Former Hear’Say star Suzanne Shaw has spoken out about her battle with postnatal depression.
Suzanne, 35, is mum to two sons – Corey, 12, from her previous relationship with singer and actor Darren Day, and one-year-old Rafferty, with now-fiancé Sam Greenfield.
Speaking to Closer magazine, she explained that she’d suffered from the condition after the arrival of both of her children, although she had desperately tried to ward it off the second time around.
‘I was trying to do everything in my power to avoid getting it again: breastfeeding, exercising, eating healthily,’ she told the mag.
‘When I had Corey I was 23 and a single mum, so after Raffi was born I really thought I’d avoid it, because I had a stable family set up.’
However, despite experiencing depression after the loss of her father Vincent in 2012, Suzanne didn’t initially recognise the symptoms when the illness returned after Rafferty’s birth.
‘Raffi had so many allergies when he was born and struggled with feeding, and it took more than six months to get to the bottom of that. It was really tough and he constantly cried. So when I started to not feel like myself, I put it down to that,’ she added.
‘Then, last summer, I started getting really paranoid and stopped going out.’
‘I didn’t want to see my friends or go to baby groups or anything. Everything felt like hard work and I’d cry before Sam went to work because I was so worried about being left alone with Raffi.’
‘Things got so dark, then one day Sam was off work and I just couldn’t get out of bed… I thought I’ve got two children, I can’t let this get the better of me.’
Suzanne’s concerned mother eventually convinced her to seek help, and as a result, her ‘amazing’ doctor prescribed her antidepressants and counselling sessions.
‘I was hesitant to go on medication again as I know how it can be too stop taking it,’ she admits. ‘But I had to keep remind myself that I was just taking a painkiller for the mind.’
‘Looking back, I can’t believe I waited a few months to get help.’