Postnatal depression. My story.

At the height of my postnatal depression, I considered driving my car into a wall.

I was parked at some traffic lights and the idea just came to me. I was an awful mother, a terrible wife, been horrible to my friends, the planet would be better off without me. Luckily I had the kids in the car and I would never have hurt them, so I drove them home to drop them off, and thankfully, the moment passed and I didn’t make that awful choice. Instead, I got help. Lots of help. I can’t really remember how, or when, but I ended up on antidepressants, and I remember angsting so much about it going through the breast milk and affecting my son so it must have been in his first year. Another thing to beat myself up about at the time.

I also had a lot of counselling. My son is now four and I’m not on any medication and I don’t have counselling any more, and I’m doing really well. My head is well above water and I have the tools on place to keep it there.

So why write this? Such a good question. It is very hard to write, knowing that the people who only know me now, will learn that I was once this vulnerable, it’s scary, however, I was inspired by Lisa’s bravery in writing this post. It made me think that there are so many people out there that are currently in that black hole, scrabbling at the sides in a desperate attempt to keep from sinking. And so this is for you, anyone who feels like the walls are closing in on them, that the crushing weight of the responsibility of parenthood is suffocating them, that they need to escape, by any means necessary.

The first thing I want you to know, is that you matter. However bad a job you think you are doing, however much you are convinced that the world would be better off without you in it, it is not true. Secondly, if you can’t see a way out, and you feel as if it will always be like this, please, please believe me when I tell you that this is not the case. Postnatal depression is like a black blanket that gets thrown over you and blocks out every last ray of sunshine until you don’t believe there even is a sun out there anymore. You need to know that this isn’t true, this is only temporary and you will feel happiness again!

There are ways to lift, and remove that blanket. For everyone. Sometimes it’s easy to feel that it works for other people but you are in such a bad place that there is definitely no way out. This isn’t true. It will take time, and maybe trying different things, but there will be a way. And there are people out there who won’t judge you, who want to see you enjoying life once again, who are there to hold your hand along the journey. You just need to take that, seemingly huge, first step and tell someone. Make an appointment to see your GP, confide in your partner, they may not realise how bad you are really feeling, call a friend, phone your Mum, or Dad, or Aunty. Open that door and let someone in.

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking that it all sounds too extreme to be you, but that you have more sad days then happy ones, life isn’t that sparkly, you can sense a dark cloud hovering. If so, reach out too, life with babies is hard, the lack of sleep, the hormones, the relentless neediness, (my son pretty much screamed solidly for his first 12 months!), but if the low mood is stubbornly clinging on, and you are just not enjoying life the way you want to, just tell someone. Sometimes people think that they are ‘not depressed enough’ for it to be postnatal depression, but if it’s effecting your quality of life, it is important enough to be tackled. Everyone deserves to be happy.

The most important thing to remember is; No one will think that you are a bad mother. No one will think that you don’t love your children. No one will judge you and everyone will want to help you. I remember being terrified to tell anyone how much I hated my life in case I sounded ungrateful. I knew that I was blessed, so blessed to have two healthy children and yet there I was, unable to enjoy them, resentful of one for needing me over the other, then resentful for the guilt they made me feel that I couldn’t look after them both, at the same time. Added to that a huge dose of Mum guilt that I wasn’t the ‘perfect pinterest mum’ I’d so wanted to be and it’s no wonder I crumbled. I felt that admitting to anyone how unhappy I was, was like saying that I didn’t appreciate what I had, and it just wasn’t true, but I just couldn’t appreciate or enjoy it either.

The antidepressants worked pretty quickly. I felt like a bit of a zombie, but a calm zombie! I was out of that maelstrom of horrid thoughts that had consumed me. And slowly, very slowly, life righted itself. I rebuilt bridges with the people that I’d pushed away, I stopped berating myself for every little thing, I relaxed the hectic schedule that I’d forced myself to keep to prove that I was coping, when I clearly wasn’t. Eventually, the unbelievable happened, and I found happiness again.

