Louis Theroux’s new documentary, Mother On The Edge, aired last night and received a lot of praise from viewers.
The documentary presenter explained when the show was first announced that while he’d heard of postnatal depression, postpartum psychosis was a mystery to him until someone from his team mentioned it.
He told Stylist magazine: ‘I’d heard of postnatal depression before, but this was a new one for me. It affects about one in every 500 new mums, and symptoms include visual and auditory hallucinations, as well as profoundly irrational and disordered thoughts. It seemed to me to be a story we could do justice to.’
‘The sad fact is, for many mums, their experience of having a baby is traumatic and they don’t experience Hallmark Card feelings of love.’
Louis spent time at two specialist psychiatric units that support mothers with mental illness to explore the condition and delve into post-baby mental health issues.
After watching the eye-opening documentary, viewers wrote on social media to praise the show for raising awareness about this little-known condition.
One said: ‘Watching #MothersOnTheEdge was intense. My husband’s cousin was twice sectioned with postpartum psychosis and it is a truly terrifying thing to be involved in, even from the edges. She is fully recovered, has two beautiful children and is fighting for better care for other mums.’
Another said: ‘Postpartum psychosis is a rare event for a midwife to see -if you have doubts about a woman’s mental health tell someone- Midwives receive excellent training that helps us to understand, recognise & report – your knowledge and experience will help women & babies #mothersontheedge.’
Another opened up about her experience with postnatal depression: ‘I didn’t have psychosis but I did have PND twice which is awful enough-I can only imagine the trauma psychosis brings to mum, baby &the rest of the family.There really needs to be more discussion and awareness. Maybe I would have been alert to it #louistheroux #mothersontheedge’.