‘It happens exactly when families are expected to be happy’

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POST-NATAL depression is thought to affect around one in six mothers and one in ten fathers. It is a depressive episode which has its onset during pregnancy or in the first year after the birth of a baby.

Symptoms may include tearfulness, high anxiety, mood swings, despair, loss of libido, poor appetite, exhaustion, sleeplessness and loss of confidence.

Crossreach Church of Scotland’s Post-natal Depression Services in Edinburgh estimates that in Scotland around 11,000 women and their families are affected by this type of depression – exactly at the time when society expects them to be at their happiest.

It sees around 140 clients every week offering counselling and services including a creche, a library and activities like art therapy.

More than 370 women are referred for the condition each year in the Capital and more than 7000 hours of counselling are required.

For information and advice on PND contact Post-natal Depression Services, Wallace House, 3 Boswall Road, Edinburgh, 0131-538 7288.