Real life stories

Elaine’s story

Elaine’s story (Chester) The birth of my son was very difficult. I had a retained placenta, which led to me haemorrhaging after he was born. A consequence of this traumatic experience was that I developed mild to severe postnatal depression, which eventually led to psychosis when my son was seven months old. Given electroconvulsive therapy … Continue reading Elaine’s story

Charlie’s story

Charlie’s story (Bridport) With all three of my children I struggled with perinatal mental health problems, including postnatal depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. During these extremely difficult times, I received excellent support from a number of specialist perinatal mental health professionals. They included those working at my Mother and Baby Unit, midwives, community psychiatric nurses … Continue reading Charlie’s story

Kirsten’s story

Kirsten’s story (Peterborough) The symptoms I showed during the pregnancy of my first child included OCD, general anxiety and low mood. I spoke to 11 different professionals before I started to receive help. This left me feeling exhausted, and I couldn’t understand why I had to tell my story so many times, and why I … Continue reading Kirsten’s story

Kathryn’s story

Kathryn’s story (London) My pregnancy sailed by in a buzz of baby shopping, scans and antenatal classes. All this changed less than 24 hours after our son was born. We had a very long and difficult labour, followed by a petrifying emergency C-section. We were then placed in the High Dependency Unit, but a few … Continue reading Kathryn’s story

Laura’s story

Laura’s story (Surrey/now in Southampton) When I fell pregnant, I had pre-existing mental health difficulties and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I was known to be high risk for postnatal ill health, but I received little support and few preventative measures were put in place. It seemed that the community mental health team and the … Continue reading Laura’s story

Maria’s story

Maria’s story (Bristol) My first son, William, was just one day old when he died in 2005. During and after my 11-year-old son’s and nine-year-old daughter’s pregnancies I struggled with a number of mental health problems. With Joel, I felt very anxious whilst pregnant with him, and then felt isolated and depressed following his birth. … Continue reading Maria’s story

Jenny’s story

Jenny’s story (Belfast) Four years ago I had my second child, Isaac. After he was born, I felt differently to how I had felt when his older brother, Sam, had been born. Something wasn’t right. I felt depressed and struggled to bond with Isaac. I also felt unable to look after Sam adequately. This put a … Continue reading Jenny’s story

Raj’s story

Raj’s story (Berkshire) My wife developed stress-induced psychosis when she was nearly 30 weeks pregnant. At the time, she saw me as an antagonist, and due to her condition I was subjected to mental and verbal abuse as my wife’s perception of reality was affected. Our GP offered us no clear advice or counselling at … Continue reading Raj’s story

Louise’s story

Louise’s story (Oxfordshire) I suffer from bipolar disorder and was treated with lithium. For five years my husband and I had raised with my psychiatrist the issue of us trying for a family, but she kept failing to find out about what changes to medication would be advisable before conception. Eventually, my husband did some … Continue reading Louise’s story

Ann’s story

Ann’s story (Hertfordshire) After my daughter’s birth I suffered from severe antenatal obsessive compulsive disorder [OCD] and lived with a crippling fear that something terrible was going to happen to her. At a time when I should have been enjoying being a new mum, I was gripped by panic and couldn’t even watch the news. … Continue reading Ann’s story

Peter’s story

Peter’s story (Newcastle upon Tyne) My daughter developed serious postnatal depression. Her condition deteriorated over a period of several months and culminated in a suicide attempt and a missing person’s search for two days. She had left me with her baby while she went ostensibly for a jog. When she failed to return, I raised … Continue reading Peter’s story

Joanna’s story

Joanna’s story (Exeter) Five days after the birth of my first child I experienced extreme anxiety and a sense of terror overwhelmed me. I was diagnosed with PND [postnatal depression], but I didn’t feel depressed, just incredibly anxious. I was prescribed antidepressants and gradually I started to feel better. But when I discovered I was … Continue reading Joanna’s story

Hannah B’s story

Hannah’s story (Bristol) After the birth of my son I developed mild postnatal depression [PND] and moderate anxiety. I suffered panic attacks and was fearful of being judged as a ‘bad mother’, as being incapable of looking after my child in the ‘right’ way. Despite regular visits to my GP, it was two years before I … Continue reading Hannah B’s story

Hannah’s story

Hannah’s story (Thirsk) I had a straight-forward pregnancy and gave birth to my first baby after an emergency c-section in 2009.When I started having irrational, racing thoughts and very strange behavior my community midwife sent me to my GP.  Things worsened and few days later, I saw a different GP who referred me to a … Continue reading Hannah’s story

Chris & Joe’s story

Chris’s story (Huddersfield) After my partner Joe suffered several miscarriages, we feared we would never be able to have a baby. But in 2010 we were delighted to welcome our beautiful daughter into the world. Joe was determined to be the perfect mother, but when she struggled to breastfeed, it led to feelings of severe … Continue reading Chris & Joe’s story

Becky’s story

Becky’s story (Dawlish) Two weeks after my baby was born I started suffering from severe postnatal depression [PND]. I began to have suicidal thoughts and couldn’t even look at my daughter or pick her up. The antenatal classes gave me unrealistic expectations about parenthood which I could not meet, and the attitude of one midwife … Continue reading Becky’s story

Sally’s story

Sally’s story (South Lanarkshire) I was diagnosed with severe postnatal depression [PND] after the birth of my second child in July 2013. The NHS only offered me medication and referred me to its Crisis team, who sent me home to listen to relaxation music. I was also told it would take 21 weeks on the … Continue reading Sally’s story

Michelle’s story

Michelle’s story (Bridgend) After the birth of my child I went into a downward spiral of thinking I couldn’t cope with having a baby. I was so distressed I was unable to sleep and even had to force myself to eat. I’d just had a son and desperately wanted to be happy, but I struggled … Continue reading Michelle’s story