And now, four years on, I’m doing well, really really well. I still get stressed, I still find it difficult to give one quality time without the other, I shout a fair bit and I often resort to cbeebies over pinterest, but I’m pretty sure that’s normal life with siblings, and I’m  happy. And so are the children. I’ve found time for me, I have my blog, people tell me they like what I write, we do trips and have days out like the families I’d envied, (and resented so much!), when I was depressed. Life is rosy again. And yours will be too. Trust me. You are not alone in this. When I last posted about anxiety, I had so many people messaging me to tell me how the post had resonated with them. Whenever I mention Postnatal Depression I have so many people tell me that it effected them too. People I’d never imagine had suffered.

Let’s break the stigma of talking about mental health. The very reason that I feel nervous about sharing this is the exact reason why I am. Shame keeps us behind closed doors, fear of what others think of us keeps us in the black hole, when really, we are all going through our own things. No one has the perfect life, despite what they may choose to share with you. It’s so important to say, “hey, I wasn’t ok, and that’s ok.”

Postnatal depression is a storm, the rainbow means it's almost over.

Postnatal depression is a storm in your life. Look for the rainbow, it means it’s almost over.

If you are finding life difficult at the moment and feel as though you aren’t coping, there are postnatal depression helplines and support options that you can find below. (United Kingdom)

Mind Postnatal Depression and Support

Wellspring Charity Postnatal Depression advice and pack

Tommy’s Postnatal Depression Page

Nhs Postnatal Depression information

Nhs Postnatal Depression symptoms

124 Comments

  1. I’m so pleased you published this Louise. You are absolutely right – we must break the stigma. Such an honest post. Sending you all my hugs and love. Xxx

  2. Well done on being brave enough to post. I’m a big advocate of talking about depression in any of it’s forms. It is so common, yet there is still embarrassment/ stigma about it. The more people talk about it the less likely people will suffer in silence and hopefully more people will get help sooner.

  3. Brilliant, brave post. You explain it so clearly. I hope you know that anyone reading this will think nothing but what an amazing person you are to have got through it, and braver still to write so eloquently and evocatively about it. Even more, this will genuinely help anyone going through post natal depression feel that theit feelings matter enough to get help. I am so glad you are feeling happier these days. We really should meet up you know!

  4. Brilliant, beautiful post Lou. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story, you don’t know how many people this will help and give hope to. I think it’s so important to break the stigma surrounding mental health and posts like this do just that. I’m so happy you’re in a good place now, thank you for showing others suffering that there is a light at the end of the tunnel xx

  5. Well done for publishing this and talking openly about it. So good to know.for mums who are feeling like this.
    This was me too… after my second. I got help amd antidepressants and the world became better. They helped me cope. Im off them now and they kept me sane and calmer. I think people feel a stigma towards antidepressants… but believe me probably 50 percent of young mums are on them. It helped me flbe a better mum… wife and friend.
    Going to share your post. Well done brave girl. Xxxxx youre an inspiration to us all.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I think it is so easy to think that you are the only one to go through it and that you are a ‘bad mother’ for not coping like everyone in the magazines seems to, and actually, there are so many of us out there! I’m so glad you’re out of the tunnel too!

  6. Well done on posting this. So many parents need to know that there is no shame in feeling how they do and asking for help. Every voice matters and helps, even if it does help one person, that’s all that matters.

  7. Such a brave post, well done for writing it. I am so glad that things seem to be improving for you now x

  8. An amazing post Louise, really candid and well written. I am certain it will help a lot of people who find themselves in the same situation you were in.
    Nat.x

  9. Well done for posting about this. I love the fact I’m seeing more bloggers talking about mental health. It’s a great way of breaking through the stigma. I recently wrote my own post about my history of depression and was over whelmed by the comments I receieved. I really didn’t expect them.
    Hopefully this post will help people who are in a similar situation. Seeking help shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. x

