‘This is me as a patient in a psychiatric ward for mother’s with mental health issues with my baby because I was suicidal.’

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“‘Women with postnatal depression look depressed. You know it when you see her.’

This is me in a mother baby unit. Me as a patient in a psychiatric ward for mother’s with mental health issues for three weeks with my baby because I was suicidal.

Postnatal depression isn’t always looking depressed. I never looked depressed…not once.

Postnatal depression is smiling with your mouth but your soul is sad.
It’s being in denial about how you feel.

It’s never being asked anything beyond how baby is sleeping or feeding.

It’s not wanting to disappoint or burden anyone with how you feel.

It’s crying when no one can see or hear you.

It’s having no village, no support, no help.

It’s being dismissed by your doctor.

It’s feeling embarrassed to tell your doctor or thinking they’ll think less of you.

It’s filling out an Edinburgh test and scoring through the roof but the conversation never gets serious.

It’s missing your old life, missing your freedom and feeling guilty about it.

It’s feeling the shock of sleep deprivation that you can never catch up on.

It’s missing your old relationship and resenting your partner because they just don’t understand.

It’s trying to recover from the trauma of birth.

It’s reliving the bad moments in your childhood.

It’s swearing you’ll never be like your parents, but worrying so badly you will be.

It’s wondering if you were ever loved by them.

It’s worrying about being judged for feeling numb, for feeling hurt, for feeling like you wish the baby would just. stop. crying.

It is worrying if you speak your truth that someone will take your baby away.

It’s trying to love a new baby you wanted so badly when you don’t even know how to love yourself anymore.

It’s not about looking a certain way. It has no faces
It’s invisible.
It can be the mother who jokes and laughs
It can be the mother who looks like she has her shit together
It can be the dad who is so proud
It can be anyone.
It can be anyone.

But you don’t have to be invisible. You are loved, you are worthy and you don’t have to live like this.

Don’t give up on you. I promise you are worthy of love. You are deserving. Keep holding up your hand. You are not alone. We can reach out to you. If you have ever felt this way, share your story below so we can show others they are not alone.”

Laura Mazza

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Laura Mazza of Mum on the Run, where it originally appeared. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best love stories here.

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