Hi, I had post partum psychosis 6 months ago and am still on anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medication, I have come off the anti-anxiety meds. I'm feeling loads better but I'm having a difficult time as a close friend has just had a baby. I'm finding that I'm feeling really jealous that she's getting to have a normal experience and experience all that early bonding that I missed out on. I know I should be happy for her but I can't help but compare our experiences and it's making me feel down about my illness again. Any advice?

11 Replies

  • Hello Chaplk

    I'm glad to hear you are feeling better after PP six months ago but sorry you are feeling a bit down about your illness. It does seem unfair when we see or hear that friends and family members have sailed through pregnancy and birth and yet as PP mums we have had to battle our way through all that the illness throws at us.

    I had PP twice many years ago whilst my sister also had two children and was not struck by PP.

    I think you are so good to be 'out' and communicating after only six months as with my first PP I was in hospital for six months., the majority of which I spent without my baby. Thankfully I have a great bond with my sons, who are now adults and their hugs priceless.

    I can see how your friend's experience makes you feel you have missed out but you should be very proud of how far you have come and how much you have endured to be where you are today.

    Take good care of yourself.

  • I really feel for you. I suffered PP with my second child and severe postnatal depression with my first. I must admit that I am still very jealous of other mums who seem to sail through pregnancy and the postnatal period. My only consellation is that I have great bonds with both my children (maybe even more than those who had such an easy time ). It's still early days for you so don't be so hard on yourself. You may have missed a bit but you have so many more lovely times to come. X

  • Hi Chaplk,

    I agree that it's still early days for you. I think we all have those painful feelings at some point. Just looking at how easy it is for other mums who seem to sail through it all & don't realise how lucky they are when it was the total opposite for us, is incredibly hard. Seeing mums breast-feeding newborns & happily chatting with friends in cafes was really upsetting for me - just another one of those things I missed out on.

    But this all does ease up though, as you gradually think things through & come to terms with everything. To me this was one of the phases of my healing & it just took time to get through. I also felt a lot of hurt & anger that such an awful thing had happened & I had a lot of , 'why me?' questions. These feelings of anger & jealousy etc. do go with time, just try not to compare the experience you had with others who weren't ill (they're just not in the same league!). As Lilybeth says, try to focus on how far you've come & be proud. I love this line from Bea1973, " have so many more lovely times to come", it's very true. I also found it helped to look forwards & not backwards too much. Just hang in there, it will ease up soon.

  • Hi there, I want to say I can sympathize with you. I had pp a year ago. Recovery has been a slow increase week by week. One of my best friends had severe ppd and anxiety but recovered in only a few months. She really helped me in my recovery but I still felt jealous and also didnt like to hear her complain about her ppd because I thought you never had it as bad as me. Im jealous of pregnant ladies because I was so happy during my pregnancy. Im jealous of people with more than one child because they didnt have to struggle with the first. My jealousy is impriving it used to be really bad at the 6 m mark where u are. I talk about it a lot with my counselor. A couple things that help me is remembering we cant feel how others are feeling. They might be struggling too. Maybe not your friend(lucky!) But the mom we see at the park that looks so happy...maybe that morning she didnt want to get out of bed that day. I also think ladies with pp are so strong we are battling an illness that most people couldnt tolorate! Im getting to a point in my recovery where I am somewhat thankful for my experience. Im not there yet but it has cause soooo much growth for my mind body and spirit. And I have learned what the vows sickness and in health mean. Take care.

  • I spoke to a friend the other day who is suffering ppd and she commented that she is jealous of how everyone else interacts and loves her baby. I suffered pp following 2 children and my first born was untreated. I suffered severe memory loss and couldn't interact for the first 3 years. Knowing this I said to my friend - what are you doing to create that bond and loving feeling. I said try to go to mummy group, not to necessarily make friends with mums, but to have complete interaction and focus on baby. Every time the burst of love shines through the depression, write a small memoir and date it for a keepsake jar. When you look at these mums who 'sail' through, remember we all have our own difficulties, struggles, advantages and disadvantages. Yes I have experience pp twice and the horrendous depression that develops following- but my husband tells me it is part of my life journey, what makes me who I am. Following pp, I have developed strong empathy towards mental illness, I have spoken to hundreds of mums about ppd, and so many of us suffer mental illness antenatally, post natal, when children leave the nest, menopausal.... Don't beat yourself up, you will recover, just focus on your lovely baby, eating well, sleeping and getting enough exercise in daylight. Good luck xx

  • Hi Chaplk

    I wanted to write and reiterate a bit what others have been saying. I would most definitely say the feelings you express are very natural having had PP, they were certainly what I experienced during recovery and still do at times. You are at a relatively short point in your recovery - it took me at least a year and a half to recover well enough, to get over the depression that followed the psychosis etc.

    I most definitely felt jealousy. I belonged to an NCT group and felt jealous of what appeared to be their easy life, the bond they had with their babies, the way they breastfed, the joy they had with their babies and on maternity leave... it was very painful to be with them and other mum's at one point. I also felt so jealous of women who really enjoyed their maternity leave, I was depressed more or less the whole time.

