Louis Theroux is no stranger to delving into the darkest parts of society in the name of journalism.
By now, he’s an expert at investigating controversial topics, using his understated charm to extract information from the depraved, troubled, or just unconventional minds in a way that most documentary makers could only hope to achieve.
The presenter is now turning his expertise to another topic though, exploring postpartum psychosis in a new documentary which will air on BBC Two this week.
Louis’ new documentary, Mothers on the Edge, will show the journalist visiting two psychiatric units and talking to women who are currently undergoing treatment for the condition.
As per the NHS, postpartum psychosis is a rare but serious mental illness that can affect a woman shortly after she gives birth. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, a manic mood, a depressed mood, and many more.
In a bid to raise awareness of the condition which isn’t commonly known about, Louis is hoping to highlight the importance of supporting new mums in the months following the birth of their newborn.
As reported by inews, Mothers on the Edge will follow Louis as he visits Bethlem Royal Hospital in London and Melbury Lodge in Winchester.
Once there, the filmmaker will meet women who have been admitted to the wards with a range of mental health conditions, from anxiety to psychosis, which are often triggered by the birth of their baby.
One hour long, the documentary will show Louis speaking to Barbara, a patient who has been experiencing hallucinations since the birth of her child, Catherine, a first time mum, and Lisa, who experienced a psychotic episode after giving birth to her third child.
In an interview with The Guardian, Louis admitted he was in the dark about postpartum psychosis until a colleague shared an article about it.
I like to pick themes that are extreme versions of things we all struggle with. We have this rose-tinted view of what motherhood should be like. Yet if we’re honest, especially those of us who have had children, we know it isn’t that simple.
It’s the nature of parenthood to feel, some of the time, that you might be one of the worst parents who ever lived. It’s very rarely an uncomplicated rush of positive emotions.
The units Louis visits in his documentary allow the mothers to live alongside their babies while receiving treatment, something which is not always the case.
Mothers on the Edge airs on May 12 at 9pm on BBC2.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).