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 a time where my wife was extremely anxious. The fact our daughter was an IVF conception also added to the stress she was feeling.
She was eventually sectioned and placed in a mental hospital before being transferred to a specialist mother and baby unit [MBU].
She attempted suicide
Following a traumatic birth, where she received little support from the hospital midwives, my wife suffered postnatal depression and 10 days later she attempted suicide. She jumped from a window and broke three bones in her back.
My wife later returned to the MBU, but her injuries meant I had to take a great deal of time off work to care for her and our baby. This had a massive impact on my career, and I also went on to suffer from depression.
Better support for partners
With better mental health training and understanding I feel our GP could have diagnosed her condition sooner. There needs to be improved education for community midwives as well, because the ones we dealt with struggled to cope with my wife’s deteriorating state.
In the future, I would also like to see more information and support available for fathers or partners. By raising awareness, and with greater investment, we can make sure everyone has access to superior local mental health services.