Re: new to this

Hi, not really sure what I am hoping to find out by joining here but last week I had to have my partner detained under section 2 of the mental health act due to post partum psychosis.

Kind of thinking if I can find out any extra info (extra to what research I have already done) in the very brief moments I get between changing nappies and feeding our three week old daughter.

I have done no research into the potential way in which they will ease my wife back into the home life.



31 Replies

  • Hello Kerr616

    Welcome to the forum, I'm sure you'll find some answers and support here.

    I'm so sorry you and your family are going through this, it must have been very hard to have to have your partner sectioned but so important she's safe and being treated. Is she in a mother and baby unit? I'm assuming not if you're caring full time for your new baby...

    I had PP in 2012 after the birth of my first child, I had no history of mental illness. I spent a month in a mother and baby unit with my baby, my husband visiting every day. Please be assured that your partner will recover and this is a temporary illness, I know how terrifying it is but she will get better.

    If you've not already found it, there is a partners guide on the APP website - - as well as a lot more very good information.

    In regard to returning home, for me, as I was recovering I had some home leave - a few hours to start with, then overnight, then a weekend, before being discharged home. I then had input from the local community mental health team, with visits to my home, and was under the care of a psychiatrist until I came off my medication. I had had my baby with me so treatment and recovery in the unit included increased time spent with him and increased time looking after him - the illness knocked me back to zero and I had to pretty much start again but with time my confidence grew. I have a very good bond with my son and he's been in no way affected (and he has an excellent bond with my husband, I'm sure partly as a result of the increased role he had to play early on).

    I'm not sure if my husband was particularly supported in readiness for my return home, but he had good support from family and friends. Do you have much support around you? I do hope so - accept all help offered to you, I think all the attention tends to be directed at us women, but it's so hard on the partners. Do ask the professionals looking after your wife any questions you have, and I'm sure you'll get good support and advice from other partners on this forum.

    Do ask any particular questions you might have here, we all understand and have experience to share.

    Sending you very best wishes.

    J x

  • Hello Dk1984

    Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry to hear your partner is suffering PP ..... has she been sectioned to an MBU or general psychiatric unit? I was sectioned many years ago to general psychiatric care and made a full recovery.

    I'm not sure if in your research you came across the APP Insider Guide for Partners which you might find helpful. There is also an Insider Guide "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" both viewed via There is also a book entitled "Husband in a Storm" on this site which might give you a good perspective on coping as a partner.

    After spending a while in hospital, I was eased back into home life by having weekend leave from the unit. I should say that the first time I went home I was like a fish out of water, after having the security of the mental health unit! However, I soon adjusted and look forward to my weekend leave. When I was discharged I was visited regularly at home by a Health Visitor and Community Psychiatric Nurse.

    You must be very busy with baby and visiting your partner. It's not easy watching your partner going through such a traumatic illness but she will fully recover in her own time with good medical care and your support.

    I hope you have support for yourself during this time too. There will be other mums here to comment on their more recent experiences. In the meantime, take good care of yourself too.

  • Apologies I've only replied to one of you but I'm new and am on my phone.

    Thank you for the swift responses and interesting insights into your own experiences.

    A mother and baby unit located around 15 miles away from us was mentioned as a potential for future use. The issue was that my wife was breast feeding and was adamant we would never use formula to feed our daughter.

    I won't go into all of the symptoms but they were most of them within the link - she had got to the point where she was refusing to feed our daughter either by breast, expressing or formula, this is possibly the reason the mother and baby unit wasn't used. I will provide full details in due course.

    The ward is relatively low security (they can take wires, belts, etc in and the furniture isn't fastened down) but she cannot leave and has had to be held down and sedated already, they have started drugs now though.

    I am looking after our daughter full time (have s month's sick note) and have plenty of support from family, close friends and health visitors these people are also visiting my wife to hopefully assist in her recovery

    The information about returning home is very interesting and is appreciated.


  • Hello Dk1984

    It's very difficult for you so there's no need to apologise .... this is a very new and traumatic experience. It's such a shame that the joy of having a baby has to be tarnished by such an illness but once the right balance of medication is found your partner will be calmer. The possibility of MBU care is very good although it will be a journey for you.

