Hi everyone. I've been suffering with PP for 5 years. I feel miserable on a daily basis. My family doesn't understand. Most importantly my psychiatrist have not prescribed me anything that has help significantly. I'm stuck & don't know what to do. If anyone has any advice to offer, I'm open ears at this point. I'm glad I found this forum, maybe I'll finally meet someone who truly understand PP.
Is it possible to have PP for 5 years? - Action on Postpar...
I know how completely shattering it can be when the madness continues and nothing seems to help and everything seems totally desperate.
I was still having psychotic episodes until my daughter was 3 - but I don't know if this was truly PP or because I had a thyroid condition, there were similarities and cross-over. My endocrine surgeon was very clear that it was the thyroid hormones causing the psychotic symptoms, but as I had a baby and then a small child who I was with 24/7 she featured a lot in my psychotic thinking (I often wanted to harm her or get rid of her somehow). I had my thyroid removed in 2010 and the severe symptoms stopped. I would ask your doctors for a full thyroid hormone scan with thyroid anti-body scan to completely rule out thyroid problems causing your symptoms, often GPs and psychiatrists only know about the more common thyroid complaints - the basic scan didn't pick up my condition and it took 7 years to get a proper diagnosis. It may of course be something else for you, but it is definitely worth getting a proper thyroid test. I would also recommend getting your vitamin D and iron levels checked - a year before my op these were both found to be low and with supplementation my depression and general low mood improved greatly. After the op I saw a psychotherapist which really helped me too, having someone to talk to about my behaviour and thinking was a huge relief. Good luck, I don't think families can understand even if they try really hard to empathise, they haven't lived with malfunctioning thought processes and because we don't necessarily look ill, it's very confusing for them too. xxx
Hi thyroidma. Thanks for replying.. Yes, this illness is unbearable at times, it's very difficult to manage.. I have a upcoming doctors appt, I will definitely ask him about the thyroid scan.. Your info has been very helpful. It's funny that you mention iron & vitamin d because both are very low, I'm supplementing right now.. Thanks so much for taking time out of your schedule to respond to my question.
Good luck Madideasia. You can get through this, it is finding the right tools to manage and overcome the condition, keep going with the Vit D and iron, and you should start to feel improvements to your energy levels and depression soon. You sound like a really wonderful mum, and your daughter is so lucky to have you. Keep faith in yourself. x
Hi thyroidma! Thanks for the encouragement. I try to be a good mom, it can get a bit difficult at times. You're absolutely right, you have to find the tools to manage & overcome. I plan to continue with Vitamin D & Iron. I appreciate your kind words regarding my parenting. My daughter is my motivation. I'm sure your child/children are lucky to have you as well. I'm holding on to my faith. Thank you so much! Best wishes!
Thank you for contacting the forum. I'm sorry to hear you have been suffering for so long but there are many of us here who will be able to offer advice. How awful that you have had PP for five years? We do understand and are here to help.
Do you have just one child? It's very worrying to hear that your Psychiatrist has not prescribed anything that has helped significantly. Did your psychiatrist diagnose PP? I'm sure you do feel stuck after such a long time.
I had PP twice many years ago with a gap of five years in between. I was treated in general psychiatric hospitals for approximately six months on both occasions. Have you been an inpatient during the five years you have had PP? After I came out of hospital it took me at least twelve months to fully recover and regain my confidence. Thankfully I had medical and family support.
I'm very sorry that your family don't understand and you feel miserable every day. It is difficult for some family members to understand as they can see you as perfectly normal, behaving in a very strange manner. When I recovered and my family described my behaviour when I was in the grip of PP, I thought they were talking about a completely different person. It's a very frightening illness and I can't imagine how you have coped without consistent medical intervention.
Please keep in touch with the forum as there will be lots of advice and support here for you. Try not to worry, we are here to lean on and help.
Take good care of yourself.
