Hi, I’m Ella and this is my battle with mental health!
So I think it all started when I was 13… Basically, I was raped and didn’t know how to handle it. My doctors didn’t listen to me and I just sort of went off the rails. I dealt with it myself and thought I had it under control, but then I fell pregnant and all my emotions intensified. It made pregnancy much harder and my boyfriend didn’t quite get why I was having mood swings.
Then I had my little girl and stayed in hospital for 3 days. I hated every minute of it, it was so lonely.
Even though I had visitors, I just felt alone in this whole thing, which I think sort of prompted my postnatal depression. I knew I’d get it because it runs in my family and I had depression anyway. The first time I sort of thought I had it was when I got out of the bath and my boyfriend and sister were looking after Ava. They went to change her and I just had this anxiety and got so worked up because I wanted to do it but they insisted because they wanted to help. I just wanted to do everything on my own and I didn’t have a clue why.
I ended up rarely leaving my room, let alone my house so it took ages to get Ava registered. When I finally registered her, I took her dad and he chose her middle name which really got to me. So instead of Violet, it’s Hailie and I hated it. She took his last name and I just wish I did things differently and had more of a say. I will never forget the way he made me feel that day.
It’s got harder and harder after that, I couldn’t really stand him and me doing everything made things worse. I loved him with everything but often thought about leaving because he got so controlling. I was battling with extreme exhaustion, postnatal depression and dealing with his accusations, mood swings and just doing everything for him.
It got too much.
I finally left him, and from then onward, things started getting better. I stopped taking my antidepressants, I felt a lot better in myself and now I’m finally on the right track! There’s no more stress of him not pulling his weight or stress of looking after him or anything like that. Don’t get me wrong, I still get down days, but nothing like it was before. I encourage myself to go out a lot and that really does make all the difference!
If you’re struggling, try and go out more and most importantly, cut all toxic people out of your life! I hope this helps!
Getting support and help
Rape Crisis: You can call the national Rape Crisis helpline (run by their member Centre Rape Crisis South London) on 0808 802 9999 between 12 noon – 2.30pm and 7 – 9.30pm every day of the year for confidential support and/or information about your nearest services.
Postnatal depression: If you think that you may be suffering from postnatal depression, it’s important to speak to your doctor or health visitor. A useful place for advice and help is YoungMinds, a mental health charity that specialises in child and adolescent mental health. They provide a range of organisations that can help, which you can find here.
Suicidal thoughts: If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts it is important to seek advice immediately from a member of your family, a friend or someone you trust. You can also call the Samaritans 24-hours-a-day on 116 123.
If you are in immediate danger or know someone who is, please call 999. It’s so important to speak out and please remember, you are not alone!
Hear more from other young parents speaking about mental health here.