Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Advice please


I posted several months ago about coming off my meds. Little did I realise that the good feeling I was having was the start of a manic episode. This ran for a few months, the usual symtoms of feeling great, nothing too much trouble, life was good, spending money buying things I thought I couldn't live without etc etc.

My husband was working away and when he came back he saw what was happening. I couldn't see it myself, no change there.

Brought down off the high initially with olanzapine, since then I've been tried on a variety of meds and combinations. I am feeling so down I can't explain it. I can't imagine ever getting out of the rut i'm in. I just want to stay in bed all the time but I do manage to function, getting up and dressed and getting kids to school and making meals and so on. I'm not working.

I feel very guilty. My CPN tells me to do things for myself to make me happy, to try to break the negative thought cycle but I can't seem to get any enjoyment from anything.

My kids are 8 and 11 now I had PP after both of them. Getting better took over a year. I feel like I want to run away, or worse.....

I've tried CBT but I'm feeliing so negative that doesn't help either. I get up each morning and count the hours till I can go back to bed. Its not a life its just existing.

I'm being a crap mum to my kids and a crap wife to my husband. I'm trying not to let on how much I'm hurting and how bad I'm feeling.

I can sleep without sleeping tablets now and i seem to sleep well.

Mornings are the worst. I just cry buckets in the shower. I even had all my hair cut off because I couldn't stand blow drying it anymore.

I just wish I could see a light at the end of the tunnel but It just feels so dark.

I worry for the future, for my children, for my relationship. I feel I have no purpose in life. At least when I had PP the other twice I had to function because ithey were babies and there aws no-one else to look after them.

Any advice?

I'm going back to see the psychiatrist tonorrow and see the CPN weekly.

Thanks for reading

11 Replies

Oh Frankie that does sound very hard. I'm sorry things are so difficult at the moment.

I've relapsed before as well and it's awful.

It's good you're seeing the psychiatrist so soon and i hope you can be really honest with them - and it's also good about the CPN - I know how it's not always enough to make you feel better though, the meds don't always get you on an even keel straight away.

Sounds like you're doing amazingly to achieve so much with the kids and running a house, let alone on top of feeling terrible. Nothing to be guilty for and you're not a bad mum/wife. But it sounds as though you're not getting all the care you need. I wonder if you're getting enough time to talk about how you're feeling? Maybe it would be possible to see a psychologist (or was the CBT through a psychologist?) - it was just a thought. I feel concerned that you've been so down and unsure where you can turn to and what you can do.

Despite how bad you are feeling there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel even though you can't see it right now. I've had two psychotic/manic episodes now, and depression, and yet i'm still well the vast majority of my life and the same will be true for you. It might just take a bit longer to get the right medication and support package for you to be back on track.

Let us know how you get on tomorrow.

I really wish that you start feeling better soon. I wonder if it's possible to enjoy one small thing each day, like a square of chocolate or the early spring sunshine or lying in the bath - just a little experience that could remind you of your normal self??

Thinking of you and sending loads of nurturing and care

Spaghetti x


Hello Frankieb

Good to hear from you though I'm sorry you're struggling.

Please don't despair ..... I know it doesn't feel like it at the moment but you will emerge from the rut you say you are in. At least you're getting out of bed even though you feel at your worst. It's difficult to keep a lid on how you are feeling so I'm glad you will be seeing your Psychiatrist tomorrow. Just be as open and honest as you have been here and your care team will probably put a plan together to help you.

Try not to worry, you're not well at the moment and need a lot of care and attention which I hope will start for you tomorrow.

Take care and stay safe. If you need support tonight The Samaritans are available 24/7 on telephone number 116 123.

We are all here for you.


Hi frankieb

I'm so sorry you are feeling so hopeless. I was really sad to read your post. I suffered from bad depression after I had PP and so I have some idea of how you're feeling. Some days I could hardly make it through the day, and like you just wanted to day to end and go to bed and I too couldn't see how I could get better.

But frankieb you WILL get better, you will get through this. Two things helped me, I don't know if they will help you, do just take or leave whatever might be helpful...trying to write something positive down at the end of the day, even if it was something so small like 'the sun was shining' or 'my son smiled'. It somehow helped to build on some small bit of hope...

I also found trying to give myself things to achieve, which varied depending on how ill I was feeling. Even small things like ' in this hour I'll wash up, do laundry' etc - just to help me through the day. The routine helped and just made me feel like I had managed to achieve something.

I remember someone in the mother and baby unit saying to me 'you have to fake it to make it'. As your CPN suggests maybe do something you used to enjoy - any form of exercise is good? - even if you don't feel like it, even if it doesn't even feel that good afterwards, but somehow I think it slowly does fight the depression. Sometimes I felt like it was a fight and it helped to view it that way.

I agree it is amazing that you are managing to take your kids to school, to keep going with household tasks. This is a huge achievement. And you are most definitely not a bad mum or wife, you're just unwell.

