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Philippa1961 Community member Posts: 19 Courageous
I have suffered from depression for most of my life but it became severe when I was 19 years but at this time I didn't know I was depressed let alone severe depression.  My mum regularly accused me of being moody, a drama queen, there were people far worse off than me and so on.  It didn't occur to me that there was actually something wrong because I believed my mum.

The reason why it became severe was because I had a baby when I was 19 years old.  I didn't want the father involved as I knew he would deny my son was his which did actually happen many years later even though DNA testing proved he was the father.  Anyway my mum was adamant my son was going to be adopted and she arranged everything.  The long story short I believed the lies my mum told, then the social worker lied to me but I didn't know that at the time.  I emotionally broke down after my son was born with post natal depression adding to it. 

Due to not understanding that I needed real help I suffered in silence for 23 years, had I not emotionally broke down I would have got the support I needed and would have raised my son.  What happened to me was one of the most traumatic things that can happen to a mother.  Stillborn, miscarriage, genetic problems with babies / children and other reasons why babies / children die young is worse but forced adoption is also traumatic.

Nothing can said to explain the profund feelings of loss and grief.  I also compare it to an invisible amputation as a mother's body prepares itself to look after the baby after birth but there is no baby as it's been taken away.  When a person has a physical amputation people 'get it' because they can see what's been amputated yet when it's a baby taken for adoption they don't understand because the baby is alive.  The pain and the trauma of losing a baby to adoption never goes away and mothers, such as me, learn to cope but certain anniversaries were a living hell. 

My son and I connected when he had turned 23 and then I had to deal with the pain of finding out he had found my family when he was 18.  My family cruelly told him their didn't know where I was and my mum even wrote him a letter about two years later to accept I didn't want to be found.  The fact that I found him without searching and spent weeks getting to know each other proved that my family lied to him then he started telling me what had been going on.  I then found out that what happened to me is legally known as a forced adoption and is illegal but by the time I found out it was too late to do anything. 

Unfortunately I can't prove one way or another if I do suffer with PTSD as mental health profesionals don't associate PTSD with mothers who are forced to surrender their babies to adoption.  I know I do suffer with symtons that are associated to PTSD such as;

Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over
Bad dreams
Re-experiencing symptoms may cause problems in a person’s everyday routine.  Words, objects, or situations that are reminders of the event can also trigger re-experiencing.
Avoidance symptoms
Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
Feeling emotionally numb
Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry
Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past
Things that remind a person of the traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms
Feeling tense or “on edge”
Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts.
Hyperarousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic event. They can make the person feel stressed and angry. These symptoms may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.

Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.


  • Birdsnbees
    Birdsnbees Community member Posts: 75 Pioneering
    If you are experiencing all these symptoms of ptsd then I'd say it's pretty self evident you are experiencing it and by the sounds of your message you know this.

    Are you looking for a diagnosis from a mental health professional? How can you find a way to best support yourself during this time?

    I was dealing with ptsd at one point in my life and I have found the book on narcissitic abuse written by Melanie Tonia Evans to be incredibly helpful. the behaviour of your family sounds very similar to someone with the symptoms of npd.

    I'd do some research on the matter to help yourself get some self validation and get back your self love. sounds normal you'd be going through ptsd during something like that. give yourself the time to heal seek knowledge and find validation. you will recover from this.

    If you need a diagnosis from a mental health professional I'd consider contacting a local therapist and speaking to them at a session and asking for a diagnosis

    best wishes

  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Posts: 10,586 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Philippa1961, I honestly cannot imagine what it was like and I am so sorry with how it was handled. I am so glad that you and your son were able to reconnect, yet I hear your pain surrounding this. 

    I know you are aware we are not mental health professionals and unfortunately we would not be able to confirm a diagnosis for you, but if you there there is more going on then we believe you. You deserve the right support and I would urge you to speak to your GP about this. 

    PTSD UK may have some valuable information for you. They also have lots of blogs which you might find interesting to read.

    Also, here is the birth trauma association. They work with people who experienced trauma before, during or after the birth of a child. 

    Thank you for discussing this with us and we appreciate how difficult it can be to open up.