    Possibly your partner is acting out of character as the illness envelopes her. I was very argumentative and loud before treatment, which was a great surprise as it wasn't 'me' at all.

    Take care and make the most of the support you have from family, friends and professionals. Try to have five minutes to yourself when your daughter is sleeping ....

  • Yeah she was the complete opposite of her usual persona, she was even getting violent at times which she is anything but.

    It's certainly a bit of a different experience trying to find five minutes to eat your lunch with one hand.

    As regards the experience last Tuesday/Wednesday a number of professionals (non psychiatric) saw her at differing levels and showing different symptoms but in the end I ended up making a trip to a&e which lasted 12 and a half hours from start to finish.

    She is in the right place for her recovery at least


  • It's very strange how PP can take over ..... it's almost like being another person! You did really well to take your partner to a&e and waiting for so long. Seeing her sectioned must have been upsetting for you but it's done for all the right reasons.

    I had delusions with my PP which were all very real to me at the time; quite a risk to myself. I was sectioned and taken to a&e and then to a psychiatric unit. It might not seem like it at the moment but it is a temporary illness and your partner will get better.

    We are here to talk anytime but don't worry about replying as you are very busy .....

  • She did become a completely different person, when the GP came out to us I had written a list of symptoms and things I wanted to discuss, it was a full sheet of A4 paper!

    At one point at 3am she thought the neighbour and her boss were downstairs, I got shouted at for letting them in and had to pretend if kicked them out - having discussed this with her (during the hours in A&E) i think she felt their prescence as opposed to actually seeing them.

    We also(as far as I know) didn't believe our child was god/the devil but all the other symptoms (on the partners link) were there.

    She could remember our daughters date of birth (13th May) but was convinced she was 2 days old (was 19 at the time) and couldn't remember the name of our second child (we haven't got one).

    As time is dragging on I decided to sit down on Saturday and write down the full timeline from the first symptoms I realised, that way when I forget we can (if she asks to) sit down and go through filling in any gaps.

    Cheers Kerr616

  • Hello Kerr 616,

    just came back from a camping holiday and will write a bit more in detail later on today once I get my son ready for school. My partner is off to work. Usual routine! - I also have had Post Partum Psychosis in 2010 and found my feet again (like many other women on this forum) and lead a happy and fulfilled life.

    Your traumatic experience will flare off and your partner will walk along her path of recovery. A support network will be put into place for her , but simultaneously making sure that you get sufficient and appropriate help in order to cope. It is such a overwhelming experience, - trying to get support from all sorts of direction such as a social website for PPP indicates your compassion and love for your partner and children.

    Thinking of you in such a difficult time,

    wishing you strengths and energy,

    Sabine x

  • Thank you for your reply.

    One thing I'll say is that PPP is one of those things mentioned as a potential with pregnancy that no-one ever read up about (a bit like side effects of medicine) but I think it could have been discussed at anti natal classes or something, especially seeing how fast and much it gripped my wife - I'd gone back to work and if I'd worked away I dread to think what could have hapenned

    Whilst I am sure at the time it was hard on all involved and the recovery will have been too it is good to see examples of people who have been through it and are now doing ok!


  • Kerr616,

    as promised I am back!

    My partner was thrown into the deep end (probably like so many families). He knew that I got very poorly in the first two weeks. I did not sleep anymore and my behaviour became very erratic and strange. Nobody wanted to believe my partner that there was something seriously wrong until a midwife came to have a chat with me, then two mature people we both trusted and eventually the crisis team; all on the same day.

    Unfortunately I did not have the experience of an MBU, but would strongly recommend it, if your partner needs further intense & continuous professional care.

    Accumulating information specifically on this website and reflecting on its case studies I believe there are varied levels of Post Partum Psychosis and its treatment. Needs and care of each individual is quite unique. I do agree with your comment above that more awareness needs to be raised. Once you will surpass this extreme traumatic and stressful time you will probably gain further information about some amazing people, who are trying very hard to work towards appropriate and better mental health care for females in perinatal health such as APP.

