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Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Relationship challenges


Hi all

My poor husband is desperate for someone to talk to. He is trying to give my psychologist two secret topics to discuss with me because he says bringing them up with me would be too painful for me. He is also desperate to speak to friends. And he even rang the samaritans last night.

I had asked him not to discuss my health with anyone except two of his friends. I dont want people to stop liking me. But he has now set up an outing with a different friend to discuss me and the "secrets."

Whole situation making me feel sad and isolated (much like husband does ) and a bit powerless.

Any support gratefully received!


18 Replies

Hi spaghetti

So sorry to hear your husband, and you, are struggling so much...

Probably seems obvious but it really sounds like your husband would really benefit from sone counselling / therapy. I don't know if you can afford to pay privately, you can look up therapists on the BACP website (if you do Google search, sorry I'm writing on my phone so not possible to do a link). I'd suggest person centred counselling.

Or perhaps you could go to couple therapy, or does that feel too much? I felt we could have done with that but somehow couldn't manage to go. I have heard the organisation Relate (again Google) is good.

Just to reassure you though, me and my partner had huge difficulties and I think my partner suppressed a lot, to the point about 3 years after I'd been ill, and when I was really well, he was off sick with stress and had counselling just by going to the doctors and she did say that she thought he had post traumatic stress. It's not unusual or surprising it's so difficult, but would really encourage your husband to get some counselling, it helped my partner so much.

Take care and hope at least some of this helps x

thank you Ellie! that has been discussed with my team and he should be getting access to a psychologist soon - he's just feeling impatient that it's not immediate. today he has this friend to speak to who i think will be really helpful too.

i just wish he wasn't going to be talking about me behind my back - but i think i have to suck it up...

a big thanks for replying

spag x


Hi spaghetti that's really good he's been offered a psychologist. it is so difficult for you as well.... I hope you have support too, are there people / friends you can speak with? and is your psychologist good, do you have a good relationship with them? I promise you it was so difficult with my partner for a long time, I worried it would never get better too.... But slowly somehow things do heal and get better. take care, and we are all here for you as well! X

Thanks! I do struggle a bit to see friends anyway, let alone discuss anything meaty. But will try & make it happen ;-)


Hi Spaghetti,

I know it's very hard for you and I understand why you would want to keep your privacy. Why do you think your friends would not like you? You have done nothing to be ashamed of ........ just something amazing to have recovered from PP. Having said that I only talk openly here about my PP so I do understand.

I don't think your husband thinks he is talking behind your back ..... he's trying to help you in his own way. I think it's only now I've watched Eastenders and the effects on Stacey's partner that I have realised how frightening I must have been to my husband and family. So you have both done really well to 'ride the storm' and just need a little time to take in all that has happened and go forward together.

As you might know, my PP was the family secret and I so regret not being able to talk openly and honestly about it with my husband. He had also been through so much while I was on another planet being a different person.

I think if you can both sit together, when you have a minute to yourselves, and talk honestly and calmly about how you both feel it might clear the air whilst your husband is waiting for the Psychologist.

I hope this makes sense. Take care.


Just seen the we live 10 miles away from each other :)

If ur husband needs someone to talk to maybe at some point we could meet up. My husband also finds it difficult that he doesn't know anyone who has been through this.

I love that idea. Thank you lucinda. I am not sure if it's discouraged by APP though? At the charity i used to work at there was a similar forum but people weren't allowed to arrange meetups. Maybe Ellie at APP can advise me if so. If its all good....maybe meet for a coffee one day in our nearest city? Would love that.


I'm a husband who also watched his wife go through this awful illness. It was such an extreme thing to go through for both. I would say I was lucky, in that I had an understanding boss and very good colleagues at the time, who I was fairly open with but to a lot of people it's just so far out there it's hard for anyone to really understand.

Dependent on where you are along the road of pp, I feared talking about certain stuff with my wife in case I set something off, it sounds weird but at the time I was just so scared about saying or doing the wrong thing and I wanted to protect her and get my wife back.

