This is unbearable: Something is still... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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This is unbearable


Something is still wrong with me. The delusions I had during PP scared me so bad, that every now and then, I still think of them, and a wave of anxiety goes through me. I wish I could just forget them. Sometimes I wish they did bilateral ECT treatments instead of unilateral.

When I recently went back to the hospital, they declined to do ECT, they wanted me to try an antidepressant, and to come back in four weeks for ECT if I did not feel it was working. Well, now I am not so sure it was working, I think I was experiencing hypomania, and now I am slipping into a depression again.

My issue is that I am so tired of asking my mom to watch the kids. She has to ask off work to do it, my older sister is starting to resent it, and my oldest sister says I am taking advantage of my family and that I just need to "bootstrap" it and get over it. She says I need to stop running away to the hospital. It has been three weeks since they have given me the antidepressant. It would be next week that I would be admitted again to try ECT, which means two more weeks of my mom watching the kids. I can't bear much more of this, the relying on the family, the stress I am putting on them, the guilt I am harboring. I wish more than anything MBUs existed in the USA. I wish I could afford daycare for my oldest son. This is not fair. It really isn't. I want to just give up sometimes. I am such a burden to my family. I can't take it...

7 Replies

Sending virtual hugs. I'm so sorry to hear that you're still not doing well.

Going back over your delusions is quite normal. Try to remember that it's in the past. I know others have talked about CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) as being helpful. Also someone mentioned Mindfulness training as a way to help. For me I found sharing some of my strange experiences and thoughts with others. Although most of my delusions were not particularly negative just weird. So if you can find a good counsellor or psychologist that might help things.

We're all very aware of how our illness affected those around us. If you're comfortable they may find some supportive family members on here for them to share experiences with. It may also give them a different perspective on what you've been through and how important it is for you to receive their support.

Can you access any other government assistance or maybe look into charities that might provide some free childcare to give you and your family a break.

Just some thoughts. I hope that you start feeling better soon.

am in Australia, will tell you my care story so you know how rough you are getting should be asking for the world and you aren't getting it!! I had PP depression and anxiety with symptoms of psychosis and Obsessive compulsive disorder. Was in hospital for 6 weeks. Bub stayed upstairs in paediatrics as a border while I was in psych ward, when in the public hospital. After 3wks got transferred to private hospital which specialises in mother baby problems, baby roomed in with me. Didn't cost me anything. but not many places for patients IN the hospital system. I was on an antipsychotic anti anxiety for months, started lowering the dose at about a year after coming out, and very very slowly. While in the private hospital, my diagnosis was altered to include the intrusive images I had which psych said were part of PPOCD, so fluvoxamine maleate was added. Over the three weeks I was there, they monitored my symptoms very very well...what I would dare tell them :-) and each slight increase in my medication they watched me closely to see what would happen. They have a really tight time frame of three got to get you better quick and get you out the door, so it did mean I began to get better very very quickly. I saw the same psych weekly then fortnightly then monthly etc after leaving. And again medication would be adjusted and monitored carefully, within a few days, not waiting a month. I also saw a psychologist in this time. And my husband did most of the in-home care and responsibilities for the first few months after I was out. We also had friends cook for us. And we tried very hard not to expect much, like no holidays, not too many visitors, not too much visiting, very very stable, comfortable etc. Its really normal to get depression after psychosis. And to also get anxiety. And for it to take about 6 months, my family doctor said, to feel like the world isn't about to drop out from under your feet again.

I'm saying all this because I'm cross for you see how much help I had!! And it was still damn hard. Still get poopy, crabby, tired. Still learning to see how I am feeling and how to make choices about what I do about that. And it is the same for you. You are allowed to say "no actually I am not running off to the hospital....I'm experiencing these symptoms and I have been told by my doctors that this is what I am supposed to do about them. I'm fine actually, I'm doing what my doctors have told me." If you had cancer and had a relapse, or a broken leg and found you couldn't walk after it was supposed to heal...of course you would go back to your doctor to say something isn't quite right!

sofie in reply to sofie

AND, haven't finished ranting yet :-) your feelings about the delusions and about your sister, how they both make you feel anxious, is partly a symptom of how you are. The emotional strength of the memories is a pretty good indicator you are still getting well, still have some way to go. And feeling like you are a burden, and starting to get down about circumstances, is also likely partly a symptom of being depressed too. It sounds pretty classic; feeling like your family would be better off without you. Of course you will still have an emotional response when you are well, but the strength of the feelings is much greater when you are unwell. As you get better the memories' hold will fade. Mine have. And when they come back strong...its b I am in a bit of a dip.