    Remember that your well being is of great importance for your family. I hope you can include friends and family, who are able to give you some relief & time-out. My partner's parents were of great help once I came out of the mixed gender psychiatric hospital. My partner was gentle and kind, but also very firm in making sure that I gained some of my confidence back. Thus, learning to do tasks independently with the aim of looking after my baby again. All in stepping stones!

    Ok, I need to get on with my life again. Take good care of yourself!

    Kind wishes, Sabine x

  • I do remember being very difficult and must have been a nightmare for my husband and parents ..... I was right and frustrated that I wasn't believed. I was very ill and after my behaviour spiralled out of control, I didn't have any memory of what happened next until I woke up in the psychiatric hospital!

    I'm glad you found the Partners' guide helped you to recognise your wife's symptoms of PP. I agree that this illness should be mentioned in antenatal classes just so mums and partners are aware. Hopefully with the recent Eastenders storyline, highlighting PP, more people will realise how the illness can occur out of the blue.

    Your partner will be so grateful that you are keeping a timeline to look back on. Recently I had sight of my notes from my G.P with details of my two PP episodes, six years apart. For the first time in a long time I was able to fill in the gaps and I honestly didn't recognise the young woman I was reading about ......

    Try to rest as much as you can, though not easy with a tiny bundle of joy!

  • Hi Kerr616,

    Welcome to the site, some great responses above as well.

    My wife suffered with pp a few years ago now and what an utter shock it was, even terrifying at times.

    I had to cope with almost 5 weeks at home whilst her symptoms continued getting worse, before they suddenly dropped into an abyss but eventually she was given a space in an MBU!

    It was the start of the road to recovery, a very up and down one, sometimes feeling like it was 3 steps forward and 2 back.

    My wife spent a total of 12 weeks in the MBU and as things improved, they would let us go out for small walks, the first couple without our little one and then with all 3 of us. Then a few hours to come back home before returning to the MBU, although this plan had to be delayed for a week because of a relapse, I felt absolutely gutted that day but it did eventually happen, this was followed by a couple of nights at home, always with an option of just picking up the phone and going straight back.

    It was a long road but I got my wife back plus a beautiful baby boy (now a lot older but turning into a great young boy). The bond between them is very strong, a far cry from those pp days.

    There are certain times we look back on and are even able to laugh at now.

    Best wishes and be sure to look after yourself as well.

  • Sorry I'm doing a bit of a reply to a number of posts but thank you for all who have taken the time to type a post.

    My wife has rung me a couple of times (as well as our visits) and sounds better each time she has said that they let her go for a walk round the grounds today which can only be good.

    Had her review the other day and after it we had a really good discussion, she knows she's got PPP and remembers a lot of what she did, there is still confusion as to how many kids she has though!

    We are both going in at the weekend to see how that visit goes

    Hoping we'll laugh about it one day too, it's a while away yet though!


  • I hope you have received some comfort from all the post.

    I tell my hubby that I am so thankful for him and how he fought to get me help.

    My advice is to take one day at a time.

    We are all proud of you.

    Good luck and lots of positive thoughts for your family

  • Hello Dk1984

    Great to hear that your wife has rung you a few times. She has done very well to improve in just a week. I wasn't communicating at all when I first went into hospital. Walking and talking in the fresh air is very calming so I'm glad your wife is doing well.

    You're doing so well for your family ..... take care to rest when you can.

  • I think that the nice weather has been helping a bit, she's been doing yoga in the gardens and a bit of sun can do wonders for people's moods!

    There are still things that she needs to clear up in her own mind, some things don't seem to be sinking in just yet that should hopefully in time.

    Little un (and me) have taken to formula really well, 11 ounce weight gain in a week is helping me with my aim of getting her big and strong for her mummy's return.


  • Hello Dk1984

    That sounds a great care plan that includes yoga, which is very relaxing. There are also baby yoga classes aren't there which might be something for the future when your wife is on the mend?

    I think she is going in the right direction, though it's early days. She is much more aware than I was, communicating at this stage. I'm sure as you've been so organised to keep a timeline record of PP you will also be taking photos of your daughter to show your wife and to keep for the future? I now have photos to look back on and although I wasn't around for my first son's first Christmas, I can see how cute he was in his very early days .... also his brother six years later, although he was a summer baby.

