Tina O’Brien health: ‘Life felt pretty dark for awhile’ – signs of postnatal depression

TINA O’Brien, 35, has spent over half her life on screen. The actress first entered the cobbled streets of Coronation Street back in 1999 at the age of 16. Audiences have seen her come of age on the show, going from one dramatic storyline to the next. With her public persona fixed firmly in people’s minds, she took many fans by surprise when she shared a painful detail about her private life.

Luckily the dark days eventually lifted

Tina O’Brien

The TV favourite revealed her secret battle with postnatal depression after she shared a photo of her daughter as part of the #10YearChallenge on Instagram.

In a poignant post, O’Brien shared a photo of daughter Scarlett, who she shares with ex husband Ryan Thomas.

While most social media users treated #10YearChallenge as a bit of frivolous fun – contrasting 2019 with 2009 to show the ‘questionable’ image choices people have made in the past, Tina used the post to channel a serious but ultimately more inspiring message.

Tina took the opportunity to highlight her “dark” days after becoming a new mum.

In the caption to the pictures 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 a 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. Luckily the dark days eventually lifted.”

O’Brien added: “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 though things sure as hell makes you stronger.”

Postnatal depression affects more than one in every 10 women within a year of giving birth. It can also affect fathers and partners, said the NHS.

The symptoms associated with the condition include:

  • 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

“Many women don’t realise they have postnatal depression, because it can develop gradually,” added the health body.

There are three main ways to treat the condition:

  • Self-help strategies
  • Therapy
  • Medication

A key part of the self-help strategy is to talk to your partner, friends and family – try to help them understand how you’re feeling and what they can do to support you, said the health body.

The role those closest to a person can play in treating the condition was signalled in O’Brien’s posts, where she went on to say:

“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.

“Feeling in a very wonderful place in 2019 married to the most caring and incredible man I could ever wish to have met.

“Sometimes I still can’t believe you picked me @adamcrofts I feel so loved and I feel so bloody grateful to be a part of our little family. I’ll never take any of it for granted I promise.”

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