NOTE: This post discusses depression and anxiety…
Over the next 12-18 months I’m going to work on an important side project.
I am going to put together a book of family stories about living with Antenatal Depression/Anxiety* and/or Post Natal Depression/Anxiety**.
These very personal accounts will (hopefully) be provided/written by mums, dads, kids, friends and extended family.
Depression and anxiety during pregnancy or post-birth are horrible and debilitating – basically it’s a nasty surprise. Many parents feel it’s their fault and things are made even worse by feeling that you are alone/the worst parent/unworthy/making it up etc etc.
Maybe a book talking sensitively about families’ experiences of these illnesses would help partners/kids/pals/family/people gather some perspective and useful information might do some good. It’s worth a shot.
The book will include information about experiences of these illnesses, details of support services, information about what to say to someone with baby-related depression/anxiety, ideas on how people can best support mums (or dads) and advice on handling the difficult feelings that these conditions can surface in families/friendships.
(There’s lots of information online about these illnesses, but it can be overwhelming to navigate and sometimes a book is a good thing to have in your hands instead of frantically searching for reputable/helpful online info.)
I’ll work with health professionals to gather their expertise/advice and edit it all into something that’s practical and easy to read. Everyone involved will be treated with compassion and respect – and the tone of the book will be compassionate and helpful.
The book will aim to tell these often hidden stories in the hope that they’ll help mums and dads and families to feel less confused, different and isolated.
Not sure who/how it will be published yet – but am sure that part of the cover price will go to PANDA (they support people suffering from PND and pregnancy-related anxiety/depression.)
If you or someone you know would like to be involved – please email me at : PNDstories@gmail.com
You can choose to use a pseudonym if you do share a story – and I guarantee confidentiality.
I’m not sure how many stories I will get. But I’m ready to see and find a way to share them.
I’m really looking for people of all ages – so don’t feel that you have to have little kids now – or be a parent – although I’d love those TOO! But, maybe your story is about how your friend suffered from PND or your daughter’s experience of depression during pregnancy (from your perspective) or your husband’s PND.
The more varied views, the better. Let’s make a helpful book together?
* Up to 1 in 10 women and 1 in 20 men experience antenatal depression.
** More than 1 in 7 new mums and up to 1 in 10 new dads experience postnatal depression each year in Australia.
(Source : PANDA)