New to the forum


I'm not sure my story is anywhere near as bad as some I have read on here but never the less, was a terrifying experience and I wanted to share.

After the birth of my third child in 2012 I experienced what I believe to have been postnatal psychosis. I was convinced that I was going to die, would not interact with my children because they were going to loose me anyway and considering suicide as at least then I'm in control of it. Became convinced my baby had a serious illness (although this aspect was short lived). I could not socialise as I couldn't focus my thoughts and would have panic attacks as I believed I was about to die. 

I was diagnosed as 'down' and given anti depressants and lorazepam. I took them believing it to be pointless as was going to die anyway. Even mri scans and countless hospital trips could not convince me I was well.

I have recently relapsed and am now just about on the journey to recovery through retaking citalapram and therapy weekly.

Has anyone else had similar experience and not diagnosed? 

I obviously am scared of another episode but trying to live day to day

Thank you for reading 

9 Replies

  • Hello RhianT

    Thank you for sharing your story and welcome to the forum.  I'm sorry you had such a frightening time after the birth of your third child, it must have been awful for you. It's good to know you are now recovering from your relapse;  I'm glad the weekly therapy and medication are helping you.  

    It sounds as though you might have read some posts on the forum already, so you might know that I had PP twice many years ago.  From my medical notes I have read that I did have a diagnosis of PP but I didn't know at the time.  I also relapsed after recovery with my second psychosis and had what seemed like an endless depression. Thankfully, with good medical care and treatment I fully recovered.

    I agree it's a good idea to take one day at a time and at your own pace.  I hope your journey to recovery continues and you have many happy moments with your children in the future.

    Take very good care of yourself.

  • Yes I had a similar experience where I thought I was going to die and tried the best I could to get help by yelling out to others around me. I actually almost passed out on the floor thinking that there was nothing that could be done to save me but an ambulance was called and they passed it off as a panic attack. Two more ambulances later, feeling exactly the same I was taken back to hospital absolutely distraught, making it 1000 times worse when I didn't get to see my son for 2 weeks and was in a scary general psychiatric ward that felt more like jail than a hospital! Had similar feelings in there and many nightmares about dying. Hideous experience  but you get there in the end. Hope your doing ok. Here to chat if you like...

  • Dear Rhian,

    thank you for sharing your story. Being able to write on a forum is part of the recovery process and in a way it is a process of helping each other.

    I just started to disclose my experience on APP last year. It certainly helps to journalise. I am also keeping a diary and dot down things when I want to.

    We are all on a different journey of recovery, but can relate to each other, whether we have been diagnosed or not with PPP. I was in a psychiatric unit, despite knowing that I was suffering from Post Natal Psychosis (2010), Professionals had a lot of problems to identify sufficient and appropriate treatment in order to help me. I have had to take Lorazepam, Haliperadone & Risperidone & was weaned off after 1 year.  

    I am pleased you receive help and support, now. I still struggle with life, but am not afraid to ask for help as I suffer with fear and anxiety & have been diagnosed with Social and Agora Phobia. You finally will establish copying mechanism and start to embrace instead of fighting illness and conditions after PPP.

    Good luck with your recovery,


  • I am your twin in all that! I was convinced I was dying of cancer.. Or Lou Gherigs or ALS, I recorded goodbye videos to my kids. Then I was sure I was being poisoned by my husband, then when the panic and numbness started I was sure it was brain cancer. 

    Agoraphobia, had to go on temporary disability, suicidal, withdrew from kids, every noise was amplified, ITs,  couldn't function, was crying 24/7, planned moving into apartment with husbsnd and kids bc I knew I couldn't work and didn't know when I would get better... I had out of body experiences, time was going SO SLOW, thought I was really in a coma somewhere and what I was experiencing wasn't real... Wow. You ARE just like my experience! Hope you are getting better each day. 

    I am finally back to work and 90% better. 

    Hugs, S

  • Thank you SO MUCH for the replies. I have never (until Feb this year) opened up about this and it is four years this xmas. 

    The added tricky situation that I had/have is that I actually am a midwife. I have lost my career through pp however. I have just this week gone back but only in a non clinical aspect as clinical work is a huge trigger for me unfortunately. So the illnesses I believed my baby had were well researched and made it so much worse! 

    I have literally never heard of someone who had the same symptoms as me, it's strangely reassuring. I still now can't watch or read anything on terminal illness as won't then sleep for days and will go into weeks of terror. 

    I am so excited so try to raise funds/volunteer any way/raise awareness any way I can as I can't stand how taboo this subject still is and the amount of women that go through this pain. Considering I am a trained midwife who did a degree I'm disgusted I could not even recognise how ill I was due to complete lack of knowledge on the subject


  • Hello RhianT

    Good to hear from you and I'm glad the replies here have been helpful.  It's such a relief to find other mums who have had similar experiences isn't it?  I also had never met anyone with my symptoms so always took a step back from new mums describing their text book births and recovery. I was so grateful to meet Prof Jones some years ago after replying to an article in the local paper regarding research.  He was able to confirm my diagnosis which I had wondered about for years.  Since finding APP I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the APP team and openly talked to other mums who completely understood, as well as the other virtual friends on the forum.

    Don't be so hard on yourself about not recognising how ill you were.  I didn't recognise how ill I was ........ I thought everyone in the family didn't understand me! It's quite like being a different person isn't it?  Reading my notes from those days I didn't recognise the loud, argumentative young woman there with all those delusions!  I don't remember the possibility of PP being mentioned during antenatal classes but I hope with more of an emphasis on mental health today, women and their families will be well informed.

    Returning to work can be tiring, so please make sure you have enough breaks in between.  A pleasure to 'meet' you here .........

  • Thank you Lilybeth. I would like a formal diagnosis although feel certain of it myself. Wonder if I'm to late to speak to someone about this, does anyone know? I've mostly tried to stay clear of divulging my scariest thoughts etc with professionals mainly due to being one myself 😬 So although currently have diagnosis of anxiety and as I mentioned remain on citalapram, I would like to have this all confirmed as my relapse could have been prevented it was treated properly 😔

    Thank you all for responding


  • Hello RhianT

    If you are in the UK, Prof Ian Jones does offer a second opinion service which your G.P can refer you to, regarding diagnosis and management for mums who have experienced PP or bipolar. 

    There is a link at with details for you.  I know that some mums here have received a lot of support and good advice from Prof Jones.

    Hope this is helpful.  Take care good care.

  • Thank you that is helpful

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