Wife suffering from Post psychosis.. Need advise...Please help with your thoughts and experiences

We had our first baby on 4-Jan-2014, after that my wife started exhibiting some strange behavior disorder ( actually before pregnancy also she used to think a lot about any issue.. so I thought may be she is thinking too much ) . But later it got extended too much that she left home and started living with her family. There also she was very violent with everyone and the strange thing was that she always tried to run from home. ( now I know that patient who suffer from PP can't sit and relax,, they always have some strange feeling inside .. something creepy happening inside their body that they feel restless... is anyone suffered the same feeling ? ) 4-5 time we had very hard time finding her .. Oh god that was very bad phase... some of the time she has created such a scene that cops intervene and she got complaints against her own father.. very bad phase.. then we thought its going too bad... we then consulted best psychiatrist in the town ( July 2014 ).. He diagnosed it as PP.. and started with Invega injections.. those were very helpful and with 4-5 months she recovered a lot.. but now again PP symptoms are back ( actually we discontinued injection and switch to medicine one reason was coz she was very fine and also injections shots have severe adverse effects.. her mensuration cycle stopped, she didn't have cycle for 4 continuous month .. and now also ) but now she is exhibiting the same PP symptoms again.. doing the same thing from last 3 days.. doctor say this is coz she must have skipped medicine ....now he say lets put her on injections again but I am reluctant coz of those she has mensuration issue and her weight has also increased gradually.. I need advise is this right I mean is he right in saying that she must have missed medicine that's why symptoms are back again...or is it due to some stress that she might have taken.. when I asked my wife now ( when she is under PP symptoms again ) she say YES she has skipped medicine,, she can't tell the exact number of days...

So please help me in advising on this------

1. Can PP come backs again if there is any level of stress OR is it due to skipped medicine?

2. How long she should be on medicine, we had our baby in Jan 2014 and now its december, but we started her medicine In July 2014?

3. lets say if its due to skipped medicine,, what will be the recovery process..? will she be fine in some days after taking regular medicine as she was few days back or she needs to start fresh and again the process take months ?

3. Please share any advise if you think will be good for me in this stage and later on ..

Your advise will be highly appreciated

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15 Replies

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  • Hello Jaskaran.

    It sounds like it's been a very hard year. I'm glad you've found this forum.

    I'm certainly no expert on medication but I imagine there would be quite a high risk of relapse if medication was just stopped suddenly before your wife was ready. I was on medication for a year before reducing off them but everyone is different; I reacted well to the drugs I was on. Listen to what the doctor advises, I know side effects can be very unpleasant but if they are manageable they are probably preferable to your wife becoming very unwell again.

    I don't know how long it will take for your wife to stabilise on the medication again but hopefully as she has adapted to them once it won't be so long this time round.

    Have you got lots of support? I hope so. Things will get better again, don't lose hope.

  • Hi J-B-55,

    Thanks for the guidance, actually my wife skipped the medicine deliberately and we only came to know when she start exhibiting the same symptoms again.. you are right doctor also advises her the same -- My doctor said that the day she started showing improvement count from that day to 1 year, so in her case it should be Sept 2015. But as due to her negligence and reluctance to medicine this thing came back again.... and 1 more thing doctor said that medicine have instant high effect as compared to injection which are slow in process .. So we thought will give 1 try again now and will keep hawk eye on her that she dare not skip this time....anyways it was good to see your response, these kinds of forums are really good and mind relaxing for people like us who is facing this problem for the first time and don't know how to react and manage.. I read couple of articles and its very motivating .....people who are running these forums their job is highly appreciated....

  • Hello Jaskaran,

    My wife suffered from PP in June 2013 following the birth of our daughter. She was admitted to an MHU (mental health unit) for 10 days. Following this, she had a relapse in June of this year unrelated to any pregnancy which resulted in a three week stay in a MHU.

    In answer to your questions:

    In our experience, it can affect my wife outside of normal medication. It is related to her mentsrual cycle and stress levels at those times of heightened hormones. She did say she stopped taking her meds however the illness had already taken hold at that point.

    2. A year and a half on, my wife is still on meds. We have been told there is a possibility she will be on anti-psychotics for life. Better than the alternative though. She has never had injections.

    3. It really depends on the individual to be honest. My wife took three weeks to finally come round to be semi normal again after missed meds and to be released from the MHU. She is slowly being reduced her meds since her discharge in July 2014.

    4. Stay positive. Look after yourself. Make sure you have friends and family around you to support you as well. She will come through it and out the other side. Think of triggers. Keep an eye out for them and avoid or negate them as much as possible. Esp around certain times in her menstrual cycle.

    Hope this helps a little.

