Made in Chelsea star Louise Thompson has revealed she is finally feeling like the ‘old Louise’ as she battles through her post-natal PTSD and anxiety.
The 32-year-old gave birth to her son Leo in November 2021 with fiance Ryan Libbey, and the traumatic experience, during which she almost died, has left her struggling with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
She also had ‘serious complications’ after the birth that saw her hospitalised for five weeks.
Louise has opened up about her mental health struggles on Instagram and admitted she is starting to feel more like her pre-birth self again.
In a raw post, the reality star revealed that while she might appear ‘good’ on the outside she felt ‘incredibly fragile’ and didn’t know if she was ‘mentally strong enough’ to learn the final details of her traumatic birth.
She penned: ‘I am a prime example of how someone can look good on the outside and still feel incredibly fragile on the inside.
‘I’m glad that sharing my story has helped normalise some of your problems and helped people feel less alone in their suffering.’
She added: ‘Quite a lot of you have asked for more details on what actually happened to me. Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to do this right now for 2 reasons:
‘1. I have a lot of pregnant friends and I don’t want to scare anyone – I would hate to hear my story whilst pregnant.
‘2. Apparently, I don’t know the full extent of what happened to me second time round and I’m not mentally strong enough to go in for my debrief yet.
‘I have however been told by one of my mental health doctors that it’s worse than what I think I know, and trust me what I do know is absolutely horrendous so let’s just assume the worst and I think you’re there.’
In the heartfelt post, Louise also opened up about her new medication that is ‘gradually’ improving her depression and anxiety, but has unfortunately come with some ‘unpleasant side effects.’
The fitness fanatic admitted that anti-depressants aren’t a ‘one size fits all’ but the new drug is ‘vast’ amounts better than the previous one she tried.
She explained: ‘I’ve been on my new medication escitalopram for nearly 4 weeks and am still having some unpleasant side effects.
‘It’s still a bit up and down but a VAST improvement on the sertraline which just didn’t suit me at all (I just want to be clear that I have close friends who have had great success on Sertraline so if you’re on it then please don’t panic).
‘Sadly it is NOT a one size fits all policy, we all have a different genetic makeup/physiology. Personally it made me feel v agitated like I wanted to drill a hole into both ears and release some pressure in my brain.’
The mother-of-one candidly spoke about the other medications that she has taken in order to rebuild her mental health and begin to have thoughts ‘old Louise’ used to have.
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder is, according to the NHS, a condition where the sufferer ‘often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt.
‘They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult.
‘These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.’
She continued: ‘Aside from that I’ve managed to ween myself off the antipsychotics and I’m gradually starting to have more ‘old Louise’ thoughts. I’ll surprise myself when I have a thought and it’s something that I might have thought BL (before Leo).’
Now, Louise deals with the ‘nasty PTSD flashbacks’ but shared she is relieved that the ‘brain fire hell’ she used to experience has passed.
The honest post received an outpour of support from her 1.4 million fans who praised her ‘openness’ and how ‘considerate’ she has been of other pregnant women when sharing the details of her frightening experience.
One fan wrote: ‘It’s amazing when someone can find the ability to be so considerate of everyone around them (friends that are pregnant, others on sertraline and followers etc.) whilst going through so much.’
As another added: ‘I absolutely applaud your honesty and I don’t doubt that you’ve had countless awful hours and days but I’m sure it’s far outweighed by the people you have helped.’
‘You have helped so many with your openness and honesty about your health’, a third echoed.