All My Worldly Joy

By Laura Wood

A memoir of motherhood and mental health

Sunday, 16 June 2019

My Baby, Psychosis and Me

Hi everyone, just a quickie from me - as it's currently late on Sunday night and I need to be on a train to London early tomorrow morning for 'I is for Insult - Questioning "Borderline Personality Disorder"' - I wanted to recommend to you a documentary called My Baby, Psychosis and Me. It's filmed in the psychiatric mother and baby unit where I was a patient in 2014, and not long after I left. This is the unit as I remember it, and it's really the pivotal point of my book. You'll meet Dr Alain Gregoire who is also an important part of the story: he was the first psychiatrist (of the many, many I've seen over the years) to shift the focus from "What's wrong with you?" to "What happened to you?" He diagnosed me with Complex PTSD, which was the start of making sense of the difficulties I'd had for most of my life. That conversation marked the beginning of a new phase for me and profoundly changed the course I was on.

And much of the documentary is about a woman called Hannah who is in my room on the unit! It was a surprise to see that on the television, I tell you. The documentary first aired in 2016, shortly before I gave my first ever talk about my experience to a room full of various kinds of health professionals, and it really gave me the courage to speak publicly about the importance of compassionate, trauma-informed mental health provision for mothers and babies. (Even if I was so nervous I had to go and be sick beforehand.) The documentary was just so emotional to watch, as you can imagine. I haven't seen it since, but I'm going to rewatch it this week. It's only on BBC iPlayer until the wee hours of Saturday morning, so you'll need to catch it this week too! It's quite different to the Louis Theroux one that was on recently. Link again here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07187xv/my-baby-psychosis-and-me 

Thanks and love to all of you - have a good week! x

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