About Me

Kent, United Kingdom
I have the perfect family but still struggle to find the light in the darkness of post-natal depression.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! and more!

So today I am really angry.
But wait - keep reading - it's not about work! (although I am mildly annoyed that my VIC campaign, unsuccessful as it was, didn't make the front page...)
No, this time it's the usually relatively inoffensive Charlotte Church who has riled me.
By chance, for the first time in months, I picked up some trashy magazines this week, including Bella. And while relaxing with a cup of tea and flicking through the pages, I came across an interview with the Welsh songstress/tv presenter/rugby WAG headlined "I thought motherhood would drive me nuts!"
As the strapline was about her return to her TV show I thought she was about to reveal that she felt, as I did, that being at home with her baby was not enough for her.
When she didn't, that was fine - each to their own and all that.
But as I read on, I found out where the headline had come from....."I loved the whole thing," she said. "It came as a surprise to me because nowadays all you hear about is post-natal depression and I thought: 'I'm going to go nuts,' but I was absolutely fine."
Where to start? I'm glad if all she heard about was post-natal depression, because when I was ill all I heard about was mums feeling fulfilled and happy and wanting to do it all again, while that thought seemed totally incomprehensible to me. So if things have changed maybe mums who do have PND feel less alone than I did.
And I'm glad she's fine, really I am - I'm pleased for everyone who doesn't have to go through the hell of PND. But if she hadn't been fine, I doubt she would have liked to have been described as "nuts".
Sure, I joke about being mad, and have done almost since the beginning. In fact I used to call group therapy my mad mums group...
But it's different for someone who hasn't experienced the terrifying fear that you are in fact losing your mind to dismiss it as going nuts. And it doesn't help anyone - those going through it, those who have made it to the other side and those who know no more than they read in magazines.
I realise more than most that sometimes an hour long interview about the difficulties of parenting can end up in print as something else, and of course the headline needs to draw people in.
And I hope that's what's happened this time. Because if Charlotte actually meant to demean a serious and soul-destroying illness in this way then I am very disappointed in her and all those around her.

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