NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — Thousands of women are struggling with postpartum depression right now. If you’re one of them, there’s help out there.

A New York Physician Assistant is sharing her own story, and how her experience inspired her to give back and help train the next generation.

After two miscarriages and desperate for another baby, what should have been the happiest time of Mary Banahan’s life became what she least expected.

“Probably the worst time of my life,” she said.

Banahan had postpartum depression. It turned into a nearly year-long battle.

“When you are a mother going through postpartum depression, you are not yourself. You are a different person.”

Mary Banahan

She’s not alone. CDC data finds one in eight women suffer from symptoms of postpartum depression.

In 2019, more than 1,400 families turned to The Postpartum Resource Center of New York for help.

In 2021, that number more than doubled.

“You can’t take care of your baby if you’re not healthy,” Banahan said.

Banahan credits The Postpartum Resource Center with a big part of her healing.

Now, she’s volunteering there to help other women.

“If I can help even one mother either not go through what I went through or decrease the amount of time she suffers, then that year of suffering or 11 months of suffering for me, was worth it,” she said.

Banahan is also a professor at Hofstra University. She’s added postpartum to her curriculum.

When I have a student go on clinical rotation and call me and say, I saw a patient today, I screened her and we recognized that she was suffering. That’s it, that’s the reward, the absolute ultimate reward for me.

Mary Banahan

If you’re struggling with postpartum depression and looking for resources, you can visit The Postpartum Resource Center of New York.

It’s also important to speak with your doctor to figure out the best course of treatment for you.