A mother from Littlehampton has overcome post-natal depression using an unusual method that has led to her being nominated for an award.
When Yasmeen Westwood gave birth to her son, instead of feeling complete she felt like she had lost her identity.
Conventional therapy did not work for her, but a more unusual outlet did: designing tarot cards.
The 46-year-old’s first deck proved so popular she secured a deal with a US publisher, and is now the finalist of a national award.
Yasmeen, from Norfolk Road, Littlehampton, said: “When I had my son, I felt I had just become a mum, and that was it. But there is so much more to me; I used to trek up mountains and I travelled the world.”
After meeting her future husband David in 2014 while on a Christmas trek up Mt Toubkal in Morroco, the Aberdeenshire native decided to move down to Littlehampton to be with him 11 months later.
In December 2015, she discovered she was pregnant and Arran – her third child – was born on August 11, 2016.
For months, Yasmeen did not want to admit how she was feeling.
Eventually she went to the doctor and was diagnosed with post-natal depression. Yasmeen followed their advice and saw a therapist, but she said she struggled to put her feelings into words.
In March 2018, the former health and safety trainer for the oil industry started making art using Photoshop on her computer, and discovered they looked like suits you would find in a tarot deck.
By following video tutorials on YouTube, she continued to master the software and released her first complete deck in August. She had 100 copies published – and they sold out almost instantly.
Schiffer Books has since offered her a contract to release the deck worldwide. It is due to come out in November.
Off the back of her success, Yasmeen’s friend nominated her for the Mpower National Business Awards – and she has reached the finals in the Self Belief category. The winner will be announced on June 29, in Birmingham.
Yasmeen said she was ‘well chuffed’ to say she was a finalist, adding: “To know my work has been recognised means so much, because mums can feel invisible.”
The artist, who is on antidepressants, said her condition is now under control. To other mums out there with PND, she said: “There is no shame in asking for help. Tell people you are struggling; don’t keep it all to yourself.”