A mum from Bromley has spoken out about her experience of pre-natal depression, after she had to battle the mental illness on her own for three months.

Kim Thursfield, 27, experienced pre-natal depression while she was pregnant with her daughter Alana, who is now 18-months-old.

There were few resources available on the NHS in Bromley to help so when she recovered she set up a Bromley branch of PANDAS (Pre And Post Natal Depression Advice and Support). 

Mrs Thursfield, who lives with her husband Matthew in Wharton Road, said: “Pre-natal depression isn’t always heard of and when I was suffering I didn’t know what it was, at the time I thought it was hormones.

"It became clear that something was not right, I was shutting myself away, but it wasn’t until I was about 7 months that I went to the doctors."

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Kim Thursfield and her daughter Alana.

Pre-natal depression is more common in people who have experienced depression in the past.

When Mrs Thursfield went to the doctors she found that the lack of knowledge surrounding the condition, and the potential impact of medication on an unborn child, meant her options were limited.

She said: "I was put on a waiting list for cognitive behavioural therapy, which is supposed to change the way that you think, but it didn't really work for me.

"I just had to bite the bullet and keep going, when I needed the help there was nothing.

"I heard of PANDAS, there wasn’t one in the area at the time but I got talking to other women on facebook, and they were saying that you will be ok, and those were the words that I wanted to hear."


Mrs Thursfield, who runs a performing arts school for children, said: "Work was making it even worse.

"Everyone tells you that you look amazing when instead you feel absolutely dreadful.

"I was at home for the next three months, sat in front of the tv crying all the time, while other mums were so excited.

"We really wanted a baby, it was horrible to be feeling like that, with the guilt at the back of my mind as well.

"I would have loved it if there was somewhere I could have just walked into a room and know that i'm not alone."

PANDAS Bromley started in February 2015 with three members, and has grown to a group of 27.

Mrs Thursfield said: "We are the only one in Kent, women come from all over Kent.

"Everyone just gets on really, really well, it’s so supportive.

"At the moment it is once a month, the children can come along, we just talk about our experience.

"We want to run courses and we go on nights out together.

"Things like that can take their minds off the depression and focus their minds on something else."

PANDAS Bromley meet on the last Tuesday of the month. For more information visit the PANDAS website.