    Ollie

  • Hi Ollie,

    Thanks for the response.. Actually for her, case is little different she missed her cycles coz of the injection shots ( from august-till now ) which I consulted have adverse effect . We go for injection in early stage coz to avoid risk of any skipping of medicine and also injection has slow impact as compared to medicine which has instant results....so when everything got smooth we thought now its time for regular medicine. and also as per discussion with doctor. but to my surprise is that missing medicine for few days can have such a big impact.. now I am extra conscious ...not sure how long we need to continue with this medicine.. :-(

    Thanks for the help...

    Jaskaran

  • Hi Jaskaran,

    I hope things are ok.

    Is your wife starting to respond to the medication again? Is she doing ok taking it? It's hard, it's not nice being on any medication, especially when it has side effects and stops you feeling like 'you'. I hope she can see that it's needed and is better on it than off.

    Sending you best wishes and I'm glad you are finding the forum helpful.

  • Hello J-B-55,

    Indeed medicines are making their impact ...Its been more than a week and she is feeling much better, now she feels weakness and sometimes vertigo. I tried to put things into her brain that skipping medicines has severe effects on her and she needs to continue for months. Lets see how things proceeds further.. I will surely update on her condition and thanks for your kind words..

    I am just trusting GOD on this , God may let this time pass for us....

  • Hi Jaskaran,

    I'm glad your wife is feeling better this week, it must be a relief to have things more settled now.

    Well done for stressing the importance of medication to her, she really needs to know that she needs them to stay well at the moment. Is this the first time she's taken meds or was she diagnosed with anything before? As you've probably read here, medication is different for everyone & different policies for different countries too. What country are you in? Lots of us here took/take it for different lengths of time - some for 1 year, I took them for 2 yrs & some for long term. If your wife needs it longer term then don't worry, it'll probably be different from what she's taking now or in different doses etc. the main thing is that she's monitored & you both keep talking regularly to her Doctor so he/she can adjust things if need be.

    Side effects of some meds can be awful for a bit but I think they tend to settle down after a few weeks so sometimes it's just a case of hanging in there. If they don't settle or are unbearable, definitely have a chat with her doctor. I remember having the vertigo/dizziness that you describe too for a while, it was awful but it went after a few weeks. The weight gain was terrible too but that was a small price to pay for staying well & actually my weight came off pretty quickly when I was well again - you could reassure your wife that she needn't worry about weight gain as the physical side can be sorted later when she feels mentally ready? I'm not a health professional but don't think interruption in menstrual cycles is too much to worry about either. Mine stopped for a year due to medication (I think) & they restarted totally fine when my dose was reduced, again chat to her doctor about this if you haven't already. There's a good website here about medications & side effects: choiceandmedication.org/ncmh/

    Great advice from Desthemonkey above about triggers (stress, lack of sleep etc.?), it's always good to try & limit these where you both can. Also about looking after yourself too, it takes such a toll on everyone so it's super important you relax & take time out for yourself too. If you haven't seen it yet there's this excellent guide for partners: app-network.org/wp-content/... The later chapters 'Recovery After PP' & 'Planning for the Future' might be particularly useful for you.

    It sounds like you're doing such a great job caring for her, getting information & monitoring her - well done! Hang in there, you'll both get through this.

  • Hi Andrea,

    Thanks for the response. Things are much better now with her as she is taking medicine regularly. I had very hard time in convincing her that this is all happening coz she skipped the medicine , same said by the doctor. Now its my full duty to ask her everyday thrice whether she had taken the medicine or not. I will try to answer your questions

    1. This is the first time she started taking medicine , in our family or with my in-laws this is the first ever case of PP, and we all didn't knew about this or have any clue what PP is

    2. We are in India, as per doctor he also stressed on taking it for more than a year from the time of improvement.

    Actually, I am bit nervous sometimes, what if someone skipped the same in year time the way she did for few days and the symptoms came back. I now we can't predict future or have control over it but sometimes when I think it makes me feel weak , what if someday we are so busy with our lives that medicine get skipped , then what will happen ? is missing for a day have such big impact ?

    likewise I read here , people who have PP , need to be very careful in planning their future kids?

    I think the more I know about PP , the more I am getting tensed. This is not so common illness in India as far as I know,maybe this is the reason for my worries.

    Not sure what is planned for us by loving Almighty.

    Anyways, it was always good to see your responses and courageous fighting spirit. God Bless you all with good health and prosperous Life..

  • Hello Jaskaran,

    I'm glad that things have settled down. You're bound to feel anxious that the same thing will happen again and what the future might hold. I only took one tablet a day and I got confused even with that! I set an alarm as I kept forgetting to take it on time and would remember quite late, and even then I'd sometimes not be able to remember if I'd actually taken it or just thought about it. I remember a couple of occasions frantically trying to work out from the packet how many I'd taken since my last prescription to work out if I'd taken it that day or not. I did forget on one occasion and realised the next day. My dad (a GP) advised me to wait and just take the next one as normal (it might be worth asking the doctor what you should do if it does happen) - I definitely felt a bit funny that day but was fine once I'd taken that day's tablet. So try not to worry about accidentally missing one dose, I'm sure it won't have the same effect as stopping for a few days. If you like lists (I do), maybe you could tick off each time it's time for meds, to prompt you not to forget and to reassure yourself she has taken them? Anything just to try and feel less pressured that it's all down to you?

