July 27, 2009
“Results in two to five minutes,” the instructions on the test read. Two lines, pregnant. One line, not. One pink line materialised in the control window, partnered very rapidly by another in the test window. I was pregnant.
Like many new mothers, I was not prepared for the emotional and physical toll of having a child, though few experience the excesses I had to endure. When I gave birth to Jemima in June 1999 I was wrongly diagnosed with post-natal depression and was immediately prescribed anti-depressants. Soon, my life had spiralled out of control. But while I ended up being treated for everything from anxiety to depression with a host of strong, prescription medicines, it is likely that all I was suffering from in the first place were the normal difficulties associated with coping with a fractious child.
But it was not until I managed to wean myself off the medication that I realised that the drugs were not a cure for the hell I was going through – they were the cause of it.