I am Lyn Richardson founder of Everglow the Rebecca Kruza Foundation. www.everglowtherebeccakruzafoundation.co.uk
Myself and our committee are running a campaign to help prevent the development and escalation of maternal/perinatal mental illness and suicide. Since becoming a charity we are seeking funding for a Mother and Baby Respite Home while communicating with local and national government to have improvements legislated on. Since the Kirkup report on East Kent Maternity Services, revealed serious and often fatal failings in October last year we finally received strong support from local authorities and are collaborating with them, but national government continue to be reluctant to engage on the relevant subjects, as is the legal system that won’t challenge those inept and dangerous systems that are currently in place. Improvements and justice are dependant on accountability. That is how mankind works. Unfortunately that is why I’m submitting this for AntidepressantRisks and why my grief cannot end until we have changed the treatment of mental illness for the better.
My daughter Rebecca had no significant history of mental illness. She was happily settled for 20 years with her partner, running 2 part time businesses, thrilled to be a mother at last and looking forward to moving onto a new family home. She and her baby both suffered from an unnecessarily traumatic birth which left her physically and emotionally shaken and the baby with considerable cranial discomfort, and an unidentified tongue tie. At birth and soon after, he became fractious, constantly hungry and developed colic, unable to sleep or thrive and constantly crying. Post natal care badly failed them, Becky often being dismissed and made to feel a nuisance after many futile requests for help. This included, the G.P., Health Visitor, Paediatrician, C.B.Therapist and private psychiatrist. Being resourceful she sought every form of self help available, including private practitioners, eventually having baby’s tongue tie privately corrected after 4 months of hell, but this was too late for both of them, as secondary gastric problems took time to resolve in her infant and, most worryingly she had developed insomnia from lack of sleep, and began to experience forms of psychosis. In desperation Becky and her partner turned to a recommended perinatal specialist private psychiatrist. This was the coup de grace, and their and our misplaced trust was rewarded with a cocktail of psychotropic medication, which within 2 weeks precipitated suicide in her exactly as warned in the Black Box attached to Mirtazapine prescribing. Within days she reported awful side effects to Mirtazapine, and that because of this and this worry of developing psychosis, she was worried for the safety of her baby. These were ignored. She was bullied and patronised into increasing the dose and Zoplicone was added. The side effects then became severe and she became more vulnerable and less able to cope and begged to be taken off them a few days before we lost her to suicide. She was told that these were symptoms of her deteriorating mental health, which was clear as she was told that these side effects were unheard of and therefore in her head. Over her last few days the resulting accumulative damage to her brain chemistry and consequential unbearable side effects drove her to take her life in the cruellest manner. This was within 2 weeks of this medication being so negligently administered. I found Becky while holding her 8 month old cherished infant in my arms. She left him, her partner, family and friends behind. Our lives can never be the same without her nor can our lost trust in those who brought this about. When are they going to listen and allow: the patients to lead the way, and: the desperately needed improvements to be implemented in the treatment of mental illness.
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Rebecca took her life after taking mirtazapine