A young mum devoted to her daughter died after suffering years of ‘significant trauma’ amid years of mental health problems, an inquest heard.
Zebrina Daryl Carden, 26, was found dead at her home on Howard Street, Ashton, Tameside, on February 20 after her family and friends were unable to contact her.
An inquest into her death at South Manchester Coroners’ Court on Thursday heard Ms Carden had a long history of mental health problems.
She has suffered with anxiety and anger issues since her teenage years and had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, OCD and psychosis.
Ms Carden, who was said to be very close to her mum Diane Thompson and twin sister Shaunna Carden, had a young daughter and shared custody with her former partner.
Dr Houda, a consultant psychiatrist at Pennine Care NHS Trust, told the court that Ms Carden had often experienced ‘impulsive thoughts of self-harming’ alongside ‘significant trauma’.
In 2016, she stabbed herself in the abdomen after hearing threatening voices and saying the TV was talking about her. On another occasion in 2019, she was admitted to hospital after walking in front of traffic. A few months later, she took an overdose and was admitted to intensive care.
Claire Diggle, a care coordinator and psychiatric nurse at Pennine Care NHS Foundation’s Tameside and Glossop Early Intervention Team, had been working with Ms Carden since 2018 to help ‘normalise’ the experiences she was having.
Miss Diggle said that Ms Carden would often experience rapid mood swings, would report hearing ‘negative, critical and angry’ voices and felt stressed about her finances and relationships.
She had also reported being the victim of sexual assault while living at a flat in Salford.
She said Ms Carden also displayed ‘sudden, dramatic and impulsive’ behaviour which would sometimes make her unreliable and miss appointments when it came to taking her medication in the form of depo injections.
Miss Diggle said that Ms Carden would often recall how her own daughter – who she saw as a ‘significant protective factor’ – was very important to her.
She said: “At times she felt that having mental health problems meant that she wasn’t able to do certain things.
“Particularly with regards to her daughter, she felt it must mean that she was a bad mum and that certainly wasn’t the case.”
Miss Diggle said there had been some concerns that Ms Carden was often ‘self-medicating’ herself with drugs and alcohol.
“In the heat of the moment, I think she would try anything that she felt would help,” she told the court.
Miss Diggle last visited Ms Carden on February 17 when she reported experiencing ‘unpleasant’ side effects to the depo injections.
The care coordinator brought some medication to counteract the symptoms over to Ms Carden’s house.
“She seemed well and said her friend was upstairs with her,” Miss Diggle said.
“I didn’t have any reason to think I needed to make a further assessment.”
Andrew Foden, of Pennine Care, led the investigation into Ms Carden’s care and told the court: “It felt that Miss Diggle had a very strong, therapeutic relationship with her.
“It was an integral part to her care and recovery over the three years with the Early Intervention Team.”
Speaking of Ms Carden, Miss Diggle said: “She was always very polite and well-mannered.
“Everything you did for her, she was very thankful for.”
Ms Carden’s mum told the court her daughter was a ‘caring, kind and good person’.
“When she was doing well, she was active and regularly went to the gym,” Mrs Thompson said.
“She was great with her daughter but when her mental health was bad, she wasn’t always able to be a mum and that upset her.
“I don’t feel like she was taken seriously when she asked for help.
“We just always thought she’d get through it.”
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Source: Manchester Evening News, 13th August 2021