Franieb, we're here for you, take care, write whenever you need to, you are not alone XX


Hi Frankieb,

Thanks for coming back to the forum and sharing so honestly with us all. It sounds really tough for you at the moment but by recognizing it and reaching out that really is a positive thing. I hope you are getting good support, the weekly CPN visits are hopefully useful to you. I remember that my CPN used to take me out for coffee and cake in my early days being home from the MBU , I wonder if getting out and about might also help for you? Something to break the monotony and look forward to perhaps.

Your psychiatrist appointment might also be further support if you can be honest about your feelings, there might be some further avenues to explore around meds or other treatment.

I know how hard it can be to get any sort of"get up and go" when you are feeling so low. But the fact that you are functioning and doing things does give something to build on. Is it possible to spend some time with your husband or a good friend and do something you will enjoy? I loved a trip to the cinema or a wander round town (coffee and cake again helped!) If quieter times at home are more your thing, a good book, favourite tv program or trashy magazine might help. Having small things through the day to break it up can help avoid it stretching out too endlessly. I used to plan in a cuppa or even little jobs round the house to get me through.

I too like the idea of writing down a small thing each day. I used to write a diary and found that helped me to be able to look back and see progress. I still write a little notebook from time to time to record funny things my kids say or do, or nice happy things that have happened. Photos are something I love too and a good way to spend time.

Please know that you are not a bad person, mum, wife, you've just been ill and you will get better, hang in there. Take care, write here if it helps too. Thinking of you, xx


Hello Frankieb

I hope your appointment with the Psychiatrist went well today in terms of support. I'm sure it has been a long day for you. I hope your CPN visits are helpful and that you can be honest about how you really feel.

You are doing so well to cope with work and family routine in spite of how low you are feeling. With good medical care you will be well again ......

We are all thinking of you.


Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reply, it is appreciated.

The psychiatrist has changed my meds again. Another antidepressant Venlafaxine or Efexor.

I'm due to see her again in 5 weeks, my CPN coming tomorrow.

I think I need more structure in my life. I was busy working and juggling family life before this, I barely had time to think. Now I've just got far too much time on my hands.

I can only hope that this change is the one I need.

Thanks againx


Hi frankieb

Thanks for the update. I have just had a change of work rhythm too (where I am working less than I was) and I find routine and structure really important. I am trying to build in things that give me 'life' - they are different for each person I think but to give you some ideas some things I like to do are swimming, going for walks along the sea, reading spiritual books, mindfulness / meditation / prayer, doing art... maybe you can build some things that make you feel good into your weekly routine?

I am glad you saw the psychiatrist, I hope the change of meds helps and it's good that you are seeing your CPN tomorrow.

Take care frankieb, never hesitate to write


Hello Frankieb

Good to hear from you. Hopefully the new medication will work. You will feel so much better when the right medication is found to suit you but it does take time to have an effect.

I'm glad your CPN is coming tomorrow. Mums are known for multi-tasking ...... just take the time to focus on yourself for a while. We have all felt low and lost but eventually fully recovered, as you will.

Take good care and stay safe.


Hi Frankieb

Glad to hear you're getting support from your CPN and psychiatrist and hope that you'll very soon turn the corner towards feeling well again. Try to be patient with the medication as sometimes it takes a while before you feel their benefit.

I, like you, suffered a manic relapse after many years of being stable and initially I was very resistant to 'chemical intervention' - partly because I was enjoying certain aspects of my high mood oblivious of the stress i was creating for those around me. I put up a fight but eventually agreed to be helped.

The antipsychotics were effective in slowing me down but left me feeling emotionally very flat, much like you describe in your post. CBT helped a little, but I think you need to be at the right point in your recovery to really benefit from it.

I found that getting out for a short walk most days was, and still is a huge help to me. Steady at first but if you can build up to a point where you're getting slightly out of breath and you can feel your pulse pumping, just for 15-20 minutes, you might find, like me, that your mood is lifted for the rest of the day.

Also, a couple of years ago, I stumbled upon a website called MOODSCOPE. It's a really straightforward mood tracking tool and is free of charge. It takes literally seconds to record your mood each day and records the result on a graph. There's a facility to annotate on any point along your chart. For example, if your score shifts dramatically up or down and you know or suspect why, you can record the reason onto the graph. It's most useful if you record your score every day although it still effective for spotting trends if, like me, you only manage a few days a month! You might find it quite rewarding to see your graph tracking steadily upwards as your mood improves.

There's also a facility for you to share your results with a buddy via email which enables you to keep your husband or a trusted friend 'in the picture' without having to start a difficult conversation.

Sorry about the Waffling! Probably best to have a look yourself!


I hope the green shoots of recovery start popping through for you very soon.

Take care and rmember to be kind to yourself.

J xx


Hello Frankieb

I hope you found the visit from your CPN helpful today. It's such a shock to find yourself feeling so low but with the help of your CPN and care team you will feel better eventually.

Best wishes.


Hi Frankieb

just wondering how you're doing? i hope the CPN and team have been helpful.

Spaghetti x


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