An Irish mother has opened up about her experience with post-natal depression in the hopes of helping other women coping with the mental illness.
Suzanne Brack (26) welcomed her daughter Frankie in July but the newborn was soon diagnosed with colic, which the new mum struggled to cope with.
The make-up artist from Dun Laoghaire said she soon began to resent her new baby but did not recognise her symptoms as post-natal depression, which she had not experienced after the birth of her son Josh (5).
“I looked fine but inside I wasn’t. The thoughts of facing another day with her felt like a chore.
“I couldn’t enjoy her but I brushed it off. Days passed and it was same routine, her constant piercing cry in my head, not being able to move without her in my arms. I was full of anger and frustration towards her. I hated her but I couldn’t let the world see that. I carried on day after day. She drained the life and soul out of me,” Suzanne wrote in a post on Facebook.
“I blamed her for everything. I felt she ruined my life, my bond with my son, I couldn’t have my time with just him he was barely getting a look in.”
The young mum said she was reluctant to share her worries and feelings with her partner Richard and her family and friends for fear that they would "think she was mad".
Suzanne revealed that she was shocked to find herself screaming at baby Frankie as she lay in her buggy, and began to realise that her feelings weren’t healthy.
“I screamed at her in her buggy one day from the top of my voice. I then walked away from her rocking myself on the sofa. The guilt I had feeling like this towards her was killing me all I wanted to do was love her,” said Suzanne.
The mum eventually was persuaded to seek help in St Vincent’s Hospital where she was diagnosed with post-natal depression for which she is now undergoing treatment.
The mum-of-two said she had little knowledge of the illness before she was diagnosed and shared her story on Facebook in the hopes of raising awareness.
Speaking to Independent.ie, Suzanne said: “I put it up there thinking of my own emotions but I’m so glad it’s raised awareness for mental health.
“When I was going through this I didn’t know much about it and I had to go looking for information.
“I don’t think people talk about it enough and there are so many mums out there going through this who feel alone. It was great to get that support from people after I shared that post, it was completely unexpected and I hope by talking about it, I can help other people coping with depression,” she said.
The new mum said seeking help has allowed her to see clearly for the first time in months.
“I can’t fully explain post-natal depression but I can tell you it’s the worst feeling in the whole world. I’m still fighting but I am coming out on top. Every step is one step forward. I love my daughter and I always will."
If you have been affected by this article and are seeking help please visit www.pnd.ie or call the Samaritans Helpline on 116-123.
Ordinarily, being pregnant is a time of euphoria and hope for many mums to be. Yet for around 10-20pc of expectant mothers, prenatal depression means that instead of being excited and happy, they feel despair and dread as they count down to their big arrival.
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