Having suffered PND with my first child and being able to tell my story is something I will never take for granted.
When your mind goes to a place where suicide is a consideration you know you have gone too far. But how do you get back to a place of normality? How can you be suffering PND? You have everything, a healthy child, great husband, wonderful church and great family support!
PND is still a subject that we don’t often want to talk about. In my experience the conversations have always involved discussions that indicate the past rather than the present. It seems like we have been able to admit or be willing to speak after the event, but not during. There has been a sense of shame and failure attached to this illness, and it becomes too hard for us to admit that we might just need some help.
Statistics from “Beyond Blue” state that “Up to one in ten women (10%) experience depression during pregnancy and this increases to 165 in the months following having a baby. These are Australian statistics, which are similar to other developed countries.” I have noted Doctors indicate that this statistic is probably higher as this only takes into account the women who have sought help.
We often find it easier to hide behind a mask that says “everything is okay” and “I am doing great”, to admit that we are not well and be diagnosed as having PND seems to indicate that we are not relying on God or that we don’t know how to find our strength in him. We forget that we are only human, our bodies have just gone through one of the biggest changes they will every experience, and now we are responsible for another human life! For some this takes us to a place of physical and emotional exhaustion. But there is light at the end of this dark tunnel, and over the last 3-4 years I have noticed a change as the door slowly opens on this illness. We are beginning to understand that there is no shame attached to PND; it is real, and we do need help.
There is truth in the fact that we need to come to a place where we find our strength in God, and learn to rest in Him. So often our heart is willing but our mind and soul are tired and weak. The hope for those who are suffering PND or still bearing the scars, is the knowing that as we engage in the process of renewing our minds daily and finding time for ourselves to take those breaks and enjoy life, we will find peace, we will find rest, and we will find the ability to heal.
“Out of the Blue into the Rainbow” is my journey through PND but it’s not just my story, it’s a book that offers the opportunity for you to take a good look at yourself, to ask the tough questions and it offers you simple solutions.
Be inspired, be encouraged and be healed.
My love to you all – Melissa Bettenay
You can find out more about Melissa’s book ‘Out of the Blue into the Rainbow’ on her facebook page