PND (Post Natal Depression): How I suffered and why I'm now jumping from a plane

I suffered from Post Natal Depression and the cloud started to lift after I got help.

Tamara suffered in silence through her pregnancy and for 6-months as a Mum before she met with her doctor and said she felt ‘heavy.’

This marked the start of her recovery and her journey to helping raise funds and awareness for Perinatal Depression and Anxiety by jumping out of a plane.

With up to 1 in 10 women experiencing depression in pregnancy, increasing to 1 in 7 following birth, and even higher anxiety rates, support and awareness is needed.

Many Mums don’t necessarily know the signs of depression and anxiety and suffer in silence. In fact research shows that 3 out of 4 Mums will wait until they hit crisis point before seeking help.

For Tamara, her signs were:

  • Excessively crying

  • Panicking about her son being in any form of danger, worrying about everything and thinking of the ways he could be harmed and how she could protect him

  • Horrible visions of things happening to him which led her to ask herself, “What sort of monster am I thinking about these things?”

Tamara now knows these are common signs and she just needed help.

Sarah caught up with Tamara to ask her about her pregnancy and birth story and why she is now jumping from a plane. Here’s the full interview:

 

Getting help can be as simple as picking up the phone. You don’t need to see anyone if you don’t feel up to it. You can call PANDA on 1300 723 306 or contact COPE.

Mother Jumpers marks the start of Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Week in Australia. If you fancy jumping out of a plane for a great cause visit MOTHER JUMPERS to support or register.

In Tamara’s Words…

“I'm jumping for so many reasons, but the biggest one is because of my own struggles.  Pregnancy was tough, physically and mentally.  I was sick for the majority of it, my husband and I started sleeping in separate beds because I was so restless and snored like a truck which created a distance between us that we never expected. 

Then, after a traumatic birth, almost losing our son on day 3 from an infection and then our son not reaching birth weight for 9 weeks, my mental health deteriorated.  I obsessed  about my son's safety.  I would experience rage beyond anything I could have imagined if my son was put in any perceived danger (which could be anything as silly as my husband putting a nappy on too tight). 

My marriage started to deteriorate because my husband couldn't understand me anymore. 

I believed that if I told the truth about what was going through my head, someone would take my baby away. 

Throughout my my first year as a parent, I felt broken, isolated and I believed I was a terrible mum.  How else could I explain sleepless nights picturing all the ways my son could be harmed or killed?  How else could I explain feeling suicidal after giving birth to such an amazing little boy? 

Eventually, during a routine appointment with my GP, I broke down from the weight of it all.  I was diagnosed with postnatal depression and anxiety and referred to a psychologist.  So I'm jumping because I don't want other parents to go through what I did. 

Pregnancy is hard, parenthood is hard and everyone needs to know what to expect and that it's OK to admit when you face challenges.  It's OK to reach out for help.  You're not a bad parent/person for experiencing these challenges.  I'm lucky - my marriage recovered, my son is thriving, I'm finding my way back to being me.  I want to help other parents in the same boat to come out the other side too.

Sharing your story is a big step. Thankyou Tamara for taking the time to speak so openly about what you have been through in order to help others. Sarah xx