Action on Postpartum Psychosis

Anyone else really tired?

I seem to be a regular here but just wondered if anyone else was exhausted after suffering from PP? I had PP in March 2014, probably five days after birth of my son. Prescribed Aripriprizole. This made me feel really sleepy. Came off medication in May this year but I still feel tired all the time. My husband calls me lazy and complains about me not cleaning but I am also back at work three days per week. I've been to GP and there's no medical cause :-(

8 Replies

Hello, first time here - I am still on 10mg of Aripiprazole and get really tired. It's a year since I suffered PP. I've been told many times Aripiprazole doesn't cause tiredness. I think from experience it must do in some people. Have you had your iron levels checked? Mine were very low so I take a supplement which helps.

I think your husbands comment is unfair, you sound very busy!

Pleased to have found support here and adding mine to you.


Yeah the medication definitely made me sleepy, the physchiatrist said that it can but it's more common to give people insomnia and energy. I think they tested iron levels and that was ok. I agree that I think my husband is being unfair. Did you have severe pp? I was sectioned and in hospital for three weeks, it was severe but I recovered quickly so I am lucky x


Pleased you recovered quickly and iron is ok. Your tiredness may be your continued recovery. I was sectioned and in hospital for a month then at mother & baby unit for less time. I've been depressed since but am hoping things will keep improving. Keep rested x


My partner was diagnosed with PP 2 march 2015. She is in full recovery now and out of the MBU but very tired and has little energy. she is on Olanzapine and Lithium. Her Pshychiatric doctor likened PP like coming out of a severe car crash, only you cannot see the injuries. The injuries are psychological and hormonal, so being tired and have low energy must be part of that.

I would suggest between you and your husband you employ a cleaner to come in every 2 weeks. That way you are not tasked with doing another boring repetative thankless unpaid job!! That may help a little :-)

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Hi Bendia,

You're so right, I liken my pp experience to a massive trauma and trying to rebuild things after the initial acute phase is really hard. Sometimes people (and professionals to an extent in my experience) think that that difficult bit is getting through an in-patient stay in hospital, but the time in recovery at home is actually pretty tough too, although in a different way.

I took Olanzapine and Lithium too so if you've any questions you want to ask about that, please feel free. When I stopped the Olanzapine (after reductions) I felt another step towards finding the old me again, as it did make me quite sleepy, lethargic, spaced out really. My GP described it as "chemically restrained" which I thought was really spot on.

It sounds like you're doing a great job in supporting your wife, as partners go through it all as well and sometimes find it difficult to reach out. And your advice about hiring a cleaner is a great idea, I wish you and your family all the best in your continued recovery. Take care, xx


I agree with bendia 's comment about recovering from pp being similar to a car accident. My therapist and psychiatrist even suggested something similar because of my foggyness and exhaustion I had for awhile After I got off of my antipsychotic. I also started getting terrible migraines I sought out alternative medicine to help which did. I had no idea what the cause was my therapist suggested that after coming off the antipsychotic my brain was able to begin truly processing what happened. she also talked about neuropathways rewiring themselves and that takes energy. I was in counseling in college during student teaching ihad to stop because of how exhausted it made me. It sounds silly but it takes a lot of our energy to deeply think over aspects of our lives. Also take a look at your diet. That has a TON to do with energy. Good luck to you!


It sounds like your husband needs a good kick up the backside! Sorry, that may not be productive...

There are lots of reasons you could be very tired, none of them laziness. Have you had full blood tests? Common culprits are iron, vitB or vitD deficiencies. There's also the possibility of thyroid imbalance, but the normal test for that isn't conclusive so even if it shows normal there could be a problem. There's the common after effect of PP being depression (or a possible bipolar depressive episode) which can cause exhaustion. But mainly there's the fact you have a 1 year old baby, are working part time, and trying to keep house! Honestly, that's way more than a lot of people can manage. I stopped working last September but my house is still a mess! Fortunately my husband is very supportive, though equally exhausted all the time (due to work, commute, and his own depression), so we're planning on getting help from family to sort out the awful mess then having a cleaner start that week, every week, so we have to keep on top of it for them. I know not everyone can afford that (we're using my DLA) but think about ways to make it easier for yourself. We're not in the 1950's, your husband has equal responsibility.

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Hi Sallyhudson,

At the risk of repeating jododo.... I know what you mean! Being tired in recovery from PP is really really common and probably the single biggest thing I would relate to from when I had PP in 2009. It took me a good year, probably 2 years if I'm being really honest, to start to feel anywhere near normal again.

I spent 3 months in hospital, initially on general wards then a Mother & Baby Unit, and whilst that was hard, it was also really difficult being at home. And then when I went back to work, that was really tough. I had to take on new things and also went back full time which was far from ideal. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I wanted so desperately to be "normal" that we thought we were doing all the right things at the time.

The idea that some people have mentioned of getting a cleaner sounds like a good one, although I know that might not be possible (as we don't have one either). So my husband does occasionally have a strop (for want of a better word!) about there being cleaning to do and I totally relate to your frustrations. What has helped me is trying to keep a sense of perspective and appreciation in the little things. Like I know sometimes my house is a tip, but I can whizz round with the hoover quickly and that helps a bit. I can try and take a break if working from home and do the bathroom sink and floor. Or put another load of washing in and peg it out. Sometimes I try and teach my eldest about putting things in the bin and now he sees it as a great big brother thing to teach his little brother, so that helps.

Try not to let it get you down too much. Whilst partners undoubtedly have it hard with PP and the recovery, us Mums still do (in my experience) a lot of the child and house related things together with some job type work too. I now work 4 days a week and that has helped a bit but it's still a juggle. But I think that's just how life will be while our children are small and it won't last forever.

Your tiredness will probably improve too going forward and don't be afraid of going back to the Drs if you want another opinion or some more tests to check there is nothing else going on.

Perhaps you could also ask your husband to help with the cleaning - I know mine takes charge of doing the toilets and now won't let me as he does it properly apparently! That's fine by me!!

I hope you're feeling less tired as the week has gone on and have some time at the weekend to relax too. PP definitely exhausts us and I think it is a major thing, a trauma even, to get over. Take care, xx


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