It's no secret that the combination of sleep deprivation and hormonal changes associated with giving birth can do some pretty major damage mentally. For one mom, having a baby changed her so drastically that she had to be taken away to several mental institutions over the course of three months after being diagnosed with postpartum psychosis.
Ele Cushing, 31, had baby Joshua in January of 2016 but her recovery wasn't what most people would consider 'normal'. The new mother became obsessed with keeping her house spotless and didn't sleep for eight days straight due to her obsession.
Her family, friends and husband, Greg, knew something was wrong but no one knew what to do. After a call was made to a mental health crisis line, Cushing was taken away and hospitalized before she went into full mania thinking she was being sacrificed as part of The Hunger Games.
"I remember pounding on the glass, terrified I would soon be sent off into the arena to be sacrificed," Cushing recalls of the mental institution in which she was placed. She also remembers having an insane amount of strength, so much so that she had to be tranquilized on more than one occasion.
The mother's psychosis ran so deep that she thought she was being taken away so that one of the 'pretty younger nurses' could sleep with her husband. She became hateful towards all men because of this.
Psychiatrists wondered what possibly could have triggered the descent into psychosis and it is thought to be due to a combination of genetics, hormones, a traumatic birth, improper postpartum care, among other things.
Cushing was transferred between psychiatric units all across Greater London but doctors couldn't figure out how to help her. With antipsychotic medications and mood stabilizers not working, Cushing was put in an isolation room to prevent harm to anyone else or herself.
"That was another traumatic flashback for me once I was out- the bare room with just a blue gym mat in it, cameras up high watching you, a plate of food on the floor," she explains.
Three months after being taken away, Cushing was released and has been battling anxiety, depression, and OCD ever since. She says though she now feels 'stronger and braver' than ever, she is very traumatized by the whole ordeal. One of her biggest challenges since being released has been accepting the fact that she will never be the same again.