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