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Mental health influencer urges followers to open up

A fearless mum whose terrifying postpartum psychosis nearly drove her to suicide has become a mental health influencer – helping others by sharing her story online and urging her 15,000 Facebook and Instagram followers to do the same. Just a teenager when she fell pregnant unexpectedly with her childhood sweetheart, Kelsi Ullom, now 30, felt instant love when she gave birth to her bouncing 6lb 7oz baby boy, Brody, now nine, in April 2010. But everything changed a week later when the baby would not sleep on his back and, tired and stressed, Kelsi, of Parkersburg, West Virginia, USA, became convinced she had to hold him all the time or he would die. After that her mental health spiralled out of control, resulting in a diagnosis of postpartum psychosis, which strikes after childbirth, causing hallucinations, delusions and manic moods – a condition regarded as a medical emergency by the NHS. To this day, Kelsi, who now has three further children – Ryder, eight, Sophia, six, and Axton, one – with her husband Brandon, 30, a narcotics and crime task force officer, swears that without his intervention, she would have taken her own life. Now determined to help other people experiencing mental health difficulties, by encouraging them to share, she said: “It’s my mission to be honest and to talk about what happened to me – to share the uncomfortable stories as well as the good ones.”

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