  10. This honest and wonderful post will only help people. It is such a blind spot when you are in it. Blogging got me through a tough time and all of you other Mother bloggers. X for that I thank you all and am so glad you are in a great place! #bigpinklink

  11. Thank you for writing this post. Every time someone admits life can be hard, it gets a bit easier – for everyone. #bigpinklink

  12. I love the honesty of this post. I also suffered with this albeit mildly and it is such a daunting, scary thing to deal with. By speaking about it you are offering comfort to those who may be frightened to speak up! Thank you for sharing so beautifully xx #bigpinklink

    • Thank you for sharing that with me, there are so so so many of us out there, whether it be the blues that last longer then they should or full blown PND, everyone needs to know they aren’t alone.

  13. Oh my word I held my breath through this post. You poor poor love for having gone through this. Having met you, I can’t believe that you once felt like this – you seem to be the most beautiful positive girl. I wish you all the best my lovely and long may the negativity be a thing of the past – you’re amazing for having written this xx #BigPinkLink

    • Oh stop, I’m just catching up on comments now and this has made me well up. How lovely that you think that of me, because very often, it’s not how I feel inside at all. It’s really nice to hear such lovely, kind words.xx

  14. Beautiful post. It’s always the case when we talk about such a personal thing, right? It’s not easy being a mama… But you are so right to say that we are doing a good job out there. As long as you care enough to wonder if you are doing it right, then it’s the evidence that you are a good mum. Good to hear you are better now. YOu are such a funny and witty woman! Thanks for your honesty in this post. #bigpinklink

  15. Good for you for writing this! It must be very hard to put into black and white. I hope someone somewhere can find comfort in this. #BigPinkLink

  16. You are right there is no shame in having found it difficult to cope. I had a period in my life when everything overwhelmed me and as you say it is important to reach out for help and take faith from the fact that it will pass. Well done for sharing your experiences. The more people discuss it openly the easier it will be for others to cope too. #bigpinklink

  17. Hi Louise, I’m so glad that you got the help you needed. It wasn’t until I had my second child that I realized I had been depressed after having my first. That may sound silly, but at the time we had a business, so my husband had a lot on his plate, my brother-in-law came to stay (would you believe it!) and Gregs was not a clingy baby, so I just thought I wasn’t coping well. They were dark days, but I came out of them.

    With my second child I felt really good, I felt strong and the world felt like a brighter place. It was only then I realised that what I felt with Gregs was not right.

    Had I have known it wasn’t normal to feel that way I would have got help. So sharing your story is really good, and I hope it helps Mums be brave enough to seek help.

    #BigPinkLink

    • It’s often the way isn’t it? Looking back, I don’t actually think that I was ok after my first, it was only when the meds cleared my foggy head that I could see that I hadn’t been quite right for longer then I thought but like you, we were in a very busy and turbulent time of our lives and so it just got dismissed. I’m so glad that you had a better experience second time around.

  18. Lou if you aren’t already, you should be so proud of yourself for writing this. I am yet to write my PND story, it takes a lot of courage but I will do it. I wish I had read something like this at the time – the fact that you don’t have to be seriously depressed to be diagnosed and the fact that no one will think you are a bad mother : the two things the stopped me from seeking help earlier. The rainbow quote is beautiful too. This whole post is – wow. #bigpinklink

    • Oh darling Tilly, I hate to think of you being sad too. There is definitely an idea that you need to be a certain level of sad to ‘qualify’ for PND and hopefully this will help others and stop them feeling so sad too.xxx

