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Larah James first experienced feelings of anxiety four months after her daughter Abigail was born.
“I’d never suffered any anxiety or mental illnesses at all,” she said. “Probably the most frightening part for me was that the feelings were very unfamiliar.”
Mrs James said the initial joy of motherhood was overwhelmed by physical symptoms of anxiety, which began around the time she stopped breastfeeding.
Her heart would race and she experienced shortness of breath. She had a dry mouth and could not sit down and focus.
Mrs James suffered sleepless nights, often several in a row, and suffered rapid weight loss – an experience that would be repeated following the birth of her son Charlie.
“I became completely obsessed with sleep and not only my own or lack of it but also the sleep routines of my children,” she said.
She also suffered several panic attacks that left her overwhelmed and frightened.
“I thought I was going mental,” she said. “It wasn’t so much the physical symptoms but the thoughts in my head, just the confusion.
She added: “It’s so hard to describe what goes on in your head during a panic attack. It’s like racing thoughts, it’s 100 thoughts at once. You’ve got no control over what you’re thinking.”
Mrs James is not alone. Anxiety and depression felt during pregnancy through to one year after birth affects around 100,000 families every year, according to Perinatal Anxiety and Depression .
“Anxiety is at least as common as depression during the perinatal period,” chief executive Terri Smith said.
Research by PANDA, which operates a helpline for people affected by perinatal anxiety and depression, suggests a majority of people do not know perinatal anxiety is an illness, with almost half unable to recognise its signs.
Philip Boyce, a professor of psychiatry at Sydney Medical School, said perinatal depression and anxiety was caused by a combination of “genetic endowment, social and interpersonal variables”.
“However, the majority of cases are related to psychosocial factors such as social disadvantage, lack of social support, marital or interpersonal difficulties with a lack of support and personality vulnerability,” he said.
It also comes at a high cost. The direct cost of health services to deal with perinatal depression was an estimated $78 million in 2012, according to the Deloitte Access Economics reportThe Cost of Perinatal Depression in . Indirect costs were more than $350 million, which Deloitte attributed mainly to an estimated $310 million in productivity losses.
A NSW Health spokesman said between 10 and 20 per cent of women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby.
He said the 2010 n National Infant Feeding Survey suggested perinatal depression was less commonly reported among mothers who had higher levels of education, were working at the time of the survey and primarily spoke a language other than English at home. Mothers living in major cities also reported slightly lower rates of perinatal depression.
Marie-Paule Austin, a professor of psychiatry at the University of NSW and director St John of God Perinatal & Women’s Mental Health Research Unit, said was doing better in detecting perinatal depression and anxiety compared to a decade ago.
But she said: “We still need to come a long way in NSW compared to other states in terms of our lack of any public mother-baby beds that allows mothers to be admitted with their infant thus avoiding separation at this critical time in the infant’s life.”
A NSW Health spokesman said 90 per cent of these women suffered mild mental health symptoms that could be treated by their GPs or organisations such as Karitane and Tresillian.
“Of the remaining 10% of women who require specialist care for severe and complex mental health problems generally associated with significant clinical risk, a small proportion might require an admission to an inpatient unit and may also receive specialist care through public community mental health services,” he said.
He said there were various primary care and specialist services, and NSW Health had spent $3 million this financial year on supporting 900 people with moderate to severe perinatal mental health disorders.
Mrs James was fortunate to have a strong support network of family and friends but she said: “For a male it can be very difficult for them to understand.”
Some of her female friends understood, others did not. “Some of them normalise it and said ‘It’s just part of those early days. You’ll get over it’.”
When Mrs James realised the anxiety she felt following the birth of Abigail was not normal, she sought help from her GP.
“He certainly helped me survive the day-to day through sleep medication and also anti-anxiety medication,” she said. “But I didn’t really recover until she was about nine months old.”
At that point, Mrs James began sleeping and eating well, and bonding again with her daughter.
Mrs James was once again beset with post-natal anxiety about three months after the birth of her son Charlie.
As soon as she was on “the slippery slope of stressing and not sleeping”, she visited her G.P. and was referred to a consultant psychiatrist.
Recalling that period in her life, Mrs James said: “It was so bad. It was really frightening. I felt guilty I wasn’t enjoying motherhood any more.”
Tributes flow for Doohan the ‘Becker wrecker’ | VIDEO, PICTURES Newcastle’s Peter Doohan after defeating Boris Becker at Wimbledon in 1987.
Peter Doohan waves to a friend as he leaves the court with a happy Pat Cash after their doubles triumph on October 03, 1987.
Peter Doohan and Pat Cash in the Davis Cup, October 3, 1987.
Pat Cash leaps for a forehand smash as Peter Doohan looks on in the Davis Cup doubles encounter, March 15, 1987.
Peter Doohan (foreground) with Alton Bowen in 2012.
Peter Doohan and Rod Stubbs, at Nelson Bay Tennis Club.
Peter Doohan in November 2012.
Peter Doohan in 2011.
Peter Doohan at the Nelson Bay courts during upgrades in 2009.
Peter Doohan with Roger Federer in 2011.
