How do we help them not to worry?

How do we help our husbands not to worry, when we are going through the process of changing medication, and/or a change or stage of life unrelated to childbirth?

My story, 2 bouts of postnatal psychosis, kids are now 6 1/2 and 2 1/2.

A year ago, through the uncertainty of adjusting to being a school mum, I needed to step my antidepressant up to 30mg of lexapro.

We had a good summer holiday this year (Sydney, Australia) getting back into things we havent enjoyed as a family for a long time. Bike riding, swimming, bushwalking, watching cricket, sorting and tidying some spaces in the house that havent been touched since before child #2.

As the school year has got started again, I have been more organised, more tidy, and actually cooking meals (my husband does all the savoury cooking). When my sleep was changing, ie staying up later, getting up earlier, it sparked concerns, and with my psychiatrist have happily agreed to step my antidepressant back down to 20mg of lexapro.

However, my husband is VERY stressed that maybe Im getting sick again. He is super-vigilant of everything I do.

Im seeing my GP weekly, psychiatrist monthly.

He is seeing the same GP, will see my psychiatrist in a fortnight, and starting to see a new psychologist in a month.

How do I help him not to worry as much, and to trust our medical practitioners, rather than feeling the burden that my health is his responsibility?


PS Are there actually any Dads on this forum to share their experiences with each other?

8 Replies

  • Hi Deb - this is such a good question. I would love to have the answer to this too!

    I have been left with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. And as a result my family (esp my husband) is vigilant about my moods and any behaviour that could be deemed "manic".

    I find it quite annoying at times, but it is usually those times that I am in need of a bit of help to slow down! When I'm manic I need someone else to give me that guidance and insight. Does that make sense?

    Did you ever come up with a "WRAP" or anything like that, which is agreed and shared with your other half? I think its "Wellness Recovery Action Plan"'or something like that and its designed to list your early warning signs, triggers etc and what the plan would be in each case.

    When my husband gets out of bed I will ask him to take a look at this thread and see if he has any thoughts for you (he's ThamesValleyRoyal on here).



  • Hello DEb12W,

    Good to hear from you. I suppose it's difficult sometimes to 'switch off' as your husband has witnessed how unwell you have been in the past.

    On the APP page there is a book mentioned "Carer's Survival Guide" written by a partner. It's aimed at the Australian audience and some of the health care procedures may differ from the UK.

    There is also another book on the page "Husband in a Storm" which I'm reading here. What I have read so far does give a good perspective on how it must have been for our soulmates.

    Perhaps if your husband goes with you to the appointment with your Psychiatrist he can be reassured that you are on the right road? There are men here who have given good advice so I hope they will reply.

    Best wishes.

  • Hello DEb12W,

    This is a really interesting question, and one I also find myself still asking from time to time. I had PP over 6 years ago now and I know throughout my recovery (probably the 1-2 years after my initial illness) my husband would never really say, but I could tell from his body language or funny looks/ odd comments, that he was questioning if I was OK and probably also worrying too.

    I think the because the change in meds was done really slowly in my experience (I took an anti-psychotic for a year and lithium for 3 years), this was spaced out enough for anything to be noticed and amended - which it thankfully wasn't needed, and I continued to make good progress. I had a 2nd child and remained well a couple of years ago now, and also don't have any bipolar or other mental health diagnosis, so I suppose over time, the reassurances my husband has needed have reduced. But I am aware of looking after myself and getting enough sleep, minimising stress etc, as I know I could suffer again because major life events can possibly trigger episodes of illness after having had PP.

    I guess being self-aware of your triggers and minimising or eliminating them has been a big thing for me. It's really positive that you have the appointments with your GP and Psychiatrist and that you're being monitored and supported so well. I too wondered whether it would help your husband's anxieties to come to some appointments with you? I know it helped my husband to feel involved when I had appts to go to, and I actually didn't like going on my own, as I felt I needed him there to lean on and also check that the information they were telling me was being heard by him too, if that makes sense.