Hi lilybeth. Thanks for replying.. I realize everyone has a busy schedule, therefore thanks for taking the time to answer my question. Yes, I have one child, I had a tubal after giving birth to her because my physician thought I had cancer after some test were ran, however it was sarcoidosis. Actually, I was misdiagnosed with PPD in the beginning, I think it's due to where I live, mental health resources are very limited. This disease has crippled me beyond belief, however I'm still fighting because my daughter is worth it. I have a upcoming appt with a new psychiatrist, he's known to be a good, I have faith that he may be able to help me. It's been extremely difficult living with this disease, I haven't returned to work, I have issues with driving, I have issues with simple things that has never bother me before.. My husband is my primary support, he does his best , however he doesn't understand the severity of this disease.. My mother is deceased, my dad has never been supportive in my life but I trust in God, my faith & my religion is what has brought me this far.. Now, thanks to this forum, I feel much better about my illness & I'm more motivated after realizing there is real help with this illness.. Thanks again for responding.
Oh poor you! Five years is an awfully long time to be suffering from anything, let alone PP. I am so pleased you have found the forum and I'm confident you will learn a lot from the replies. There's nothing quite like talking to women who know exactly how you feel, who can offer you comfort and absolute understanding because we've all been there and know what you mean when you say 'miserable.'
I had PP eight years ago and it certainly is a life shattering illness. To give you hope, I recovered completely and even went on to have a second child, so the illness does often have a happy ending. With the right diagnosis, medication, treatment and support PP has a very good prognosis.
Can I ask you a few questions to get a better understanding of what you are going through? This will give us a better picture of what you are experiencing and we'll be better placed to compare notes and share thoughts.
Have you any previous history of mental illness before PP set in? What would you say your main symptoms are? Is the new psychiatrist you are due to see a perinatal psychiatrist and if on medication, what have you been prescribed? Sorry to ask so much, it's just so we can be more helpful.
Well done for continuing to fight, it's lovely to hear your daughter and your faith give you such strength. My family was also the main reason I was determined to get better. I often wondered where the old me had gone but again, to reassure you, with the right help, I came back even stronger than before and I am sure you will too. It may just take time.
Love to hear back from you when you feel you can and until then...
Hi JonsieB. Thanks for responding.. Your warm words are very encouraging.. To hear that you're better and went on to a second child is absolutely great, good for you and your family. To answer your question, no, I've never suffered with a mental illness before PP. The psychiatrist that I have a upcoming appt with isn't a perinatal psychiatrist to my knowledge. Is that the kind of psychiatrist I should seek? My symptoms are severe depression, which never goes away. I have severe racing thoughts, as well as insomnia. I have an very unusual fear of being alone. My mind is always stuck in one place, it's like I have no interest to do anything that I once did and enjoyed doing. My illness makes me feel as if I'm not really here, it's almost like I'm on auto pilot. It's very difficult to explain, however. Hopefully, I've explained it well enough to give you a general idea of what I'm suffering with. JonesieB, I truly appreciate your interest in my condition and your encouraging words.
You are so welcome Madideasia and I'm so pleased you are finding the forum useful. It's great to have company, especially from those who understand wholeheartedly.
There are also lots of husband who check in to the forum, so if your husband also needs a bit of support and wants to write, his post will fall on empathetic ears.
Good to hear more about the way you are feeling, your history and symptoms etc. It also brilliant you are seeing a new psychiatrist very soon so you can express all of your concerns to him/her. You may find it useful to write a list of questions down to take in to the appointment with you, so you have something to refer to if your mind goes blank on the day. Be as open and honest as you possibly can so you can paint a full picture and get a expert, clinical opinion on where you are at.
You explain your symptoms very well here and all that you describe, I can relate to despite my experience being shorter lived. What you are experiencing certainly reminds me of the aftermath feelings I had following the acute phase of PP which for me lasted about three months. My depressive phase passed quickly but I remember the insomnia and all through my PP I felt as if I was outside of myself looking in on a paler version of my former, more colourful self. It's very strange and unsettling. I'm hopeful if your new psychiatrist tweaks your medication in whatever way he/she fits, this imbalance may be addressed and hopefully you will start to get well again.
