'I lost touch with what was real': Paloma Faith opens up about the realities of postnatal depression

Paloma Faith, seen here in February 2020, admits she didn't know she was suffering from postnatal depression. (Getty Images)
Paloma Faith, seen here in February 2020, admits she didn't know she was suffering from postnatal depression. (Getty Images)

Paloma Faith, 39, has shared her postnatal depression experiences in a candid interview, admitting she “hallucinated and lost touch with what was real and what wasn’t”.

In the interview with The Guardian, the ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’ singer admitted to putting more and more pressure on herself when symptoms of postnatal depression appeared.

Determined to live up to her expectations of what motherhood should be like, she ignored the signs.

“It lasted for some time, where I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to be the mother I’d envisioned. I put myself under way too much pressure. I was very angry with how my body responded to pregnancy and I think I really punished myself,” she said.

Read more: The seven lesser known symptoms of depression

Postnatal depression affects one in 10 women and can affect partners and fathers too.

It’s often hard to pinpoint because of the presence of “baby blues” after a woman gives birth, an emotional state which is considered a normal part of the hormonal shifts women face.

Unlike “baby blues” - which often lasts for around two weeks - postnatal depression can start anytime in the first year of giving birth and can last much longer.

Like many women, Faith didn’t suspect she had the mental health issue and instead assumed that this was the realities of being a new mother.

“I just thought that I was never going to be happy again and I made amends with that, and then I just pushed myself and it was punishing,” she admitted.

She did an entire tour with postnatal depression, describing the experience as “miserable”.

Read more: Michelle Obama admits she’s suffering from low-grade depression

Eventually, Faith reached breaking point and questioned whether to give up her career. Her partner, the artist Leyman Lahcine, instead decided to be the one to give up his career as the lower earner of the two.

Faith’s experience of postnatal depression will strike a chord with many new mums who aren’t sure if their symptoms are part of the seismic shift their bodies are going through or something more.

According to the NHS, symptoms of postnatal depression might include:

  • a persistent feeling of sadness and low mood

  • lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in the wider world

  • lack of energy and feeling tired all the time

  • trouble sleeping at night and feeling sleepy during the day

  • difficulty bonding with your baby

  • withdrawing from contact with other people

  • problems concentrating and making decisions

  • frightening thoughts – for example, about hurting your baby

If these symptoms ring true with your experience, it’s recommended that you visit your GP or health visitor as soon as possible, where plenty of options are available.