What Have I Done? (Hardback)Laura Dockrill (author)
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'A book to save a whole generation of women' Adele
This heart-breaking and uplifting memoir is about resilience, love and finding your way to the other side.
Laura couldn't wait to meet her new baby. But as she went into labour things began to go wrong and Laura started to struggle. A traumatic birth, anxiety about the baby, sleep deprivation, a slow recovery - all these things piled up until Laura (like any new mum) felt overwhelmed.
As many as 8 out of 10 new mums struggle in the weeks after birth. Laura had never experienced mental illness before and was reassured by family, friends and professionals that what she was feeling was 'normal.' But in Laura's case these feelings escalated scarily quickly into post-partum psychosis; a rare and debilitating illness. Within a matter of days Laura became paranoid, delusional and suicidal. And when her baby was just three weeks old, on Mother's Day, Laura was institutionalised without her baby. Throughout this time she was haunted by a sense of: 'What have I done?'
It wasn't until Laura began to put her story into words (on her phone whilst her son slept) that she began to find herself again and recovery seemed within reach; these are those words.
Despite this gruelling experience, Laura's story is a hopeful one. She has come out the other side stronger and more assured. Now she is determined to break the stigma around post-natal mental health, shatter the romanticised expectations of perfect motherhood, and to empower parents: you are not alone.
*ONE OF STYLIST'S BEST NON-FICTION BOOKS FOR 2020*
'This moving book was a pleasure to read and I didn't want to put it down. If anyone is going through a similar experience it will make them feel less alone' Philippa Perry
'A humbling honest and human war report from the front lines of mothering psychosis and recovery; there is no other book like it, and it is so desperately needed' Giovanna Fletcher
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 468 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 144 mm
A book for those of us who didn't have the fairytale. It's important to know that even though things don't always go to plan it doesn't mean you aren't a superhero or a power mum in your own right. Thank you Laura for making us all feel worthy. A must-read for all of those muddling through. -- Paloma Faith
Amazing. This book is proof that although Laura's mind was her undoing, it is also an incredible asset which is going to help so many people. -- Clemmie Telford
Amazing. This book is proof that although Laura's mind was her undoing, it is also an incredible asset which is going to help so many people. -- Fiona Telford, postpartum psychosis survivor
Laura's raw, honest book gets to the core of postpartum psychosis. Her style is blunt, graphic, diary-like, unflinchingly confessional - at times so colloquial that we feel we know her, or we want to know her: for her bravery in writing this book, for her humanity, for her sisterhood. She has emerged with a greater understanding of self, with deeper compassion for those who suffer from mental illness, and with a determination to combat stigma and ignorance by speaking out. Ultimately I hope this book will give women and their families confidence that the brain and body will heal. And I hope it will encourage other women to speak out. -- Dr Jessica Heron, CEO, Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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“Honest and important”
This is an honest account of Laura's experience of postpartum depression/psychosis, and the experience of those trying to support her through this mental health emergency. I read this shortly after watching the... More
Thank you Laura for writing this incredible masterpiece. I cried, laughed and cried again. I wanted to jump into the book and give Laura a massive hug.
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