Let’s start with a sobering statistic, true today in the UK. A mother with a child of under one is more likely to die by suicide that any other cause of death.
Meet Jo Love this week on the podcast, for the final episode in series seven! What a woman to finish with. An award-winning mental health campaigner, writer and speaker (amongst many other passions), Jo speaks from experience about the whole spectrum of mental illness that so many women struggle with through the major phases of life, especially motherhood. Jo is a former laywer, who worked in London for many years, living life at a whirlwind pace and slowly becoming affected by the aggression and stress that can seep through the collective in big cities, as a result of modern lifestyles and the glorification of busy.
Jo is determined to shine more light on the horrifying suicide statistics and issues of depression and poor mental health in motherhood. She stands up and advocates for the support needed for Mums, especially those who are new to it.
Jo has suffered since she was young with depression and OCD, and when she became a mother five years ago her mental health began to crumble dangerously, to the point where she felt suicidal and began making plans to end her life. Jo tells us about how her OCD manifested, through dermitilomania, obsessive checking and compulsive, intrusive thoughts. A highly distressing and debilitating cocktail of conditions. With searing honesty, she also shares what the darkest days of her post-natal depression were like, and what it took to start the road to recovery – which is far from linear and remains a lifetime mission to some degree.
We talk about:
What pre-natal as well as post-natal depression felt like.
The shock of a premature labour delivery.
The road to asking for help and the therapy processes that helped and didn’t help.
The power of dismantling core beliefs stemming from childhood.
The sanitisation of mental health; the conditions that are now normalised and those that are still stigmatised and misunderstood.
The loss of self that can manifest through motherhood and the power of rediscovery.
The need for more awareness on horrifying female suicide statistics.
Working on recovering from the trappings of perfectionism.
Check out this episode from Friday 8am BST through the links below. Please think about sharing it through a quick tweet or Instagram story. Jo has shared some helpful resources in the show notes and her Instagram doodles on mental health are a joyful rabbit hole!
Thanks to all of you for listening this season. I’m taking a pause from recording for a while but there will be one or two bonus episodes, so keep an eye on the website and my social media (Instagram and Twitter) for news of what’s happening next.
To all my lovely patrons, I’m pausing your payments until I begin producing the next series, and there are still one or two bonus goodies coming your way.