    In regard to future pregnancies, you'll find lots of information on this site and APP about this. Your wife is at increased risk of having PP with a subsequent child as she's had it once. My husband and I are still undecided about a second child (our son is 2 and a half) and have done a lot of research etc. and discussed the risks and options with a perinatal psychiatrist over here. You obviously don't need to be thinking about it yet but there are lots of options and ways to be prepared if PP did hit again. It's a decision everyone will come to differently and you'll decide what is right for you so don't worry about that now.

    It's a very anxious time and hard to come to terms with everything but you'll get there.

    You're doing a wonderful job supporting your wife, I hope you're getting plenty of support too as it's very hard on partners.

    Take care.

  • Hang in there! My husband was my rock through my experience. Things will get better.

  • Hi Jaskaran,

    I'm sorry to hear that things have been tough, but as Jennifer says, hang in there! My husband too was my absolute rock and I honestly don't know what I'd have done without him. From taking care of our baby when I literally was out of my mind with the illness and couldn't do a thing for anyone, to helping out with things when I got home and was recovering, to just cuddling me and telling me things would be alright. It's so hard for husbands as they experience everything too and often don't have any support themselves. I hope you are taking care of yourself as well as your family.

    To try and answer some of your questions - in my experience I was advised to be very cautious when reducing medication and to do it over a long period of time. Overall I was on an anti-psychotic all be it in a reducing dose for about a year or more. And I also took Lithium as a mood stabiliser for just over 3 years. At the time I hated it and saw it as the illness dragging its feet and was pretty resentful of the doctors keeping me on it. I also gained weight but I am slightly too busy with my family and work to do much about it - plus I enjoy food and see that life is too short, I will diet and exercise more tomorrow! But I can see it was for the best and I have been well and medication free for about 2 years now - and also had another baby with no recurrence of the PP.

    Everyone is different but along with childbirth, I was advised that stressful events or other triggers could make me ill again. Whilst you can't live life in a bubble, I have tried to do all I can not to be stressed and it has worked for me to date. Look after yourselves and each other and I think you can't go far wrong.

    Take care

  • Thanks for the kind words J-B-55 , Jennifer and Spannerb.

    I would not say its good to know your experiences ,but in a sense its always helpful and learning experience from the one's who have faced the same ( wish good health for you guys ).

    Things are pretty stable now, but still lot more to recover. Will let you know guys..

  • Hi I no exactly, how your wife is feeling,I went through the same,& was,very ill.after the birth of my baby,I was physcotic,didn't no I had had a baby,went missing ,running away,went like a little girl again,so weird to feel this awful painful illness,now answering your questions,1. Yes pp can come back again. It is due to the change around from going from injections to meds that can course a physcotic,exposed,also if your wife had missed doses of meds,that to can do the same,it's all a bit of a mix up.the change from injections to meds can make a huge impact on the brain,it's about getting the switch over,done properly,your wife needs to take the meds for at least one week 2 weeks properly to get them into her system,n to rest sleep n eat,after a week if she is restless n still hearing or behaving strangely you should take her bk to doctors to either increase meds or put her bk on injection.u see her body is used to that,it's very hard to switch from injections n meds,make sure she sleeps eats good food rests,if she can sleep that is key to getting through the pain she is suffering.hope this helps.....goodluck......

  • From the last 2 months, the day I posted my query over this blog and talked about relapse /missing of medicine. I notice some strange thing not sure if that's correct or not. During last of every month, she feel little anxious and behave strangely and say she hear bad voices or thoughts coming to her mind, the very first of this behavior I noticed in last week of December ( I posted my query here after that ) , I saw same behavior during last week of Jan also, I am sure she hasn't miss her medicine, I consulted with doc and told same thing but guess he hardly feels the same ,am I thinking too much on this or is this normal to have little symptoms during last few days or is it coz of medicine cabgolin ( medicine to start the periods ) .

    Any body have any advise... ( she feels little anxious during last week of month , I noticed this from last 2 months. )

  • Hello jaskaran, Sorry to hear your wife is having such a hard time. It must be stressful for you to see her so unwell. As your wife is in the grip of PP it's very hard for her to know what's happening. She is probably just as worried about her strange behaviour as you are, though she's probably not as aware.

    Did you have a look at the link sent by Andrea about medications and side effects? Perhaps she needs an adjustment to her medication. Hearing voices is a frightening experience for your wife and you must speak to the doctor and make sure he takes notice and supports you at this difficult stage in her recovery.

    Make sure you take care of yourself too.

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