Sunday 16 May 2021
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theguardian - 28 days ago

Laura Dockrill on parenting, paranoia and postpartum psychosis: ‘I thought I’d been hijacked by a devil’

A month after the birth of her son, the writer, poet and illustrator was on suicide watch in a psychiatric ward, experiencing severe delusions. Now her podcast is raising awareness of a condition that affects one in a thousand new mothersLaura Dockrill told herself she was the worst case the psychiatric hospital had ever seen, and was untreatable. But that was only one of her delusions. Dockrill thought her father-in-law had hypnotised her. She would stalk the hospital corridors, feeling “like this badass”, as if she were a trained assassin. The reality was painfully different, but in Dockrill’s words it comes coloured with a comic touch.“I was frumpy, quiet, wore my sister’s cupcake socks and a pink T-shirt with breast milk blooming over my boobs,” she says, smiling, her neon pink lipstick beaming through my laptop screen. There were times when she was on to her partner’s devious “plan” to take their newborn baby away from her, but would act like some kind of femme fatale, convinced he couldn’t resist her dangerous sexiness. He would play along – Dockrill’s psychiatrist had advised him not to try to reason with her – while gently reminding her that she would get better. Continue reading...


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