'I was in a really negative terrible place'

From BBC - January 3, 2018

"I was in a really negative terrible place.... and could not see a way out."

This was the experience of one woman who suffered from depression and obsessive compulsive disorder during her second pregnancy.

A quarter of pregnant women suffer from mental health problems, a study by King's College London suggests.

Anxiety and depression were not the only conditions to affect these women, with some suffering eating disorders, OCD and bipolar disorder.

Liberty's story

Liberty suffered with OCD and depression during her second pregnancy after experiencing no problems the first time she was pregnant.

"I think I had started to become unwell in the first year of my first child's life, but I was sort of getting along with it not very well and nothing got diagnosed.

"When I became pregnant with my second child, I got progressively more and more unwell.

"It was really truly awful to be pregnant and unwell and also in my case to have a young child at the same time.

"You are trying to be healthy and well and you are worried about the well-being of your unborn child and about your toddler crying all the time and feeling that even though I was doing my best and really trying hard, sometimes I could not engage in the way I wanted to engage.

"My mind was occupied with obsessional thoughts about harm coming to my family and I was in a really negative terrible place, where I thought I was ruining everything for my baby, child, family and myself and could not see a way out.

"The hospital midwife at my usual check-up was really good and she could tell I was very anxious and not very well.

"She wanted to refer me to a more specialist midwife team at the hospital, but I was opposed to that because I did not want something going on my NHS record.

"I wanted help but not to sort of admit something like that, but she was good and said 'come in any time you want' and not to queue, but to come straight in and see her.

"She left the door open and gave me her phone number and was really nice so, eventually I agreed to go, although not until the very last week of my pregnancy.

"I went after the birth and said I thought I was very unwell and I was worried about anything - the health of my baby, toddler and husband and the well-being of my family and I felt I was becoming more hopeless.

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