Wakefield mum battling Birth Trauma PTSD shares her story with the hope of helping others

Samm Jaques, aged 35, is raising awareness.
Samm Jaques, aged 35, is raising awareness.

After battling mental health from a young age a Wakefield mum is trying to help others suffering with similar conditions.

Aged just 17, Samm Jaques was diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder - a condition in which you can not stop thinking about flaws in your appearance.

Now 35, Miss Jaques said: "Every time I looked at myself in the mirror I would see what I believed to be disgusting, I would boil the kettle and scrub my face with bleach taking layers of skin from my face.

“My face would be red and sore but I still wasn’t happy, I was obsessed with looking in the mirror. It would be five minutes later and I would see a flaw again and scrub more - I knew I felt ugly and fat but I would not stop until I could look at myself in the mirror and feel content."

She also said she would change her outfit up to seven times a day as she felt ugly and would not like what she was wearing. She would often put an outfit in the bin after wearing it just the once.

Miss Jaques said: “There was no social media back then so it wasn’t like I was comparing myself to photos on Instagram. It was just me and nothing I did or said would change how I felt."

At the time she was living in the south of the country and after attending a GP appointment she was instantly referred to a psychiatrist.

But she then faced a six month wait for the appointment.

She said if the wait had been longer, she wouldn't have coped.

In 2006 she moved to Ossett and gave birth to her little boy Roman in 2016.

She said: “It should have been a happy time for me and exciting but it wasn’t."

Later that year she referred herself for help Turning Point in Wakefield as she knew something was wrong and that it was not her anxiety.

By 2017 she was diagnosed with Birth Trauma Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (BT/PTSD) just 10 months after the birth of Roman.

Therapy began instantly after Miss Jaques received the diagnosis.

“In therapy I was being told to remove myself from the trigger but I was living with him. When I was in the supermarket I saw the shower gel I took to the hospital to give birth and the manic began, sweaty hands, panic attacks, it was uncontrollable," she said.

“All I wanted to do was speak to someone about it everyday to get it out, I was consumed with finding someone to speak to and if I didn’t, I could not make it through the day. It was exhausting. My mind never stopped."

According to scientific research by Grekin & O’Hara , 20,000 women are affected by birth trauma with only three to four per cent developing PTSD.

“Nobody really knew about BT/PTSD so there was a stigma, I am not a bad mum I just needed help, Miss Jaques said.

She began therapy with Wakefield's Turning Point Talking Therapies, but has now began making her own strategies to help control her mental disorders.

“It's being OK one minute then all of a sudden you feel so small and it turns manic, there isn't a cure but you can help to try to control it."

If anyone needs support contact Talking Turning Point on 01924234860 or visit their website at https://talking.turning-point.co.uk/wakefield/