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Fern Britton: the true story of living with postnatal depression

Pregnant woman

Optum Perks Author

By Optum Perks Author

Postnatal depression is a type of mental disorder that occurs in women after having given birth. Women tend to go through intervals of feeling irritated, tearful, and having mood swings. It is commonly referred to as the "baby blues". When these symptoms become deeper and more dangerous, they may end up developing into depression and postnatal depression (PND). This depression can develop suddenly or slowly and can be mild or severe.

Research shows that postnatal depression is more common than people think. About 1 in 7 women suffers from postnatal depression. The exact figure is even believed to be higher, as many of these women do not seek the necessary help.

Having to feed your baby regularly may disrupt your sleeping routine. It may leave you exhausted, irritated, and sad. One case confession is that of Fern Britton, a TV presenter. Through her video she confesses to having suffered from postnatal depression.

Fern Britton Opens Up About Her Depression

Having recorded a video for Sports Relief, Fern Britton openly talked about how she struggled with postnatal depression. Her intention was to encourage other moms to talk about their mental health awareness, as she has gone through the struggles of postnatal depression.


In this emotional video (meant for charity purposes on mental health services), she openly talks about the difficulties after the births of her children. She talks about how lonely and secluded she felt. She said that she didn't feel as if she was herself and even wondered where she had gone.

It's not the first time that Fern Britton is confessing to having mental health problems. She has admitted to having suffered from a mental health disorder in her 20s.

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Fern becomes Aware of Her Mental Condition

In the latest video release, Fern Britton tries to explain how things went downhill. She even admits that she had suicidal thoughts. The mom of four continues by telling us of how, after doing all her duties, she would become manic or clean the entire house or think about how she would kill herself. She talks deeply about how unhappy she was and that she didn't know the reason behind it. The doctor told her that she was suffering from postnatal depression. After having a mental health test, Fern had an enormous sense of relief that she was not going crazy.

Response to the Video

Fern Britton's video received a lot of response from various people. As a result of this, Fern wrote a supportive message on her Twitter, asking people who could be suffering not to be frightened. She spoke to mothers who are going through these struggles and told them not to think of themselves as being a bad mother. She encouraged them not to walk through the dark woods alone.


Her experience is not a unique one. According to research by Royal College of Psychiatrists, 10-15 women out of one hundred will be affected by postnatal depression. Many affected women are not able to talk about it openly because it is seen as a taboo despite the condition being so common.

Sport Relief Campaign

Alongside Fern's experience, Sports Relief has also included other videos of women who have been through the same struggles. This is to try and represent this issue as much as possible. Sports Relief motivates people to get active. According to Sports Relief, 7 in 10 women tend to hide their symptoms. They hope to encourage men and women to communicate about their experiences and be able to get help in the form of community mental health services. This will contribute to reducing the stigma related to this mental disorder.


The campaign created a positive response. According to a woman on Twitter named Rosey, she talked of how she had suffered from this mental disorder and how she needed someone to give her hope of recovery.