New to group postpartum psychosis

Hello I am new to the group and had do have a serious case of pp , at my worst I didn't recognise my baby my husband my mum I thought people we're doing bad things to me I thought I was dying the list could go on I was very violent I went through such a bad time before I got any help of anyone .. I'm at home now trying to mend my self I'm finding it very hard to bond with my little girl as in hospital I was away from her for 2 weeks when she was first born , also I'm on 15m of olazapine at night time have done for 3 months now anyone else on the medication ? And how long for , I also have clonazipam when I need it to carm me down as I have anxiety attacks thinking back on what happend to me at night time I find it hard to sleep as it's always on my mind the bad things I done or thought or what I was scared of I have nightmares ,.. Any advice just to help me get over this ordeal . Do keep my mind of the bad things thank you ladies. Xx

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  • Hi Kirstielou,

    Welcome to the forum. Things will honestly get easier and you will get better. We all understand.

    How long have you been home for? Were you in a mother and baby unit or hospital? Do you have plenty of ongoing support now that you're at home?

    You've been through a massive trauma and it will take a while to process everything that has happened. You may find it helpful to read about other people's experiences on here, it may be too soon for you to want to do that yet.

    I know it's really hard but anything you may have said or done wasn't your fault, it was the illness. I'm sure the nightmares will fade in time, it must all be so fresh at the moment. I still have the occasional flash back, particularly to emotions.

    I don't have experience with the medications you're on but I'm sure others will be able to help. I took a different antipsychotic, quetiapine, for just over a year.

    The bond with your daughter will come. I'm sure you'll also get lots of good advice here about things that might help with this.

    It will take some time but you will get through this. I found talking about things helped me a lot but everyone's different. We're all here for you though.

    Sending you very best wishes x

  • Hello Kirstie

    It must be a relief for you to have found the forum and I hope we can help you over this ordeal. Like many of us, it sounds as if you have been through the mill with the ups and downs of PP.

    It's very early days for you, so try not to worry about bonding with your daughter. I had PP twice many years ago and was separated from my sons as I was sectioned into general psychiatric care. It took me well over twelve months to find my feet and I did worry about the bonding issue. I think when you are feeling much better in yourself, you will begin to build a bond with your daughter. For now, you should be very proud that you have come this far and you need take care of yourself.

    Do you have an ongoing care plan or can you discuss your anxiety attacks with your GP? It's important for you to seek support for yourself so that you can 'mend', especially if you are not sleeping well. Do you think it would be too early to consider talking therapy, i.e. CBT, so that you can talk about all the thoughts in your head and how you genuinely feel? I'm sure you have very good family support from your husband and mum.

    There are insider guides on this site which might be helpful, "Recovery after PP" and "PP - A Guide for Partners". Sorry I'm not too good with links but I'm sure some of the other mums here will be able to help. There is also a post entitled "Delusions of Grandeur and other religious experiences" which you should find if you do a search. This will give you an idea of the delusions some of us had, all very frightening and real to us at the time.

    I hope you will be able to sleep tonight. We are all here for you to lean on.

    Take good care of yourself.

  • Hi Kirstielou

    Welcome to the forum also. I hope you'll find it a really helpful and supportive place, and will help you to feel not so alone. I know that it's helped me in so many ways.

    I'm so sorry to hear you had such a rough time with the PP. From my experience PP was such a huge trauma, and like you I also had it very acutely too - basically completely loosing my mind, myself, felt completely stripped, and thought I would never be myself again. It is a long road of recovery but you will get better, slowly and surely. You will have more and more good days, and already you've made such good progress, as others have said.

    I too suffered anxiety, and also depression, and even now I have memories and flashbacks occasionally of the psychosis, and I am still working through everything that happened, and reflect on the whole experience a lot. To give you hope though 3 years on I am so happy, and myself again, and have an amazing relationship with my son. I hope you will find so many experiences on here that will give you hope for the future and your recovery.

    As others have said you really have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about though, it is just the illness, but I also know how hard it is not to feel guilty or bad for things you thought and did. Advice for you what can help? I did find it helpful to talk to people about it - professionals and friends and family I can trust.

    I too am wondering what support you have? Do you have support from a mental health team who you can speak to regularly? - just thinking to get support with those memories, and the feelings they evoke. Do you have access to therapy (e.g. CBT) as Lilybeth mentioned? I found this invaluable and was such an important part of recovery, but know that not everyone has access to it. I also found it really important to have a routine, e.g. around the care of baby (bath at the same time etc) but also just create little jobs for myself in the house and make myself do them even though I had to force myself to. just achieving very small things every day and having a bit of focus helped to take my mind of things, and to help me feel that I was managing in some way. Does that make sense??

