Survivor's El Rowland: "I quickly deteriorated into a pit of despair and horror."

Former Australian Survivor contestant El Rowland opened up about her struggle with Postnatal Depression on the eve of Mother’s Day.

The reality TV star and mum of Darcy, 5, said she wanted to share her own story in the hope of helping other mothers who are going through the same thing.

“My battle was very traumatic and one that almost claimed me,” she wrote on Instagram. “I have never gone through a mental health battle in my life and that’s why I was so surprised when shortly after my boy Darcy was born, I quickly deteriorated into pit of despair and horror and I was drowning in a hole of a tormented mind.”

A post shared by El Rowland (@elerowland_) on


Rowland says “panic attacks filled [her] days” and she was stuck in this cycle for months until she was so exhausted that she also became depressed.

“A black cloud shadowed my being and I lost every ounce of hope and couldn’t see a way out,” she said. “The symptoms that panic attacks and depression brought left me sick in the stomach all the time, a racing heart, sweaty, clammy and physically incapable of eating, sleeping or functioning.”

The 33-year-old said she was totally incapacitated and she got to the point where she thought things would only get better if she wasn’t around anymore.

However, Rowland did get better and she has a message for mums who are currently going through Postnatal Depression.

“From my ashes I rose a different creature, wearing a new garment of strength and became the best ever version of myself possible,” she wrote.

“If you are going through something similar, please use me as a promise. My promise is that you too can get your zen back, even if you think it is impossible.”


Rowland’s followers were quick to thank her for her honesty and to share their own stories.

“Thank you for bringing awareness to this debilitating illness,” one person wrote. “I’m currently battling PND and it’s good to know there is light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Your post brought tears to my eyes. Happy Mother’s Day.”

“As someone who has had PND myself, it is great that you are speaking about your experience to highlight to others that they are not alone, that there is the support you need out there, and you do come out of it a better version of yourself,” added another.

Libby Trickett on the unexpected challenges of motherhood.

If you or someone you know is experiencing Postnatal Depression, please contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, help is available 24/7.