Mum Smokes Cannabis To Feel ‘Normal’ After Battle With Postpartum Psychosis
A mum who battled postpartum psychosis, which caused her to hear voices threatening to kill her baby, says smoking cannabis everyday has helped her feel ‘normal’ again.
Mum-of-four Olivia Humphrey began to hear voices while in hospital with her baby, and hit the panic button in her room.
After a nurse reassured the 26-year-old no one was in her room, Olivia was later seen by a psychiatrist who diagnosed her with postpartum psychosis.
The disorder is serious but rare and affects around one in 1,000 births. The condition includes symptoms such as delusions, hyperactivity, rapid mood swings and hallucinations.
Following her diagnosis, she was given different types of medication to try help her, but Olivia said nothing worked.
Her psychosis was so bad at one point that three of her children were put into temporary care, though they are now back living with Olivia and her husband.
After medications failed to work, Olivia took matters into her own hands and decided to start smoking cannabis – something which is known for making people feel happier and more relaxed – which she says has massively helped her condition.
It’s transformed me and my family’s life. I’m a better mum because of it and think it should be legalised. In fact, doctors should be able to prescribe it to struggling mums like me on prescription – it would keep a lot more families together.
It’s a life changer and has made me feel normal again.
The young mum apparently spends around £20 to £40 a week on the drug from a local dealer.
Olivia says she understands cannabis is illegal and she’ll be judged for smoking it, but stands by her view that it really helps her.
I know it’s illegal and people will judge me for it but I’m desperate to be normal again and to make my kids have a more secure, happier home life.
If that means I have to find a local man to supply me with a little bit of cannabis to smoke, then I’m OK with that.
I smoke a joint – or maybe only half a joint – when the children are in bed around 9pm. Instantly I can feel the thousands of butterflies in my chest vanish and the anxious thoughts disappear.
It means I can do the housework, iron and lay out the kids’ uniforms and have a clear head to do everything I need to do. It makes me me again.
Following complication during the birth of her third child, Olivia hadn’t slept for five days by the time he was born, leaving her delirious.
As her newborn baby was put on her chest, she explained the exhaustion she felt and how her mind was racing, leaving her unable to sleep.
It was a few days later that Olivia began to hear voices threatening harm to her children, causing her to begin to have panic attacks.
I went from being a normal mum excited to be having another baby to a woman who could hear voices telling me they were going to do awful things to me and my children.
I was having panic attacks and couldn’t breathe I was so scared. I was referred to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with postpartum psychosis, which I’d never even heard of, and post-traumatic stress disorder from the birth.
I did everything I was asked and took all the medication and nothing worked. I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. If I did I spent all day in my pyjamas and didn’t care if my hair was greasy.
Since starting to smoke cannabis, Olivia says she now ‘jumps out of bed’ in the morning and takes pride in her appearance like she used to.
Olivia also went on to add how she doesn’t drink, and has never touched other drugs before, but described cannabis as a ‘life saver’.
It makes me happy and my children happy so what harm am I doing? I know people will judge me and think I’m a bad mum for doing this but I’m not.
I’m a mother who loves her children and will do anything for them. That’s why I smoke cannabis – if I didn’t my kids might not have a mother.
If you believe you’re having symptoms of postpartum psychosis, mental health charity Mind suggest you should seek help, such as joining a support group or contacting specialist organisations.
If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58, and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.