IN AN age of constant comparison via social media, it’s understandable for parents to feel as though the sleepless nights and grey days aren’t living up to expectations. But sometimes there’s more at play than the usual parental fatigues.
It’s estimated one in six mothers and one in 10 fathers experience postnatal depression and anxiety after the birth of their baby. “I thought to myself, ‘You’re meant to be this tired, you’re meant to be a bit down and blue-ish’,” mum-of-two Aimee Browne said. “Then I realised I was avoiding social situations, I didn’t want to leave the house and when my baby cried, I would feel so helpless.”
Maroochydore-based psychologist and founder of The Sunshine Coast PND Centre Lisa Lindley has been helping parents like Aimee cope with this illness for 10 years now through individual counselling, peer support groups and socials. Ms Lindley said there needed to be more awareness in the community about postnatal depression to break down the stigma associated with the illness. “People can think women with PND are women who don’t love their baby and that couldn’t be further from the truth,” she said. “There’s such a pressure and expectation to appear that you’re coping and doing a great job. “That’s the beauty of (our support groups) – you can get there and just be completely honest.”
Mountain Creek mum Beck Cliff said she came out of the support groups with a new confidence. “When you’re battling PND, just getting out of the house for that two hours (for the session) is fantastic,” she said. “In the groups, you share knowledge and it just keeps going around. “I’ve even started doing talks – and I can’t stand public speaking.”
Sunshine Coast PND Centre is celebrated their 10th birthday on May 6.
For more on the Sunshine Coast PND support group, phone 5309 6128.
Sunshine Coast Daily | Sept 14, 2014
TRACEY Sherratt was on the edge when she finally called someone to talk. The Caloundra woman was going to “jump”, but instead she dialled her husband. “He found me and took me straight to the doctor,” she said. Mrs Sherratt was diagnosed with postnatal depression after her second child.
Just days after getting professional help, the 41-year-old said she felt more like her “care-free” self again. Three years on and the mother of two is open about her experience with PND in the hope it will help other mothers.
“Talking about it does help and realising that there is a lot of other ladies in the same situation as you,” Mrs Sherratt said. “You always think it’s just you and that there’s something wrong with you. “You think everyone is coping so well, but a lot of the time they’re not … it helps knowing you’re not on your own and you’re not a failure.”
Mrs Sherratt went on to do therapy with a Sunshine Coast PND support group co-ordinated by psychologist Lisa Lindley. Yesterday, Mrs Lindley and the Sunshine Coast PND Centre held a high tea to give other mothers the chance to hear from motivational speakers and local mums.
“One in seven women are diagnosed with PND … but research shows statistics are actually a lot higher,” Ms Lindley said. “Most women are quite reluctant about the condition. They feel quite ashamed and guilty about it. “There’s an enormous pressure in society that you will automatically love motherhood. “In movies and on TV we talk about it being an amazing, wonderful experience, and when that doesn’t happen we feel like a failure.”
More than 200 women attended the high tea, which was hosted by Mix FM’s Caroline Hutchinson, at Lifepointe Baptist Church in Buderim. They were addressed by motivational speakers Lisa McInnes-Smith and Jodie Hedley-Ward. Ms Lindley said the afternoon was all about raising PND awareness and empowering women to achieve their goals.
“I have the best job in the world. I get to see all these mothers improve,” she said.
If you need help, call Lifeline on 131?114 or beyondblue on 1300?224?636.
For more on the Sunshine Coast PND support group, phone 5309?6128.
Samantha Healy | The Sunday Mail | June 27, 2010
WHEN Sunshine Coast psychologist Lisa Lindley discovered a gap in the support network for new mums in her region, she set up a group to remedy the situation. Established in 2007, the Sunshine Coast Post-Natal Depression Support Group has grown to more than 100 members and helped many more women deal with the disorder.
Deborah Rule, who has nominated Ms Lindley for a 2010 Pride of Australia Medal, described the psychologist’s commitment to the group as ‘‘unfailing’’. ‘‘I met Lisa when I was at my worst. Post-natal depression is extremely isolating and I was desperate to talk to women in a similar situation,’’ Ms Rule said. ‘‘Unfortunately, the nearest support group was on the southside of Brisbane . . . (so) Lisa took it upon herself to set up a Sunshine Coast group.’’ Ms Lindley recalled: ‘‘I met Deborah quite late into her case, she had been hospitalised a few times and I asked her what would have helped her get better. ‘‘She said a group of women she could talk to and who would not judge her would have been a huge help and relief. So we set one up and our 10th group recently finished its term.’’
Ms Lindley said each group attends the program for eight weeks. They speak among themselves, hear talks from guest speakers and go on outings such as abseiling. Partners are also asked to attend at least one session. ‘‘It is amazing how you can get a group of women from all walks of life together who goon to be good friends,’’ Ms Lindley said. ‘‘We can be our own worst enemies sometimes because we find it difficult to show others that we are struggling, but they do let those walls down in these groups.’’
When Ms Lindley is not helping the new mothers of the Sunshine Coast, she is away working in some of the world’s most dangerous and unforgiving regions. Her most recent trip was to Uganda with The Frontline, an initiative of the Family Challenge. While there, Ms Lindley helped run trauma rehabilitation programs for former child soldiers and sex slaves in the refugee camps of the war ravaged country. Her next trip will be to Chiang Mai in Thailand with a team of volunteer dentists in August. They will provide free dental care to children in refugee camps on the Thailand-Burma border.
Ms Lindley has been nominated in the Care and Compassion category. Other categories include Courage, Heroism, Outstanding Bravery, Community Spirit, Child of Courage, Young Leader, Inspiration, Environment, Fair Go and Serving Australia.
4th Feb 2009 | Sunshine Coast Daily
Now entering its third year, the Sunshine Coast post-natal depression support group has reached dozens of Coast women suffering this isolating illness.
Tanya McFadyen said she had valued the session on assertive communication the most, learning when and how to ask for help when at her most vulnerable. She said the session on “the link between our thoughts, feelings and actions made a big impact”.
“Depression can hit anyone from any kind of background,” she said. “I was a primary school music teacher for a number of years and also worked in real estate for a short time. “I always considered myself to be energetic, happy and up-beat … not the kind of person who would get depressed. What a shock. Having a baby changed my world so much. I really had no idea how challenging it would be.
“One of my biggest problems was asking for help. I kept thinking, ‘If I just work harder and faster, I can get everything done’. Wrong. You will never get everything done as a mum so the sooner you learn that the better. “The PND program has helped me to realise these things but the learning process continues.” Natalie Fraser said she was happy she could learn more about post-natal depression in a supportive group environment. “To be able to talk with other mums and share their experiences was very a positive step forward for me,” she said.
Group co-founder Deb Rule said that thanks to psychologist and volunteer group facilitator Lisa Lindley, the free group met each Wednesday. She said mums received support from other women and positive strategies to potentially help reduce the severity and duration of the illness. “It’s amazing that as many as one-in-seven women suffer PND and yet, it is still not widely acknowledged as a problem or even talked about,” she said.
“When I was going through my post-natal depression, I just wanted to talk to other women who were going through the same thing I was and to do something to help myself. But the closest support group was on the south side of Brisbane. “Since starting the group, we’ve come across so many Coast women suffering this on their own. We just want them to know we are here and they don’t have to feel alone.”
The Sunshine Coast Post-Natal Depression Support Group will reconvene on Wednesday.
For more information, phone Lisa Lindley on 0417 540 820