Peri natal Mental Health, My Story and Recovery #PNDAW17

This week marks PANDASUK second mental health awareness week, with the focus being on peri natal mental health. I was honoured to be asked to work with the charity again this year to raise awareness and share my story.

Having suffered with mental health during my second pregnancy and feeling very alone and that I had no one to talk to about it, I am passionate about raising awareness so that no other women has to go through the same thing I did. to read my story in full click here.

If you are new to blog my name is Natasha. I am married with two children, Elise 6, Charlie 3 and I am also 19 weeks pregnant with my third (a girl). As I mentioned above I suffered with peri natal anxiety and depression. I am happy to report that I am doing really well during this pregnancy and I believe a huge part of that is that I got the vital help I needed. Opening up and asking for help is never easy and when you feel that you are alone in how you are feeling, it makes asking for help and opening up all the more difficult. That's why this perinatal mental health awareness week is so important. No women should have to feel alone or scared at a time that is meant to be happy and joyous.

There have been days during this pregnancy where I have felt old feelings and behaviours creep up on me, but because of the helped I received I am armed with the techniques to stop me spiralling down that path that I was on before. I can recognise changes in my mood and thinking patterns and know what I need to do to stop it escalating to a level where I feel like I have lost control. I think the feeling of having no control in my emotions, mood and behaviours was the most frightening thing to me. I didn't understand why I felt the way I did, so I put it down to being a terrible person, and that I somehow deserved what was happening to me. But that's was mental illness does to you. It changes how you think and how you feel about yourself and the world around you. But it doesn't have to be that way.

There is so much help and support out there. PANDASUK are a fantastic charity who support women during and after pregnancy. If you feel like you may be suffering from a mental health illness or know someone who could be, please go to their website to read about signs and symptoms to be aware of and details of how you can get the help you need. You don't have to fight this battle alone. ITS OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY.

I was lucky enough to share my story on a larger platform and had a lovely team from ITV news come to my home to help me share my story. You can read the article here or watch below.

In addition to my blog I also have a YouTube channel and last year finally plucked up the courage to sit down and film my story. I was overwhelmed by the response I got and how many women got in touch, and still do get in touch to thank me for sharing my story and how its made them realise they too are suffering and its encouraged them to go and get help. Knowing I have made a difference in someone else's life means the world to me.

As awful as that period of my life was I am doing my best to try and make some good from it and believe part of the reason I went through it was to help others. I've tried to turn the experience in to a positive one and now making it my purpose in life to help raise awareness and make sure no other women goes through what I went through.

Please do go check out PANDASUK and get involved in this peri natal mental health awareness week, and using the hashtag #PNDAW17

Thank you for reading.

Natasha x


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