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Nadia Whittome MP: I’m Taking Time Off With PTSD

May 26, 2021

A Labour MP has said she has decided to take a “step back” from her work because she is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Nadia Whittome said she has been advised by her doctor to take several weeks off for her health to improve.

The Nottingham East MP said the decision was “incredibly difficult” and one she feels “very sad” about.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer wished Ms Whittome “all the best” in her recovery and praised her “bravery”.

‘Creating greater acceptance’

In a statement, Ms Whittome, 24, said she has been battling “some persistent health issues” over recent months.

“Until now, I have been attempting to manage them alongside continuing with my full-time work as an MP,” she said.

“Unfortunately, it has become clear that this is not feasible and I have been advised by my doctor that I need to take several weeks off in order for my health to improve.

“I feel it is important for me to be honest that it is mental ill-health I am suffering from – specifically post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Through being open about my own mental health struggle, I hope that others will also feel able to talk about theirs, and that I can play a small role in creating greater acceptance and facilitating healthier discussions around this issue.”

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What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is described as an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.

Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event and may have problems sleeping and find concentrating difficult.

PTSD can develop straight after someone experiences a disturbing event, or it can occur weeks, months or years later.

It is thought to affect about one in every three people who have a traumatic experience.

Source: NHS

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Ms Whittome said her constituents should continue to contact her office as normal.

“My decision to take time off has been an incredibly difficult one to make. Representing Nottingham East is the greatest honour of my life and I am very sad to have to step back for a little while,” she said.

Ms Whittome became the House of Commons’ youngest MP when she topped the poll at the snap general election in 2019.

During the coronavirus pandemic, she took on a part-time job at a care home but said she was “effectively sacked” after speaking out about personal protective equipment (PPE).

Earlier this month Ms Whittome spoke about a “mental health crisis” in a column published by Nottingham magazine LeftLion.

She said the pandemic has made it worse and that young people have been most affected.

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