PostNatal Depression Awareness Week 16 – 22 November 2014
Usually our blogs sit firmly within the food and travel niche.
This week, we’re going outside that for a good cause.
This week is PostNatal Depression Awareness Week in Australia from 16 to 22 November 2014.
This debilitating disease has caught a few of iyr friends and family, so I wanted to make sure we did our part in raising awareness for this week.
North Nomad and I don’t have children yet, but when we do, I know we’ll have a wonderful support network around us. Don’t assume everyone has this though, if you think someone you know and care about is showing signs of post natal depression, don’t be afraid to reach out to them.
The goals of PNDA Week this year are encouraging early identification and early action.
PANDA is a specialist, not-for-profit, specialist organisation that has been supporting Australian families for over 28 years. And it’s the only Post and Ante Natal Depression organisation of its nature in Australia. PANDA states:
Lack of community awareness of contributes to parents remaining undiagnosed. Early intervention and the right support and treatment are critical to effective recovery.
What is PostNatal Depression?
Many new parents feel exhausted, emotional, and anxious after having a baby. But postnatal depression is an illness that doesn’t get better quickly, or without the right support.
Like many forms of mental health disorders, there are a range of factors that can contribute to postnatal depression. There are hormonal, psychological, and social factors involved.
And it’s not just a condition that affects women.
While 1 in 7 new mums suffer from PND, it also affects 1 in 20 new dads.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms?
Sleep disturbance unrelated to baby’s sleep , Changes in appetite, Crying – feeling sad and crying without apparent reason OR feeling like you want to cry but can’t, Feelings of being overwhelmed, out of control, unable to cope, Irritability, Anxiety, Negative obsessive thoughts, Fear of being alone OR withdrawing from family and friends, Memory difficulties and loss of concentration, Feeling guilty and inadequate, and Loss of confidence and self-esteem
Tiredness, headaches and pain, Irritability, anxiety and anger, Loss of libido, Changes in appetite, Feelings of being overwhelmed, out of control and unable to cope, Engaging in risk taking behaviour, Feelings of isolation and disconnection from partner, friends or family, Withdrawal from intimate relationships and from family, friends and community life, Increased hours of work as a part of the withdrawal from family etc., and Increased use of drugs or alcohol instead of seeking treatment for depression
Symptoms and signs taken from the PANDA facts sheet.
What Can You Do To Help and How Can You Seek Help?
If you notice these symptoms in yourself, PANDA has an amazing range of supportive services they can provide, including:
o National Perinatal Depression Helpline 1300 726 306 which provides counseling and support to those living with depression and anxiety during pregnancy and after the birth of a baby. Operates 9-7pm Monday to Friday (EST)
o Home-Start, an in-home support program
o Assistance setting up postnatal depression support groups
o Information, education and training seminars for parent groups and health professionals
o National resource and service referral database
o PANDA actively makes follow-up calls and can become part of a care-plan for people experiencing perinatal depression. Most other helplines receive calls only.
When you’re in the middle of depression, it can seem impossible to do anything, let alone talk to someone. You can feel like no one will believe you, or no one will support you, or like it’s not worth it.
That’s why I strongly encourage anyone who notices these symptoms in their loved ones to initiate the conversation.
Sometimes all it takes to get help is knowing that you have someone who cares and will help you through it.
You can make the difference to someone.
PANDA CONTACT DETAILS:
Location: 810 Nicholson Street, North Fitzroy, VICTORIA, 3068, AUSTRALIA
PANDA Administration and Support Helpline:
Helpline: 1300 726 306
Helpline Hours: 10am – 5pm (AEST), Monday to Friday
Admin: (03) 9481 3377
Fax: (03) 9482 6210
Office Hours: 9:30am – 4:30pm (AEST), Monday to Friday
The Helpline is open from 10am – 5pm (AEST), Monday to Friday.
If the matter is non-urgent or after hours please leave us a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.