This week marked the 100th PND hour on Twitter and I feel honoured and proud to be part of such a supportive network of mums helping each other through pre and post natal mental illness. Rosey @ PNDandME started the Twitter support group after suffering from postnatal depression herself and it has become a lifeline to many mums – myself included.
I stumbled across @PNDandME on Twitter one evening in the early hours when I was wide awake – mind racing after being up with my then 8 month old. I was in the depths of the most challenging time in my life – adjusting to life as a new parent and having been recently diagnosed with postnatal depression and anxiety. I was not in a good place and was struggling to keep putting one foot in front of the other day by day.
For a long time I followed the feeds daily and took part in pndhour as an observer – I found comfort in the fact that others were feeling the same as me and drew hope and courage from those who talked of recovery and the steps that helped them to reach there. I started antidepressants, began one to one cognitive behaviour therapy and continued to follow #pndchat and #pndhour. I began my recovery and while I had a 3 pronged attack, I know that the peer support that I gained from Twitter and #pndhour was invaluable to me and definitely a big part in my recovery. I want to thank Rosey and all the mums from the bottom of my heart – you gave me hope and the courage to fight when my days were darkest and to know that your not alone makes the journey easier to cope. In a place of recovery , I have now gained the confidence to take part in the threads and to start my own blog to share my story like so many brave fighters before me. If I can offer even some support to others In this place as others did for me then something positive has come from my journey – together we stand and stronger we becom.
This got me thinking more deeply about the importance of peer support (future post) and the role that social media now plays in this – as one mum once wrote to me on Twitter “never underestimate the power of me too in helping to heal”.
The hashtag #PNDChat can be used to access peer support for those affected by Postnatal Depression(not monitored 24/7,checked daily)