PPP & colours: I was interested to read... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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PPP & colours


I was interested to read a post on here recently about somebody who had beliefs about certain colours during psychosis as I too experienced this - black was bad & evil, white was good etc. Unknown to others I threw out a lot of black things when I was ill ( including a nice black leather work bag I had which I regret) and in the hospital I would only sit on certain chairs! Did anyone else experience something similar - I'm interested in colours professionally and would love to hear your stories...x

18 Replies

Hi bluestarlady,

I think I had some obsessions around colours with PP although it was in the pretty early days when I had ideas of reference and made connections between all sorts of random things. I would do this with words, particularly alliteration I think, and also bits of music, counting, numbers, list writing etc. I don't remember anything too specific about black or any other colour, but certainly the sky being blue meant the world was about to end. Which looking back on it now is a bizarre one, I do realise...

A really interesting question, look forward to seeing more responses on this one. Take care, xx

Yeah I totally had a thing about colours. I think it stemmed from reading about chakras and their colour associations....I had it in my mind that red was really bad, black, yellow, Orange, green also.....and that indigos, blues, purples, turquoises, whites, pinks were really good. I'd go so far to arrange items in a rainbow colour sequence.....starting red ending with purple and even put red items below purple ones say like on a shelf for example......it seems so strange when I look back on it now.

I also sorted things in a rainbow colour sequence during my PP!

Hi, the only thing I had to do with colours was the 2nd night in hospital with my son, I kept on saying that my sleep was like deep sleep so it would go very black and then light eg white. It felt like I was having a power nap rather than sleeping and at the time, I thought this was amazing. Looking back now, maybe it was the first sign of pp.

I also had a thing about nursery rhymes that they were telling me what was going to happen.

I find it very odd that your brain sort of plays ticks on u in your time of need.

in reply to betty2014

Me too I had a thing about nursery rhymes, i would song them a lot. I thought God communicated through song, that it was through song that the secrets of the universe were kept. I would make my visitors at the MBU hold hands with me and sing as I thought it would protect us.

Hi Everyone. It's nearly a year since I experienced my second episode of PP. Not posted in a while. But I do keep a look out. Yes I had a thing about colours,but it was very much red for me. That formed a big part of the strange thoughts, hallucinations and anxiety I experienced at the height of my episode. I think it was because my brain was almost exploding with how many connections I seemingly had to it (Neices with names linked to the colour -Ruby for example- which really terrified me and their Dad being in the forces) and it being around Armistice day during my episode so Poppy's everywhere. I felt surrounded by death and violence, battles between good and evil. Perhaps there's some truth/understanding to that given recent events across the world. I've spent a lot of time in last year trying to read less of the news and really try to remember there's a lot of good people and kindness out there. I think it can feel an difficult time to be bring new life into the world and certainly during my episode any thoughts I might have had along those lines spiralled off the scale. My HV thought is was lovely though how contrary to some people's perceprions of a PP mum perhaps being a danger to their children I gave a lot of time over to needing to save not only mine but all the children in the world. What a responsibility to heap on one person's shoulders though!! Wishing you all a restful and enjoyable Christmas as I know it can be a stressful time for many x

in reply to Lilly53

I also thought i had to save the world. Apparently i shook my daughter so they took her away from me only 2 days after I arrived at the MBU. I recall thinking that other babies at the MBU were meant to be mine, of other skin colours as I was meant to show the world not to be rascist.

in reply to benedicte

Aw that must have been so difficult for you. I had thoughts that my eldest son was evil and about hurting my youngest. I shudder to think what I might have been capable had things gone differently so I'm heartened by the more positive memories x

Yes! I only trusted people with blue eyes. Brown eyed people were out to get me. Before I would allow anyone to help me at the hospital I would make them show me their eyes. I would make them hold open their eyes so wide until it was white all the way around their Iris.it was really strange. The social worker asked my family why I was obsessed with eyecolor. The only thing they came up with was the fact that I'm in art teacher.

I've always been somebody who was afraid to look people in that eye when I don't feel comfortable. That's the only thing I could tie to the eyecolor part myself.

I think that colors have a lot of symbolism associated around them. and I think during psychosis we are looking for symbols and signs all around us. it's pretty fascinating to look back at it now

One of the few things I can remember from the first days if psychosis is being obsessive about colours. I don't think I associated with bad or good, just grouped objects together in the house according to their colour. Mabye a way of organising the chaos in my head?

Hi I just wanted to let you know that colors are very powerful and what they represent in the spirit realm. The good news is God created colors. Now the enemy always tries to be a copy cat because he can not create only immatate. So some helpful tips would be if a certain color bothers you say for instance black well in the Christian spirit realm black represents the mystery of God or the color red that represents the love of God! Hope that helps!

Be blessed😊

I had a thing about orange and purple. They were not bad colors for me but I thought they were special spirtual colors. The stood out so strong to me and I thought it meant something special when I saw them.

That is really one of the first things I remember about PP, colors being too strong and bright for me to look at.

One of the first days at the MBU i thought a nurse dressed in red was the devil. I have no recollection of 5 weeks but my partner tells me that i was obsessed with colours, that i said i had invented a new colour and i spoke of colours that could be seen in the past and the future. When i started getting better i would always read into what the MBU staff was wearing. I remember sorting my underwear according to colour and that i would prefer to wear patterned socks and my favourite underwear had an owl on it, i think i thought it protected me. I also sorted my toiletries according to colour and i got a friend to draw me the rainbow so i could sort my flowers and things on tje windowsill according to the rainbow.


Hi there,

I remember experiencing colour with peculiar intensity during the high/ psychotic stage of my illness and was a veritable creative whirlwind. Once on the ward, though, somewhat sobered by the realisation that I was in a mental hospital, I started crocheting circles in some lurid colours I found in a nearby yarn shop, but particularly in yellows and oranges as I fixated somewhat on the traditional association of yellow with madness. In Russia the insane asylum is called the yellow house; here I was in one....

unfortunately someone else on the ward at the same time thought I was making Rastafarian hats, which for some reason she found problematic....


The feeling of colours being good and bad certainly featured at the start of my descent into psychosis. I remember thinking black and red were bad, white good and orange and purple spiritual.

The red being bad took on a retrospectively funny aspect whilst being driven one day. I think one of my parents was trying to distract me with a short trip out but I found following the tail lights of the car in front (which were of course red!) too much.

We turned around and guess what colour the next tail lights were... Red! I remember feeling very confused and indecisive and it felt like whichever I turned things would be bad.

In retrospect it's quite funny but the intensity of the feelings surrounding colour association and even other senses such as birds singing being too much for me were probably some of the first signs of the madness that was to follow!

Anyway thanks for sharing, wishing you all well!



It's really interesting to read this. I saw significance in colours too - it started with red and blue for me, linked to the choice of red or blue pill in the film The Matrix (there were quite a lot of sci-fi references in my psychosis!) - they seemed to be the only colours I could see in the MBU to start with, mainly the hot and cold taps as the bathroom was as far as I went. When I discovered new colours it was because I had 'created' them - I thought I 'was' colour (and language, all a bit abstract) and orange and purple were significant ones too. When I asked my parents what was wrong with me and they said the diagnosis was 'puerperal psychosis' I said "I knew it, I told you I was purple!".

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