When will I feel better????

I was diagnosed with PP 8 weeks after having my second boy after spending a couple of weeks or more feeling like I just couldn't wake up and smelling bizarre smells etc. I was prescribed Citalopram and mid-diagnosed with postnatal depression. This made my symptoms worse and I couldn't even go to the toilet alone. Finally I was put under the crisis team daily and changed to mirtazapine. A lot of my symptoms disappeared but I found myself anxious to a point of sitting shaking and feeling overwhelmed no matter what I did. I was then also prescribed quetiapine. I have been doing so well, just the odd little spell... Until now, I'm moving house and have a lot of different things on my mind and I just keep feeling not with it, daydreamy and panicky and my memory is terrible I.e not even remembering things I've just done and then if course I start worrying about it. Someone tell me it's not just me?! :( my baby has turned 8 months so I've only been on both treatments about 4-5.

24 Replies

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  • Hi KayRose,

    Try not to worry, easier said than done I know. Moving house is a stressful time so you are bound to be anxious, trying to remember everything on your 'to do' list.

    Perhaps when the medication kicks in you will feel a difference? There's a lot of support here for you. Medications have improved such a lot since my days of PP and there will be others here who will be able to comment with good advice for you.

    Take it easy, you have come this far. Recognising that you are not feeling as well as you did and seeking advice is a step in the right direction.

  • Thank you. This is the first time I've ever spoken to anyone who has been through this. Until now I've literally felt alone. My partner and my best friends have been there and tried to understand but they can actually feel how I feel when I explain the brain fog etc. it's been and still is so frightening

  • Hi KayRose786,

    Well done for finding this community & reaching out, not easy I know. I hope you find some comfort & support here. Sorry for my not being clear but is it 4-5 days or weeks that you've been on both medications? I know that in the early days of a new medication as my body was adjusting to it, my side effects were far worse but did settle down after about 2-3 weeks. The brain-fog was particularly difficult to deal with & for me it helped by taking them at night. I had anxiety too, it's awful & incredibly hard to deal with but I found this eased up in time too. I wonder if anyone knows any good websites for anxiety coping strategies? If things don't settle down soon or you have any other concerns, make sure you talk through other options with your GP or care team though.

    If you're feeling up to it (& aren't busy with moving house chores) there's plenty of info about Quetiapine here: choiceandmedication.org/ncm...

    What sort of support do you have around you, do you have friends & family close by to help out? As Lilybeth says moving house if really stressful, & I think self-care, monitoring your mood & asking for help where you can is really important. Is your partner aware of how you're feeling & know how to help should things decline? How are you sleeping at the moment? Are you managing to relax & switch off at all? Rest is also really important & making sure you're not doing too much, too fast etc. Sorry for all the questions - don't feel you have to answer them.

    It's great that you've been doing so well with just the occasional spell & I hope this latest spell passes soon. It's always upsetting when you have a 'blip' after doing well for a long time - it makes you think you're back to square one (it did for me anyway), but the blips seem to be part of the recovery process. They seem to get further & further apart until they're gone completely - just (huge!) bumps in the road.

    If you get the chance to, do let us know how you're getting on. In the meantime, try not to be hard on yourself, rest up, relax & remember that it really does get better! We're here for you x

  • Hello Andrea. I'm away and really struggling to find a signal anywhere. I appreciate the time you have put in to writing to me and am so grateful for your support and as soon as I find a signal I will take time to reply to all your questions and comments. Thank you x

  • Hey, thank you for you response and the latest now seems to be subsiding. I called my mental health link worker while I was away and he was very good. I doubled my quetiapine for two days, and, have been on my single dose since. I am finding it very difficult to get any me time through moving, back with my partners parents to save some money for our own house. All our belongings in different places and worrying about getting in the way. We've just been away and come back to having two days to get our rented property empty and my horse keeps breaking her fence and its getting me into a lot of trouble, so with that and the six week school holidays, two children at home I'm more than a little stressed. Just can't wait for things to start calming down a little. Doesn't rain for us it pours. I'm trying my hardest to keep positive.

