My Celebrity Life

Katie Piper praises dad who suffered from PTSD after traumatic birth of daughter for speaking out and helping others

Katie Piper has ‘huge respect’ for a dad who is raising awareness of men’s mental health struggles after the traumatic births of their children (Picture: ITV)

A father who was diagnosed with PTSD after witnessing the difficult birth of his daughter has been praised by Katie Piper for raising awareness of post-birth trauma in men.

When Elliot Rae’s daughter was born six years ago, she was immediately rushed to NICU as she was ‘lifeless’.

His wife Soneni was also in grave danger, having lost excessive amounts of blood during the traumatic birth, and doctors had to battle to save both of their lives.

Elliot had to leave his wife to be by his newborn daughter’s side, and recalled feeling ‘helpless, numb, just looking on and hoping that it will be okay’.

After a difficult journey and a PTSD diagnosis, Elliot now helps other men going through the same thing, which he says gives him ‘purpose’ and is his own form of therapy.

He appeared on Friday’s episode of Loose Women, where he spoke to Katie along with panelists Kaye Adams, Frankie Bridge and Nadia Sawalha about his mental health struggles following his daughter’s birth.

Katie, who herself suffered from PTSD after being attacked with acid in 2008, praised Elliot for speaking out and helping others with his story, saying she relates to his need to find a ‘purpose’ after his diagnosis.

‘I have huge respect for you and what you’re doing,’ she said.

Elliot suffered flashbacks and insomnia after almost losing his wife and daughter (Picture: ITV)

The activist added: ‘I really admire how you’ve coped and how you’re helping other people, it’s amazing.’

Recalling being in ICU with his newborn daughter, Elliot remembers feeling ‘like I wasn’t there’.

And with paternal leave in the UK stretching to only two weeks, he soon had to return to work where he struggled greatly in the high-paced environment.

He found himself unable to sleep and, at times unable to speak, with ‘flashbacks’ constantly running through his head.

Elliot spoke openly about his struggles in order to help those who may go through the same thing (Picture: ITV)

Elliot was eventually diagnosed with PTSD 18 months later, when he ‘broke down’ talking about his daughter’s birth and was told to see a specialist.

‘But for the first 18 months I just kind of got on with it, I didn’t think this was something that could happen to men,’ he admitted.

Six years on, and with his wife and daughter both healthy, Elliot says he is feeling better thanks to the support he received.

He is now helping other fathers suffering from post-birth trauma and other mental health issues, saying his experience was ‘part of his ‘life journey’ which led him to the work he is doing now.

Six years on and the Rae family are happy and healthy (Picture: ITV)

Elliot went on to launch forum Music Football Fatherhood, which encourages ‘open conversation about being a dad’.

He has also released a book, simply titled Dad, which is made up of the experiences of 20 different fathers, some with ‘devastating stories’, and how they have all coped.

A documentary on Elliot and Soneni’s experience with their young daughter, Becoming Dad, is currently airing on BBC iPlayer.

Loose Women airs weekdays from 12.30pm on ITV and ITV Hub



Need support for your mental health?

You can contact mental health charity Mind on 0300 123 3393 or text them on 86463.

Mind can also be reached by email at info@mind.org.uk.

 


Credit: Original article published here.

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