Hang in there and good luck at the appointment, is it this coming week?
Hi again JosieB. You're absolutely righ, I usually write everything that I'm feeling down because I usually can't think of what I need to on the day of my appt. my appt is in a couple of weeks actually. I hope I can maintain until then. If not, I have no problem admitting myself. When I become really I'll I don't allow my daughter to see me in such conditions. My daughter is exceptionally bright for her age and she's starting to express that she thinks I'm sad all the time, that really disturbs me, that's part of my motivation to get better sooner than later. I'm hanging in here as best as I can with the help of this forum. My New Years resolution is to get the appropriate help I need and not spend another year if my life in total misery. Again, thanks for your encouraging & positive words.
Good to hear from you. It is a problem if you have limited mental health resources but seeing a new psychiatrist should give you hope. Just let the psychiatrist know everything that is worrying you and explain how low you have been feeling. Hopefully you will be prescribed better medication and be reviewed to see how you are coping.
You have certainly had a lot of issues to deal with, not least losing your mother which must be very hard for you. I'm glad that your husband is supporting you as best he can. It is very difficult for him too, not knowing how to help when you are so low, having to watch as you have been in and out of hospital.
I'm sure the love of your daughter is a joy. Faith is a great comfort during such times of crisis.
Take good care of yourself and keep in touch.
Hi Lilybeth. What a beautiful name. Thanks for responding. That's my plan, to try and explain to the psychiatrist exactly how I'm feeling. Hopefully, this time the medication will work. Yes, losing my mother has been devastating, I lost her less than a year before I have birth to my daughter, I think that had a lot to do with the onset of this illness. However, my husband is very supportive. We're both in our mid 30's and this is new to the both of us, I'm sure that's the reason it's so difficult for him. Yes, you're absolutely right, my faith has carried me this far, the love of my daughter also. Thanks, for your comforting words. I've been trying to find a forum for people with PP for a long time now, I never imagined the support would be such an out pour. Thanks, may God bless you and your family!
I'm really glad to hear from you. I hope your appointment in a few weeks will give you hope for the future. Going through life feeling very low is not good for you and the new psychiatrist and team should be able to help and give you advice on how to cope with your moods.
I'm sorry to hear you have lost interest in things you once enjoyed, have racing thoughts as well as insomnia. Such a lot for you to cope with. so you have done very well to raise your daughter to be exceptionally bright. I'm sure she knows you love her very much and it's only natural that because she loves you too, seeing you sad makes her sad.
Try not to worry. with the right medical help and support from your husband you will be happy again. It may seem a long way off and it's all very well for me to say as I recovered years ago but it will happen for you. It is very difficult to understand why having a baby, which is a gift in itself, should lead to such a frightening experience.
I was very touched that although you are feeling low most of the time you sent your blessings. I can understand how much your faith means to you and it is something to rely on during this stressful time.
Take very good care of yourself. God bless you and your family too.
Lilybeth, wow. One thing I've noticed about you, you're a very good listener. That's a great trait to have. Although, I'm suffering so much I constant practice being the person I once was. I worked in the medical field for 12 years, I loved my patients to pieces & they loved me as well. That's one thing I haven't lost, I still love everyone & still want everyone to blessed. Thanks for responding, it truly gives me strength & hope. Yes, happiness does feel far away, however, I trust your words that there is help & I will get better.
Lilybeth, I forgot too add that I've been very blessed to raise such a smart, outgoing, caring & bubbly child. Although, I feel awful at times, I fight through it & we have tea parties, karaoke, play instruments, exercise, outdoor play, we eat together as a family every evening, paint, a lot of school work, I dote on her all the time, i volunteer at her school sometime, I give lots of motivation & love.. PP has affected me a great deal but I try very hard to give my daughter a good life. Thanks for the blessing & I'm trying very hard take care of myself. My goal is to get better & maybe I can be a volunteer one day because there will be another young lady like me that will benefit from my experience as I have from yours.
