The devastated friends and family of a young mum who committed suicide due to postnatal depression (PND, also known as postpartum depression in the US) have shared their experiences to encourage women to speak up if they’re going through a similar battle.
Allison Goldstein dropped her daughter at childcare before driving to a dirt road and taking her own life.
Prior to leaving her little one, she wrote an email telling her family she was sorry that she wan’t able to explain her pain, or seek help for what she was going through ?
Her parents told 12 News they were totally unaware of what was happening to their daughter. The days before her death, her dad said, she seemed ‘normal and happy’ with ‘no signs of emotional distress whatsoever’.
Following Allison’s death, her best friend, Julie Anne Waterfield, who was pregnant at the same time, shared this emotional story on website Health Spirit Body:
“On the inside, less than 200 feet away from me every day, Allison was silently struggling with postpartum depression.
“I had NO idea. I inquired about her postpartum hormones after baby Ainslee was born. I bluntly asked her, “Do you feel crazy? Do you cry a lot?”
“I wanted to know for myself and prepare for what I would soon be experiencing with the birth of our baby. She responded that she cries some, but mostly happy tears about Ainslee gaining weight and the appearance of little chunky baby rolls, about how precious she is to her, and what a good father Justin is.
“Why didn’t I dig further? I regret every day that I accepted her answer.”
To all the mums out there feeling this way…
Julie Anne went on to share this plea to anyone going through what Allison was feeling.
“Not every new mother’s journey is happy and bright. Sometimes it is dark, lonely, scary, miserable, and uncertain. And the guilt! The guilt that we self-impose and that society imposes on us is overwhelming.
“If our journey as a mother isn’t daisies and butterflies, we feel alienated and ashamed. There is a rainbow at the end of the PPD storm that is raging for these struggling mamas.
“Help is out there in many forms if we just seek it: loving friends, supportive husbands, counsellors, support groups, and medication.
“You are not alone, and you are not a bad mother! PPD is lying to you. It is twisting your memories, feelings, and beliefs and reshaping them into an overwhelming falsehood.
“You will not be judged, only loved, as you seek help.”
Gosh, what a sad story ?
We can only reiterate what Allison’s friends and family have said that if you’re struggling or feeling like you can’t cope after having a baby (or at any time in your life) – it’s so important not to keep it secret, but to talk to someone about what you’re experiencing. Help is out there ?