Relapse

Just wondered if anyone has had a relate,? My daughter suffered from PP after the birth of her baby last year, She was in a mother and baby unit for 4 weeks and kept on medication until baby was 1 year old and got discharged from the hospital. Due to a lot of stress the mania in now back and I am now wondering if she may have bipolar disorder. Finally after nearly 3 weeks she is being seen by the crisis team and been put back on olazapine. As anyone else had something similar ?

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  • Hi Donna, my daughter also recently had a relapse. After a year of being on medication she decided to go back to work. At first all went well and i was really relieved that it was all behind us and could look forward to getting back to enjoying life again, but as time went on she got more stressed and really anxious about things and the lack of sleep which i think is the trigger. It was terrible the thought of her going through it all again, but luckily she was quickly put on long term medication and things have got better. I also wonder that she may have bipolar disorder. I am really glad of this site to be able to discuss this illness with people that have gone through it. Hope your daughter is ok i know how you must be feeling.

  • I left hospital after PP and didn't continue with any medication, I relapsed 10 months later with -it would seem- no good reason. Thankfully the MBU had me back but when I was discharged the general psychiatrist labelled me bipolar. Four years later -touch wood- I have had no more episodes and now have another child. I would give your daughter a little time before deciding if she has a long term illness. It might just be an unfortunate relapse.

  • Hello Donna48

    Thank you for your post. Welcome to the forum where you will find lots of support and information to help your daughter and yourself through what must be a stressful time.

    I had PP twice in the mid 70's and early 80's and I think I did have a relapse during my second PP but my notes are not very clear about this. Your daughter did well initially to recover in just a year as it took me two years or more to find my feet and place again. It must be such a relief that the crisis team are now involved and will be monitoring your daughter. Will there be a CPN popping round to see your daughter just to chat? Sometimes such contact can be helpful as it gives your daughter a chance to be a little more open to how she feels, rather than upsetting family and friends.

    I don't have experience of bipolar but if you search 'bipolar' on this site there are a few posts you might find interesting. I know your daughter was a long way along the road to recovery before this 'blip' and I'm not sure if she might find the APP Insider Guide helpful, i.e. "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" and there is also a Guide for Partners.

    I know that it is very stressful for parents and family but your daughter will eventually fully recover from this setback with good medical care and your support. Please reassure your daughter that she is not alone and we are all here to support you during these uncertain days.

  • Hello, I don't have much to contribute on the subject of relapses, except to say that I was very far from well on my discharge from hospital--the recovery is ongoing and there are bound to be blips, some more serious than others. But re bi-polar, I remember being very shocked at being diagnosed as Bi-polar almost automatically when I was very high during my episode. It's a big label to carry around with you. But on subsequent discussion it seems that the criteria are very clear cut, and you qualify simply by having experienced a period of depression and of mania at some time in your life. Lithium can be very helpful, much as it has a bad rep. I hope your daughter recovers soon, x

  • Hi, I had a relapse earlier this year when my son was 2 and after six months drug-free. Like other people have mentioned this was caused by chronic work stress and lack of sleep but my psychiatrist has not given me a diagnosis of bipolar and, in her words, could have been an "unlucky co-incidence". Instead my diagnosis was for Acute and Transient Psychotic Disorder which apparently you can have even if you have never had PPP. She said it was one of the most common reasons she sees people in her clinics so having a second episode does not necessarily mean you have Bipolar. I'm now on a very low dose of mood stabiliser as this is the NICE guidelines but found the general advice for bipolar quite helpful and have radically changed my diet over the last six months after reading up on nutrition for good mental health and feel much better for it. I also have a weekly wellbeing tracker to help me spot any warning signs of stress. I can recommend a good book called Eat Yourself Happy which has some nice and easy recipes. I do hope your daughter recovers quickly and you find support from being on this forum. S

  • I forgot to say that I was on Olanzapine when I had PPP but the second time was given Quitiapine which worked much better for me. Apparently it's much more expensive which is why it is sometimes not a first choice. Your daughter always has the option of switching and trying new meds if the particular one she is on is not effective. S

  • I wouldn't be in a rush to label it as bipolar. To have completely recovered from PP and be completely free from meds by baby's 1st birthday would be pretty impressive! Better to consider it part of the continual recovery and getting back to life following PP. It takes time, especially to work through those triggers like lack of sleep, stress, hormone changes. A lifelong label is unhelpful, a plan to continue recovery and getting back to her own capabilities is much more fruitful.

    I have had two episodes of PP in 2009 and 2013, I'm still gradually stepping down off the last of the epilim now. No need to rush it.

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