I am the one in four

How one nurse’s approach to patients and colleagues may be changed by her experience of postnatal depression
Post-natal depression

I was working as a community psychiatric nurse when I had my youngest daughter, Bella. My mental health deteriorated significantly soon after the birth. I didn’t bond with her and I had persistent intrusive thoughts that she wasn’t mine. I was convinced that there had been a mix up at the hospital and I examined photos of her to look for discrepancies. My mood was low and my anxiety levels were high. The thoughts escalated and I found it increasingly difficult to rationalise them.

Things reached crisis point when I stayed awake one night thinking my family would be better off without me. As the night wore on, I made serious plans to take an overdose. Later, I told my health visitor who gave me an urgent visit and a referral to my local mental health assessment team. I began taking antipsychotic and antidepressant medication and received treatment at


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