This Mum Hurt Her Baby to Make 'Voices' in Her Head Stop
Mental illnesses are more common than you think
When 19-year-old Nur had a son, it was not the happiest moment for her.
Her boyfriend walked out on her when he realised that she was pregnant. Her family was not thrilled either. Early pregnancy and the lack of support led her to depression. After her son was born, she often heard voices in her head telling her to hurt him.
As reported, Nur heard three distinct voices telling her to hurt her son because he was the ‘reason for the situation she was in. She did follow the voices once or twice just to make them go away.
She slapped and pinched her boy only to feel terrible about it afterwards. This happened again and again and Nur, already depressed, went further into self-doubt. She knew in her heart that a good mum should not be doing this.
This lead her to seek professional help, and she was diagnosed with a disorder of the mind, schizoaffective disorder. In it, the hallucinations and delusions combine with mood disorder symptoms, alternating between depression and hypomania.
Nur underwent treatment at the Institute of Mental Health. This opened up her parent’s eyes. Her mother had suffered from depression a few years back. She could understand what her daughter was going through.
Today, fully recovered, Nur works actively, helping out other mothers who suffer from similar conditions. She is happy that the condition was treatable and she could go back to her normal life again.
Postnatal depression in Singapore
Many women like Nur, however, are not that lucky. Mental illnesses are common and undiagnosed in women around pregnancies. According to Singhealth, while 1 in 10 mothers experience some sort of depression, about 3 to 5% of mothers suffer from postnatal depression, a severe form that needs treatment.
Many mental conditions are not diagnosed. Many times, mums suffer in silence and do not seek medical help. They are afraid to be judged or plain ridiculed. This leads to worsening of the problem.
How to see if you are suffering from these silent illnesses?
Mums, it is important to seek help if you are suffering from one. These disorders are serious enough, but difficult to spot as there are rarely any visible symptoms.
This is not a comprehensive checklist, but if you feel that you experience any, please seek professional help.
- Recent and sudden changes in the mood
- The feeling of hopelessness, guilt, or even helplessness
- Suicidal thoughts
- Sudden euphoria with a sense of energy that is difficult to contain. You will get excellent ideas, would not want to sleep and would want to talk, do, run, dance, all at the same time.
- Lack of interest in sex
- Extreme jealousy, paranoia, a feeling of being followed or being hated
If you feel you are undergoing any of these changes, please see a doctor. It may be just the exhaustion of being a parent. But if there is a need for intervention, the sooner the better.
Today, Nur is very happy with her kid and is often seen playing with him.