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I was seeing people round me who weren't there, after I had my baby.

THIS year, a new mum's life was turned upside down when she suffered with postpartum psychosis.

The symptoms of psychosis started within hoursof her giving birth to her daughter.

Within a week, Nina McCallig, from Halewood, was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

Postpartum psychosis is a mental illness that can affect a woman after she has a baby.

It is thought that it can affect one-in-1,000 women who give birth. It causes hallucinations and delusional thinking.

Nina was hallucinating and recalls that she wasn't acting normally. She said: "When I was at the GP, I was hallucinating that there were people around me that just weren't there. I saw a young girl, a little girl in pink clothes run out of the doctor's room and run away but there wasn't a girl there.

"My family came over to visit and I didn't even know who they were. My memory had just gone.

"When the police came, I didn't understand who they were. I didn't think they were real."

Nina started to write all over her arms and her condition got steadily worse until she reached a crisis point.

Now all that is behind her, and in just a few months Nina has recovered.

She started taking photographs during her recovery, and is now showing them to the public to raise awareness of her story and of mental health issues. She said: "Doing the exhibition has been good closure. Taking photographs was a part in my recovery because I was struggling to remember things, so I'd take photographs and they'd help me piece together my day.

"The problem is there is just not enough awareness. Even the police said they had never heard of postpartum psychosis. You just hear the phrase 'baby blues' getting thrown around and I thought maybe that is what it is. I didn't have any idea what postpartum psychosis was and that's the problem.

"When I was going through psychosis, I thought it was fine and I'd fix it. But you can't do it on your own, it's about having people around you and not isolating yourself so people can see there's a problem. You need to speak out. Don't feel ashamed; it can happen to anyone."

CAPTION(S):

Nina McCallig with her daughter, Heidi

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 12, 2016
Words:380
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