A MUM-of-two has spoken out about her battles with depression and anxiety and how it was brought on by having cerebral palsy.

Samantha Haworth, from Bacup, has struggled with a low mood ever since she was a young girl and at its worst she has felt suicidal.

After years of keeping her mental health problems to herself, she finally sought help, and discovered her low moods, depression and anxiety were linked to cerebral palsy.

This is because it impacts on her brain’s ability to process mood while her reduced mobility also has a major impact on her mood.

Mrs Haworth, 32, who lives with husband Simon and children Paige, 10 and Amy, eight, said: “I was referred to mental health services.

“While it hasn’t all been plain sailing, with their help and the help of medication, I now understand that my cerebral palsy plays a big part in impacting my brain’s ability to process mood.”

When Mrs Haworth gave birth to Paige, she also suffered with post-natal depression.

But it was only when the health of her husband, who has type one diabetes, started to worsen and trigger suicidal feelings in her that she realised she had to seek help.

She said: “For years I had kept it all in about how I was feeling. But I realised Simon’s deteriorating health was also triggering my mental ill health, and with two young children to look after, I needed help. There have been times, and still continue to be times, where I can’t get out of bed and or interact with anyone.”

Her cerebral palsy is so debilitating that it affects her everyday life limiting her independence.

Until a year ago, she worked in a job she loved as a mortuary technician.

But now she cannot even stand up long enough to cook a simple meal – and though she can get around her own house, outside she needs to use a scooter or frame.

And while Mrs Haworth still has periods of anything from three weeks to six months where she retreats into herself, loses her appetite and struggles to sleep, she now knows there are services available to help her.

She added: “To anyone battling right now please keep going you are strong enough, you’re amazing and you are love. Also there is a wealth of support out there so please try and reach out.

“I know its difficult right now to see the light at the end of the tunnel and you will have relapses along the way but it will be worth it; opening up can also take some pressure off because you won’t feel guilty for hiding anything like I did.”

Dr Rakesh Sharma, clinical lead for mental health at East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups, said being depressed and anxious can be a really lonely experience.

“The worst thing you can do for someone who you know is dealing with it is avoid them. It can be hard to know what to do or say – but this can make it harder for them to get through it but sometimes the most important thing is just having supportive people around.”

Mental Health Awareness Week starts on May 13.