  19. Good on you for sharing , it’s not easy but it’s so important. You describe perfectly how it feels and hopefully someone who reads this will relate to those feelings and seek help. I’ve been there, for almost 3 years after I had my son I felt guilty for not feeling overcome with joy at what should have been one of the most special times in my life but sadly I didn’t feel any of that. I couldn’t bond, felt guilty about how I felt (and didn’t feel!) and put on a brave face to everyone, smiling for photos and crying at home with my baby. I had NO IDEA I had PND until I discussed this with my GP 3 years in and it came up in conversation. My second child was 6 months by then and thankfully those feelings had lessened and didn’t return with this birth but I just wish I had recognised that I had a problem and could have sought help that could have saved me those years of feeling so awful.
    It’s great to hear that these days you are out the other side of this and I would like to reinforce what you said, although it seems impossible now, it IS only temporary and with the right help you WILL feel happiness again.
    I rarely think about it these days but I’ll never forget how that black cloud feels.
    I was watching Cold Feet last week and the storyline is touching on the subject of depression and boy did I get a lump in my throat, it brought me right back and made me realise how far I’d come since then – it’s so common and I’m happy for people to know I was affected by it because I would consider myself quite a strong person so there’s no shame. Hopefully if everyone is open with their experience of depression or PND the stigma will be lifted and more people will recognise it and seek help sooner. #BigPinkLink

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I also feel desperately sad for the time I lost out on with them when they were young, and so guilty for not being the Mum I think they deserved, although, equally, I think I possibly beat myself up too much because I see lots of photos from around that time and I am still taking them to nice places and doing crafts and things. I think maybe your mind plays tricks on you. I think I was actually a lot better at hiding the blanket then I realised and it was only a few months that I really wasn’t coping. I’m so pleased you are free too.xx

  20. The dark blanket being thrown over blocking out the sunshine is a great analogy. I’m pretty sure I had it with my second child for about 6 months or something but as I’m so medication-averse and would rather stick pins in my eyes than take antidepressants, I just toughed it out. Also a huge part of what caused it (believe it or not) was everyone telling me my family was now complete but I knew I wanted a third and it set off an emotional/mental reaction in me that was profound. I sound mad. Lovely post as usual. #bigpinklink

    • Doesn’t sound mad at all my lovely, sounds totally reasonable to me. Our thoughts, and emotions, and hormones all assemble to prevent rational thought. Not to mention the sleep deprivation, so no wonder things effect us more and make us more emotional then usual.

  21. I loved your rainbow image; hope and light will be there. Though I never truly felt the grips of that smothering blanket, I certainly (still) have ‘those’ days. #bigpinklink

  22. This is such and important topic. I had depression during my IVF treatment. Real proper black dog depression. It so awful and so hard for me to articulate how I felt. But thanks for your words, it’s true no matter how we feel we aren’t bad mums, we love our kids. Also it’s so important to reach out and get help. Thanks for your wonderful, brave words. #BigPinkLink

  23. Excellent post – I’m sure it will help a lot of people. Its important to share these things so that people know they’re not alone and that there can be light at the end of the tunnel #bigpinklink

  24. Well done on writing this. It will help others and having written about my own experience of PND, found it very cathartic.
    I still have moments when I get stressed, especially if I’m tired but I’ve accepted that and no longer fear those feelings.
    #bigpinklink

  25. Well done for writing this, it couldn’t have been easy. I find it so sad just how many women have written posts like this. There are just so many! It makes me wonder how many are suffering out there and don’t realise. #bigpinklink

  26. Thank you so much for sharing this, Lou. I am sure you will give people in similar situations hope. It’s so important for us all to be more open about mental health in all forms and to feel we can share our stories. I hope you found it cathartic to write. #bigpinklink

  27. You are so right to write this post on so many levels. It is something so many battle with and it is no one is at fault and no one is to blame. I don’t know how you manage to be honest, it must be so very hard, making it more widely known will help others understand. Well done and big hugs. Fiona #BigPinkLink

  28. This brought tears to my eyes. Well done and huge respect to you for sharing your story so bravely. We need to break the stigma – there is no shame in admitting we need help and we aren’t coping – life is so effing hard at times, not least when we become parents. Such a lovely, honest piece. I am sure you will have helped someone who might have been struggling in that pit of darkness x #bigpinklink

  29. Well done on being brave enough to share this. We need more people coming forward and sharing their stories instead of bottling it up. We need to take the stigma away. #bigpinklink

