As it is Postnatal Depression Awareness Week, we wanted to shed some light on a topic that is close to our heart.
Post Natal Depression is something that affects one in seven Aussie women. It may have affected you, your bestie or your sister, we all have our own stories and experiences.
Post-Natal Depression and Anxiety is a name given to the depression and anxiety that can develop between one month to one year after the birth of a baby.
It’s important to remember that men can get Postnatal depression or anxiety too, with one in ten Dad’s being affected.
100,000 Aussie families are affected by postnatal anxiety and depression every year. It’s a common illness that depends on individuals reaching out, getting help early and being able to seek help from family, friends and professionals.
PANDA is sharing the personal stories of many individuals who have suffered from postnatal anxiety and depression to normalise the illness and decrease stigma. It’s important to start a conversation about this serious but common illness.
Many parents don’t realise what they’re going through is postnatal anxiety or depression as sleepless nights, anxiety and trying to look after their brand new baby often comes first.
Perinatal anxiety and depression is the umbrella term for the illnesses that affect one in five expecting mums pre and post birth.
A less discussed illness is perinatal anxiety and depression. One in five expecting mums or one in ten dads.
Knowing the what symptoms to look for in yourself, friends and family is important, so you can take the right steps to get to help and support your loved ones:
- Low mood especially when you wake up
- Lack of enjoyment in pleasurable activities
- Lack of motivation to perform any task
- Feeling tearful and wanting to cry all the time
- Irritability without a justified reason
- Feeling of guilt, low self-esteem and rejection and inadequacy as a mother
- Lack of concentration level, forgetfulness and inability to formulate fixed decisions
- Decreased energy level, fatigue and exhaustion
- Fearful of and for the baby
- Fearing loneliness or social interactions
- Decreased appetite and disturbed sleep
- Neglecting personal care and hygiene
Women and men from all walks of life can be affected by this illness, it could be the first baby, the third, but not the first two, or with every single bub a mum has had.
PNDA can pop up out of the blue for even the most stoic of mums who have always been well. The greatest risk however, lies with mums who have had past episodes of depression, anxiety, and especially PNDA.
If you are struggling or know of someone that is, reach out to them to give them your support, help them set up a GP appointment, or call the PANDA National Helpline on 1300 726 306.