  • Hope you are getting the support you need! Let me know how your partner is doing as well. If he needs someone to talk through this, you can private message me. I can give him some tips that seem to work for me and my wife. I felt I had no one to talk to, but I to found this blog and many helped me out. My wife is getting there and you will too! It is tough to see day-to-day progress, but remember to look at the whole picture to encourage you on how far you've come!

  • I'm not sure if this is private or not but although my partner seems to take everything in his stride I think he would appreciate speaking to somebody who has had hands on experience with this because some days I'm just not with it and my memory is awful. Could you let me know how to private mail or private mail me so I can give you his email?? Thanks Kay

  • Click on my littleai05 screenname link and then under my "picture" is a "send a Message" button.

  • My partner replied to your email as soon as we got back from a little break with the children as we had no signal. Thanks so much

  • Hi KayRose, sounds like you've had a rubbish time of it, but I do promise that it gets better. It sounds really positive that you've find a medication that is helping you. I know in my experience of PP 3.5 years ago (nearly 4 now), professionals struggled to get me on a drug that actually helped. The other thing I'd say is to give it a bit of time - really easy to say I know, but things do get better and recovery is just a slow process. Having "been there" myself, you do have to be kind to yourself and let others around you look after you, and "bear with you". I hope you find some more info on here and the APP website that will help you - sometimes awareness and experiences of others can be reassuring. Hang in there, and like others have said, feel free to pop back and update us or ask any questions you'd like. The historic questions and info on APP's site can be quite enlightening. You're not alone and (sorry for repeating myself!) it WILL get better! Take care

  • Thank you for your kind response. The medication is working although sometimes I'm so overwhelmed it still gets the better of my and I find myself in this brain fog world where nothing makes sense and every thought makes me anxious, I just don't feel right at all when I'm like it. Every time I have some good days or weeks then have a blip I feel all my good work is lost. Kay

  • Hi Kay just want to write and say really what others are saying, that things will get better slowly. I had my son 2 years ago and I am more or less recovered but it was a slow process. The fact you've had good weeks and then blips is a good sign I think, I found that it just got longer and longer between 'blips'. My blips weren't so much anxiety but depression. I know what you mean about 'brain fog' though, I remember that feeling. Just wondering if you have any access to a psychologist / psychotherapist? And if you feel able to contact him/her whenever you need to, esp during a 'blip'? I found my psychologist invaluable in relation to going into depression / negative thoughts etc and I'm sure she would have really helped if I'd had anxiety too. I had her mobile no and was able to contact her whenever I needed to and she usually tried to meet me within a couple of days. I think medication did make me better but it's not everything, I also found I needed the psychological work too. If you're not receiving anything maybe you could request it? Really hope the move goes ok and things settle down. X

  • Hey. Thank you for your response. I honestly never thought it was possible to feel the way I've felt. This site over the last couple of weeks has helped me so much. It's re-assuring to know others have been through the same kind of thing. I'm very lucky that once I decided to go to the doctors and was mid-diagnosed I went back within a week and he listened and referred me to the crisis team, who, then picked it up and came out to me every day while my friend and partner did shifts looking after me and my son, although they didn't tell what I had been treated for until 2 months later when I got the courage to ask. All that time I was thinking how it can't be normal baby blues as it only lasted a few days with my first born and It did not feel anything like that. Thank you for being so good as to share your experience with me. I'm only now at the point where I see my mental health link worker every 6-7weeks, I find myself having a blip in between this though and having to call him but he is very good with me. Anxiety and brain fog/ spaced out, feeling drunk is my problem at the moment. X

  • Hi Kay,

    Hope things are continuing to improve for you and the brain fog/ spaced out feeling is getting less and less. I also really struggled with this aspect of recovery and going back to work was quite challenging for me as it still continued for me for a while. I was also anxious quite a lot and severely lacked in any confidence to do absolutely anything or make any decisions for a long time, for example. In my case I think this was quite related to the meds that I took as well as the general recovery stuff. I was definitely "chemically flattened" (as my GP called it later - really accurate!) I can appreciate now that it was needed and the professionals were pretty cautious in adjusting my meds for fear of me getting really manic or whatever again. If you feel able, it might be something worth discussing with someone professionally - perhaps your MH link worker? The person I saw from the Early Intervention Team was great at normalising life and actually not asking about the recovery process - but it's different for everyone. And I know she was probably checking on me and doing her job really well, as it was a great support for me.

