More moth­ers and moth­er­ing Post-natal de­pres­sion

Luck­ily, our so­ci­ety is be­com­ing morae open and un­der­stand­ing about post-natal de­pres­sion. Treat­ment is read­ily avail­able, but aware­ness is key to ac­cess­ing it.

Living Now - - Editorial -

by Jeanette Gray How my mother in­flu­enced me by Michelle Taffe

Men­tal ill­ness has been some­thing of a taboo topic for cen­turies, dat­ing way back when suf­fer­ers from any kind of men­tal in­sta­bil­ity or de­pres­sion were la­belled ‘in­sane’ or ‘mad’. It just wasn’t spo­ken about and was to­tally mis­un­der­stood.

I’d like to talk mainly about post-natal de­pres­sion (PND).

PND is some­thing very close to my heart as this dis­ease has trav­elled through my fam­ily’s his­tory. My grand­mother trag­i­cally suf­fered with what was called back then ‘ in­san­ity of lac­ta­tion’. She was com­mit­ted to a men­tal hospi­tal, where she un­der­went some very in­va­sive and painful treat­ments for her con­di­tion. Th­ese treat­ments sadly did more harm than good. Dev­as­tat­ingly, in the mid­dle of her trau­matic early moth­er­hood, she killed her baby and tried sev­eral times to kill her­self. She suc­ceeded in end­ing her life when she was just 28 years old, leav­ing a tod­dler behind. Her des­per­ate ac­tions caused life­times of pain and suf­fer­ing for those left behind and the gen­er­a­tions that fol­lowed.

That was back in the early 1900s.

To­day, I’m happy to say, our so­ci­ety is much more open and un­der­stand­ing of this ill­ness and treat­ment is noth­ing like it was. Treat­ment is now more ac­ces­si­ble with much bet­ter re­sults and it’s no longer swept un­der the car­pet. HOW­EVER, the suf­ferer needs to be able to recog­nise the symp­toms, and seek help from a pro­fes­sional to ob­tain a di­ag­no­sis and re­ceive treat­ment with the love and care that this ill­ness de­serves. Aware­ness is the key.

If you or some­one you know has any symp­toms you feel could be PND, reach out and ask for help. Do what­ever it takes to stop the cy­cle be­fore it’s too late. Help is read­ily avail­able, ei­ther through your doc­tor or helplines such as Life­line or Be­yond Blue. Don’t wait, do it to­day. n

Con­nect with other read­ers & com­ment on this ar­ti­cle at www.liv­ing­now.com.au

Jeanette Gray has just re­leased her first book Kiss Bil­lie for Me xxx. Post-natal de­pres­sion is very close to her heart.

By Jeanette Gray

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