Amy Walsh has reflected on the ‘immense amount of pressure’ she felt to tell her character’s story right on Tuesday’s This Morning.
The Emmerdale actress’ character Tracy Metcalfe has been embroiled in a postnatal depression storyline in recent months.
Discussing Tracy’s struggle when speaking to the show’s hosts Eamonn Holmes and Rochelle Humes, the actress, 34, confessed: ‘For anyone who’s been through it, it must be a hard watch.’
Important role: Amy Walsh, 34, reflected on the ‘immense amount of pressure’ she felt to tell her character’s story right on Tuesday’s This Morning
After watching a clip of herself as Tracy, she explained: ‘I am even emotional watching that clip, so for anyone who’s been through it must be a hard watch. It’s the first time I’ve taken on something really important.’
The soap star also added that the Emmerdale team ‘spoke to case studies and we had one-on-one contact with sufferers from the illness’.
She continued: ‘So I knew that every time I played something out, it was a reflection on what they went through. It was an immense amount of pressure but an honour.’
Demonstrating her knowledge of the illness after working closely with real life sufferers of post natal depression, Amy shared that she felt it was ‘so important’ to reflect that ‘symptoms don’t always show themselves until months down the line’.
Case studies: The soap star also added that the Emmerdale team ‘spoke to case studies and we had one-on-one contact with sufferers from the illness’ (pictured in character as Tracy)
Amy went on: ‘People think they only suffer through a few weeks and then they get back on track. But research has shown symptoms don’t always show themselves until months down the line.
‘One of our case studies only realised after her child was one year old. And I think it’s not dramatising it for drama’s sake but telling the truth with it.
‘I think they’ve [Emmerdale] done that really well. It didn’t need to be a dramatic thing, it could just be the raw emotions.’
Hard watch: Speaking to the show’s hosts Eamonn Holmes and Rochelle Humes, the actress confessed: ‘For anyone who’s been through it, it must be a hard watch’
Adding that Tracy is ‘getting to a really dark place’, Amy also expressed the importance of ‘telling a story of hope’.
‘It’s been important for us to tell a story of hope and people shouldn’t shy away from seeing how this journey unfolds,’ she said.
‘I’m getting messages saying ”I’ve had to switch off, it’s too tough, it’s too hard”. But I want to say: ”Don’t worry. she does get help”. Because we wanted to show there is hope.’
Amy continued: ‘I knew that every time I played something out, it was a reflection on what they went through. It was an immense amount of pressure but an honour’
Tracy gave birth in February and Amy has previously revealed that she got tips on playing pregnant from her sister, singer Kimberley Walsh, 39, who gave birth to her third child this summer.
Ex-Girls Aloud member Kimberley gave her younger sister plenty of advice about what it was like to have a baby.
Amy explained at the time when speaking to The Mirror: ‘When my sister gave birth, the midwife would shout at her, ”Chin on chest”. Little things like that make it more real.
‘Kimberley also told me it’s all in the breathing and using your breath to get through the contractions.’
Tracy, who Amy has played since 2014, gave birth to Nate Robinson’s baby seven months ago.
The fictional couple learned Tracy was pregnant early in their romance but agreed to have the child.
Amy, who has no children of her own, loved being fake pregnant on set.
She said: ‘There’s something quite comforting about it. People would look at you in a different way, too. Everyone’s nicer to you when you’re fake pregnant!’
Sisterly advice: Kimberley Walsh gave her younger sister advice about having a baby after the soap star learned her character, Tracey Metcalfe, was set to give birth on an episode next week
WHAT IS POSTNATAL DEPRESSION?
Postnatal depression is a form of the mental-health condition that affects more than one in 10 women in the UK and US within a year of giving birth.
As many men can be affected as women, research suggests.
Many parents feel down, teary and anxious within the first two weeks of having a child, which is often called the ‘baby blues’.
But if symptoms start later or last longer, they may be suffering from postnatal depression.
Postnatal depression is just as serious as others form of the mental-health disorder.
- Persistent sadness
- Lack of enjoyment or interest in the wider world
- Struggling to bond with your baby
- Withdrawing from others
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Frightening thoughts, such as hurting your baby
Sufferers should not wait for their symptoms to just go away.
Instead they should recognise that it is not their fault they are depressed and it does not make them a bad parent.
If you or your partner may be suffering, talk to your GP or health visitor.
Treatments can include self-help, such as talking to loved ones, resting when you can and making time to do things you enjoy. Therapy may also be prescribed.
In severe cases where other options have not helped, antidepressants may be recommended. Doctors will prescribe ones that are safe to take while breastfeeding.
Postnatal depression’s cause is unclear, however, it is more common in those with a history of mental-health problems.
Lack of support from loved ones, a poor relationship with the partner and a life-changing event, such as bereavement, can also raise the risk.
Source: Daily Mail