Adele's best friend reveals the singer was the first person to notice her postpartum psychosis
While Adele is best known for her vocals, the singer has also become increasingly outspoken about a range of polemical topics. Last year, she shared that she was raising her 6-year-old son, Angelo, to be a feminist, and she has also lent her support publicly to the LGBTQ+ community, as well as made clear that she is a "labour girl through and through".
Now, the Hello singer's best friend, Laura Dockrill, has said that Adele was the first person to spot her postpartum psychosis - a severe mental illness that women can experience after childbirth.
Dockrill gave birth to a baby boy - who is Adele's godson - in February of this year. Shortly afterwords she started experiencing symptoms of postpartum psychosis, which affects one in a thousand mothers and can lead to hallucinations.
"[Adele] recognised it in me, I was on the phone FaceTiming her and she was the first one to detect what I might have," she told Radio 1 Newsbeat. "The last six months can only be described as hell, it's been the worst time of my life."
Explaining that her symptoms were "insomnia, delusions, suspiciousness and paranoia," Dockrill went onto write a blog post to share her experiences with other mums who may be experiencing something similar.
Adele has since shared Dockrill's story, describing it as "intimate and heartbreaking".
Taking to Instagram, she wrote "This is my best friend. We have been friends for more of our lives than we haven’t. She had my beautiful godson 6 months ago and it was the biggest challenge of her life in more ways than one. She has written the most intimate, witty, heartbreaking and articulate piece about her experience of becoming a new mum and being diagnosed with postpartum psychosis. Mamas talk about how you’re feeling because in some cases it could save yours or someone else’s life."
After returning home with her son, Dockrill describes feeling as if "I had pushed out my personality as well as a baby." Not long after, she starting experiencing suicidal thoughts.
"I was begging my sister to let me go, I was begging my mum to let me go," she stated. "I have never had those thoughts before in my life and no history of mental illness, this completely took me by surprise and threw me against the rocks."
As things progressed, Dockrill, who is a poet, author, illustrator and short story writer, needed her partner, Hugo, to send her photographs of herself with friends and family in order to remind herself of who she was.
"Even though postnatal depression and the psychosis are both treatable, even when my doctor said I would 100% recover I remember thinking, 'Maybe others do but not me, this is me forever'."
Dockrill was eventually hospitalised, and spent two weeks apart from her newborn son.
Now, she is in recovery, and feeling "happy, confident and strong," after seeking help from a psychiatrist and her family.
Talking about her psychosis, however, has proved to be tantamount to this. "I was constantly searching for any stories that offered me hope or salvation in this dark and testing time so that's why I've shared this," she concluded.