Case Studies

The volunteers supporting our Charity all have first hand experience of Post Natal Depression either by suffering it themselves or have helped a close friend/family member through it. We would like to thank some of our team for sharing their personal stories with us.

Please note that these stories are in their own words and every person who suffers from PND is different and different treatments work for different people. Similarly, not all women experience the same symptoms, severity or duration.

If you have a story you would like to share with us, we have a closed Facebook Group that you can join to talk about your feelings amongst other local families or you can email us on [email protected] or call or confidential telephone line on 01481 520657.

Katie's Story

"For me, PND came out of nowhere. After the birth of my first daughter, whilst I was exhausted like every other new mum, I was happy and life was great. However after the birth of my second daughter things were different immediately. I had a normal pregnancy and labour, an incredibly supportive husband and family, and my eldest daughter adored her baby sister, however I felt different. I remember sitting on my kitchen floor not wanting to move, not knowing how I was meant to act or what I was meant to do. Nothing felt natural, all I wanted to do was sit on my own and cry. It was difficult to describe how I felt and luckily I saw my GP who suspected PND. He decided to try sleeping tablets first, in case the symptoms were just severe exhaustion. After 2 nights , I felt worse and went back to my GP who prescribed anti-depressant medication.

The GP advised the medication could take up to 2 weeks to start working and I could not imagine coping with the same thoughts and feelings as I had for the past few days. Whilst I was worried about taking the medication, I knew that I had to do something, I had to get better. I also saw an amazing psychiatrist at the Castel hospital and I also had support from family and friends. They convinced me to get out in the fresh air, talked to me, helped look after my girls and made sure I had every opportunity to get better. After about 2 weeks things began to slowly get better, the fog began to lift and I began to take pleasure from simple things again. I played with the girls, watched TV, ate nice food and socialised. There was no sudden realisation of "I am better", however life was bearable and I began to look forward to the next day rather than absolutely dreading it. Within 3 months I was back to my old self, with a slightly different outlook on life after what I had been through. I came off the medication gradually after 9 months and have not looked back since."

Roz's Experience

"I suffered from post-natal depression after the birth of my son nearly 10 years ago. I think the most important thing that (in hindsight) I should have done is ask for help, accept all offers of help and be honest with people/talk about my feelings (a problem shared…).

PND for me was a truly horrible and life-changing experience (it played a large part in my desire to set up the post-natal depression support group for example). It was lonely, the thoughts I had were frightening, everything that I felt seemed "wrong"; every book and article I read and people I spoke to talked about the "instant rush of love" you feel for your baby when they are born. Not for me; I clearly remember the day about a year after my son's birth when I thought "I am starting to love you, this is how a mum should feel about her child". For the first year I cried lots, did my best to hide my feelings (from everyone apart from my long-suffering husband), lost all confidence/ability to do everyday tasks and fantasised about killing myself. And the anger, a real red-mist, intense anger. Predominantly directed at my son and my husband.

It is virtually impossible to believe it when you are suffering from PND, but it DOES get better. Your Health Visitor/GP may refer you for "talking treatment" or prescribe medication. Talking to sympathetic friends or family can help, and they may also support you practically. The new PND Support Group can lend an ear and much more. And if you have the energy, looking after yourself can make a world of difference. Eating regularly and trying to get out of the house on a daily basis can make a big difference. Please remember that although suffering from PND can feel very isolating, you are not alone and you are most definitely not a "bad mum"."