We are an extremely close team and over time we did finally talk about pp.

When I look back I wish I'd been offered the opportunity of counselling at the time; for me like so many others, I had to find my own way through it.

I believe that APP can offer 1:1 email for partners as they do for sufferers, although it may be better to wait for his appointment. I hope it's not too long.

Good morning. I saw your post and found it reassuring that other men struggle finding people to talk to also. My wife has not yet been formally been diagnosed, - I am trying but struggling to encourage her to see her GP. In the meantime she has asked me to keep her potential PND to myself- I will of course do so with family and friends, but I am really seeking someone to talk to and bounce off anonymously. Its incredibly hard for my wife and I want to support her all I can. It just seems everything I do is wrong, she cant see that I'm helping and I'm really worried she thinks I don't care. Its putting a strain on our relationship and I would be grateful to speak with and share supporting ideas to anyone that is also trying to help their wife / partner. If your husband would like to talk, I am more than happy to do so. I'm not sure how much help I will be, but even as an outlet to share frustrations that may help.

Ellie_at_APPAdministrator in reply to ConcernedSO

HI ConcernedSO

I am really sorry to hear your wife is struggling at the moment, and it is so hard for the partner too. It's so good you've found us and that you have reached out on here, well done because that can take a lot of courage.

I wanted to direct you to our website, if you haven't seen it already, for more information that may help you - we have a page for resources for partners: including what to do if you're worried that your wife has postpartum psychosis. Do read it.

I am sorry she does not want to seek help. What symptoms does she have, is she showing psychotic symptoms (delusions, paranoia, unusual behaviour)? Are there any professionals supporting her? How old is your child?

If you are really concerned about her, I would really encourage you to phone your health visitor / midwife team, GP, even if she wouldn't want you to, as it is really important she gets support quickly, and I think sometimes if someone is unwell they don't even realise they need support. I know that it can be so difficult though.

Are you able to talk to anyone for advice and support for you too, friends or family?

I hope you don't mind all the questions - I just want to make sure you have the information and support you need.

Take care, Ellie

Wow. I'm overwhelmed by your response. Its so nice to know that there are people out there willing to help.

Thank you for the link to the website. I shall check it out ASAP.

Her symptoms are getting progressively worse. We have 2 children, one is of school age and our newest is 3 months old. She is certainly paranoid. She was worried the other mums on the playground were all judging her / not talking to her. She is worried that she is not being a good friend to her friends. All of which is untrue. She has always been, and remains very supportive of her friends - as for the mums at school I am certain that she is paranoid about this. She is becoming overwhelmed by the smallest of things, things that otherwise she wouldn't have given a second thought to doing. She seems very tired and just doesn't have the same get up and go as she usually does. That said she is still doing so much, and doing it all really well, she just doesn't see that. In addition to this she has quite extreme mood swings, and unfortunately sometimes they can manifest into targeted nastiness towards me. - After speaking with her about this a few days ago, she suggested that it may be a postnatal illness. As she wants to keep this between the two of us, I suggested that I would find it incredibly hard to cope on my own. although I would give her all the physical support she needs (Housework etc.) I may not be the best person to be able to offer her the emotional support she needs. - Hugs and words of encouragement don't seem to do it - and I'm not much good at understanding beyond that. She did say that she would consider seeing the GP, but has since seemed to change her mind.

So she knows there is something wrong. - but I think she is so scared as being judged as a bad mother (when in actual fact she is an amazing mother - truly amazing), or being prescribed medication that she wont seek help and will just want to ride the storm just the two of us. But I'm not convinced that either of us will cope with that.

Thank you for your questions, and thank you for your time.

Ellie_at_APPAdministrator in reply to ConcernedSO

Hi ConcernedSO

Thanks for your reply, your love and support for your wife is really obvious, I'm sure your wife will feel this, though it doesn't feel like she does. but what a hard time you're having, I'm really feeling for you. Me and my partner went through such a hard time too, and my partner really struggled as well, and our communication and relationship suffered for a while too.