Thank you so much for your reassuring messages .......I'm glad to know that I'm helping in some small way. I can hear that you sound more positive about coming out of the shadows of this awful illness. It's such a shame that having devoted so much time in your medical career to patients and given them such good care, you have had to wait so long for professional help, although you have been in hospital three times in the past. That said, when you meet the new psychiatrist in a few weeks I hope you will receive the attention you deserve.
Your daughter is very blessed to have you as her mother, doing so many things to bring her happiness and fighting your own demons to do so. I hear how proud you are of her and you should be proud of yourself too that you are doing your best for your family. It's lovely to have family times, even at the dinner table, when you can all sit together and talk about the day each has had.
With the medical support from the new psychiatrist you will be able to look forward to better days for yourself. You have taken such good care of your family that it's now time for you to get help for yourself so that in time you will be well and can sleep peacefully. Your warm, bubbly character, good nature and blessings for everyone are hiding the daily struggle you have to cope with in your life. It's not easy for you at this time and it's hard to put on a 'happy' face to the outside world.
You have come so far. I'm sure you are trying to take care of yourself and I have every hope that this year will not be as miserable as the last, with the right care and attention. There are a few more sleepless nights ahead unfortunately before you meet the new psychiatrist but your goal is not too far away now. Perhaps thinking of when you recover and wanting to help other women who may be struggling will sustain you on the last part of this journey? I think your faith will carry you. Also, as you say, the love you receive from your family is your motivation, as well as all those people whose lives you have touched
Take very good care.
Lilybeth, your words are like words from one of Gods angels! Please continue helping others. I can't describe to you how your words touch me. After reading your post just now I instantly began to cry. You listen very well, you understand & you say the perfect words to uplift, inspire & encourage. I have often wondered why is it taking such a long time to get the proper medication, the proper answers & support from doctors, especially when I was great to my patients, however I try not to wonder too much and just accept, acknowledge & produce a plan that would work for me. I too hope that I will receive the medical attention I deserve. Lilybeth, I really appreciate your concern. You mentioned that I'm proud of my daughter, yes I am. You also mentioned that I should be proud of myself as well. You're absolutely I should, sometimes I am but the guilt creeps in & the proud moments leaves. Also, I do trust you when you say better days are ahead, it's difficult to think that but I do & that's part of my motivation as well. Thanks for your compliments. Once upon a time I was bubbly, most of that is gone but like you said I put on a happy face to please my family. However, I know I have to get myself well in order to give my family, God, myself & others the best of me with no stipulations. As you mentioned there's still a rough road but there will be better days & yes, my faith will continue to carry me. Also, thinking of helping others that might be a victim of this illness does help me as well. Lilybeth, you'll never know how you've helped. I felt so alone for five years, I finally feel as if someone understand. Thank you! You've deserve great things. You're family is so blessed to have you. Your spirit is warm & caring. You're very intelligent. I don't know your profession but I'm sure it had something to with helping others, I hope so anyway. I'm glad you made it out of the darkness, you so deserved. Please excuse my writing, it wasnt one of my best subjects. Lol!
Thank you again for your very kind words. We are all here for you.
I'm sorry that reading my last email made you cry but as you say when you hear someone else who understands what you are going through, it is such a relief. It's all those feelings you have bottled up for so long being released.
It was the same for me finding this forum where I can talk about my illness all those years ago, not being judged but understood, as we have all been in the same boat at some stage in our lives.
You are so right not to wonder why you have not had consistent help from the medical profession until now. As you say, it's better to let that go now as it's in the past and concentrate on a plan for recovery. In spite of everything you are so aware of what you need to do. You have acknowledged that feeling so low is not good for you and are entitled to feel better. I imagine getting an appointment with the new psychiatrist has been a big hurdle for you to overcome but you have been heard and will be seen, so well done! I'm sure when the time comes for the appointment you will be able to explain how you have felt for so long. Will your husband go with you for support as having his input will give the team an idea of how you are day to day, although you have kept how you really feel to yourself? Not to worry if not, from your descriptive posts I think you will do very well yourself! I'm sure your medical background will kick in and you will know just what to say.
