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Mum tells of how she 'hid' her postnatal depression

Carina Gordon, 25 and from Romsey in Hampshire, had depression in pregnancy while expecting her first child.

Speaking after research exposed the lack of care and awareness surrounding the disease, Ms Gordon explained how she "hid" her depression.

About four months into the pregnancy I just started feeling angry, but I shrugged it off thinking it was just hormones playing up.

However, it only got worse - I felt like I was going mad.

Most of the time I just hid it. I would cry in the car, as that was my private time. Eventually I told a bank midwife, who said I would be referred for treatment but no follow-up ever took place.

– Mum Carina Gordon

Up to one in seven women experience a mental health problem in pregnancy or after birth.

'Real danger' of rise in postnatal depression

There is "a real danger" postnatal depression is on the increase because new mums are pressured to "look, act and feel perfect", warned the founder of a parents advice service.

Sally Russell, the co-founder of Netmums, warned postnatal depression took its toll on the whole family.

Depression during or post pregnancy can be dreadful for the mother - but the condition affects the whole family as well.

The illness robs families of what should be one of the happiest times of their lives as they welcome a new arrival.

It's clear to see that as society changes with longer working hours, fewer families living close together and the relentless media pressure for new mums to look, act and feel perfect, that there is a real danger incidences of this illness could be on the increase.

– Co-founder of Netmums Sally Russell

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Poll: 3/4 could not tell health worker about depression

Three quarters of women suffering from postnatal depression felt unable to tell a health worker they were struggling, research has found.

A poll lead by Netmums, quizzed 1,500 women who had suffered from postnatal depression, 40% of which said they did not receive treatment for their problems.

  • Some 34% did not disclose for fear that they would have their baby taken away from them.
  • A further 31% were put off because they saw different midwifes or health visitors at their appointments.

Only 46% of midwives develop relationship with patient

Under half of midwives see the same woman throughout her pregnancy, a poll has found.

Netmums, baby charity Tommy's and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), quizzed 2,000 health professionals on top of 1,500 mothers who suffered from postnatal depression, in a survey on women's mental health.

  • Fewer than half (46%) of community midwives saw the same woman throughout her care.
  • As many as 44% said there was not enough time to discuss mental health in appointments.
  • Their concerns were echoed by health visitors, with only 43% seeing the same woman throughout her care.

Poll: Quest for perfection adding to depression

Intense pressure to get everything right is contributing to a rise in the number of new mums suffering from post-natal depression, a report has found.

postnatal depression
Trying to get everything right is making new mums unwell, research has found. Credit: PA

Money worries, practical help with childcare and work worries have all contributed to women feeling very low after giving birth.

A survey of 1,500 women who suffered from depression either in pregnancy or birth found 12% felt as if they could not cope, 22% felt overwhelming pressure to "do things right" and 21% suffered due to a lack of support.

The poll, from organisations including Netmums, the baby charity Tommy), forms part of a report into mental health among pregnant women and those who have given birth.

Call for mental health lessons to be taught in schools

Mental health lessons should be taught in schools amid fresh concerns that many youngsters are affected by the issue, campaigners said.

There have been calls for the topic to be included in the national curriculum and for schools to provide counselling and support to any young person that needs it.

A survey for MindFull, a new mental health charity who have called for the lessons, showed:

  • Around one in five children has symptoms of depression, such as continually feeling low or sad, helpless or anxious.
  • Nearly three in 10 of the young adults questioned said they had harmed themselves on purpose before they were 16.
  • Nearly a third (32%) said they had thought about or attempted to end their own life.

The survey questioned more than 2,000 16 to 25-year-olds about their experiences of mental health when they were children.

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Samaritans: 'Depression in men can no longer be ignored'

Men are often criticised for being reluctant to talk about their problems and for not seeking help.

With this in mind, we need to acknowledge that men are different to women and design services to meet their needs, so they can be more effective.

We also need to look at the economic and social inequalities that contribute to people wanting to take their own lives.

– Stephen Platt, Samaritans trustee and University of Edinburgh professor
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