  30. Lou, I’m positive that anyone reading this, who feels depressed, or unsure of their postnatal feelings, will just feel like they’ve been wrapped in a big blanket, given a huge hug from a friend, and told that everything will be ok. That is how it felt to me. I think our stories are quite similar, I was a little bluesy after the first, but PND really hit me hard with the second. I can remember just aimlessly walking around with the pushchair, unable to sit still, confused, didn’t know where I was, or how I was going to get through each day if I had to feel that bad. I phoned my friend, and told her that I was coming really close to hurting myself, and could she come and get the children for me. Unfortunately, the most horrifying memory I have of that day, is my friend phoning our GP surgery, and telling the receptionist what I’d just said, and the receptionist saying ‘we’ve got no spare appointments or phone calls today, she will have to wait until tomorrow.’ Yes, that really happened. My friend went crazy down the phone, and they eventually agreed they’d get a GP to phone me back. When I spoke to the GP, I was so worried that I just being a nuisance, that I immediately apologised, and said ‘I know you’re really busy, I’m sorry I’m taking up your time,’ to which I was met with silence, then she just said ‘you’ve already spoken to someone about this, why on earth have you phoned again?’ There was a total lack of training and empathy from everyone involved, and if my parents hadn’t come and taken the children away, and if my husband hadn’t sat up all night with me reassuring me I wasn’t going mad, I honestly think I would’ve done something awful. I still feel totally let down by the professionals who should’ve been there to help me, which is why posts to raise awareness are so important. As well as helping those in need, they can, and should be used to help those responsible for helping. xx

  31. Thanks for sharing your story. Too many of us go through something similar and never get help. I definitely struggled post-baby, but I didn’t think of it as depression – I figured it was normal to feel out of sorts when adjusting to life with a baby. When I think back on it now, I realise that I probably was depressed, especially after we moved from Chester to Glasgow and my husband started working again, which meant I was on my own with the baby most of the time – a baby who, by the way, cried all the time and NEVER SLEPT. #bigpinklink

  32. I’m so glad I read this. I have more than a few good friends who are struggling with PND at the moment and I’m not quite sure I understood things from their perspective. How could I? I’m glad to see the stigma diminishing and of course I wish it wasn’t there at all. How brave you are to share your story! It will help not only those suffering but their nearest and dearest too. I’ll be sharing. Glad to hear that you are feeling like yourself again. x
    #bigpinklink

  33. I think it’s a really massive thing to talk about mental health. I don’t think I would ever feel capable. It’s good that you got help, it’s good that you don’t need drugs any more. It’s so good that you can share your story to encourage and reassure others.

    #BigPinkLink

  34. Thanks so much for sharing. It’s only by talking about things, spreading awareness and understanding that we will end the stigma. Our sons have a variety of conditions and our eldest particularly suffers from anxiety. You are brilliant and look like you are doing a fantastic job to me! #bigpinklink

  35. Love this post, brilliantly written and so brave. I’m so glad you have gotten through it and that you are feeling so well!

    #bigpinklink

  36. Well done for highlighting such an important issue. I never expected to get PND because I hadn’t had it at all with my first so I thought I’d be fine with the 2nd too… But it’s hard work with 2. I felt like I should be able to cope because I was doing it all for the second time, but I wasn’t coping.

    I confided in someone and, here I am, 2 years later, happy and coping and loving family life with 2 little ones.

    I’m glad to hear that you have come through the other side too. That’s definitely what I needed to hear when I was in the pit – that people come through it, and life can be good again. #BigPinkLink

  37. Great post. It is such an important topic and there really is help out there. It can be really hard to recognise particularly if it starts with a first child because we can think it is just motherhood and not pnd. I will be sharing this. #marvmondays

  38. This is so well written: so honest, without a hint of self-pity, just positivity, which is exactly what other mums feeling similar will want to hear. That there is light, a rainbow and that things can and will get better. I love the way you emphasise talking to people about it – so important as the first step to recovery. Alison x #bigpinklink