I know some days are better than others and if you can't sleep it's a heavy burden you are carrying to get through each day isn't it? I know I can tell you not to feel guilty but I think it's just how women are, we expect so much even if we are in crisis ourselves. That said, I know you won't dwell on your guilt, it's just another element of your illness.
It's difficult for me to sit here and say all will be well when I can hear your distress which has gone on for so long. Many years ago this illness hit me twice and I was in despair that I would ever be well again. Rest assured that in time your warm, caring and generous nature, seen by your family, will return for everyone to benefit from.
Thank you for so many compliments and blessings, I'm not sure I deserve them all. I don't have a profession as such although working in a hospital environment, (only as a medical secretary) some years ago is a very happy memory. I'm still working but only part-time. Please excuse me too .... writing wasn't one of my best subjects either but you write so well!
Please keep in touch, your posts have lifted my spirits too. There are many here also who could probably give you links to helpful advice to take with you when you make your 'case' to the new Psychiatrist.
As always, take very good care.
GM Lilybeth! No need to apologize for my tears, your words were touching, that's all. Again, thanks for listening & responding, it means a lot. Yes, my husband will be going along with me for support, if he can't make it for some reason his mom will go. They are my support system. I don't know where I'd be without my husband & his parents. His father is retiring, he's offered to take my daughter to school some mornings so I can sleep in, he took her this morning. I'm sure that will help a lot. Also, I'm definitely carrying a heavy burden each day, sometimes it's overwhelming. As you said, this illness will definite make me you as if you'll never get better. I feel that way most days, however I remind myself that better days are ahead. I have to constantly remind myself that it's the illness talking. Thanks for the compliment, between this illness & my phone, I think my writing is horrible. I can't imagine writing wasnt one of your best subjects. I will keep in touch. It's great to know that my post lifts your spirits as your post does mine. I will take care & you do the same. Best wishes!
Good to hear from you. I'm really pleased you have the support of your in-laws as well as your husband. That sounds like a good idea to let your father-in-law take his grandaughter to school some mornings so you can rest. After all if you are not sleeping at night it's very hard to function during the day, especially as you are also battling against an illness? So having a rest now and then would be a big help.
Are you getting any help from a doctor with medication before you meet the new Psychiatrist? I'm really sorry that you are having such a hard time but I know you do your best to shield your daughter and family from seeing your distress. I think you have done so well for so long. I don't suppose there is any way that you can bring the appointment with the Psychiatrist forward so that you can be seen sooner? I'm sure with such support you will get better in time. Just take each day as best you can.
If you want to release your feelings, you can express them here rather than keeping them all in your head. We all understand and are walking this road with you. There is always hope and your Faith will carry you ... mine did.
It's not about how well we write is it ..... as long as we can express ourselves, which you do so well !!
Take very good care of yourself.
Hi Lilybeth.. It's always good to hear from you as well. I can't believe how much better I feel just being able to express myself & receive feedback. Yes, I have medicine from my medical doctor as well my former psychiatrist. As you mention sleep deprivation does make it very difficult to function but as you said I do my best. You asked is there anyway I can push my appt up any, I've been thinking about that, I need to check because that would be great, however if not, I'm gonna take it one day at a time as I fine for so long. Also, you're right, it's not about how well we write in this forum because there's no judgement here.. Thank you Lilybeth.. You're truly heaven sent. Best wishes to you & your family. It's snowing here in Alabama, we don't see this beautiful weather too much, my family & I are embracing it & enjoying this time together. My husband is off work & my daughter is out of school today & tomorrow..
Hi Madideasia, I'm so happy that our posts back and forth are having such a good effect (on you and me!!). You are doing so well to cope day by day. I'm not sure if you explain to your medical doctor how you have been struggling whether he / she could suggest to the Psychiatrist that you have an earlier appointment? If not though I'm sure you will just take it all in your stride as you have done for so long.