    Anyway, I hope some of the info on here is helping you - sharing experiences and just sounding things out with others can be really helpful I find. Take Care

  • Hi Kay

    Yes I too was wondering how you're doing, hope things are slowly getting better...

  • Hey and sorry this has taken a while. I am so up and down still that it is unreal. I suppose I have come a long way but sometimes it is so hard to see it. I am still daily finding myself in and out of a brain fog where I feel very well one minute and then daydreamy and not with it for a few hours. It is so difficult to not get a defeatist attitude. I spoke to my link worker when I was feeling good and am now taking a quetiapine every other day but since this decision I have realised that I till spend a lot of time feeling overwhelmed with my brain fog, worrying how long it will take to come to again. I know for some people it takes a while but I became ill end of January this year and began treatment end of Feb and I am still struggling on and off most days. Need some re-assurance really to keep me going. Kay

  • Hi KayRose,

    I can only re-assure you by saying that you will be well eventually. Just as everyone's experience of PP is different, so is the time scale of recovery.

    I'm sorry I can't comment about your medication as I'm not up to date. It might be an idea to give your link worker a call to say how you are feeling and find out what the care plan is for your ongoing treatment and recovery?

    Be good to yourself ... you have come this far ... we are all here for you however long it takes.

  • Hi Kay,

    Sorry to hear things feel hard going at the moment. It must feel like wading through treacle trying to get through the brain-fog you describe. I too remember feeling this way and some of it may be down to the medication, but please also remember that it is likely helping you and in the long run, it's best to take things slowly and try not to measure yourself with timescales - other than one day at a time. I bet when you look back, you can see some differences and this will only get better over time. Like others have said, talking again to your link worker might be an idea. I didn't have Quetiapine so can't share any experience on this. My GP recently said to me that it's like being "chemically flattened" - something which makes a lot of sense to me. But I know it was needed at the time.

    If it helps, please know that you are not alone in this. I became ill after my baby was born and returned to work 9 months later still feeling pretty spaced out and struggling to an extent some days. Also try and remember that you have the demands of a baby and other everyday stuff as well, some of which can't be reduced any further - then you have the recovery from PP thrown into the mix, so it is really hard work. Adjusting back to "normality" when things are different anyway with a family is really hard.

    But try and keep positive and know that there are people out there who know how you feel. If you've got any more things to ask, feel free to pop back and ask, vent or whatever on here! Take care.

  • Hi Kay sorry to hear you're still not feeling well. As I think I said before, I didn't so much feel 'brain fog' as struggle with depression, but I really didn't feel really myself till a year and a half later, though gradually got better and better... in a way, that may seem awful that it could take that long. But now it's all over it does seem a distant memory. January is still relatively soon really, I was still struggling at your point in the journey. And as others have said it's different for everyone. Do you have support from a psychologist etc as well or do you just meet a link worker? There's all the emotions that go with PP as well that is good to work through, and I found it helpful with the depression. Take every day as it comes and you will get better, during the worst of it (including at your point of recovery 7/8 months after the episode) I sometimes felt so desperate and thought I'm never going to be well again, I'm never going to be myself again. It's awful. And yes, definitely get in touch with your link worker if you're still not feeling good. I remember meeting them sometimes and feeling absolutely fine and that everything would be ok, and then didn't feel good again, I think this is also part of PP. Take care and keep sharing on here, if it helps X

  • Hi Kay, was just wondering how you're doing and whether you managed to get in touch with your link worker? Hope things are going Ok for you and you are making those small steps, little by little it will get there. Take care

