"I thought intruders were going to put my baby in oven"

A mum claims Twitter cured her postnatal depression after she became so gripped by anxiety she thought people were going to put her baby in the oven. Sarah Wood, 28, was swamped by depression and paranoia after the birth of her daughter Amelia in October 2011. The illness struck twice more when she gave birth to Ryan, now two, and Alaina, aged five months. Her depression became so severe she started hallucinating and even thought it was snowing in her bedroom. But the mum-of-three says she has finally been cured thanks to an online support group. She now wants to beat the stigma of post natal depression and is so convinced of the Twitter groups success, she wants to set up her own. Mrs Wood, a stay-at-home mum, joined online support group #PNDHour, run by Twitter user @PNDandMe, that meets once a week online to discuss all things perinatal health. The 28-year-old was gripped by anxiety after the birth of her daughter Amelia in October 2011 (Image: PA Real Life) Do you wish to share your experience of PND with other mums? Fill in the form below or email yourmirror@mirror.co.uk Speaking about how she overcame her illness, Mrs Wood said: “When I had Amelia, my first reaction was feeling really overwhelmed. “I walked into hospital a happy, bubbly person full of excitement and came out a nervous wreck. “I was terrified of the responsibilities I now had.” For the first fortnight after having Amelia, Mrs Wood dismissed her feelings as hormones. But she began to sink into a deep depression, and soon found herself having panic attacks every time she had to leave the house. “My main thing was anxiety,” she said. “I found it difficult to sleep because I was convinced Amelia was going to stop breathing. “Between the two hourly feeds when she would sleep, I would stay up watching her breathing. “By day three I was so exhausted I was hallucinating – I was convinced it was snowing in the bedroom. “Eventually I couldn’t last any longer and my body gave way to sleep. “I found myself crying all the time and being irritable, which isn’t like me. I became withdrawn from everyone and everything around me. Her illness recurred after the births of her two other children (Image: PA Real Life) “I suffered hugely with intrusive thoughts. “Now I can look back and see they were ridiculous, but I’d obsess over them and start to believe they were a real possibility. “At one point I was convinced someone was going to break in and put my baby in the oven.” Over the next six months, her thoughts grew darker and she began telling her husband he’d be better off if she “weren’t around anym

ore.” She isolated herself from friends and family and her confidence was at rock bottom. Mrs Wood realised she needed help, and turned to the internet. Typing her symptoms into a search engine, she realised she had postnatal depression. “I was relieved to finally have a name to it, but I also felt a bit embarrassed,” she admitted. “I’ve got a lovely life. Being a mum is everything I ever wanted, but I still wasn’t happy. “I felt I couldn’t be depressed because other people have things so much worse. I thought people would just think me ungrateful.” By the time Mrs Wood realised what she had been suffering with, she was already pregnant with Ryan. After being encouraged by husband John to talk more about her feelings, she successfully sought help via a Twitter support group (Image: PA Real Life) Encouraged by her husband John, 35, she told

her midwife about how she had been feeling. She was referred to a perinatal emotional wellbeing service, and arranged for a health professional to visit her at home to talk through her issues and teach her different techniques for coping with anxiety. When Ryan was born in Janu

ary 2013, Mrs Wood was still struggling with depression. “At my six week check-up [after having Ryan], I told my midwife I wasn’t happy,” she said. “They gave me a form to fill out about how I was feeling, and my depression and anxiety levels marked really high. “With my first baby I lied on that form and ticked what I thought I was meant to tick, but with my second I was honest.” She was put on anti-depressants, which she continued to take for a year until she became pregnant with Alaina. She continued to stay off medication for the first few weeks of Alaina’s life, but, feeling herself “slipping” back into depression, she asked doctors for a repeat prescription. Now she has been discharged by her perinatal emotional wellbeing team and no longer requires any talking therapies. Mrs Wood has even set up an online support group of her own, PND Essex. Though the group currently exists purely on social media, but she has plans to take it offline after she has fully trained in mental health and first aid. She has also begun blogging about her experiences at PND Mum of 3. She is keen to offer a more positive viewpoint of postnatal depression, speaking as somebody who has come out the other side of it, and wants to encourage other women to speak out. She continued: “I can’t fault my husband, he’s been really supportive. “But he’s never suffered from anything like this, so while he’d sit and listen, he didn’t completely get it which I understand. “Unless you’ve experienced a mental health issue you can’t know what it’s like. “When I discovered #PNDhour, I couldn’t believe I wasn’t the only one feeling like that. “For a whi

le, I lurked in the background – just reading the Tweets was helpful enough – but eventually I felt ready to join in the conversation. “It’s great to talk to people who get it. We can all relate to each other and make sure we don’t feel alone.” Reflecting on the past three years, Mrs Wood said: “On the outside, I was ha

ving a wonderful time with my children. I kept my feelings to myself and always had a smile on my face, but it was a sham. “I’d be posting all these perfe

ct pictures to Facebook, when actually I was having a miserable time and didn’t want to be here anymore. “I felt I was mourning my old carefree days yet I couldn’t imagine my life without [my children], it was so confusing. “When I finally2020老版跑狗图90 came out about what had been happening, I was amazed by the amount of people who’d been through the same thing. “We need to get rid of the stigma. There’s no shame in talking about post-natal depression. “A

few years ago I felt like there was no way out but I’m living proof that you can get better. There is help out there, and I want to spread the message that these mums aren’t alone.”

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