A mother claims to have been hearing voices, threatening to kill her baby, after she gave birth. She now states that smoking cannabis has made her a better mother.
Olivia Humphreys was lying in the maternity ward after giving birth and said she could clearly hear a man threatening to kill her baby. A midwife had to reassure her that no one was in fact there, before calling a psychiatrist. Humphreys was then diagnosed with postpartum psychosis. This is a rare psychiatric mood disorder which can cause hallucinations and mania in some women after they have a baby.
The 26-year-old was provided with numerous medications to take and later declared well enough to return home, despite her still feeling very anxious and having a voice in her ear.
She has said that the medication did not work and she quickly fell into depression. The mother then put Josh and her other two children, a girl aged aged nine and a boy aged seven, into temporary foster care while she waited for the ‘host of voices’ in her head to go.
Humphreys began working with a community psychiatric nurse, learning to battle her panic attacks and regular hallucinations. However, she claims she only started to recover once she began smoking cannabis.
“It’s transformed me and my entire family’s life,” she said. “I’m a better mum because of it and think it should be legalised. In fact, doctors should be able to prescribe it to struggling mums like me on prescription – it would keep a lot more families together. It’s a life changer and has made me feel normal again.”
Humphreys currently claims £1,000 a month through universal credit and several disability benefits. She spends between £20 to £40 a week on cannabis, purchased from a local dealer.
She says: “I know it’s illegal and people will judge me for it, but I’m desperate to be normal again and to make my kids have a more secure, happier home life. If that means I have to find a man to supply me with a little bit of cannabis to smoke then I’m OK with that.
“I smoke a joint – or maybe only half a joint – when the children are in bed around 9pm and instantly I can feel the thousands of butterflies in my chest vanish and the anxious thoughts disappear.
“It means I can do the housework, iron and lay out the kids’ uniforms and have a clear head to do everything I need to do. It makes me me again.”
At the beginning of her postpartum psychosis, Olivia continued to hear different voices, both male and female, who would tell her they would harm her or her children if she wasn’t a perfect mum.
“It was really scary, I went from being a normal mum to a woman who could hear voices telling me they were going to do awful things to me and my children. I was having panic attacks and couldn’t breathe I was so terrified. I was referred to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with postpartum psychosis, which I’d never even heard of, and post-traumatic stress disorder following the birth of my baby.
“I did everything I was asked and took all the medication and nothing worked. I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. If I did I spent all day in my pyjamas and didn’t care if my hair was greasy.
“I’d literally have a panic attack if I had to go out of the house and say hello to someone or pick the kids up from school. But since I started smoking cannabis I’ve completely changed. I’ve gone from a ball of stress and anger to a normal mum – I’m me again. I jump out of bed, I get dressed and shower, and take pride in my appearance.
“I’m a better person and a better mum. All my worries and anxiety vanish just from having a few drags of a joint. I don’t drink. I’ve never touched drugs before but this is a life-saver and keeps my family together. It makes me happy and my children happy so what harm am I doing?
“I know people will judge me and think I’m a bad mum for doing this but I’m not. I’m a mother who loves her children and will do anything for them and that’s why I smoke cannabis – if I didn’t my kids might not have a mother.”