Peter Doohan and Pat Cash at the Davis Cup Semi at White City VS India on October 3, 1987.
Peter Doohan in action in April, 2005.
Peter Doohan in 1987.
Peter Doohan in action against Leconte, January 14, 1988.
Peter Doohan in 2001.
Newcastle tennis player Peter Doohan was inducted into the Hunter Region sporting hall of fame in 2005.
TweetFacebookOur tribute to Peter Doohan. #RIP#FightMNDpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/F9wAN2Lov6
— Tennis (@Tennis) July 22, 2017RIP mate! You were the better player …#PeterDoohanpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/97I3wKF7Uo
— Boris Becker (@TheBorisBecker) July 22, 2017My heartfelt condolences to the family of #PeterDoohan ! The tennis fraternity lost a great guy and wonderful player ! #tennisaustralia
— Boris Becker (@TheBorisBecker) July 22, 2017Newcastle Herald journalist Carrie Fellner spoke to Peter Doohanabout his devastating diagnosis. Here is her story from May 21, 2017.
Hunter sporting great Peter Doohan has spoken bravely about his battle with motor neurone disease, revealing he is about to begin a course of powerful, experimental drugs in a bid to prolong his life.
The 56-year-old admitted things have been “up and down” since hereceived the shock diagnosis last Tuesday, with his neurologistgiving him months to live.
There has since been an outpouring of support for Doohan, both from within the Hunter and the broader tennis community.Pat Cash, Wally Masur and John Fitzgerald have been among those to send messages of support from and abroad.
Doohan spoke to theNewcastle Heraldon Sunday from a pub near the Sydney hospital where he will begintreatment on Monday.
He was accompaniedby family members so he could watch his beloved Newcastle Knights take on the Panthers.
“They are very powerful drugs to try and settle down my immune system, which happens to be in overdrive,” he said.
“I’m just hopingto get some strength back, because at the moment my body is very weak. A little bit of quality time would be good. I won’t ask for too much”.
Doohan – better known as the “Becker Wrecker” –pulled off one of the most memorable upsets in tennis history with his defeat of two-time defending championBoris Becker at Wimbledon in 1987.
By doing so he helped clearthe way for Pat Cash to claim eventual victory in the tournament.
“I’ll have to remind him to send me the royalty cheque in the mail,” he joked.
Doohan counts his undefeatedDavis Cup record and his singles win over Andre Agassi among other career highlights.
Hereached a career-high world ranking of 43 in singles and 15in doubles, winning six ATP titles.
Will O’Neil, who runs the Cessnock Tennis Centre, has been close friends with Doohan for decades and said the news had left him “completely and utterly gutted”.
He said he was“clinging”to hope that the experimental drug treatment wouldbe a success.
“Peter is a friend and a mentor and someone I’ve looked up to since I was 10 years old,” he said.
“He’s an absolute gentleman and a real stalwart for Newcastle. A finer example of a gentleman you couldn’t find.”
Motor neurone disease is terminal disease wherepeople progressively lose use of their limbs and their ability to move, speak, breathe and swallow. The mind and senses usually remain intact.
There is no known cause or cure for the disease, which has an average life expectancy of two-and-a-half years.
More than 2000 people have the disease in , about 60 per cent male and 40 per cent female.
Mr O’Neilwas confident Doohanwould fight his battle with the same tenacity that earnedhim the nickname‘The Bear’ on the court.
“That’s why I’m still giving him a chance, I know how much of a fighter he is,” he said.
“You’d think you had the match and then you’d lose and go ‘I don’t know how the hell that happened, but it did.’”
Doohan spent his formative years atMerewether High School, playing tennis at District Park in Broadmeadow on weekends under the guidance of coach Frank Brent.
After turning professional, he spent 20 years playing and coaching in the United States. He was based inArkansas, where his sons John and Hunter still live.
Doohan returned to Nelson Bay in 2009 and coached up until June last year. Since becoming unwell, he has been spending much of his time with his mother, who lives in Hamilton South.
Reflecting on his career, he said one of the most rewarding aspects has been the close bonds forgedwith many of his former students and their parents.
“I get a lot of satisfaction from the way those students grow and learn life lessons through sport,” he said.
Tennis taught children integrity, he added, because unlike other sports they were forced to make line calls against themselves.
“Things like perseverance, persistence, commitment and hard work.We don’t expect them all to be Wimbledon champions. The reason we play sport is because of the things they learn for life.”
Doohan admitted he is passionate about his home town, to “the point of being overzealous”.
“I love the Knights,” he said. “I flew back from the US in 2001 to watch them win the premiership.”
He said his proudest moment as a Novocastrian was when his Wimbledon winwas ranked number four in the Herald’stop 101significant moments in Hunter history.
Mr O’Neil describedDoohan as a “true mate” and a very caring dad to his two boys.
“The amazing part about Pete is he will just always go out of his way to help you.”.
Up to 7500 asylum seekers who arrived in by boat have been given four months to apply for refugee status or face deportation.
Branding them “fake refugees”, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says they have until October 1 to provide detail about their protection claims. He says some have refused to lodge protection claims while others have refused to give even basic information about their identities.
