baby

'My panic episodes can last days.' After a traumatic birth, Louise was diagnosed with severe PTSD.

This post deals with PTSD and could be triggering for some readers.

Louise Thompson is a British reality show star who has over 1.4 million followers on Instagram. 

If you scrolled through Louise's recent Instagram posts of her life as a new mum, you could be fooled into thinking she has the perfect life.

But in reality, Louise’s seemingly glamorous life took an incredibly dark turn after the birth of her son Leo in November 2021.

Watch: Jessica Rowe talks about resilience and post-natal depression. Post continues below. 



Video via Mamamia

Louise's followers realised things weren’t quite right when she took five weeks to share her first baby photo.

While baby Leo had thankfully recovered after a stay in NICU, Louise had also been in ICU.

"I have been recovering in hospital for a month with various serious complications," Louise wrote in a lengthy post on December 23.

"The reality is that I am in a bit of a strange place mentally and physically and I might be for a while, but that’s just part of me now and part of my recovery," she continued.

"It’s not going to be easy or linear, but thankfully I am being offered some very valuable psychological help and the good news is that I’m starting to experience some good hours as well as bad ones."

Louise Thompson in hospital. Image: Instagram @louise.thompson.

ADVERTISEMENT

After Louise returned home from hospital, she continued to post honestly about her difficult first few weeks as a mum while praising partner Ryan for taking care of her and Leo. She later shared that she was suffering from PTSD. 

"My panic episodes can last hours or days and are totally unpredictable. When I’m having one I can’t function, I can’t look after myself, let alone anyone else around me. I am not myself."

Louise described multiple mental and physical issues that made her fearful of waking up in the morning, unsure of how she was going to get through the day. She also found it difficult to leave the house.

This month, after just a couple of brief posts in February, Louise provided her followers with a full update on her "mental health hell".

"The last time I properly opened up about my trauma was on January 15 and I haven’t felt strong enough to talk about it since. If I could use a few words to describe the past month, they would be: SCARED, CONFUSED, PARALYSED and TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL."

ADVERTISEMENT

Louise shared that she was too scared to post after being triggered by comments that said it could take six to nine months to process her condition and recover.

"I stopped reading everything and I’ve had to block out any health related content to protect myself. Now I have come to terms with the fact that my life might never be the same again but that things can’t get any worse than they’ve been over the past month... hopefully I’m at the beginning of my actual recovery."

Louise also shared how even the most basic task, like putting the washing away, has become impossible.

"We now require a lot of help because often I am too scared to look after little Leo because I am worried he will remind me of what happened to my body," she shared.

"I’ve screamed and cried at being asked to put clothes away in my cupboard because my mind won’t let me do it, won't allow me a spare second to concentrate on anything but suffering," she continued.

"I wake up covered in sweat all night long, if I’m outside I fear coming inside, and if I’m inside I fear going outside. I can’t find answers for why I am feeling so bad.

"I’ve been petrified of my cupboards... I’ve battled a phobia of my fridge and bathtub... I wore the same clothes every day for a month... I couldn’t wear makeup... I’m scared that I’ll forget to do basic tasks like eat or drink water... I have spent countless hours staring into space... I’m scared of my own existence."

Listen: Leigh and Tegan open up about their very different experiences with postnatal depression on This Glorious Mess. Post continues below. 

While living through such a difficult six months, Louise shared that she has learnt a lot about trauma.

"I used to watch fires on television and not relate, I used to hear about PTSD after war or abuse; now I understand the trauma."

One of the few good things that have come out of this incredibly difficult time for Louise is that she hopes one day she might help other people to keep going through their struggles.

"I am starting to see a glimmer of hope. I have quite a lot of people, processes, and medication to thank for that," she said. 

"What I want to remind anyone that is suffering is to KEEP BLOODY GOING.

"It can and will get better. Crisis teams and medication can help. Don’t be too proud to ask for help."

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, 24-hour support is available through Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

Feature Image: Instagram / @louise.thompson.