Wow, you're in Alabama ...... I was going to ask where in the world you are. I'm so happy you're having such a lovely family time in the snow. Here in the UK we panic when it snows ..... everything stops and it can be very cold .......... but viewed from a window it's very picturesque. You so deserve a great time, keep all your happy memories to look back on if the going gets tough.
This is the day when you're not hiding sadness behind a happy face ....... I can feel your genuine warm smile !!
Hi Lilybeth.. I'm so sorry it took so long for me to respond. I've been feeling a little worse in the past couple of days. However, thanks for your kind words. Our post have definitely helped me, it's good to know they're helping you as well. I have explained to my medical doctor but he always give me a something to help sleep which I can't seem to wake up from. Yes, I'm in "sweet home Alabama!" We panic when it snows as well, given the fact it only snow once a decade, it seems. Yes, I struggled a little but I did get some enjoyment when it snowed.. Thanks again & take care! You're a good person. I send you my best wishes!
I haven't been on the forum for a little while and have only just read your posts.
I am really feeling for you - and feeling quite angry and frustrated that you have obviously not had / are getting the right treatment and support to recover from the illness. It does sound like they may have not got the right medication for you? Also I wonder if others things other than medication would help- I received cognitive behaviour therapy with a psychologist whenever I needed it for example and also had a mental health worker I met weekly when I was really bad.
I really hope that when you meet the psychiatrist you can get the support you need - and perhaps you could ask for other support other than medication as well if you feel that would be helpful?
You will recover, I am sure, and I will be thinking of you and hoping that you get the right support.
Sunnyandwild, thanks so much for your concern! I was misdiagnosed in the beginning and that gave this illness time to worsen, however I've received the proper diagnosis now, so, hopefully, the new psychiatrist will get me on the right meds. This illness is horrible & overwhelming. The past couple of days have been rough but I'm still holding on. Yes, I definitely know I need some type of therapy. I truly don't think the meds are going to cure my illness. Thanks for thinking of me, responding to my post & wishing me well. Best wishes to you & your family!
Yes I would second that I definitely wouldn't have got better as quick as I have (it was probably a year and a half before I felt like my normal self) if I had not had therapy etc...I really hope that you can get access to that. Thats awful you were misdiagnosed at the beginning. Just really hope you get a good psychiatrist who will then connect you with other support other than from him/her. I wonder if there's a mental health team who can take you on and get you all the support? I know that you're in America and things are probably very different than here in the UK.
Really sorry to hear you have had a rough couple of days.
Sunnyandwild, I'm so glad that you're better, it's people like yourself that gives me courage and hope. I too hope that my new psychiatrist can get me connected with a good support team because I really need it. Yes, things are different in the part of the country I'm in, Alabama is behind all the other states. Thanks for everything Ellie. Take care! Best wishes!
Hello Madideasia, Never worry about taking your time to respond, it's only ever when you feel like it and have time. As you're feeling overwhelmed, sometimes the last thing you want to do is sit in front of a screen and try to make sense of it all. I'm pleased you are having a lot of support here and we are all thinking of you. Your appointment should be soon? You have come so far and hopefully the new Psychiatrist will have a good plan for your care.
Take very good care.
Hi Lilybeth, it's always good to hear from you. Thanks for understanding that it take a while for me respond. Thanks for the support, I need it & appreciate it. My appointment is soon & I'm praying that he has a good plan for me. For some reason I feel very hopeful, I haven't felt that way since I've had this illness. This forum has changed the way I feel about this illness because of you & the other supporters. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I can't say it enough.. best wishes.
I was sorry to hear you had a rough couple of days and I hope you are coping.
It's good to know that the support from everyone here is helping you. We are all behind you and hopeful that you will now receive the treatment you deserve. It's such a shame that as you say where you live is behind in the treatment and understanding of mental health but your courage, family and faith have carried you this far.
Take very good care, we are al here to lean on.