‘The loneliness didn’t go away’ - mum speaks out on post-natal depression

From left, Leroy, Sonny and Camilla Leveridge. Picture: Courtesy of Camilla Leveridge.

From left, Leroy, Sonny and Camilla Leveridge. Picture: Courtesy of Camilla Leveridge. - Credit: Archant

Having a child is supposed to be one of life's most rewarding experiences

Camilla Leveridge, left, and Jo Young from the Action for Children’s Wymondham and Hethersett Childr

Camilla Leveridge, left, and Jo Young from the Action for Childrens Wymondham and Hethersett Childrens Centre , talk in the new video. Picture: Courtesy of Action for Children - Credit: Archant

But it can also lead to loneliness and post-natal depression, as one mother from Wymondham can attest.

And now, Camilla Leveridge, 30, has spoken out about her experiences in a new short film made in support of a 'Heads Together' mental health campaign being spearheaded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Mrs Leveridge said after spending an extended time in hospital following the difficult birth of her son, Sonny, now three, she began to feel depressed.

She said: 'I really just didn't want anyone around and became detached from my son.

Camilla Leveridge, left, and Jo Young from the Action for Children’s Wymondham and Hethersett Childr

Camilla Leveridge, left, and Jo Young from the Action for Childrens Wymondham and Hethersett Childrens Centre , talk in the new video. Picture: Courtesy of Action for Children - Credit: Archant

'I started experiencing severe anxiety and panic attacks and really didn't know what to do when I got home. With Leroy at work all day, I started to feel very alone.

'Then because I knew my depressed feelings weren't right, I isolated myself even further. I tried to tell people how I was feeling but until I found that person who truly understood, the loneliness didn't go away.'

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Mrs Leveridge said the turning point came after she made contact with Jo Young from the Action for Children's Wymondham and Hethersett Children's Centre.

She said: 'Jo was so patient, and, slowly over the following months, helped me build up a bond with Sonny and managed to convince me to take him to a baby massage course and socialise with other mums.

'Bit by bit I started to feel better and it was just amazing to have someone to call every time I had an issue or started feeling lonely or low again. I still call her now.'

Mrs Leveridge said the children's centre deserved more recognition for what they did.

She said: 'The comfort they gave me through the classes and programmes really helped me overcome what was a very difficult time for me.

'Jo also encouraged me to volunteer at the centre, helped me build skills and confidence to get back into work.'

Sonny was Mrs Leveridge's first child, with husband, Leroy, 26.

The Heads Together campaign follows the Duchess of Cambridge speaking out about her own loneliness as a parent earlier this month.

More information about the initiative can be found at www.headstogether.org.uk

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