Over the course of the last week, I have put out a couple of posts, to coincide with #MentalHealthAwarwnessWeek, in the hopes that we can move a step closer to removing the stigma attached to mental health issues.
The First Post dealt with all the facts and figures here in the UK, such as 1 in 4 people will suffer from a mental health issue.
In the Second Post I shared a few stories that I had found on the Internet. Stories that give us a glimpse of how mental health problems can affect our day-to-day lives.
In this third and final post, I will be talking about Postnatal Depression (PDN). After all, my blog is mainly about the trials and tribulations of parenthood.
As you will all know, or are about to find out, having a child is a very stressful time of change, even if that natural birth plan went as planned. Add in a complication or two, and a visit to the O.R. for an emergency C-Section, and you can see the stress levels shoot through the roof.
It’s quite easy to see why over half of all new mothers suffer with what is dubbed ‘the baby blues.’ Starting a couple of days after the birth, mothers can feel low, anxious or irritable, even in the best of situations. They may also experience mood swings or bouts of tears. Thankfully most people get over this within a fortnight and return to having a happy and healthy relationship with their new family.
If however any of the symptoms listed in the graphic below, persist beyond two weeks, please please please, talk to your health visitor or doctor, they will be able to check whether or not you have postnatal depression, and help you decide the best course of action for you to take, if you have PND.
PND affects 10-15% of mothers, according to statistics. However, some reporters think this figure may be as high as one in three, due to the fact that many cases are simply not reported. And dads, we’re susceptible too! Figures say one in ten fathers will suffer from PND. The factors rise the younger you are, and wether or not your partner is suffering too.
The fact that so many women suffer in silence, astounds me, especially when they could actually be suffering from postnatal psychosis, a condition far more severe than PND, and thankfully less commonplace. Though only one in a thousand, (0.1%) of women will suffer from this, it does however mean that thousands of women still suffer from this condition every year in the UK.
As I’ve discovered over the last week, I can bleat on till the cows come home about the facts and figures relating to mental health, but when it comes to hitting the proverbial nail, all I get is my thumb.
That’s why I’ve posted the stories of others, those that have been affected, in the hopes that we can all come to better understand how it feels to be in the grip of these issues. All of the stories I have read over the course of the week have moved me, and this next story is no exception.
Most of you in the ‘parent blogging world’ will know this young lady. Some of you may have even read this story already, but I’m going to share this inspirational, and heart wrenching story with you here.
Michelle Reeves has a great website covering all sorts of topics from health and beauty, to fashion and travel, and that’s on top of all the parenting/kids stuff, which you can find at Bod for Tea. Writing was, for Michelle, one of the keys to her therapy, and out of her therapy came the website so many people have come to love and cherish.
Our Birth Story- The Aftermath is a glimpse into how easy it is to slip into postnatal depression, and how easy it is to not even notice the fact that you actually have a problem. The post is in two parts, so be sure to read both, it’s worth it!
The range of emotions I have experienced on this weeks journey of learning are many and varied. There have been highs and lows, laughter and tears. Not only have I learned how commonplace this problem is, but how big the stigma surrounding it is.
I can only hope that you have taken something from these posts, as I have. I hope you will be able to offer a helping hand should someone need it. But most of all, I hope that we can all come together to stamp out the stigma, and help each other up when we stumble.
Until next time droogs, be dobby, smeck grimly, and skvat jeezny by the sharries!