Liberty Savage (Jessamy Stoddart) has vanished in Hollyoaks, and Sienna Blake (Anna Passey) is extremely worried as a result, given that her sister has been struggling since giving birth to Faith.
Sienna recently discovered that Liberty had been speaking to dead Nico (Persephone Swales-Dawson).
Viewers will know that Liberty has been suffering from postpartum psychosis. The Channel 4 soap have been working with charity Action on Postpartum Psychosis in order to ensure the story is portrayed as accurately and sensitively as possible.
With Nico’s voice in her head, Liberty has become convinced that Sienna is trying to steal her baby.
‘Everyone else has sort of given Liberty the space that she was after,’ actress Jessamy Stoddart told Metro.co.uk, ‘I’m not necessarily sure its space that she needs, I think she needs help. Sienna is really hellbent on getting her help, which is actually the right thing to be doing.’
However, when Sienna voiced her concerns, Liberty — with some assistance from ‘Nico’ — did what she could to portray Sienna as unhinged, claiming that she was simply plotting to snatch Faith.
With Brody Hudson (Adam Woodward) and Damon Kinsella (Jacob Roberts) already displaying doubts about Sienna’s motives, they believed Liberty’s version of events.
‘I think she was just thinking: “What would Sienna do?”. [She’s] using some of Sienna’s tactics back on her, I think,’ Jessamy told us.
‘I think in those sort of situations — when someone’s head is being pulled in loads of different directions, you go to the thing that will get results as opposed to what’s the right or kind thing to do.’
What is postpartum psychosis?
Postpartum Psychosis (PP) is a severe, but treatable, form of mental illness that occurs after having a baby. It can happen ‘out of the blue’ to women without previous experience of mental illness. There are some groups of women, women with a history of bipolar disorder for example, who are at much higher risk. PP normally begins in the first few days to weeks after childbirth. It can get worse very quickly and should always be treated as a medical emergency. Most women need to be treated with medication and admitted to hospital.
With the right treatment, women with PP do make a full recovery. Recovery takes time and the journey may be tough. The illness can be frightening and shocking for both the woman experiencing it and her family. Women do return to their normal selves, and are able to regain the mothering role they expected. There is no evidence that the baby’s long term development is affected by Postpartum Psychosis.
The period after childbirth can be a devastating time to experience a severe mental illness. For women who experience PP, their partners, friends and family, it can be hard to find high quality information about the symptoms, causes and treatment.
Damon soon discovered that Sienna had been telling the truth, after he witnessed Liberty talking to Nico for himself. She refused to take Faith — who was poorly — to the hospital based on the hallucination’s say so.
‘I think that’s a big key point,’ Jessamy said, ‘Especially from Sienna’s point of view. She had a moment where she was like: “I’m honestly so adamant that Liberty is seeing Nico” and no-one else was seeing it.’
Sienna became determined to get Liberty the help she needs in the wake of Damon’s discovery, and thus she confronted her during the latest episode.
Jessamy added: ‘The Liberty and Sienna situation is kind of exacerbated by the fact that Faith is a bit poorly. Liberty’s natural maternal instinct is giving her all the right red flags that she should be feeling, but she has all that external noise from Nico.’
‘Nico’s noise is just relentless this week. She is just everywhere Liberty turns.’
With Liberty having vanished, the race is on, as Sienna, Damon and Brody look for her before its too late.
But what will transpire?
‘It’s a big week,’ teased Jessamy, ‘It’s kind of like the peak of this storyline.’
One to watch: Monday December 14 at 7pm on E4.
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