Friday, 21 April 2017

You don't look like someone with PND

"You don't look like someone with PND (postnatal depression)". I can't tell you how many times I've heard this said to me. I've heard it said to me so many times that quite often it has left me questioning myself and my diagnosis. This got me thinking. What does someone with PND look like? The answer is easy really, it could be anyone.



It could be the young mum, the older mum, the mum with the sunglasses, the mum crying, the mum who laughs all the time, the mum who is perfect, the mum with the bouncy blow dry, the mum not returning any of your calls, it could even be a dad. It could be the person that looks like they have everything. It could even be a celebrity. I wrote a poem called To the Mum with PND, You are not alone which also highlights who may be suffering. You can read it here, PND POEM.

The point i'm trying to make is that people think depression has a look. They expect people to look and act in a certain way. They expect is to be fairly obvious if someone is suffering with mental illness, when in reality, it's actually quite the opposite. 

I've also had the following said to me on more that one occasion:
"But you always look so happy"
"You always go out and go places"
"You can't be depressed you've just be on holiday"
"You don't look depressed you're always smiling"

If you saw me on a daily basis you wouldn't know I suffer with PND. I've become excellent at  hiding it. You see, people who suffer with PND wear a mask. They mask the reality of their feelings because of the shame they think it brings them. I don't want people to think I can't cope or that I struggle. I don't want people talking about me as if i'm some sort of terrible mother. I wouldn't want people to see me at my worst. My mask hides the feelings of guilt.

Don't get me wrong there are days when I am genuinely happy. I have so many good days and they outweigh the bad days now. Some days I am a Mother warrior when I get everything done. I manage to take the kids out, I tend to the house and I genuinely enjoy myself.

However, it's important to remember that not everybody that is depressed is crying. In fact most of them don't cry that often and they certainly don't cry 24/7. They actually may be smiling or laughing. 

People with PND are able to perfect a facade. The facade enables sufferers to feel strong and powerful and makes them feel like they are fighting their illness. I may smile 24/7 around other people but you can't judge my mental health on that as you'll never know what pain my mind is putting me through behind my smile. 

So to the people that have used the phrase "you don't look like someone with PND", what do you think of these people?








Every one of these pictures is someone that has suffered with PND. You wouldn't know it by looking at them would you?

Just remember it's not often those that you think would suffer that actually do.




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17 comments

  1. This is a really good post. I suffered with PND - thankfully quite mild - with all three of mine and found it really hard to talk about because I didn't 'seem the type' to suffer from it. Thankyou for sharing.

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  2. It's funny that we have these preconceptions in life and I think this is testimony to the fact that PND can affect so many people...whatever they "look" like because it can be such a silent and private battle.

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  3. I've had PND for thirteen years, and have heard this so many times. I've even had doctors say it to me because I have washed my hair and put on make up, or because I am smiling and functioning in a "normal" manner. We need to be realise that someone can be mentally ill without any obvious signs!

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  4. I had this - one doctor wouldn't take my PND seriously as I had make up on! It is so frustrating :( x

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  5. I had PND for many years and it was only a kindly GP recognising the signs that eventually got me help. I was so happy and cheery out of the house but not when I was a home

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  6. Really great post Kerry and it really is the kind of thing that come in so many forms, there is no text book example of what someone should or would look like. Everyone processes and deals with things differently and no one can know or understand what is going on inside.

    Laura x

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  7. So true! I have suffered from depression myself, so I totally relate to what you say. Well done for telling it as it is xx

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  8. Fantastic post! I believe this is one of the topics that should be talked about more.

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  9. Such an important message that most people are hiding something behind their smile and not to judge people on appearances. Very brave post, I hope things are going ok for you at the moment, Lx

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  10. There are more high functional PND suffers out there then people would have thought. My mummy has low days and knows when it hide it and cover it up. Never judge a book by its cover! Fascinating post x

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  11. I have PND and because I do get out and about every day people don't think I do, which is very annoying.

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  12. Great post. Many suffer from PND in silence. Good you are speaking about this.

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  13. I used to work with a group that was designed to help Mother's with PND, and I can totally agree that there is no look to identify. It isn't something that we can see, it is something within and affects everyone differently. I had it myself with my first son, and struggled to even identify it within myself.

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  14. There are so many illnesses that you cant see and people need to be aware of that, PND could happen to any new mum no matter what their background

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  15. Well put PND or depression can affect anyone. Its usually those who look the happiest that are the most affected I should know. Like you I often use a mask to hide my true feelings x

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  16. This is a really good post, thank you for sharing it as it is so important for people to understand PND more. I suffer with pain everyday, but people don't realise as these things aren't outward problems.

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