Faith & PP


I'm new to this forum (I've wrote this post twice before & it keeps disappearing before I've post it! So forgive me if it has actually already posted!!!)

I noticed a reply to a post mentioning faith - prayer & God. Since going through postpartum psychosis my faith has been shaken, almost shattered. Has anyone else gone through this? As a Christian - it's very difficult coming to a conclusion that God may not exist...

We have all been through /& are going through so much - even though I don't know any of you - I want to send love - we are tough cookies to still be here & to be well enough to even be able to write on here! I am grateful every day when I am level & well which I have been for many months- I never take that for granted. If your not well - keep going it will get better eventually xx

Lots of love


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18 Replies

  • Hiya

    It's lovely to read your post. I'm very interested too in the interplay between faith and postpartum psychosis.

    I haven't fully lost my faith but I have certainly found it VERY difficult because my spiritual experiences and some of my symptoms of illness have been so similar. I know this is a bit different from what you're describing but it has definitely, at times, many times, made me think "there's no such thing as spirituality, it's all madness". Very sad because it damaged what was most precious in my life. Now i try and have a very simple faith in things like compassion and love, without too much metaphysical thinking. And I am wary of getting too religious in case it makes me go mad again - can anyone else relate to that?

    Would love to hear from you again if you want to keep chatting about it or from others who are interested.

    Big up all you PP survivors! We are doing really well, as you say Dani.


  • Ahh trying to write on a phone is hard!! Laptop down!!

    Hello Spaghetti,

    Thank you for replying 😊

    Spiritual experiences & symptoms - yes I had this more during a manic episode... which was very challenging (especially as it was on my honeymoon in the Maldives & I spent much of the holiday sedated in hospital - perfect start to married life hey!!) but this experience although hard for all involved, wasn't dark or frightening like going through the postpartum psychosis..... During the pp I couldn't feel or sense God - I wasn't well enough for most of it to think about faith... but when I was a bit better & a vicar came to visit, she gave me her bible & everything seemed mean/nasty & I couldn't understand it anymore... I was confused by the awful things that had happened to me in the secure hospital & how if God exists he would let people go through these things. Are you able to attend church/engage in stuff?? It is so hard isn't it, as you say it can be such a precious part of our lives....

    I love that you have simplified things - that makes sense - & I can understand why you don't want to get too religious yes - for me I felt that I didn't want to react to the Holy Spirit at all - incase it made me look crazy (this was years ago now)

    Would be great to keep chatting yes!

    Dani x

  • Hi Bipolarbutterfly - and Spaghetti

    Welcome to the forum! Thanks so much for your post. It's such an interesting and complex topic you have written about I think, and so individual to each person. It's an area that really interests / affects me too. I have actually felt a little reluctant to write too much on the forum about it as I think faith is such a personal thing and I don't want anyone to think I'm imposing my own personal experience of faith / 'God' etc on them if that makes sense - so please just take or leave whatever I write!!

    I would say PP has had a profound impact on my faith. When I was psychotic I had many delusions of God/hell / thinking I was the devil etc - awful stuff. But I have an amazing friend who was there for me at the very worst at the start of the depression, who is also a spiritual director. I wasn't even very close to her before PP but she had a daughter who has bipolar and so my partner suggested I contacted her when I was ill. She is amazing - very open, and she modelled a kind of spirituality / 'God' for me that is unconditionally loving and healing, non judgmental etc - and that somehow deepened my faith quite profoundly and gave me a lot of healing and restoration. I do wonder if, without her input I'd be where I am now spiritually - I imagine I would be full of a lot of guilt, questions, etc.

    Spiritually, I feel amazed by how out of something so awful and dark and traumatic amazing things / growth / positivity has come from it - and I think this idea is in a lot of traditions, and is maybe a fundamental 'truth' about being human.

    I understand you Spaghetti about keeping things simple, I think I try to do that too.