    But I would echo what others say - you should be massively proud of everything you have been through, and it sounds like you are recovering, and progressing... and I promise you those feelings will fade. For me they have been a natural part of the healing / grief process. I am nearly four years down the line and I can honestly say hand on my heart that I have an amazing bond with my son - as someone else as said maybe even more so than if I hadn't been ill (though that is hard to know). What I do know is I have absolute gratitude for my life, health, happiness, family and friends which I don't think I would have had otherwise. What I'm trying to say is, from my experience, somehow the horrific experience of the PP has actually had huge positives in my life and the longer time passes the more at peace I feel with what happened, and in my best moments I am even thankful at times that it happened as strange as that seems. Of course I do still have feelings of jealousy, and sadness, looking at women having second babies with ease etc... so it is a mixture of feelings.

    Also what this forum has helped me to feel too is that we are part of a unique band of very brave, amazing, strong women and we should all feel proud of everything we've been through, and how we make it through... I think 'bonding' with women on this forum has helped me not to feel so isolated / jealous about other mother's experience who didn't have PP.

    Take care, I hope all the responses help X

  • Hi, thanks for all the responses, I feel a lot happier that it's not just me that feels the jealousy. The more I read about PP the more I realise how lucky I've been, my PP was diagnosed relatively early and I was treated twice at a mother and baby unit, I've been out since December and have been doing really well. I've completed a baby massage course and I go to Sing and Sign and Waterbabies lessons so I'm out and about and meeting other mums. I tried mums and tots but didn't get on with it, the structured classes are much better. It's so lovely to hear from people who have recovered and gone on to have a good bond with their children, I feel like I do have a good bond with my little boy and I hope this continues through the classes we attend. I realise I've been incredibly lucky to have been treated so quickly and this is just one more phase of my recovery. I am proud of where I've come from and I can see some positives that have come out of the PP, I'm a lot closer to family than I was and my husband has an amazing bond with our son which he wouldn't have been able to get without the PP. Hopefully I'll keep recovering at the pace I have been and hopefully I'll get my driving licence back soon, that'll be a big piece of the jigsaw back in place! Thanks again for the comments, they have really helped!

  • Hello Chaplk

    So pleased to hear how well you are doing and having fun with your baby. There really are so many happy times ahead for you with baby in tow, supported by your husband.

    Please feel free to come back to the forum with anything and everything ...... you have so many virtual friends here.

    Take good care.

  • Hi Chaplk,

    Just to echo what others have said really. Jealousy is such a normal reaction when us PP Mums come across others who have had babies and are having such a "normal" or even what seems like brilliant time with their babies. I know I found it hard to be around other Mums and babies in my early days of recovery - I had PP "out of the blue" in 2009 and spent 3 months in an MBU. I made myself go to a local mum and baby group but didn't really enjoy it much. I think the couple of friends I made there who were more on my wavelength and not marvelling at every little thing and had more of what seemed to me like a balanced outlook about themselves as people, not just entirely focussed on baby, was helpful. And then as time goes by things got easier, although it was tricky at times when friends had 2nd babies and I wanted it to be me but we'd agreed to wait until I was full off meds and in the best possible place to try and avoid becoming unwell again. The good news that I did have a 2nd baby with the recurrence of PP and it was really different and somehow "healed" part of my negative and bad experiences of the early days with my first born and how I felt that PP had impacted on it. Everyone is different and you will find the balance that works for you, but know that there are lots of ladies here who know exactly how you feel, so come back and chat anytime, you are not alone! Take care, xx

  • Just wanted to chime in and say I've had so many jealous feelings in the year since I gave birth and suffered from PP that started in the day or two after my son was born.

    My approach is just to allow all these feelings to be, and don't feel guilty about them. You're not wishing for other mothers to suffer, but you have been through something very difficult, and you need time to come to terms with how different your experience was than what you expected.

    I think you are doing great with participating in lots of activities with your son, and also just staying aware of how you're feeling during your recovery. All the best! cee

  • I am reading with great interest the above mentioned accounts. I am fascinated, how we all have had to struggle with extreme emotions throughout PPP and recovery, Nevertheless, jealousy never came into my thought process. Yet alone I never thought I would be feeling maternal when above 40. I feel very fortunate to have a beautiful son and now enjoy the momentum of his continuous development.

    I suppose, because of my background in Education and my personal beliefs  in morals and alternative approaches I never liked to compare and contrast or focus on achievement driven results. Previous skills such as trying not to measure in quantity, probably has helped me to re-learn and to accept where I am now without being too critical with myself. Of course I get frustrated, because obstacles and challenges including suffering is part of life.

    Despite all those ladies on this forum having suffered PPP, we all walk a unique path, sometimes it is 'rough  & tuff'; specially for those women, who still have to cope with illnesses and conditions after PPP.

    Best wishes to need for proud of being a survivor and to see life in a different light. There is lots of positivism in my heart.

    Wishing you well ,


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