Parent24 published an extract from Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille's new book Not Without a Fight.
A reader shares her thoughts in response to the article, Helen Zille on her postnatal depression: "How could having a baby be so hard?"
"Yes, I had postnatal depression. With my second child. I did not know about postnatal depression - I thought it was a term used to describe 4th-day-after-birth baby blues. I had no idea that it could last for years, or what depression really was. I assumed depression meant you wanted to commit suicide so I discounted it immediately, as I did not feel suicidal.
"After 14 months of mood-swings, marital stress and becoming sick and tired of my own irrational behaviour, I made an appointment with my GP. I blurted out everything and waited for him to tell me I was being irrational or a self-indulgent hypochondriac of sorts.
"Instead he sympathised with me and explained to me that I had all the symptoms of PND and prescribed an anti-depressant for me. He explained how a shortage of serotonin can cause my symptoms and took blood for a full range of tests.
"My relief was indescribable. I was not insane. I was not losing my mind. I had a real illness and there was a treatment for it.
"Within days, my husband said he felt like he was getting back the woman he fell in love with and married. I had my third child without any depression, bar the baby blues a few days after his birth.
"I do not cope with stress too well and suffer from panic attacks when overwhelmed with work and stress and life. So I will probably always be on anti-depressants and thyroid medication.
"Since being diagnosed with an under-active thyroid three months ago and taking medication for it, I have felt almost the same as I remember feeling like before I had my second baby. Sixteen years is a long time, but I am grateful for all the lessons I have learned from depression.
"I have a much deeper compassion and understanding of others who may be suffering with depression and I have a very real sense of humility that I never had before.
"When you have hit rock bottom with despair, stress, anxiety and fear, a more humble and non-judgemental heart is the positive result."