    My sons also thrived on formula ...... you are doing so well with your daughter and your wife is fighting so hard to be well. It's not easy right now but you will all have such a loving bond when your wife eventually returns home safe and well .......

  • We are now in the position that I hoped (harsh as this will sound) we would be in.

    She now doesn't like the ward or any of the patients on it as she now believes she shouldn't be there (a few days ago she loved everyone and being there) and is basically scared now every time another patient kicks off.

    The above isn't great for me as I know she's not particularly streetwise and she's ringing me more and more often seeing when I can get her out!



  • Hi Kerr, Sorry to hear that you and your family are going through this at the moment. You sound in your posts amazingly calm although I'm sure it doesn't feel like that to you.

    I can relate to your wife's situation in a few ways. I too was quite obsessed with breastfeeding as part of my PP. In fact my son had to be hospitalised at the same time as me due to being severely underweight and dehydrated.

    His release is what pushed me into the same state your wife is now 'I want out'. Although on reflection, I may not have been completely ready to be be discharged, my husband supported me and I was released within 10 days of being admitted. This was followed by a week of outpatient treatment of a few hours of observation during the day. I think that if a Mother and Baby unit was an option (no public ones in my area of Australia) that I would have probably gone there.

    Has the Mother and Baby unit been mentioned again. They really seem to be the best places to be treated. I was lucky to have a fairly quick and uncomplicated recovery however there are many on here who had some quite major ups and downs during recovery. MBUs are designed to assist in recovery as well as foster mother and baby relationships.

    I hope your wife continues to progress.

    Good Luck.

  • Cheers for the response

    The mother and baby unit has been mentioned by my wife but she has said she is happy to go onto a standard ward but is obviously wanting ideally to go home

    Progress is better with each day

    Met with her daughter the other day for the first time in nearly two weeks!

  • Hello Dk1984

    Were you hoping for this reaction from your partner so that she can be moved into the MBU?

    A general psychiatric ward can be very frightening, especially at night. I remember patients shouting for help ... screaming ....crying, .... all very upsetting. The ward I was in was mixed so there were some very poorly patients and after being more aware of my surroundings I wasn't happy being there either. PP heightens all our senses and some things appear worse than they are. After months I was eventually transferred to a smaller mental health unit (no MBUs in those days) and was allowed to have my son with me ..... the only baby there! I was shown how to care for him and felt much safer.

    Perhaps if there is still a place in the MBU available, this would be a much calmer environment for your partner? With help, she would also be able to care for your daughter too. It's quite a few miles away but I think your partner will benefit from the specialist care available.

    I hope your partner will be calmer when you next visit. Just to know you understand will be a great comfort to her as she is understandably feeling vulnerable.

    We are here to help if we can ........

  • The main reason I wanted her to realise she didn't like the ward was because she might then realise that she didn't belong there, she has now done this

    Within the space of a few days she went from thinking some of the other patients would be friends for life to not wanting to associate with them in hospital never mind on the outside.

    As regards the mother and baby unit I need to find out if this is actually an option with the now lack of breastfeeding- when they met up the other day (albeit briefly) there looked to still be a bond there?

  • Hello Dk1984

    I'm glad that your wife is making progress each day and met up with your daughter. I think it would be a good idea if the MBU is still available as it would enable your wife to continue building a bond. This would also allow you to have time to yourself until you are all home together.

    Take care .....

  • Hello Dk1984

    I hope your wife is continuing to improve. Is the option of MBU care still available?

    Take care .....

  • Hello Ker616,

    how are you copying? It is such a difficult time.

    I hope so very much that your wife will get a place in the MBU.

    I have been in a mixed gender unit and my partner came in twice a day, to check whether I was copying.

    Unfortunately the experience was devastating in the more open unit, - I was full of fear and very scared. Once being transferred to a more closed unit, I still did not have the right treatment and members of staff were unable to cope with me. Thus, I was locked up in a single cell throughout my episodes (6). I did not self-harm, but was extremely strong and very mischievous. Some of the experiences I have had are very sad, some embarrassing and some painful moments, because I still struggle nowadays with fear and anxiety & aches and pains in my shoulders, because they did not know how to restrain me accordingly. By the way it was my partner again, who got me out of the hospital and with the fabulous after care professionally and within the cushioned environment at home I managed to recover slowly. Every case is different though! That was us then.

