Perinatal anxiety and depression is a serious and common illness that affects as many as 1 in 5 expecting or new mums and 1 in 10 expecting or new dads.
If left untreated, it can have a devastating impact on families and can even put lives at risk.
Yet there is still a great deal of confusion and lack of understanding in the community about this illness. Many people still don’t know its signs and symptoms. And many still don’t know where to go to seek help. We know that one of the key reasons many expecting and new parents struggling with perinatal anxiety or depression don’t seek help is because they don’t know what’s happening to them. So it’s absolutely critical that more people know about this illness so mums and dads can seek help and recover more quickly.
Another reason is stigma. Both parents deserve support and kindness. Being a new parent is never easy, and lack of support can increase the risk of postnatal depression and anxiety.
This is why Perinatal Depression & Anxiety Awareness Week is so important.
AWARENESS IS THE FIRST STEP
In 2017, Perinatal Depression & Anxiety Awareness Week will run from Sunday 12th until Saturday 18th of November. Use this as an opportunity to bring this topic to light.
Look for the signs and symptoms of perinatal anxiety and depression in any expecting or new parent you know.
These can include:
constant sadness or crying
persistent, generalised worry
sleep problems unrelated to the baby’s needs
loss of confidence and self-esteem
withdrawal from friends and family
Most importantly, keep the conversation going!
By starting conversations with anyone you know, you can help expecting and new mums, dads and their families understand what the illness is, what the signs are and why it’s important to seek help early. And just as importantly, who to talk to and where to go in seeking support.
If you or someone you know is struggling with perinatal anxiety or depression the PANDA National Helpline is available for support in Australia 1300 726 306 or contact your doctor or midwife for more information. If you aren't sure where to go, let us know and we will help.