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Hi, I suffered post natal depression after losing my daughter Natalie in 1979, 37 years ago last week. It was a horrible expereince and I went through every emotion, grief, anger, depression, sleeplessnes, oversleeping, under and overeating, anger. It was a horrible year and no one recognised the signs except for my GP who having suffered depression offered me medication and a spell in hospital. I refused both and he put me on anti-depressants teling me they were vitamin tablets because I was very week. My dentitst questioned me about my tablets and I researched them afterwards. I then went out of my way to find out about Post Natal Depression and went on Yorkshire televison in First Tuesday, A Death in the family. I spent 3 months in hospital in 1980 and again was prone to depression and had a severe bout of Post natal depression which, with support and a determination to bring up my premature baby, I was able to overcome. I joined and set up many support groups, looked at links between Post Natal Depression and other issues eg Child Sex Abuse and Domestice Violence and supported many Survivors through these issues. More research has been done since and I feel there is room for more. Now that mothers are sent out of hospital within 24 hours of a birth I feel many cases of PNI are missed.

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I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter and for your suffering - PNI is truly a terrible illness and although I imagine health care professionals are more clued up nowadays there is still along way to go in recognising symptoms and providing effective treatment, quickly, due to inadequate training, lack of funds and also stigma attached to any mental health illness. I am sure the quick turnaround time in maternity units means that there is less chance to recognise pni as well as not offering the necessary support to mums, many of whom find this new role very hard.

It 's brilliant that you have supported many ladies. How have you done this? Online? I am sure sharing your story on TV reached many ladies. One of the trustees, Natalie, from was interviewed on TV on her experience of PNI; she still gets emailed regularly by sufferers saying that she has inspired them in seeking help. It really does make a difference.


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