'I screamed, I hid, I cried': Mum's powerful essay on postnatal depression goes viral

Picture: Facebook/Instagram
Picture: Facebook/Instagram 

A mum's raw and powerful essay on her experience with postpartum depression has gone viral, prompting thousands of women to share their own struggles. 

Author Tiffany Jenkins, from Juggling the Jenkins, described how she felt overwhelmed and completely isolated after having her second baby,

Taking to Facebook, the mum shared a photo of herself holding son Kaiden, then 17 months and Chloe, then just one-month-old, saying it captured her at her lowest point.

"I did not like my children when this photo was taken. I actually resented them for existing," she writes. 

"I didn't want to be their mother."

"I didn't want to change their nappies, feed them, and most of the time - I wanted to leave them in their cribs and run out the door, never to return."

Jenkins continued, saying she was aware the admission may shock and 'disgust' some, but it was that reaction that had prompted her to post.

"I know that some of your jaws are hanging open, and some of you are probably disgusted thinking, "How the hell can someone dislike their own children?"", she continued, adding that's why she didn't tell anyone for so long. 

"I remained silent and buried my thoughts. I smiled for photos and mustered false admiration when someone would fawn over them."

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But while she appeared outwardly happy and together, she was living a very different experience behind closed doors. 

I did not like my children when this photo was taken. I actually resented them for existing. Kaiden was 17 months old...

Posted by Juggling The Jenkins - Tiffany Jenkins on  Monday, 16 November 2020

"I cried often, most of the day actually. I questioned my sanity and constantly berated myself for being such a terrible person. I screamed, I hid, I let them cry and pulled my hair out. I didn't want them anymore. I didn't want them," she shares. 

The crux came when Jenkins woke one morning and contemplated leaving them in their cots all day, ignoring their cries, saying: 'I tried to care. I couldn't care.'

Help came when she instead called her GP's office and broke down on the phone to the receptionist, who told her to come in immediately. 

"I did. The doctor spoke to me about Post Partum Depression as if he'd had this conversation thousands of times," Jenkins said.

"Turns out he had. Turns out I was one of MILLIONS of women experiencing those feelings at that exact moment. I wasn't crazy. Something was wrong with my brain. Something I couldn't fix alone. My doctor and I fixed it together."

Jenkins shared the story to show others that help was available and that things could turn around with the right support.

"My kids are four and six now, and I love and adore them so much that my heart physically aches when I think of them. I would give my life for them without blinking."

"Reaching out for help was the greatest gift I have ever given them as a mother."

The post has been viewed more than 242,000 times and has more than 21,000 comments, the majority from women sharing their own, similar experiences.

"Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. I have felt like this more than I would like to admit when I found recovery. You are an absolute inspiration," wrote one.

"Ppd is real and it's horrible. I remember thinking horrible thoughts that I still can't bring myself to tell anyone about, over a decade later. To anyone experiencing this, you don't have to feel this way. There is help for you," another urged. 

"I really wish that as a collective society we could release much of the shame that we inflict on ourselves and inflict on others so that people are less afraid to ask for help. Your honesty and transparency will save lives," shared one woman. 

Another thanked Jenkins for raising awareness among mums-to-be so they could be aware of the signs.

"I'm so glad this is becoming something that's widely talked about. I'm due in January and I know to look out for signs of PPD, and have told my husband about it as well so he can look out for it too.

Hopefully no mum ever feels alone in these feelings ever again," said one grateful new mum.