  • Thank you everyone for your time and caring responses. It's all still so confusing for me. I'm one of those people who doesn't keep still anyway, I always have an over active mind so right now it's ten fold. Right now I am getting no sleep. My babe has kept me and my partner up for 3 nights solid through a cold/virus. I am finding that my memory is absolutely awful, I will forget things all the time, E.G. I will put my phone in my pocket then turn my whole car upside down before finding it in my pocket or I'll type the code into my banking app then put my phone on my ear before realising what I've done, this then worries me then we have that cycle again. Is it okay to be this forgetful?? I find I'm so tired I fall asleep at night then wake after not long feeling disorientated asking my partner to help me, sometimes with dead arms due to how I've laid I suppose but I soon fall back to sleep until babe keeps me up all night. Please tell me I'm not mad, all sorts if things go through my head.

  • Hi Kay, I'm sorry you're having such an awful time at the moment, it's always so tough when your little ones are ill especially if you're not getting any sleep & aren't well yourself. Hopefully baby is through the worst of the virus now & tonight will be better! Lack of sleep always makes me feel just dreadful & really forgetful so try not to be hard on yourself & expect to function the same as you would on a good night's sleep. I think getting as much rest as you can & not trying to do too much is important. Is there anyone that could look after baby for you for an hour or so so you can have a break or get some decent sleep?

    I guess the lack of sleep is making the forgetfulness/brain fog seem far worse at the moment. Have you had a chat lately with your GP/ psychiatrist (whoever prescribes your medication) about whether any adjustments would improve things? I think there can be side-effects with most meds but some might be easier to live with or more suitable for you, so it's well worth having a chat with him/her if you're up to it. If you're still not getting any sleep soon, it'd be a good idea to see your GP to see if there's anything else that can help.

    I think there are various techniques you can use to help remember things too until this eases up, I used to write a lot of things down & wrote lists which helped with trying to remember things. I even had a notebook at the side of my bed to 'offload' at the end of each day. Maybe others here can add tips of what worked for them?

    I remember just how scary waking up disorientated is & how hard odd thoughts are, but please be reassured it's temporary & it won't always be like this & no, you're most definitely not mad, you're just poorly that's all. So hang in there - it really does all get better! I hope your little one gets better soon & things ease up quickly. Fingers crossed for a reasonable night's sleep for you tonight & let us know how you get on if you chat with your GP.

  • Hi Kay I'm not surprised you're feeling so awful with lack of sleep. I can't cope with lack of sleep anyway - and that's having less than 8 hours not no sleep - and that's when I'm well. In terms of forgetfulness etc I definitely had that during the worse of the illness but I'm definitely forgetful anyway!! I know I mentioned before about a psychologist but I wonder if a psychologist would help you with your worrying / anxiety, they might give you tips in how to stop the thoughts etc and to help you not be so anxious, especially as you said you often have an over active mind anyway. Just a thought. As I said it helped me so much with the depression, getting out of a mindset that was just fuelling it and not helping me. I really hope your baby is ok now.

    In terms of things that helped me, having a routine (down to watching certain TV programmes I enjoyed through the day, giving baby bath at certain times etc), writing some positive thoughts about each day (this helped when I felt better looking back, that things weren't always bad). And using all the support offered - mental health worker / psychologist etc.

    Take care X

  • Hi Kay

    Really glad you've found this forum and already had chance to get advice, support and hopefully some reassurance too from others who have been in your shoes.

    I thought you might like to have a link to the APP Recovery Insider Guide which talks you through the first year of recovery from PP and has lots of advice to help with the 'brain-fog' and the everyday pressures of being a mum while in recovery from a serious illness. Here it is:

    app-network.org/wp-content/...

    Our polls have suggested that the majority of mums feel well on the way to recovery within that first year, however for some it took up to their baby's second birthday to feel really back to normal.

    Hope your sleep is beginning to improve and that you've had chance to talk through medication/side-effects with your team.

    Naomi x

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