Denise Welch health: Postnatal depression ‘robbed’ star of joy after son’s birth

What are the signs of postnatal depression?

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After her son Matty was born in April 1989, the former Coronation Street star was “thrilled” and excited, she recently shared on social media. But before long, Welch plunged into a depression. She would go on to suffer from mental health issues for years.

Post-natal depression affects roughly one in 10 women within the year that they give birth.

For Welch, the condition seemed to come “out of nowhere” as she suddenly suffered from a panic attack on a walk a week after her son’s birth.

On Instagram, the Loose Women star recently shared a picture of herself when she was pregnant and captioned the photograph with details of the difficulty she experienced.

“This is two days before Matty was born, April 1989. Happy, excited, nervous. I had a brilliant pregnancy and wasn’t even bothered when he was nine days late!” she wrote.

“Long labour but he was a healthy 8lbs and we were thrilled with our beautiful boy. I wasn’t anxious. I loved the first few days even though he cried a lot.

“A week later out of nowhere, during a walk with my mum, my life changed forever.

“After my first ever panic attack a feeling of unreality came over me and within an hour I was in a thick, black, terrifying depression.”

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The postnatal depression, which Welch says “robbed me of any joy for months”, was caused by a hormone deficiency, according to Welch.

However, she described how for two decades she was not helped with the hormonal problems.

“The GP was terrible and knew nothing. I tried for 20 years to get someone to listen to me that I felt my illness was hormonal. No one really helped me,” she added.

“Years of good days and bad days followed, several ‘nervous breakdowns’ as we called them and every antidepressants known to man, which undoubtedly did help for sure.

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A post shared by Denise Welch (@denise_welch)

“About 13 yrs ago a gynaecologist in London was recommended to me. Professor John Studd,” said Welch

“He found me to be very severely deficient in oestrogen. My life changed that day.

“I still live with the ‘unwelcome visitor’ but he far less visible these days.”

After delivery of a child, women normally experience a dramatic drop in oestrogen levels.

This is known to be linked to postpartum depression for susceptible people.

Studies have gone into finding out whether providing oestrogen can be used to treat people with postpartum depression, although the topic remains controversial.

In the post, Welch was optimistic about the use of HRT, hormone replacement therapy, which she recommended to people.

She concluded: “We have HRT and it’s our right to be given it. Reach out and shout from the roof tops if you have to. Accept any help offered. Don’t suffer in silence. With the right help life with your baby will be wonderful.”

Symptoms of postnatal depression

According to the NHS, the symptoms of postnatal depression include the following:

  • A persistent feeling of sadness and low mood
  • Lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in the wider world
  • Finding it hard to bond with your baby
  • Withdrawing from contacting others
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Frightening thoughts such as hurting your baby.

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