Symptoms of PP are varied and can change quickly. Feeling 'high', 'manic' or 'on top of the world', low mood and tearfulness, and anxiety or irritability are all pretty common. Most commonly these episodes begin in the first two weeks after birth and often symptoms begin in the first few days after having a baby...
Mental health problems can be so very isolating at times. Last week I was a bit of a social butterfly, catching up with three friends who I've not seen in far too long. Some days it's tricky, there have been times when seeing people has just been really hard and I've avoided certain social situations. This is a message to my friends...
Many fantastic mental health charities exist, which influence policy, address public attitudes and provide vital support to people living with mental illnesses. However, such organisations rarely finance research and as a result, charitable funding in the mental health sector is virtually non-existent.
It's an obvious question: how could hurting yourself provide any relief? Unfortunately I am seasoned to self-harm and its effects. I honestly wish I could be writing this with no scars from the times I hurt myself but I am scarred. I wish I lived without the urges but I occasionally yearn for the pain.
Mental health campaigner and OBE recipient Ruby Wax recently told The Times: "When people say, 'Should you tell them at work?', I say: 'Are you crazy?' You have to lie. If you have someone who is physically ill, they can't fire you. They can't fire you for mental health problems but they'll say it's for another reason. Just say you have emphysema."
There is a lot I have discovered since you took your own life. Firstly, while there is no hierarchy of death where one is better than the other, it's safe to say that living a long life is at the top while a short one is at the bottom. I don't know where suicide sits, but it's safe to say, it makes other people REALLY uncomfortable. I was advised against telling people how you died. And in the initial bizarreness of picking your burial plot and coffin (and being asked whether Robert was an eco-friendly man), I erred on the side of caution. But by this 30th day, I have realised when the worst, most devastating thing possible happens, you lose the energy to maintain any artifice.
The agoraphobic could be the girl who's sitting in the car, not getting out for five minutes, ten minutes, or not at all. It could be the girl who looks so perfectly happy and contented at home on the sofa that you wouldn't have any idea how fast that can change if you ask her to go into a situation that distresses her.
I have enormous respect for anyone that goes to therapy and extending that, anyone who walks into my office. To walk into a therapist's office (or in my case, a coach's office) admitting you need help and wanting to change is, in my eyes, admirable. In addition to that, to keep going to therapy is hard.