A mother from Carlisle is speaking about her experiences of mental health, to encourage others to get the help they need.
Lisa Brown, who believes she has always suffered from depression, developed postnatal depression following the birth of her second child.
After reaching her lowest point, Lisa contacted First Step, an NHS service set up to provide psychological therapies to adults in Cumbria.
Before seeking help, Lisa said that after her son was born she would make herself ill with thoughts of her age as a new mother:
It is thought that around half of these cases of depression and anxiety go undetected, with many women failing to receive the right help.
Lisa has praised the support she received from First Step, which offers help with a range of mental health conditions.
The service says that symptoms of postnatal depression can range from emotions or feelings, physical or bodily signs, and negative thoughts.
These include feelings of guilt, experiencing a lack of energy, and having critical thoughts such as “I’m useless as a mother”.
Lisa says that before getting help, you have to realise you're not alone:
Local support is available through the following services:
- First step - provides mental health support for adults in Cumbria
- Happy Mums Foundation - a relatively new support group, based in Carlisle
- Everyone's Business - the Maternal Mental Health Alliance's campaign to ensure all women who experience perinatal mental health issues get the support they need
- Maternal Mental Health Scotland - provides support and information for women in Scotland
- NHS information about postnatal depression