What Have I Done?
Laura Dockrill

Book cover image

Narrated By: Laura Dockrill

Duration: 7 hours and 26 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

'A book to save a whole generation of women'
Adele

'This moving book was a pleasure to read and I didn't want to put it down. If anyone is going through a similar experience it will make them feel less alone'
Philippa Perry


This is a raw and honest memoir about being devastated by post-partum psychosis and coming through the other side.

Laura Dockrill had an idyllic pregnancy and couldn't wait to meet her new baby. But as she went into labour things began to go wrong and Laura started to struggle. A traumatic birth, anxiety about the baby, sleep deprivation, a slow recovery - all these things piled up until Laura (like any new mum) felt overwhelmed.

As many as 8 out of 10 new mums struggle in the weeks after birth. In Laura's case these feelings escalated scarily quickly into post-partum psychosis. She became paranoid and delusional and had to be institutionalised for a fortnight without her baby. Throughout this time she was haunted by a sense of: 'What have I done?', at first as she wondered if she could cope with her baby, and later because she was trying to grasp at reality as she slipped into nightmarish delusion.

Laura's experience was devastating but this is a hopeful book. Not only has Laura slowly recovered she has come out the other side stronger and more assured about parenting on her own terms. Now she is determined to break the silence around post-natal mental health and with her story tell new parents: you are not alone.

*ONE OF STYLIST'S BEST NON-FICTION BOOKS FOR 2020 AND EVENING STANDARD'S BEST BOOKS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2020*


Praise for What Have I Done?

'A humblingly honest and human war report from the front lines of mothering psychosis and recovery; there is no other book like it, and it is so desperately needed'
Giovanna Fletcher

'This book will give women and their families confidence that the brain and body will heal. It will encourage other women to speak out'
Dr Jessica Heron, CEO of Action on Postpartum Psychosis

'A raw, honest, important book'
Caitlin Moran

'An amazing read. A comfort to women recovering who read this and realise that all their crazy mad thoughts were the illness; and not themselves'
Fiona Telford, postpartum psychosis survivor

©Laura Dockrill 2020 (P) Penguin Audio 2020

Genre

Pregnancy, birth & baby care: advice & issues, Memoirs, Coping with mental health issues, Women's health

Listen to a sample

Amazing. This book is proof that although Laura’s mind was her undoing, it is also an incredible asset which is going to help so many people.

Clemmie Telford

A humblingly honest and human war-report from the front lines of mothering, psychosis and recovery: there is no other book like it, and it is so desperately needed.

Caitlin Moran

Amazing. This book is proof that although Laura’s mind was her undoing, it is also an incredible asset which is going to help so many people.

Fiona Telford, postpartum psychosis survivor

Laura’s raw, honest book gets to the core of postpartum psychosis. Her style is blunt, graphic, diary-like, unflinchingly confessional - at times so colloquial that we feel we know her, or we want to know her: for her bravery in writing this book, for her humanity, for her sisterhood. She has emerged with a greater understanding of self, with deeper compassion for those who suffer from mental illness, and with a determination to combat stigma and ignorance by speaking out. Ultimately I hope this book will give women and their families confidence that the brain and body will heal. And I hope it will encourage other women to speak out.

Dr Jessica Heron, CEO, Action on Postpartum Psychosis

A book for those of us who didn’t have the fairytale. It’s important to know that even though things don’t always go to plan it doesn’t mean you aren’t a superhero or a power mum in your own right. Thank you Laura for making us all feel worthy. A must-read for all of those muddling through.