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Your mental health care: Sue's story
After the birth of my daughter, I experienced postnatal depression and anxiety which was incredibly isolating and scary.
At first, I didn’t want to admit that anything was wrong, but I soon realised I needed help. I self-referred myself for online therapy provided by the NHS and I found this really useful. The thought of talking to anyone face-to-face really scared me, so the idea of talking to the therapist online really worked for me.
While the therapy was going very well, I felt like I needed some more support. I reluctantly made an appointment to see my GP. I say reluctantly because I was anxious about speaking to a healthcare professional. I didn't want to be judged as an unfit mother.
I went to my first appointment and was pleasantly surprised. Instead of judging me, my GP told me that “postnatal depression is a very real issue” and that it was more common than I had thought. My feelings felt instantly validated and I felt that I was treated in a caring way.
When we discussed treatment, I felt involved in making the decision to try medications along with the counselling I was already receiving. Since that initial appointment, my doctor checks on me regularly. At first, we set up monthly appointments to assess my progress and now we meet every three months. The care has been fantastic.
At the same time, I started accessing peer support online and I established Life With Baby, an online peer support group for anyone experiencing postnatal mental health issues in Kent.
While I know from experience that it’s hard, I would encourage anyone who is feeling depressed or anxious to go and see your GP or another health care professional. Don’t put it off – go and talk to someone and they’ll work with you to figure out a treatment plan.
- Last updated:
- 29 May 2017