    I also wanted to say that I read an amazing novel recently called 'the Dalai Llama's Cat' - a novel which is basically about Buddhist spirituality / principles but so accessible and easy to read. I found it SO inspiring, and it has so many insights / tools etc in it that could really help anyone struggling - such as mindfulness, positive thinking etc. Again, I think because of my illness with PP, the book probably touched me more than it would have done before. I would really recommend it to anyone interested in spirituality etc. So accessible but really inspiring.

    I am trying to meditate every day, to be fully present etc. I think that many people do this now (mindfulness exercises) - and I think this can have a really positive impact on managing anxiety etc.

    Anyway those are my ramblings! Thanks so much for posting.

  • Hello Sunny & wild,

    Yea - I think that because it is a personal relationship it can make it harder to talk to people - I know the people I have spoken to about my faith have tended to just empathise & then you don't get any answers!

    It sounds awful what you experienced - I'm so glad your friend was able to help you when you needed that support - it's encouraging to hear your faith has been made stronger even through hard times.

    I hope to find that healing & restoration you have.

    I haven't tried mindfulness - do you have any recommendations on websites etc??

    Thank you for responding, so helpful.


  • Hi Dani

    Lovely to hear from you.

    Re mindfulness. It's very closely linked to meditation and is rooted in the Buddhist tradition but has been widely adopted in the UK by NHS even (not sure if you're in the UK?) as a tool to help with depression etc. It's basically about trying to be in the present moment.

    There's information here on Mental Health Foundation website, which I would trust - they give links to other websites / resources that help. Hope there's something there that would help?

    I haven't used it myself but I have heard others found this app really helpful:

    What I do in terms of meditation/mindfulness is basically to sit in silence, focus on each part of the body in turn to become present in your body and try and calm your mind. Then focus on your breadth - either counting to 10 and starting at the beginning again when the mind wanders (don't worry, when I've done it I only get to about 4!!) - or saying a repetitive mantra (I use 'maranatha' but others use different words). Apparently they say it works best if you do it daily and stick with it even if it doesn't seem like it has benefits at first. I'm talking like I know all about it, and I do it a lot, and really I don't, I struggle to find time etc - in fact this thread has inspired me now to get back stuck in after not doing it for a few days. I have to say when I have done it for a few days in a row at the time when actually meditating I feel quite frustrated somehow as I can't calm my mind but then I have noticed a difference afterwards in my day and it becomes easier to calm my mind as the days progress...

    Also other mindfulness exercises is just generally when doing normal things just to try and concentrate on that one thing completely - e.g. washing up focus on the feel of the water etc rather than your mind wondering to other things. I have to say I think I've only managed to do this 2 or 3 times but I think it's a really good practice to try and do - I'm really going to try and do it more!!

    Yes, my friend was amazing, and she's now godmother to my son. I think she just held a light for me when I couldn't see or feel it at all, was 'God's presence' for me when it felt completely absent. Quite amazing. I like to think in some way we can be that for each other on here a bit...

    Take care, I really hope you do slowly find healing and restoration, it does just take time, and each of us is so different.


  • Hello there and good to hear from you. I have written before about my own delusions and grandeur and spiritual things. I was not a Christian when I experienced pp but I found the whole experience filled with God, the devil, life and death, good and bad, dark and light, even Armageddon coming at one point. I wore white when Jesus won and black when the devil won! I did hear voices and experience hallucinations. The interesting thing for me was that my midwife at the time who was an absolute rock and tower of strength was a Christian and went beyond the call of duty coming into the psychiatric unit to see me and ultimately having her church pray for me at a crucial time. I went on to have another baby with no PP and the same midwife popped into my life briefly. I went on to have another baby and this time I had become a Christian and the same midwife came to look after me for the ante natal period and that was so wonderful. We could share our faith and the experience of PP when she had been such a key player. I read a book by Katherina Dalton about post natal depression and there was a chapter called Nancy's Tale. That was the first time I had read anything where the experiences were so similar, even thinking I was famous, on TV about to meet the President of the USA and I had won the lottery!!

