Mothers shown way out of postnatal depression

Mothers shown way out of postnatal depression

Tracey Sherratt was on the edge when she finally called someone to talk. The Caloundra woman was going to "jump", but instead she dialled her husband. "He found me and took me straight to the doctor," she said.

Mrs Sherratt was diagnosed with postnatal depression after her second child. Just days after getting professional help, the 41-year-old said she felt more like her "care-free" self again. Three years on and the mother of two is open about her experience with PND in the hope it will help other mothers.

"Talking about it does help and realising that there is a lot of other ladies in the same situation as you," Mrs Sherratt said. "You always think it's just you and that there's something wrong with you. You think everyone is coping so well, but a lot of the time they're not ... it helps knowing you're not on your own and you're not a failure."

Mrs Sherratt went on to do therapy with a Sunshine Coast PND support group co-ordinated by psychologist Lisa Lindley. Yesterday, Mrs Lindley and the Sunshine Coast PND Centre held a high tea to give other mothers the chance to hear from motivational speakers and local mums. "One in seven women are diagnosed with PND ... but research shows statistics are actually a lot higher," Ms Lindley said. "Most women are quite reluctant about the condition. They feel quite ashamed and guilty about it.

"There's an enormous pressure in society that you will automatically love motherhood. "In movies and on TV we talk about it being an amazing, wonderful experience, and when that doesn't happen we feel like a failure."

More than 200 women attended the high tea, which was hosted by Mix FM's Caroline Hutchinson, at Lifepointe Baptist Church in Buderim. They were addressed by motivational speakers Lisa McInnes-Smith and Jodie Hedley-Ward. Ms Lindley said the afternoon was all about raising PND awareness and empowering women to achieve their goals. "I have the best job in the world. I get to see all these mothers improve," she said.

If you need help, call Lifeline on 131 114 or beyondblue on 130 224 636. For more on the Sunshine Coast PND support group, phone 5309 6128.

This article was originally published in Sunshine Coast Daily