  • EmmaB
    EmmaB Community member Posts: 263 Pioneering
    Hi @Philippa1961
    It's interesting that you say you can't 'prove' you have PTSD, because who can... it is basically a list of symptoms [as are all mental health diagnosis], so do you need a doctor or psychiatrist to make that value judgement? 
    The bottom line is that you have experienced several very traumatic events in your life and you have used various survival mechanisms to survive and cope with what has happened and manage your life generally. 
    The strap-line at the bottom of your post indicates your incredible resilience and I hope your son can see what an amazing survivor you are.
    Trauma can also manifest itself in the body eg through pain, migraines, IBS, fibromyalgia etc so it could be that you've also had bodily symptoms of your trauma too but you haven't put them down to that too...
    I don't know if you've ever experienced dissociation, another symptom of trauma but if so this is a very good website, the organisation was set up by an amazing lady who experience a very difficult childhood herself:
    I hope that helps.  @Birdsnbees suggestion of reading a book about narcissistic mothers sounds like a very good one, it might just add another layer of understanding of how your mother's behaviour had had an impact on you.
    I wish you all the very best.

  • Philippa1961
    Philippa1961 Community member Posts: 19 Courageous
    edited October 2019
    Thank you all for responding.  I suppose I do need that validation and I think I have known deep down that I need to talk to a professional about this.  Being believed is a relieve as so many people don't 'get it' that losing a baby to adoption is traumatic as the baby is alive.  Yet, if I had miscarried, had a stillborn or the baby had severe health problems  and died before or after birth people would understand.
    This happened with my niece and her husband.  Her husband has a son by his first marriage, his ex has been more than reasonable over contact, they also have a son. They were expecting a daughter then found out she had Edward's Syndrome so knew she would die either before or after birth as only 5% live to early adulthood.  Chloe was born on the 21 September then died on the evening of the next day and the funeral is next Tuesday.  We are going down south to show our support - I love my nieces so much and it breaks my heart knowing one of them is having to deal with a huge loss.  They have support from ARC which I am thankful for but it's still traumatic for them.
    I am going to check out the links and hopefully get that book.
    Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 231 Pioneering
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Philippa1961
    Philippa1961 Community member Posts: 19 Courageous
    I don't like Long Lost Family as it only shows the positives and real life isn't anything like what is shown.  When I found my son he 'introduced' me to two ladies who were online friends, one I still have contact with and the other one told me about  They had both surrendered babies so had an understanding of what I had gone through.  It helped me to have a better understanding of adoptees and I was shocked that some who posted regularly had been abused by at least one person from their adoptive family.  One is an amazing person as she was sexually abused by one of her grandfathers and the family knew this yet they did nothing to stop it.  Her adoptive brothers (non adopted) were also cruel to her as well.  She left home at 18, put herself through college, found faith and eventually married and has children.
    I found it hard to get my head around the fact there are people who slip through the net and should never be allowed to adopt or let family members abuse their adopted child.  After all adoptive parents are there to be good / better parents than the original parents.
    I've read Primal Wound and Coming Back to Self which have helped me to understand my son better.  He's had issues with adoption, I found reunion difficult as I was completely niave to what could happen.  Eventually I did have contact with his (adoptive) parents who were very helpful and I did like them as we had so much in common but it opened a can of worms as my son told me lies to impress and he didn't want me to be disappointed in him.  I've lost count of the times I've told him that I am proud of him and I love him for who he is.
    Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Posts: 10,586 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Philippa1961, I just wanted to check in to see how you were getting on. :)

  • Philippa1961
    Philippa1961 Community member Posts: 19 Courageous
    My husband and I are in Essex until tomorrow as we are attending a family funeral tomorrow.  My niece and nephew in law Edward's Syndrome / Trisomy 18 which means she had physical and mental disabilities and only 5% survive to early adulthood and need 24 / 7 care.  Little Chloe survived about 24 hours so the family had time with her before she died which I'm thankful for but it doesn't take away the pain.  My niece, Katie, blames herself even though she did everything - no alcohol, very little caffiene, healthy diet - but, unfortunately, it's a very rare genetic disorde and it can happen to anybody. 

    We donate to Sands as a niece and husband's second son was stillborn, we have made a sonation to ARC as they have supported Katie and her husband, tomorrow we will be donating to both charities.  I also bought a necklace with a teardrop and a heart on both sides.  We have also ordered a glass paperweight in the shape of a star and it will be engraved with Chloe 21/9/2019 - 22/9/2019 Our beautiful angel which should be with them on Thursday.
    Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.
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