    I do not try to scare you. My experience has been nearly 6 years ago and only last year, thanks to the forum, have I learned much more about what is going on politically and how to achieve the best care for mums who are struggling with this traumatic illness.

    The answer is MBU...I wish I could have been treated with dignity and in a professional manner at that hospital...Professionals at the MBU are knowledgeable, humanistic and take great care about the welfare of mum and baby.

    Whatever your journey, - wishing you strengths and energy. Still today I am so grateful to my partner.


  • A reply to both of the most recent replies really....

    They have said that my wife is not in need of the MBU as she is too well for it (or words to that effect), they have monitored her with our daughter doing "normal" things (nappy changes, feeds, hugs, etc) and the other night she spent a night at home which included (subtlety supervised by me) night feeds.

    I think that as a lot of MBU have been closed across the country they are struggling for beds so it is only the worst cases that get referred (just my opinion)

    The leave periods have gone with minimal issues on one occasion she became upset so I suggested going back an hour early (it was also approaching rush hour on a Friday which our daughter didn't need to sit in), she also requested to go back early the day after she stayed the night after something on tele set her off.

    Getting there but it's a long road

  • Hello Dk1984

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. You must be very tired coping with your daughter and visiting your wife. She is amazing going for home visits so soon, supervised by you. How lovely it must be when you are all at home together. It's early days so some things seen or said are likely to trigger your wife's fragility.

    As you say, it's a long road but your wife is doing very well in such a short time. Hopefully she will continue to progress and be more settled on future home visits. I hope she is very proud of herself ..... it's all due to her strength and your loving support. Also seeing her daughter so well taken care of by you will be a great comfort and motivation.

    Take good care of yourself too as it can be an immense strain but so rewarding eventually.

  • Hello kerr616,

    I am so pleased that your wife is coming home on little trial periods. I do not remember much when struggling with PPP, but knew that I was coming out of hospital fairly soon when they integrated me slowly back home.

    According to the reports I always thought that I had done something really bad when being 'locked up'. I never self harmed and I always wanted to be with my partner and baby.

    For my partner it was a very exhausting time, but he was much happier having control over the situation and being able to look after the Baby and I within our own sanctuary.

    Like Lilbeth I would like to highlight that you need to look after yourself, too.

    Lots of strengths for you and your wife...

    Kind regards, Sabine

  • All,

    Been a while but feel an update is due - my wife has now been discharged a week and a half ago after three weeks on the unit (less one day).

    At times it has been tough but fortunately the bond between mother and baby is still there, a lot of the downs have been due to my employer who after being off for a month became most unhelpful (they do not know the full extent until I explain face to face)

    The home help team have been assisting with this as the work thing is setting her back but is something not in her control.

    Only real issue apart from that is lethargy and lack of energy, the drugs are meaning she's sleeping through feeds in the middle of the night but I'm picking these up.

    Long road but mother and baby are doing ok.



  • Hello Dk1984

    Good to hear your update. I'm sure you've been a great support to your wife after she was discharged. Is she receiving visits from the care team and Health Visitor as well as home help?

    I hope your employers will be more understanding when you have the time to explain how much you have had to cope with since your daughter was born. They should be very impressed with all the care you have given to your wife. Perhaps they might allow you to have extra time at home, or flexible hours until your wife is more settled?

    With your support your wife is doing really well to be home so soon. I think the medication has a lot to do with lack of energy and lethargy but it's early days and just to be home together must be such a comfort. I'm sure the night feeds with your daughter are very special, although tiring.

    Don't forget to take care of yourself too ....... we are here to help if you need us.

  • Hello Dk1984

    I hope you wife is continuing to do well in her recovery at home. I'm glad she has home help support as it's early days and she needs to take things easy. Very special times, all being at home. Do take care of yourself as you have been such a great help through everything.

    We are here to talk anytime.

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