    Anyhow, good to hear from you and glad you have found this forum to share thoughts and ideas. My episode is 27 years ago now but I think it will always be clear in my head. Blessings x

  • Hi there,

    I just wanted to say you are not alone in what you were experiencing.

    At the height of my psychosis I felt like God didn't exist at all. It's been very difficult coming back from that.

    I fell into depression after my episode and found I couldn't feel God's presence in the way I had done before. I'm still struggling with that now a year on but I'm persevering and continuing to attend church and read my Bible.

    I've reached out to people for prayer and this has helped me. Knowing there are people praying for me is a great encouragement.

    My advice would be to find people at your church who you can trust to pray with you and for you. I truly hope you find your faith again.

    God bless,


  • Hi CarylaA,

    It's comforting to not be alone - thank you! And thank you for replying :)

    yes, I can relate - and although I'm asking questions about getting back into a relationship with God I find myself busy looking after my son/working/cooking etc etc..... which means I now don't properly stop and try to 'press into' God as I did before.... so then how will I find God.?.. does he find me?... maybe it will just take longer......

    But possibly as for you too...I have found that the darkness & scariness that I went through are the things hard coming back from?!

    Strangely I didn't fall into depression after pp... that is a complete miracle (before being diagnosed with bipolar I suffered from depression from my early teens) So I can really empathise with you & Its awesome that even through depression you still make the effort to read your bible & go to Church - I have reached out to a lady at Church... but our attendance is irregular.

    Although I say no depression I was catatonic for a part of my stay in hospital.... and I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress... anyone had that?

    I think the hardest thing has been not having counselling... waiting for over 10 months for psychology from my mental health team... so just been to see a counsellor... but its not great having to go back over stuff from last year... my son is nearly two now!!! wish I had of gone ahead with private instead of constantly being told it will be soon, again & again!!!! Have you or anyone else being to see a counsellor?

    Would be lovely to hear from you again!

    All the best :)


  • Hi Carly! My situation sounds like yours. Before my pp happened I was living my life for the Lord and felt that I was saved. Now it's been exactly a year since my episode and I'm in constant anxiety, questioning God, questioning my salvation and it's shaken me so much I don't know if I'll ever get back to feeling how I was. How are you doing and what has heloped you?

  • Dear All,

    I'm a Christian, before, during and after PP.

    I recently shared with some Christian friends who had prayed for us, and supported our whole family through two episodes of PP, that my Christian faith didn't waver through the illness. In the darkest and loneliest of places my Bible was really precious to me. Particularly Psalm 71, have a read for yourself!

    And even when separated from my nearest and dearest, and in seclusion in a public secure psych ward as a scheduled patient, when they separated me from everything, God was present with me and didn't let go of me.

    But being a committed Christian, in a psych ward, wasn't well received. It was always assumed to be hallucinations, the illness, psychosis, or madness. Rather than it actually being an important part of who I am pre and post illness.

    Our church family were our rock and a great support through thick and thin.

    Interested to follow this discussion,


  • Hello Deb,

    So good to hear... I wish I had felt that way too.... I too was is seclusion :'(...

    I'm now furious that I was locked in one room with a television on all the time, when I wasn't well enough to ask it to be turned off & they didn't know I wore glasses for the first week so when I suddenly noticed I couldn't see anything they were suprised!!!... which spiralled my visons/delusions what ever you call them.... why in suposed low stimulus enviroments do they put tv on? very dangerous in my opinion... mini rant over!! ha!! But now if I walk into a room and a trigger program is on I'm in complete panic & in the biggest rush to turn it off or over.

    When I went on to a womans ward a vicar visited & left me her bible & everything I looked at seemed negative - so I left it aside & ignored it.

    SO! ha, I'll now go and dust of one of my many bible to read psalm 71

    Its quite draining sharing I find... as I don't discuss this stuff with many people...

    I'm sorry that being a christian wasn't always well recieved in hospital... I really admire how strong you seem to be and that your faith has carried you through!

    All the best


  • Very interesting discussion!

    I would describe myself as a curious agnostic, who is open to Christianity but not committed. Does that make sense?!?

