Mum shares story of her battle with postnatal depression that left her contemplating suicide.

*TRIGGER warning, some readers may find this post distressing**

Lizzy Willamson, 40, from Sydney, said she was always an ‘extremely capable’ and ‘positive’ woman.

But she eventually found herself in a dark moment in her life about nine years ago where she would have suicidal thoughts, after giving birth to her second daughter Ruby. She went on to battle the condition by herself for eight months.

‘I felt like all of that had vanished and I had a constant mantra in my head that was “I’m going to kill myself, I’m going to kill myself”,’ Lizzy told Daily Mail Australia. 

‘I would hold my little baby at the top of my apartment and look out the window and have these thoughts about throwing her out the window.’

Read more: This is what PND looks like…

‘I’d be punching the brick walls of my house, screaming at my children in a way that scared them and scared myself,’ she said.

‘It was like a dark cloud surrounded me wherever I went, it was feelings and emotions I had never felt the extremities of before, this feeling of anger, this feeling of darkness, this feeling of being overwhelmed.’

‘Everything felt like it was too hard to do,’ she recalled.

‘I remember sitting on the floor of my apartment and looking around at the housework that needed to be done – the washing that needed to be put away.

‘It was like I was paralysed to do anything, it all felt so hard.’

Read more: The moment a mum feared she would hurt her son in the grips of PND

The reason that Lizzy didn’t seek professional help was because she was ashamed of herself 

‘I thought that with all that I had, two healthy babies, a husband, a roof over my head, a supportive family, I had no right to be feeling this way,’ she said.

‘I thought that I should be really grateful and loving every moment of motherhood because of how lucky I was to be a mother. But I felt like such a failure that I wasn’t loving it and that I wasn’t coping.’

‘I thought I was the only one that felt like that because I didn’t tell anyone, I just thought that there was something wrong with me,’ she said. (Read her full story HERE.)

A recent study found women also say they keep quiet about their struggles to cope because they feel nurses focus more on the baby’s health than their own emotional well-being.

Read more: Why mums hide their post natal depression symptoms

The 2016 PANDA facts:

  • Three in five people are not aware of perinatal anxiety as an illness and almost half do not know what signs to look for
  • Anxiety is at least as common as depression during the perinatal period
  • There has been an increase in understanding and compassion in the community with 80% of people believing perinatal depression and anxiety is not a sign of weakness
  • 92% of people believe that perinatal depression and anxiety does not stop a woman from being a good mother
  • Nearly 60% of callers report a lowered mood, with symptoms including hopelessness, lacking motivation and loss of joy, while over
  • 65% report feeling anxious, panicked, agitated, angry and irritable
  • Two out of five callers have not been diagnosed with a mental illness, meaning they have ‘slipped through the cracks’ in the system and have only received critical intervention and support via the PANDA Helpline.

Signs can include panic attacks, persistent, generalised worry, development of obsessive or compulsive behaviours, abrupt mood swings, feeling constantly tired, withdrawing from friends, difficulty focusing, feeling constantly sad or crying for no reason and having thoughts of death or suicide.

Lizzy found exercise was her biggest help. Nine years later she still makes sure she exercises and although there are days she struggles, she makes sure to reach out for a helping hand.

‘There are days I can still feel the black dog nipping at my heels but it’s OK, I have the tools now,’ she said.

If you need support please contact PANDA National Helpline Mon to Fri, 10am – 5pm AEDT on 1300 726 306 OR Lifeline 13 11 14.

Share your comments below

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  • So brave of you to post your story – I feel sorry for all those who go through this.


  • that would have been such a tough eight months. luckily she got help and her kids get their mum back


  • What a brave lady to share her story so honestly. I hope it helps lots of ne mums realise what might be happening with their feelings.


  • So glad this mum got through her PND.


  • I’m glad Lizzy, you overcame your struggles by exercising and I’m glad you overcame without putting your thoughts into action.
    I worked as a psychiatric nurse on a unit where mums with PND were admitted where possible with their babies. I’ve seen mums throwing their babies out of the window and not survive. It’s a dangerous condition and the impuls control can be severely impacted by the hormones. For anyone suffering post natal depression or psychosis: please take yourself serious and seek help !!


  • Definitely no shame in struggling. Your brain feels like a foreign place after those two lines appear.


  • I’m glad that mum sought help. Being a new mum is challenging and hard. Nothing strange admitting we have difficulties coping with it. And if you know which signs you need to look for, it’s easier that you will face the problem if and when it arises, instead of denying it.


  • It’s always hard to talk about mental illness, and motherhood is such a judgey space. I can understand why people shy away from talking.


  • I once got shamed for talking about it to an almost new mum, I was just giving her some signs to look out for because she was worried about bonding with her bub, she was great and then someone else told me off for trying to scare her, I said not trying to scare her just letting her know that it is ok to talk about and that we should talk about it


  • You should never be afraid to seek help. Motherhood is a very tough and new experience. It’s not easy and I think there are too many things out there that make you think that it should be easy and it should come naturally. It’s all a learning experience.


  • Thanks for sharing your story – it helps every mum that suffers to know they are not alone and to get help.

    • I am also glad that you got help and that you have the courage to share – a beautiful act.


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