  39. It sounds like you have a good balance now and it’s so good that you’re happy again. Depression is a horrible thing and it’s probably the one worry I’ve had during pregnancy, because I’ve not felt hugely maternal – what if I can’t bond with my baby and become depressed. Which sounds stupid to think about before they’re even here but it has crossed my mind! Thanks for sharing this post as I’m sure there are many people who you have helped just by writing it #bigpinklink x

    • Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Some people have the love at first sight moment, but equally, a lot of people fall in love with their baby after time. And that’s ok too! I remember being slightly grossed out by my newborn son, he smelt horrid and was sort of blue and wrinkly. It didn’t last long, but I thought I must be the devil incarnate for feeling it! He’s four now, and I would lay down and die for him, but it was a different start to what all the books told me I should feel. 🙂 Also, no worry is stupid, it’s totally normal to have these thoughts.xx

  40. I think it’s so brave of you to share this post. It can be such a difficult time when you’re convinced you’re a terrible mum and you couldn’t get it right. I love that you’re trying to tell other women that things DO get better. Love it. Thanks for sharing. xxx
    #bigpinklink

  41. Very worthwhile post. And defiantly a topic that needs to be talked about more and more. I had suffered with depression previously, before I got pregnant so I was on the lookout for Postnatal Depression with my first and I was fine, thankfully. What caught me though? With my second I ended up suffering with pre-natal depression pretty savagely from three months in and onwards. She is not 1 year old and I am starting to come out of it but I hadn’t expected it to catch me before the baby was born and it did.

    Crappy stuff. But needs to be talked about. Thanks for sharing

    Katie #BigPinkLink

    • Oh Katie, I’m really pleased you caught it, but I’m sorry that you have suffered too. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Life gets easier as the children get older and you get more sleep etc.

  42. What a brilliant and honest post, thank you so much for sharing. And thank you for your bravery too. I think I had PND (albeit fairly mildly) after my first but didn’t recognise it at the time. xx #bigpinklink

  43. Well done for spreading the word. The more we talk about it the more mums will get help. #bigpinklink

  44. Thank you for sharing, there can never be too much awareness! I hope this post helps people through their own tough times. Sharing to spread the message! xx #bigpinklink

  45. I applaud you for being brave enough to share your powerful story. Your “black blanket that gets thrown over you” description is so fitting and I can really relate to so many of the points that you raised. I suffered with post natal anxiety, but having always been an anxious person I have learned to live with it, but it was my hubby that eventually recognised and diagnosed the fact that I was trying to manage with quite debilitating levels after my first baby was born. For so many of the reasons you pointed out I put off getting help: “I’m not depressed enough” and “But they’ll think I’m a bad mum”. In the end I did get some help and it was the best thing I ever did. Thank you for sharing your experience and story. I’m sure that so many other people will be able to take comfort and support from this. Dawn x #bigpinklink

    • I could have written the above. I think I had combination PND/PNA and I still battle with the stupid anxiety now. I’m so pleased you had someone so caring to help you out of the hole. You never know how bad it is until you’re out the other side do you? Thank you for sharing Dawn.xx

  46. Been there- I still struggle with anxiety- although never as bad as the anxiety and depression I felt after my first baby and in pregnancy with my second. Thank GOD I never had a touch of it when I was preggers with the twins and remarkably none after them either. I toodid the counseling and antidepressants. Thanks for sharing brave mommy.

    #bigpinklink

  47. What a powerful and important post. Thanks for sharing it and I a sure it will provide comfort to many mums. Parenting isn’t easy and its 100% ok to ask for help. Its what makes us human. We all need support sometimes. I am so glad to hear you are doing so well now xx #bigpinklink

  48. I love this, obviously I don’t love that you went through it, but that you speak about it? Amazing. PND shouldn’t ever be something that people feel they have to hide away from, I have always been very open about my struggles and although these days I’m doing a lot better, I share my story because if it helps someone feel a little less lonely, that’s reason enough to keep talking. Good for you lovely, I’m so glad that you came out the other side, keep on going. #bigpinklink