    Re bonding with your daughter, this will get better I am sure. I think most of us have struggled with this, I found that as he got older he was obviously more able to express himself, the bonding got easier, I know others have said this too, especially as as he got older it was so obvious how much he loved me and how attached he was to me.

    Re meds I was on Olanzapine also. I found this worked well for me in terms of taking away the psychosis, but it did leave me feeling very tired, I was often in bed by 9pm. I was on it for about a year, and slowly reduced it over a few months before I was taken off it. I was also on an anti depressant as I was depressed quite badly afterwards. one thing I would say about meds is to really follow what your psychiatrist recommends, and also perhaps not rush to get off them, I did find they were really important to remain healthy and to recover, and that my psychiatrist was really good at listening to me and reducing when I wanted to - but carefully. Do you have a psychiatrist, and do you feel they listen to you and explain things well?

    Take care, I hope you have found some of this helpful

    X

  • Hi how r you feeling now ,is things,any better for you,it's a very hard illness to go through,I to was hospitaltized,didn't know I had a baby.it is very scary ,I know how you feel,it's very painfull emotionally,take your meds, sleep if you can n rest,also eat good food.sometimes having a night nurse helps with nightmares. Be kind to yourself,do nice things something simple like have a relaxing bath,or read your fav magazine,it will take time, n patience, it will get easier.all the best babe........

  • Hi Kirstie,

    I can relate to u about thinking your vaby died. When they were evaluating me at the ER I had a delusion that I had a miscarriage(it was aactually me peeing in a bedpan) and I didnt believe my baby was alive until my husband brought in pics to the hospital a week after I was admitted.I also thought myself and my family died in a car crash, and many other delusions I think about often. I was admitted to the hospital twice. Once for pp once for depression. I was there for 16 days this was back in April. Iused to think about my hospital stay continuously throughout the day. Going back to work helped even though it was a humongous struggle the first two months. But slowly I got used to working again and the work got a lot of the memories out if my head. The one thing that helped me cope with the memories and process them was to talk to family and friends about my experience. The most helpful has been my therapist. I love her! She is the third therapist I saw the first two werent a good fit. She is also someone who specializes in post partum mood disorders. I dont know if u have a cbt therapist like the others have mentioned but I definitely feel like she has been a bug help in my recovery.

    I too have had struggles with bonding issues. Several times I have cried to my husband saying I wish he was never born and my life was so much better before he was here. I feel horrible for thinking those things. But im also glad I had someone who understood me that I could say it to rather than bottling it up. I am much betterbonded with him now but it has taken a lot of time and still isnt perfect.

    I also was on invega for 6 months. I had a really hard time being on the anti psychotic. I was extremely tired. I seemed drugged to other people. All my emotions were numed. I had two really bad car accidents that were my fault. Where I ran the red light cause I was in such a daze and it totalled the cars both times. That was a majo set back in my recovery. I ended up being taken off of the invega due to hormone issues. I feel a lot better off but I was warned about a relapse from my psychiatrist.that was my last psych doctor I got a new one that I like much better and I feel like listens to me.

    My advice to you is take it slow. Find things that work for you. (Exercising,meditating,reading, and podcasts have helped me)

    If you have a care team make sure they areall helpful and are on your side. They are there to make you better! Recovery is a long process. I know im still rrecovering, bit it does get better. I never believed other people and thought I was the exception but its true. Good luck to you!

  • Hi kirstielou09

    I'm really glad you've had such good advice and supportive replies already. I'm sorry to hear that you had such a traumatic time, PP can be a very scary experience for you and all your family.

    I thought you might like to read the Recovery Guide that Lilybeth mentioned - it has lots of practical tips about things you can do with your baby to help feel that you are regaining confidence and to help with bonding. Here's the link:

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

    How have things been for you this last couple of weeks? Are you feeling quite tired on the Olanzapine as I know this is a side-effect that many of us have had? As Darcey said, resting, taking meds, eating good food and just being kind to yourself are really important in these early stages of recovery. Take it really steady and remember that recovery is a process that takes time, be patient with yourself. For practical tips on building the bond with your baby like baby massage, skin-to-skin time and playing/chatting with your baby it might be worth asking if your health visitor can pop round to chat to you and show you some things you can do to rebuild that physical contact. I found baby massage and swimming really helpful as it gave me back some of that 'cuddle time' that I had missed.

    All the very best

    Naomi

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