And lastly, it doesn't sound like you are asking anything of your sister, so really whether you are 'taking advantage' has nothing to do with her at all. Ask your mum if you are concerned. Am sure it could be a lovely conversation about how much you appreciate it, it means the world to you, but you're worried and don't want to be a burden. If it's fine with your support people, then that's all there is to it.

Re your sister, sometimes people get scared, some of my family did, and would be dismissive of how I was feeling. They couldn't understand or see or didn't want to see how awful it was, and so would say things that were unintentionally hurtful. I got better at realising my mum esp was very scared of what I was going her day, kids would have gone off to other relatives to live, husband might have lost his job if he had to care for you etc, and she had NO experience of facing difficult feelings. So, she wasn't much help :-P....maybe in some way something is going on for your sister. But like I said earlier, like with any major major disease, you are going to take a long time to get better and are going to be in 'caretaker' mode for awhile, as you gently monitor and manage your recovery.

Really hope some of this helps you feel like you are doing a great job, and that you can stand up for what you need. Best wishes, prob from the other side of the world? if you are in America.


Hello TwounderTwo

I know it's very unfair sorry you are having a stressful time. It's all part of the ups and downs of your illness unfortunately. Try to think of the positives .... you are looking back on your delusions and not experiencing them. In time you will look back, without being scared, and think 'Wow did I really do that ... was that really me?'

Perhaps the medical team think you have done so well with the ECT treatments you have had so far that's why they want you to try antidepressants? You are much more self aware than I was and so I needed the full course of ECT as unlike you I was on the self-destruct planet. I think you should speak to your care team as soon as you can about how worried you are about slipping into depression.

I know it's very hard for family to make sense of what's happening to you. Sometimes there are unhelpful comments which are said in the heat of the moment. How wonderful it would be to simply "bootstrap" your illness and get over it. In the very early days of my illness when my bed became my sanctuary I well remember my sister coming into the room, pulling the covers off my bed and telling me to 'pull myself together'. If only ..........

Try not to feel guilty. Have the medical team explained PP and effects in detail to your family so that they understand how much you need their support right now? You are not a burden, I'm sure you would be supportive of your sisters if they were in your shoes?

I was under general psychiatric care, before the days of MBU's, and eventually made a full recovery. Hold on ...... you have come so far and gone through so much to give up now.

Take very good care of yourself.

Hi there

I can understand how you feel, as I had PPP twice and have never got over it.

All I can tell you is that you will feel better on day

Sorry I can't be more help to you


Hey dear TwoUnderTwo

Feeling for you so much right now. Many of us have felt this desperate at times too. I want to encourage you if you are feeling like life is not worth living please seek help as soon as you can - call your mental health team and maybe use the support of a national helpline (we have the Samaritans in the uk who really helped me at my lowest)

I so understand the way you feel you shouldn't 'burden' family but I want you to imagine for a moment how it would be if a family member had cancer. You would all rally round and help with the kids right? Even through treatment, relapses, as long as it took... PP is an illness just the same, not a weakness and recovery can be a complicated journey.

I know healthcare in the States can be woefully inadequate but I wonder if your health care team can advise you on getting some talking therapy/counselling? It sounds like your delusions were really upsetting and it could be really helpful to talk this through - it's such a shock when our minds create such powerful beliefs and it's natural to need some time to come to terms with this. Charitable organisations often offer free or low-cost counselling so do ask your care team if they know of anywhere.

You are right - PP is not fair and it's not in any way youe fault. But there is hope beyond this hard time. You can emerge stronger than you ever realised and happiness will be more precious when it begins to return. I know it's so hard to hold on to hope right now but all of us here are holding your hand virtually and willing you on. This will get better. It's OK to lean on people right now. You would do the same for them.

As for 'pull yourself together'... if only it were that easy. For now just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Strength will return in time.

Naomi x


Hello TwounderTwo,

How have you been coping since your last post? Has your care team decided that you should continue the ECT or have you coped on antidepressants? I'm sure it's a very stressful time for you right now but we are here to help if we can.

Take very good care.

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