  49. Good for you for writing this. I’m a huge advocate of sharing mental health issues as I feel that this will help to break down the stigma. I was lucky in one respect as I didn’t suffer with PND with either of mine, but I did have AND with my first so I know how horrendous it can be. I stayed on my Ads throughout my second pregnancy as a precautionary measure so all worked out ok.
    It’s so important that people feel able to talk about and share their experiences of PND (and AND).
    Glad you managed to get the support you needed xx
    #bigpinklink

    • I had a friend that had AND and it was awful for her. She just couldn’t understand why she didn’t feel overjoyed like all the books and magazines said she should. I’m so glad you got the right help too.x

  50. It must have been a difficult post to write. We spend so long convincing ourselves that we’re invincible when something like this happens it’s hard to admit we need help and lots of it. I had friends and family who experienced depression but never really understood how all consuming it is until I nearly went over the edge of the abyss 10 weeks in with my first boy when we had loads of feeding issues due to tongue tie. It was such a tough time I can’t imagine having to go through the torture of feeling depressed. So glad you are sharing this post so that others know that there is a light at the end of the rainbow #BigPinkLink

    • It’s something that is so so tough to understand if you have never experienced anything like this yourself, but hopefully writing posts like this can help people suffering themselves but also people supporting people with PND too to understand what they are going through. I’m glad you didn’t tip over.

  51. Great post! I love when people can be open about it and tell their story. I’ve suffered depression since I was 15 and once my little one was born it came back really heavy, I felt like I had been hit with a bus but I found talking about it helped a little. Getting the right medication and support is always a good idea. #bigpinklink

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

  52. Brilliant post. it must have been a difficult one to write but it is so important to get stories about mental health out there to help break the stigma around it all! #bigpinklink xx

  53. Such a brave post. Too many people suffer alone at the hands of depression, realising that you don’t have to do it alone is a massive help! Well done for having the strength to tell your story xx #bigpinklink

  54. Well done you brave, pink momma. Put it out there. I’ve had depression and it is a dark and lonely place. And then there is some light, when you share and make it better for others…and if you are doing that, you must not be depressed anymore, because the depression wouldn’t let you be selfless. Brave pink momma! Oh, and in between is a lot of hard, hard work. I totally recommend walking straight through the pile of shit, and not around it. The shortest distance and all…M’wah! #BigPinkLink

  55. It is difficult to admit it to people but, quite often, that is when you find out just how many of your friends have also been there. Yet they didn’t tell anyone either. #bigpinklink

  56. How good and brave of you to share your story. I’m sure you would worry about what people might think, but hopefully now you realise from all these comments that all everyone thinks is how brilliant and brave you are, and how glad they are that you got the help you needed and came out of that dark place to be the wonderful person you are today. #BigPinkLink

  57. A beautifully admirable post. Amen to ending the stigma of PND. The more awareness the better !! #bigpinklink

  58. Good to read a positive post on such an emotive subject effecting so many people. Though not affected myself, I can see how reading something like this can give someone at their darkest depths, a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. I hope your darkest days are truly behind you xx #bigpinklink

  59. This is so heartening to read – I’m so glad people are brave enough to talk about postnatal depression. The more people talk about it, the smaller the stigma becomes! x #bigpinklink

  60. This is a Gillian’s post! Your first point is spot on; you do matter!!! Well done do having the bravery to write this you should be extremely proud of yourself. They should not be a stigma around mental illness. #bigpinklink

  61. It is so important (and brave) of you to talk about this – I started blogging when I was feeling low and I genuinely think it saved me from going any lower. I think it is still such a stigmatised thing to admit you’re struggling and yet it is so common! Other women just need to know how common – I never realised until I started blogging and met so many bloggers online who had suffered pnd and pn anxiety. Thanks for continuing to raise awareness and of course for hosting #bigpinklink

    • How wonderful to hear that blogging helped you. I really think it helps me too, because I still haven’t totally got my damn anxiety under control fully and talking about it definitely makes it better. I didn’t realise you suffered too, I hope things are much better now.