“This is a very serious situation and it’s costing n taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year,” Mr Dutton said on Sunday. “Money that could be spent on education, on health, on police, on other services in the community. Now we aren’t going to tolerate that any longer.”
Many arrived without identity documents on boats run by people smugglers up to seven years ago under the previous Labor government, he said.
Mr Dutton said many were residing in on government benefits which last year cost around $250 million in income support alone.
But refugee advocates are furious over the move, saying it punishes people who have been waiting patiently to submit their claims.
The Refugee Action Coalition’s Ian Rintoul called the deadline “completely arbitrary” and said it was a cruel hoax on people whom the government has left in limbo.
“These people have been denied legal help by this government,” said Mr Rintoul. “They have systemically denied them the possibility of making an application. To suggest that they are unreasonably consuming taxpayers dollars is simply vicious.”
Human rights lawyer George Newhouse said the move showed a “blatant disregard’ for the processes of the law and the cost of legal aid.
And advocates at the Edmund Rice Centre accused Mr Dutton of “yet another unfair and extreme attack” on refugees and asylum seekers.
“Peter Dutton and the Turnbull government are deliberately making the process of applying for protection as difficult as possible,” the centre’s Dominic Ofner said.
“There are over 21 million refugees worldwide and the international community is facing the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II. In this context, it is simply beyond embarrassing that our government is doing everything it possibly can to deny basic rights to 7,500 people seeking asylum in .”
Labor’s immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann criticised Mr Dutton for branding people “fake refugees” before they had even lodged their applications.
“I think the public will see what this is all about. It’s about Peter Dutton putting his name in the paper, angling for the prime ministership – not doing his job and angling for Malcolm Turnbull’s job,” he said. He also questioned why the government was only now acknowledging it had a problem after nearly four years in power.
One of the world’s biggest retailers continues to register trademarks in , despite insisting it has no plans to set up here.
German discount supermarket Lidl – which will open stores in the US next month, offering up to 50 per cent off rivals’ prices – has trademarked the words LIDL TO GO and LIDL YOU.
LIDL TO GO is the chain’s convenience assortment. LIDL YOU is a streaming service.
A Lidl representative told Fairfax Media the chain had “no plans” to enter .
It’s speculated Lidl is keeping open the option of launching here, once it has bedded down its aggressive US expansion.
Lidl is owned by the privately held Schwarz Group, one of the world’s largest retailers, which also owns discount department store Kaufland.
Until last year, Lidl planned to open in and emulate the success of its arch-rival Aldi.
But Schwarz Group chief, under executive Klaus Gehrig, decided Lidl would focus on the US and Kaufland would head Down Under to increase its international sales.
Michael Bate is the head of retail at Colliers International, which conducted research for Lidl about the n market.
Mr Bate said Lidl was initially excited by but concluded the market was too small and too concentrated, and was now focused on the US.
He said Lidl was “hedging its bets” by continuing to register brands here. The LIDL YOU application was lodged after Kaufland confirmed in November it was looking for land and staff in .
Lidl has applied for thousands of trademarks in since the year 2000, around the time Aldi set up here.
Last year it applied for trademarks covering hundreds of products, held talks with the Victorian government, and contacted suppliers.
It’s understood Schwarz Group plans to launch a bespoke Kaufland in , rather than use its German or Eastern European formats. It’s unclear when the first Kaufland stores will open here, although it’s speculated it will be several years from now.
After years of competing, Fairfax Media understands Lidl and Kaufland are now being encouraged to work together and share resources at a top level.
Forensic police at the scene on Sunday. Picture: Ian KirkwoodONE man is recovering in hospital with stab wounds, while another sustained a cut to his head while detaining an intruder during separate home invasions in the Hunter over the weekend.
A man, 28, suffered lacerations to his arm and chest after he was confronted by two men at Charlestown on Sunday morning.
Police said the man was outside his home on Hillsborough Road about 5am when he was attacked by the men, who police said were dressed in dark clothing and armed with an “edged weapon”.
NSW Police spokesman
Paramedics were calledand treated the man for lacerations to his left arm and chest.
He was taken to John Hunter Hospital in a serious condition.
The man’s injuries are not considered life-threatening, according to a NSWpolice spokesman.
Meanwhile, a man, 58, has appeared in Newcastle Bail Court after he was allegedly found inside a home in Hamilton East on Friday night.
The man, who police identified as Shane Anthony Nicholls, was allegedly found in a bedroom of a home on Warrah Street about 8.20pm, police said.
Three people were inside the home when one of the occupants heard noises coming from his bedroom.
The man, 54, went to investigate and allegedly found Mr Nicholls, 58, standing in the room.
The two allegedly became involved in a scuffle, with the 54-year-old suffering a cut to his head, police said.
The 54-year-old’s family came to his aid and one of the occupants called police.
Newcastle City police arrived moments later and arrested the 58-year-old.
He was taken to Newcastle Police Station where he was charged with aggravated break and enter.
He was refused bail by police and appeared in Newcastle Bail Court on Saturday morning where the matter was adjourned to Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday.
Forensic police at the scene on Sunday. Picture: Ian Kirkwood