Welcome to November. As those of you who follow my blog know postnatal depression is an issue very near and dear to my heart, having gone through it with both my daughter and my identical twin tornadoes. The 13th to the 19th is Postnatal Depression Awareness Week. I’ll be doing blog posts about PND everyday that week, plus have an exciting announcement and am initiating a giveaway but there are more ways that people can get involved.
PANDA are asking supporters and individuals to organise a lunch or get together where people can talk Out Loud and have honest conversations about the joys and challenges of parenthood. Everyone’s journey to parenthood is unique and different.
Five easy steps to enjoying your Lunch Out Loud
1. Set the date- Whilst Lunch Out Loud is designed to coincide with PNDA Awareness Week in November, you can hold your event at any time during the year!
2. Invite guests- Invite as many people as your venue can handle- at home, in a restaurant/café or at work.
3. Use social media- Facebook is a great way to promote and plan your Lunch Out Loud. Set up an event page, invite your guests and keep them updated in preparation for your event:
#LunchOutLoud #PNDAawarenessweek #StartTheConversation
4. Collect funds- you can accept donations, hold a raffle, charge an entry donation, hold a bake sale- the possibilities are endless!
5. Most importantly, have FUN – At PANDA we hear every day that parenthood is tough; friendship and support are a great first step in this unique journey.
Get more info here:
If anyone is keen to organise a lunch in the Sydney city area but is worried that nobody will talk about their issues please feel free to shoot me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org I am very open and honest about my experiences and am happy to come and talk. I already blog about it and have a book coming out in December about PND so am definitely an open book on the subject. At this stage I’m free Thursday and Friday to come help get that conversation started.
This week I’ll try to do a Confessions of a Mad Mooer post each day in honour of Postnatal Depression Awareness Week. My Confessions of a Mad Mooer posts deal with my journey through Postnatal Depression and the first post was here – https://riedstrap.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/confessions-of-a-mad-mooer-hi-im-a-mad-mooer/ But that wasn’t the first time I was diagnosed with PND.
The first time I was diagnosed with PND was 9 months after my beautiful daughter was born. I couldn’t have been more in love with her. I thought she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Every tear shredded my heart and I wanted nothing more than to protect her. Sure I was exhausted, she had reflux which wasn’t diagnosed until late and she was also diagnosed with hip dysplasia late, but who wouldn’t be in those circumstances. I had a baby in a cast from ankle to armpit and severe reflux at the same time. It wasn’t easy. I was exhausted, I was teary, I was suicidal. But hey I loved my baby and this was a trying circumstance so how could I possibly have Postnatal Depression? Women with Postnatal Depression all hate their babies right? They think they smell weird and will not hold them? Wrong. Sure there are some women who fit into that perfect stereotypical box but many women do not. Many women are DEPRESSED postnatally not utterly disconnected or psychotic. They love their kids, they just have zero resilience left. They put that beautiful baby to bed and then lie on the kitchen floor sobbing uncontrollably until the baby wakes again or they vomit. They can’t sleep for fear something will happen to their baby. They can’t unwind because everything they do they are sure is somehow wrong and ruining that little baby’s life. That baby that they love more than anything. Essentially it is exactly the same as the fears all mothers have but times that by ten and never ever switch it off, not even for a cup of tea. Women with PND are just like every other mother, just more so. We’re not scary, we don’t need to feel ashamed, we need compassion and support. And even if you previously thought you couldn’t understand us, you really can because we’re just like you.
The medical profession has recently separated Postnatal Depression into two categories, Postnatal Depression and Postnatal Psychosis. The later deals with those more extreme cases such as the rejection of the baby upfront, all the way up to those murder suicide cases that break everyone’s hearts. I have a theory that in years to come it will be split again to add a third category, Postnatal Anxiety. Because I think that gives a more understandable definition. Mothers are anxious creatures to begin with, us women with PND just tend to excel at it. Hi5s all around, we won at something… even though it’s nail biting, stomach churning and hair pulling…
Hug a mother today and tell her that she’s doing an amazing job.
Any women who suffer from any form of depression or anxiety are welcome to join my own FB group which is pro mystical troll but doesn’t allow any nasty trolling.
If you or someone you know has postnatal depression you can find good resources on the following sites:
- Gidget Foundation http://gidgetfoundation.com.au/
- PANDA http://www.panda.org.au/
- PIRI http://www.piri.org.au/
- Black Dog Institute http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
- Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/