Ngai Takoto, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu

Donna's Story

With the support of whānau, and strategies from her doctor, Donna learned to deal with the grief and trauma of her first child’s delivery. Post-natal depression had got in the way of her caring for her baby.

It first started when I had my first baby, when I was 16

When I was in labour, the doctors and the nursing staff decided to do a procedure on me. I was quite traumatised for a long time. I had nightmares for a long time.

All sorts of things affect your mental health.

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A massive cloud plummeted all over me and it was not only emotional or psychological, it was physical, as well

I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to hold her. I didn’t want to feed her. I didn’t want to do anything and all I did was cry.

Depression or anxiety is different for everyone

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My mother and my older sister were really instrumental in caring for my well-being

They helped me with the baby. They talked to me a lot about things. By the time she was two, I definitely felt more outgoing and more capable of coping.

There are things that can help you get through

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I’ve had counselling because I went through enormous grief over the loss of my siblings

The counsellor actually had strategies or methods. They’d use methods to be able to get me to understand why it was that I was experiencing the emotions that I was.

There are changes you can make to stay well

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Sometimes we go through times where we are vulnerable and we just need a little bit of extra support

Other people's stories

I put myself first

I korero with whānau

I look for positive things