    The APP website also has some information which might be helpful, including the partner's guide:

    And other useful FAQs:

    It sounds as though you had a lovely holiday recently and it's great to hear that you are enjoying things as a family. I know my husband could really tell my recovery was progressing and we were putting the hard times behind us when we would have a nice day out or holiday, or even just a nice day together. Spending time as a couple without children can also help in valuing your relationship, away from the chaos of kids (my 2 are a similar age, and it's lovely but exhausting at times! So we like to try and go to the cinema or have a meal together, but not as often as we probably should...!!)

    For me, just chatting, and a reassuring hug, can go a long way. I know that my husband has been through the hell of PP too and it's really important that we look out for each other. I don't think we could ever have imagined the hard times, but they do make the good times all the sweeter. It can be a frustration to have someone worrying after you, but it's also valuable that he can help look out for you. It's what it's all about really, isn't it. Take care, xx

  • I totally understand Deb12w my husband has been through a lot and I find difficult to tell him when I'm not doing so good. The ironic thing is he know exactly when I'm ill and tries to fix things. I don't really have any answers for u all I have is empathy. On the positive u must have a loving amazing husband for him to be doing what he is and wanting to make his wife better! He's definitely a keeper. X

  • Hello missot

    Thank you for your support here. I hope you are well as you haven't been on the forum for a while.

    Take care.

  • I don't think it's any wonder he's parraoid, I went through this only once. I can honestly say their are no words that can describe how utterly horrific PPP is. Husbands and partners are in my opinion the silent suffers of PPP we generally don't get a chance to digest what has happened to us, because basically we don't get time to switch off we are careers first husbands and parents it's hard.

    Try and look at situations from his point of view. For you communicate with him well on your thoughts and what you want to achieve he might relax a little.

    Like I say to my wife, it's evolution not revolution on what she wants to achieve.


    Husband & Suvivoir of PPP

  • Hi,

    My wife suffered with pp almost 9 years ago now; what an experience!

    For me, I had the same concerns, I love my wife dearly, she is my soul mate and to watch her go through pp was frightening.

    I became acutely aware of changes in mood and whilst at the MBU had even drawn up a mood chart, to simply show the staff what 'normal' looked like

    At the point at which my wife came home, I've got to admit to feeling really happy, yet so worried about the up and down road to recovery.

    Just by going through this with her, I knew what the triggers looked like and if I saw/heard them, it would send shivers through me, I can honestly say that I was terrified of it happening again. I wanted to want to protect her.

    I remember her being annoyed with me on our first holiday, when I noticed a much higher mood than normal starting and I had been beating myself up about whether I should say anything or not. Funnily enough, even though angry and worried, she did also agree and we then phoned the mbu and had a chat and we're able to get some meds. We had a great holiday by the way.

    That was probably the first time we'd talked about the pp experience in that way and in it became easier for us to talk about it between us and to highlight the triggers and what the action plan would be if it happened again.

    I went with my wife to all her appointments and always offered to stay in the car or waiting room but she always wanted me to actually come in with her and for us it worked well, it allowed me to have input but also to understand and sometimes question.

    Over time I relaxed and we realised one day, probably 18 to 24 months after the initial pp that we were no longer talking about it, that's the time we see as the moment we were really through pp....

  • I would like to thank you all for your in-put about our soul mates, especially the male contributions. My partner went through the mill when I got so terribly poorly. However, I admire him for his strengths and I am so grateful that he fought for my survival and looked after our baby.

    It was such a testing time, but our soul mates` love and concern is their caving instinct. Our protectors make sure the family members are safe and sound. Hoops- in some aspects I am a traditionalist...Even though we are on the same wave lengths with regards to intellectual level, moral issues and lots more ..he is a man and I am a woman....thus communication is of vital importance....he can not look into my brain and chemicals...

    My soul mate is always concerned about my fluctuation in hormones & triggers....he got to know me very well , because of PPP....we only were together for 10 months, but my life was tumble drying through the episodes and he tried to make sense of my world.

    Respect to all the partners, husband and carers , who went through this traumatizing experience & who are still with us, because of their love, devotion and kindness.


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