I hope this reassures you, but from your description of her behaviour etc (and obviously I'm not a professional so this is just a personal view) I'm not sure it is postpartum psychosis. Usually PP happens within the first two to three weeks and is very sudden and acute. I can tell you of my own experience, for example, where on the third day after my son was born, it was like my mind snapped and I had a lot of delusions, I didn't know what was 'real' - I thought I'd killed my baby, that I had locked in syndrome, that it was the end of the world, and I really couldn't function at all, it was very obvious that I was very unwell. I hope you don't mind me sharing that, I guess it's to let you know how extremely unwell I was, which is very typical symptoms and presentation of PP, so that you can compare that to the symptoms of your wife and be reassured in some way that she isn't unwell to that extent?

But it does sound like your wife needs support though. The GP, or health visitor, I'm sure would be able to get support for her. Do keep encouraging her to get help, if you can, and that just because she's struggling in this way definitely doesn't mean she's a bad mother - as you say she's an amazing mum, do tell her that? So many women struggle in this way. And I hope you can get support too, it is so stressful for you... I do hope you can find a friend you can talk to about it.

I hope some of this helps, do take care and let us know how you're doing. I hope the information on the website I gave the link to was helpful too.


Hi ConfusedSO

I really hope you and your wife find the support you need. I hope she'll agree to see the GP and can get a diagnosis. I thought it might be useful to give you the early symptoms of PP?

Thanks for the kind offer to speak to my other half. Would it be okay to wait a little while until you have more of an idea what your wife might be suffering from? I hope that doesn't seem unfriendly I just know that my husband is looking to chat to someone else with experience of PP.

I really wish you well. Postnatal illness is SO difficult.....


lucinda123 in reply to Spaghetti

Hi spaghetti - we did manage to seek admin approval to meet up?

Maybe if ur husband wants someone to talk to I can pass on an email address or mobile number for my husband. X

Spaghetti in reply to lucinda123

Just PM'd you. Thanks! X

Hi ConfusedSO,

Sorry to hear of the problems. I think it worthwhile to continue to try and get your wife to see the doctor or health visitor, maybe possible to get your health visitor to visit if you are able to phone then.

It's important to know what she's suffering from so you can both get the support that's needed.

I have gone through PPP and my husband, just as yours is having a dificult time understanding and copping with how i feel. I think it would be of great help if he would talk to someone else that has also gone, or is going through this. I can send you email or phone number so they can get in contact and anyone else who is also interested.


Hello everyone, I think it's testament to the impact PP can also have on husbands, partners and other family members looking at the responses here.

I had PP back in 2009 and remember all too well the isolation which I felt, even though my husband was trying his absolute best, and was there for me every step of the way, I think in hindsight he probably struggled a lot himself. For him, he had very supportive parents who really helped, plus a couple of close friends, that he felt he could talk to. But I don't think he really talked much at the time, or in the couple of years after really, so it's only as I was coming off all meds after 3 years, then when we had another baby 4 years on, that he felt able to talk about things openly with me.

I know a few people here have said that their partners are wanting to talk and it makes them feel "talked about". It's such a hard balance, but the way I saw it was that everyone was there for me, and I had to let my husband do what he needed to do as well. Within reason of course! Perhaps ask him what he feels he will get from talking to other people, whilst respecting your wishes that he doesn't talk about you to everyone. The way I see it is that if people would really turn around and dislike you for an illness which is completely not your fault, I would be questioning whether their friendship was really that valuable. So having some more positive people, and less of the judgemental, in your lives would be beneficial in the long run.

It's great that people are offering mutual support and I wonder if there are any Dads on the APP Peer Support, where 1:1 emails can be offered? It's great to know that there are people on this forum in that position though and perhaps that will help. I know when my husband met another man who had been through it, at an APP event, this was a real "light-bulb" moment for him too, so I completely get the idea of emailing or meeting up and exchanging stories.

The impact of PP on a relationship can't be under-estimated, and I know hard it is, but I can also say that with the passing of time, you will find your way through this. And hopefully stronger as a couple/ family for it too. Take care, xx

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