It’s been a super long time since my last post – life got in the way a bit, and we are moving 260-ish miles next week so prepare for even more sporadic posts! But here is one for you, about PANDAS Foundation. I guest-blogged for them a little while ago, but I had some thoughts to share so you’re going to have to suffer them. But here’s an adorable picture to get you through it.
Imagine that you’ve just had a baby.
You’ve suffered through pregnancy, through labour, and now they’re here – you’ve done it. You’re a parent.
Now imagine you get sick. You don’t know what it is, you don’t know what caused it. You’re worried about bothering a doctor, but this really hurts. You’re tired and miserable and sometimes the pain gets so bad you don’t want to be here any more. You hurt too much to leave the house, or hold your baby. You try and mention it to people, just in passing, and they tell you it’s nothing. That the pain will go away, or that everyone feels like that, or even that you’re overreacting.
Imagine reading up online about what might be wrong with you, and seeing words like ‘dangerous’, or ‘crazy’. Imagine worrying you will make your baby sick, or the people you love. Imagine crying every night because you hurt so badly and you’re too scared to ask for help.
This is the reality of post-natal depression. If it were a disease, then as a nation we would campaign for a cure. But because of the stigma of mental illness, it’s hidden. It’s a secret. And it needs to stop being that way.
PANDAS Foundation works to support everyone dealing with the effects of pre- and post-natal mental illness. It’s not just depression – it’s anxiety, OCD, trauma, PTSD. Everyone deserves help for their illness, and being pregnant, or a new mum, or a new father – that’s difficult enough without being ill as well.
It’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK not to be OK.