Tina O’Brien, 36, who’s played Sarah Platt on ITV’s Coronation Street since 1999, took to social media in January this year to real her secret battle with postnatal depression. The star shared a photo of herself with her daughter as part of the #10YearChallenge on Instagram, and within the caption she detailed her ordeal. The Instagram campaign saw Instagram users share a picture of themselves from 10 years ago and then one from the present day to see how much they’d changed. Tina chose to look back at her personal struggle in her first year of motherhood.
She wrote: “#10yearchallenge wouldn’t be complete without my incredible 10 year old daughter. I wish I could tell the scared and fragile Tina of 10 years ago it’s going to be ok, you will get through this.
“I had very bad post natal depression even looking at the pic on the left reminds me how bad it was and that makes me so sad. I wish I’d had the confidence to ask for help. Life felt pretty dark for a little while.”
Tina’s caption continued: “Luckily the dark days eventually lifted. I was then a single mum, times when absolutely no income was coming in. I’d be lying if I said it was easy. 2009 was a tough year But to get through things sure as hell makes you stronger.
“To some incredible highs, great opportunities and jobs have come along. I’ve met some wonderful people who are still in my life. All the while caring for, loving and watching my beautiful, kind little girl grow in front of my eyes.”
The actress shares her daughter with ex husband Ryan Thomas.
At the end of her post she praised her husband Adam Crofts, who she married last year, saying she was “grateful” to have him in her life, and also describing him as an “incredible man”.
What is postnatal depression?
Postnatal depression is a type of depression parents experience after having a baby.
It’s a common problem, according to the NHS, affecting more than one in every 10 women within a year of giving birth.
The health body advises: “It’s important to seek help as soon as possible if you think you might be depressed, as your symptoms could last months or get worse and have a significant impact on you, your baby and your family.
“With the right support, which can include self-help strategies and therapy, most women make a full recovery.”
Symptoms of postnatal depression
Symptoms of the condition are also listed by the NHS as:
- A persistent feeling of sadness and low mood
- Lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in the wider world
- Lack of energy and feeling tired all the time
- Trouble sleeping at night and feeling sleepy during the day
- Difficulty bonding with your baby
- Withdrawing from contact with other people
- Problems concentrating and making decisions
- Frightening thoughts – for example, about hurting your baby
If you experience the symptoms of postnatal depression you should speak to your midwife, health visitor or GP.
Treatment for postnatal depression
There are a variety of treatments used to help people with postnatal depression.
Pupa suggests talking to your partner, friends or family about your feelings and how they can help you, sleeping or resting, finding local groups for new parents, and accepting offers of help with housework, shopping and childcare.
The health organisation adds: “Don’t feel guilty auto accepting support.”