Poldark writer – how having postnatal depression helped me pen the series

This BBC drama has featured issues of bereavement, marital stress, sexual trauma and post-traumatic stress.

Poldark writer Debbie Horsfield says experiencing postnatal depression helped her pen the TV series.

The BBC drama, starring Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson, has featured bereavement, marital problems, sexual trauma and post-traumatic stress.

Horsfield, who created the series from the Winston Graham novels, told Radio Times magazine that “mental health issues can strike anyone, anywhere and there is still a hesitation to speak about them.”

She said: “After the birth of my first child, it didn’t occur to me to talk about the permanent ‘fog’ I felt I was wading through, let alone consider it a form of post-natal depression.

Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark
Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark (Mike Hogan/Mammoth Screen)

“When I eventually confided in a family member, she actually got up and ran out of the room!

“This was something of a blow… until I realised that the person concerned had probably struggled with that same issue herself…

“This was a small incident (and minor in comparison to many people’s struggles) but it gave me an insight into the challenges involved in acknowledging and addressing the stigma and fear surrounding the subject.”

She said she hoped the new and final BBC One series will encourage viewers to open up about any mental health issues they have.

The full interview is in this week’s Radio Times magazine.

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