Battling with postnatal depression and anxiety

Leopold’s Lisa Quinney struggled with postnatal depression following the birth of her second daughter. (Supplied)

Leopold’s Lisa Quinney is a mum, perinatal counsellor and postnatal depression survivor who will present a Maternal Journal workshop to support mums through any stage of motherhood in Ocean Grove . She speaks with Jena Carr about her journey and struggles after the birth of her second child.

Motherhood is supposed to be a beautiful and special time for every parent, but, as Lisa Quinney knows, it can also be very challenging.

Lisa, who lives in Leopold, grew up in Germany, where she had her first daughter and support network, but when she moved to Australia and had her second daughter, she began to struggle.

“When I had my second daughter eight years ago, I became unwell and felt very isolated, alone, and overwhelmed,” she said.

“I didn’t have any social connections yet with no friends or family here that could support me during that time, and she (daughter) was also very unwell as she was screaming a lot due to silent reflux.

“I didn’t get the help I needed from the GP that I was seeing… which was a real shame because that exacerbated how I felt, and the depression and anxiety just got worse.”

Lisa said it took her close to six years to discover that she was suffering from postnatal depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.

“I remember a friend saying to me that she could see that I was struggling more than normal, and she said that I should call the Raphael Centre (St John of God mental health service),” she said.

“It felt like a defeat because I had to call these people and admit that I’m not thriving and struggling. When I did call them, they had a wait time of about six weeks, but it felt like three months to me.

“I felt that if I have to keep going like this for six more weeks, I don’t think we’re (mother and daughter) going to make it like one of us is not going to be there in six weeks.

“That was awful because I didn’t know who to go to, and I was completely lost without the support that I really needed. It was the toughest time of my life.

“I finally found a psychologist who put the pieces together, and it was a complete breakthrough for me because I could then see why I was struggling to bond with my daughter.”

Lisa now works as a perinatal counsellor and will begin conducting Maternal Journal workshops in Ocean Grove to help mums connect with others during any stage of their motherhood journey.

“Get support and be assertive about it, that’s the advice I would give myself if I could go back. I would tell myself that it is not supposed to feel like that, and that it is hard,” she said.

People can find out more about Lisa and her Maternal Journal workshop at

PANDA provides support during pregnancy and a baby’s first 12 months via the helpline at 1300 726 306, and 24/7 mental health support is available through Beyond Blue at 1300 22 4636.