A NEW study reveals becoming a new mum is one of the main causes of loneliness.

The study released from the British Red Cross and Co-op reveals that more than nine million people across the UK feel lonely.

Becoming a new mum, or becoming a mum at a young age, have been identified as two of the main causes of loneliness.

Holly Owen, 22, became a first time mum to Freddy earlier this year.

However, it was harder than Holly thought; she described it as ‘Exhausting and lonely’.

“When your young your whole life changes and everything is completely different.

The lack of sleep becomes unbearable and you start to stay away from normal day things like seeing your friends.”

Mental Health author Elaine Hanzak, identifies post-natal depression as the main cause for loneliness.

“Exhaustion, all the changes in life, feelings of low self-esteem, and fear of being judged a bad mother, are some of the reasons why they may retreat inside themselves both mentally and physically. ”

Only 15 per cent of women receive professional treatment for post-natal depression.

This means around 850,000 women are not receiving the support that they need.

Holly Owen was one of the 15 per cent who didn’t receive support in the first eight months of becoming a new mum.

“I don’t think you realise you have depression, you just shut yourself away from the rest of the world and try to get on with it on your own.

“That is probably my worst regret.”

“Your whole attention suddenly comes onto this little boy that you brought into the world and suddenly things that make you happy are no longer seen.

“I don’t regret my little boy he is the best thing in the world, but what I do regret is isolating myself and not getting the help I needed sooner.”

The survey acknowledged that 75 per cent of those who are lonely do not actually know where to turn to for support.

Hanzak added: “The key is communication and being to talk to one or two people they trust.

One of the best ways to deal with it is connecting with others in a preferred way.”

The main part that helped Holly start to overcome her isolation was speaking out and starting to interact again.

“All I can say is don’t seclude yourself, speak to people if you are feeling down and lonely.

The support is there when you ask for it.”

The British Red Cross is countering with new services funded by Co-op to help provide support to adults suffering loneliness in the UK.

The Co-op are also improving their services and memberships to help tackle isolation.

For more information please visit: http://www.thesmilegroup.org/




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