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"I slowly regained my confidence as a Mother"

About: Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health Services / Sligo Adult Community Mental Health Services

(as a service user),

After the initial 6 week high of becoming a new Mother, my mood rapidly deteriorated. I loved my baby but didn't trust myself with my baby, second guessed everything and cried several times every day. It got to a point where I did not want to be here and felt my baby would be much better without me. I had a milestone birthday and wanted to disappear before it could happen. I wasn't sleeping, was either not eating at all or binging on junk food as a comfort. I lost complete interest in everything in life that I loved and felt like nothing. 

Anxiety and negative thoughts were consuming me. I became very withdrawn socially and truly hated myself. I felt embarrassed for those associated with me. 

With the help of my partner, family, best friends and motivated by my baby I decided to mention it to my GP. I was prescribed anti-depressants and referred to the Mental Health Services in Sligo, where I had my first consultation with Dr. Graffeo. Dr. Graffeo was extremely welcoming and really listened to my issues. He diagnosed me with post-natal depression referred me for CBT with Caroline and to continue taking my anti-depressants. Despite COVID-19, Caroline  guided me through the full session of CBT by telephone and post using activities and setting goals. As she listened to my fears, she explained and guided me. I slowly regained my confidence as a Mother. 

 I genuinely owe my life to the mental health team and particularly Caroline. I cannot thank the team and recommend the therapy enough. Throughout the CBT, the Mental Health Team also had regular phone consultations and I was reassured that they were always just a phone call way. Highly recommend getting in touch if you have any issues.

Mental health services get a lot of bad publicity due to budget restrictions, but from my perspective the individuals delivering the services are flawless. My child is now 1 year old and I enjoy and cherish everyday. I never thought I would get to this point. Do not ignore your mental health, seek the help that you need and deserve.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Caroline Owen, CBT Therapist, Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Service 3 years ago
Caroline Owen
CBT Therapist,
Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Service
Submitted on 14/12/2020 at 22:18
Published on Care Opinion on 17/12/2020 at 09:20

Dear Emerald,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your moving story about your experiences as a new mother. It sounds like you felt joy and happiness in the first six weeks of your babys life. However as you so honestly told us it was also a challenging time and impacted negatively on your mood, confidence, physical and mental well being. It is so important that you have highlighted and explained clearly your experience of "post natal depression" and perhaps other mothers will also be able to identify with your story. I am glad that you had a supportive partner, family and friends and attended your Gp as soon as possible. This was an important first step and resulted in a referral to the "community mental health team". The team consists of various multidisciplinary team members offering their expertise to individuals with mental health needs. The team provides individualised assessment and treatment based on a recovery philosophy plan of care.

Due to Covid 19 Pandemic and restrictions in place it was necessary for us as a team to respond and change the way we delivered our service over the past nine months. The team provides a combination of phone and on line video consultation sessions as well as face to face appointments when necessary. I am glad to hear that your experience with the team including the doctors, CBT and any other disciplines was a positive one whereby you felt listened to and supported throughout and were able to regain your confidence.

Thank you for all your kind words, valuable feedback and encouragement to others to seek help and to avail of the mental health services. This is such an important message for others to hear who may be struggling with their mental health and need help and support. I wish you continued good health and happiness for the future. Enjoy Motherhood!

Kind regards


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