  62. Such a brilliantly honest post! Thank yiU for sharing! It’s so nice to have met such a wonderful group of people in the mummy community! Makes this crazy journey seem a lot easier! #bigpinklink

  63. Thank you for sharing your story, I know posts like these are so hard to write but so important for those that might not be sure what they’re experiencing. Depression in itself is a terrible state of mind. #bigpinklink

  64. Thank you for sharing this post. I’ve not personally been affected it by but I know lots of people who have. Highlighting something that is normally not discussed is an amazing thing to do.

    #BigPinkLink

  65. Thank you for sharing this. I remember back to the time I had my first son and suffered PND. It was a time before the interweb (bugger it, im old) and there was no one to talk to, no one to say youre not going crazy. I did get through it but it was hard. By sharing and opening up about your experiences hopefully mums in the same position now will find it easier to reach out.
    #bigpinklink

  66. I’m so glad you were able to get help and come out the other side. I don’t want to say too much if that’s ok, but you’ve definitely given me something to think about. Thank you. #bigpinklink xxx

  67. Well done you for writing this lovely, it’s not easy to write this kind of thing down but I think this could really help someone out there. Those early months are such a hazy fog of not feeling like you are getting anything right and sometimes it is hard to know where to draw the line, if you need help or not. I’m so glad you are doing well, you’re such a fab mama. Thank you for hosting #bigpinklink xx
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    • I so hope this helps people, I feel that it is such a hidden topic and there is the perception of shame surrounding it when there really really shouldn’t be! It can hit anyone at any time. Thank you for your lovely words.xx

  68. A really interesting and informative post – thank youx #bigpinklink
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  69. Brilliant post because I would never had guessed! You are so right to talk about this as knowing you through your blog and social media comments I would never have thought you had to deal with PND. You strike me as happy go lucky kind of person. I am sure you have made a difference to others that are going through it. A true inspiration. #Bigpinklink xxx
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    • Oh thank you for saying this! I really do struggle with it sometimes. It can creep up on you. I think the more it’s talked about the easier it gets for people to be free of it.xx

  70. What a powerful post. Thanks so much for writing it and encouraging others that things can get better. Mich x
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  71. Oh my goodness, just look at how many comments this post has opens up. It just goes to show that it resonates with so many people. You’ve been very brave in sharing this and I’m so pleased you have – ultimately if you can help just one person from this post you’ll have done yourself proud.

    The bit that resonated with me the most was where you say you felt unable to enjoy both your children. I also felt like this in the first 4 months of having my second baby. I felt resentful that I had to choose one over the other (mainly my toddler as she was more demanding) and then guilty when I felt I didn’t give my new baby enough attention the moment my toddler was having a nap (which was probably the only quality time I could have spent with him). I felt like I was wishing the day away – to nap time, to the moment my hubby came home to help out, to bedtime. Isn’t that awful? I felt especially guilty because I’d wanted kids for so long – five long years! And then when my husband said he wanted to have another (he’d only said he’d have one when I finally convinced him to have any at all!) I felt like the luckiest person alive. So that feeling of not coping, of not enjoying them, of wishing our days away was soul destroying. And because I was the one who’d wanted them (initially) more than my husband, I didn’t feel able to talk him about how I felt as I worried I’d look ungrateful (or worse, miserable!) about something I’d wanted for so long.

    The good news is that I seemed to find my feet. I met some lovely people at play groups, my baby became less ‘needy’ (i.e. Didn’t need to feed all the time) and the balance shifted. I still have days where I feel a bit down and it’s mainly when I’m exhausted and my toddler is more whingey than normal. But overall, the dark days feel like they’re behind me and I can enjoy being with them.

    Finally thanks for such a heartfelt, honest post and most of all for R eaching out to me when you recognised the signs in a comment on another of your posts. You are a superstar. (Apologies for the long comment!) Ruth xx
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