    During my labour (what turned out to be the start of PP) I had quite a vivid near death experience (I was haemorrhaging badly). I saw a bright white light, and I was bargaining with "God" to save my baby. Once I heard his cry (after what seemed an eternity!) I gave thanks to God and told him I was ready now. But I was saved by a miraculous team of doctors, and turned away from the light!

    I would love to unpack the religious significance of what I experienced. It certainly made me think that God is real, and that prayer is powerful. The interesting thing for me is what all that is made up of inside our brains! God lives there in our thoughts and feelings, and PP gave me a direct gateway to that. Maybe.... :)

  • Hey,

    Gosh - what a lot to go through - sounds like you had good doctors & thank God you and your baby are ok! I lost blood during labour too... I doubt that helps mentally... its a trauma in a way... Have you recovered well?

    From my experiences of times God has touched me or answered prayer or given me healing... I have also had that sense/certainty that God is real too.... I think those moments are moments to hold on to & to remind ourselves why, if we do believe.

    Yea... it is interesting to think "is it all just in my mind".... maybe having mental health problems make us more cautious??

    I think that's awesome if God spoke to you during PP.

    I'm not sure if you go to church?


  • Oh my gosh - I am so grateful for all your wonderful replies - I would normally find it hard to reply to each post - but I really feel inspired & want to and will over the next few days, thank you. With God in the past he has often spoken to me though pictures or scripture & also very much through people - as many of you have also experienced! So today a real encouragement was waking up to a special delivery of flowers from a friend I hardy ever see - a Christian I met at university who was also my bridesmaid! What perfect timing - maybe God does care after all! She doesn't know I'm struggling & she's struggling herself going through years of not being able to get pregnant & now going through IVF - and she's still thoughtful enough to think about others. Thanks for all the book recommendations would so love to read them (although no time between full time mummy & sewing away throughout the evenings!!!) I lost the ability to read after my first manic episode - but am now reading a book called 'When Faith Gets Shaken' - which I would also recommend (if I ever manage to finish it! 🙈)

    My little boy is fast asleep on my lap - time to put him down & start making lunch!!

    Thanks again, you really don't know how much this means!

    Dani xxx

  • My faith was shaken and shattered as well. It has taken a long time (im 4 1/4 yrs from pp) to rationalize a lot. I try to concentrate on Love above all and maybe that is where God is.

    Love your Tough Cookie statement!

    Good luck, much love, and Im in the US so happy Thanksgiving

  • Hey K8Stack,

    Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Shame we don't do it in England!

    Yes I hope Love is where God is too... Do you attend church?

    looking forward to reading a Psalm now that Deb in our group suggested...

    Thanks, its so true though isn't it!! ;) We have survived through childbirth & PP!

    Dani x

  • Danielle , I just posted a reply to K8stack , I'm so scared that this Pp has shaken my faith permanently. It's been a year now since I had a scary episode, I was never admitted but was put on antidepressants right away and xanax. I think my doc missed the whole psychosis part honestly but I had it a few years ago tooand was diagnosed with it then. I've gone from living my life for christ (and I still do ) but at the same time I'm so scared that I'm falling away or im falling into disbelief. Everything I read in the bible is not comforting and I feel like there's just no hope in me being saved as I am not trusting in his promises and if I'm not trusting the it's like saying I don't believe he can do it. :( I really only want christian input so I'm nervous to ask on these sites as I know not everyone believes in Jesus.

  • We're you a born again christian before your pp? I would say I was but my pp happened exactly a year ago and really made me question and doubt everything I once knew. While I do know God is still there I feel like I'm condemned, questioning my own salvation and if I'm doubting all that and not trusting in Jesus then I'd I wasn't saved how can he save me now? :/ I've had awful anxiety to the point of shakiness, panic attacks several times a day and everytime I tried to read my Bible evwrything seemed condemning and has put so much fear into me that maybe I'm not one if the elect. Yikes. How are you doing ? If your still on here. How has your journey been?

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