me. And I was prioritizing them over my own health and my own mental health. And when I was away with my husband, I ate really well. I slept, I exercised, I had time to breathe. I had time to rest and I had time to have fun. You know, we went out and we had fun together. And I remember walking along hand in hand with my husband while we were away. And I said, do you know, this is the most, I felt like myself in years. And he said, that's really good. But I thought it was temporary because I come home and it was back into the old routine of doing everything for everyone. So since then I've had to really prioritize myself. And one of the key things has been well, trying to get more sleep and asking for help when I need it. And eating better eating is a huge one. So eating more healthy foods, eating more real foods. And I bang on about this all the time and you know, what we own need to listen to our own advice. And I'm exactly the same, you know, for, for a couple of years there, I wasn't, I was still eating well, but I wasn't eating as well as I used to because I was eating quick and easy things in the morning for breakfast, because I had my kids to deal with. And me and I, it makes a massive difference. The way that you eat is the way that you feel. So I've been eating better. I've been exercising, I've been doing more mindful things for myself. So I've been doing meditations at night and I've been taking time out for myself as well. So those things have been monumental in helping my mental health. And my husband's amazing because he checks in on me constantly. He's always asking me how I'm going, how I'm feeling. He can see when I need sleep. He can tell by my mood, whether I'm, you know, grumpy and I just need some extra time out. So he is wonderful in that. My mom is amazing as well when she knows that things are too much for me. And she'll call, call me on it. She'll, she'll just put a blank. Come on, Belinda. No, that's too much. So I do have amazing, amazing support, which makes a big difference. And I know that not everyone has that, and I know how truly blessed I am to have support and to have people that care about me. But I , I just wanted to share this because I feel like it's been something that I've needed to talk about for awhile . And I just want you guys to understand who I am and where I'm coming from. And as I've said, I think that the more that we talk about mental health, the more it becomes, okay. The more it becomes okay. For people to share their stories, to ask for help, to tell people are not okay. So if you know, someone that needs support reach out to them, if you know, someone that's been dealing with depression, offer them, help offer them a helping hand. You know, even if they say no, just do something to support them. It could even be as simple as dropping a meal over to them, paying them a visit, doing their dishes, just those simple little things, just to help people makes a massive, massive difference in their lives. So I hope that this episode helps somebody it's been a little bit extreme for me to talk about this. I guess I , I did say to my doctor that I felt like a failure when I was diagnosed and she's since supported me and helped me see that it's nothing to do with, with failure. And , um, I didn't, I didn't mention I was on medication. I did take medication and I knew that I needed it. And I knew that it was the one thing that would get me through what I was dealing with. And I'm very, very grateful that I was able to go on medication and also come off of that sense. So if you are on medication then wonderful, you need to work with your doctor for whatever you want to do, whether you want to stay on it, whether you want to go off it , that's not for me to discuss with you at all. I just wanted to share my experience. So I hope, like I said, I hope this helps someone out there. This podcast has been listened in

Speaker 2:

Over 35 countries throughout the world. The healthy celiac podcast has been now. And I'm super grateful to share my message. And I just hope that there's someone out there that listens to this and it helps them, whether it's you personally, or whether it's you creating that ripple effect and helping somebody else. So thank you so much for listening to today's podcast. And listening to me cry. I am a crier I'm normally very positive and upbeat, but when you talk about these types of things, it's hard to hold back the emotion. So thank you again, and I will be back next week with something a little more up beat for you. So thanks for listening all the way to the end, if you made it through and I will talk with you soon. Thanks so much. Bye.