Last week marked the 12th Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness week reminding us the importance of understanding the issues that many people face. Established by PANDA, Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness week is not only about raising awareness, but also how to spot the signs and where to get support.
Perinatal depression and anxiety affect around 100,000 families each year and may be happening to someone close to you without even knowing. With statistics of 1 in 5 expecting or new mums affected, and 1 in 10 dads affected, it is a struggle that many parents face. Although some people may not know they are suffering, some mums and dads know they are feeling depressed or anxious but don’t want to seek help as they feel ashamed.
If there is one thing to remember and that I cannot reiterate enough, THERE IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF. There is simply nothing wrong with having depression or anxiety. With the above statistics, it is evident that many people suffer perinatal depression or anxiety, hence, there should be no stigma nor shame felt by someone suffering.
If you feel like you are suffering, it is imperative to get the help you need. Even if it is just speaking to someone you feel comfortable with, having the support around you can make all the difference.
Taking care of you is the number one priority especially if you are a parent or expecting. If you are not well, how can you be the best parent you can possibly be?
Bringing awareness in the community will not only help those suffering, but also allow others to understand the illness and be a support to family and friends that may need it.
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression or anxiety there are many places to seek help. Along with your GP, you can contact the following services 7 days and week, 24 hours a day.
PANDA National Helpline 1300 726 306
Beyond Blue 1300224636
Always remember, you are not alone and you should never suffer in silence. Never be ashamed and always take care of you.