When the people at Bare Biology got in touch with me explaining their new campaign, I didn’t need asking twice to write an article. This Mother’s Day Bare Biology are raising awareness of postnatal depression. I am one of the lucky ones, I escaped postnatal depression. However, 1 in 7 women are not so lucky.
I remember worrying that I would suffer from postnatal depression. As someone who had previously battled depression, as someone who remembered what it had felt like to fall down that big, black hole, I was petrified. I was worried that next time I wouldn’t be able to claw my way out. Yet, despite these fears being very real, I didn’t share them with anyone. Not even my husband.
10 years ago, before the wheels came off, I had been a workaholic, a perfectionist and a high-achiever. I was proud of how quickly I had progressed in my career. I was proud of how good I was at my job.
Then depression hit and nothing.
I found that I no longer recognised myself. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror, I couldn’t think straight. I had no concentration span. I was unable to read a book, watch a programme, worst of all I was unable to write. Night-time would come round and I found that I couldn’t sleep. The whole night yawning ahead of me as I frantically tried to quieten my brain, as I tried to stop overthinking. I kept this all bottled up. My husband didn’t know that I wasn’t sleeping, he didn’t know about my midnight jaunts in the car. I wanted the misery to end. What this experience with depression taught me is that depression really can affect anyone.
I didn’t share my feelings with anyone, apart from my doctor, and even then I played it down. I didn’t share my fears that I would get postnatal depression because I felt ashamed. I was no longer battling depression and I was back at work: I felt in control again. I had kept my depression hidden from the majority of people in my life, and those who know me will be shocked to learn that I have suffered from depression. This is the first time I am really sharing what depression was like for me. I am sharing it because the reality is that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Yet, there is a whole stigma that surrounds depression and especially post-natal depression. A lot of mums feel that they will be judged for the fact that are suffering from postnatal depression. If you are suffering from postnatal depression then you can struggle to understand how and why you are feeling depressed. You put pressure on yourself to feel happy because you have just had a child and, therefore, the expectation is that you will be happy. A lot of mums worry that if they are honest about their feelings then they will be judged, that they will have their child taken from them.
Postnatal depression is not about whether you love your child or not. Postnatal depression is an illness and as such it needs to be treated. The analogy that is often used is that if you had a broken a leg then you would go and get it treated, it should be the same for postnatal depression. If you are reading this and you think that you might have postnatal depression then you need to talk about it. You need to share how you are feeling and you need to seek help and support.
Postnatal depression is very common, it can affect anyone. It is nothing to feel ashamed of.
You are not alone and the people at Bare Biology are shouting this from the roof-tops. Melanie Lawson, founder of Bare Biology has shared her experience of postnatal depression over on the Bare Biology website. Melanie and her team at Bare Biology want to take the stigma away, they want to show that postnatal depression is not abnormal but rather it is normal. For the next month Bare Biology will be running a series of articles written by experts in nutrition, fitness and psychology and they’re donating 10% of all sales of their pregnancy Omega 3, Bump & Glory, to a wonderful charity called PANDAS.
The PANDAS foundation offers peer support through a helpline, online community and local support groups. Bare Biology has also lined up a PND panel of experts who will share their expertise and tips on how to spot PND, how to cope with it and how to get better.
This is a great opportunity to come together. We can take the stigma away. Bare Biology are asking you to
“Follow us on social media for all our latest magazine posts and please tell us about your experiences of postnatal depression using the hashtag, #IhadPND. The more people we can get talking about this, the better.”
We are stronger together. Reach out today.
Disclaimer: I was not remunerated for this post. I wanted to show my support for the #IhadPND campaign