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Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Now what?

My wife and i, had our second son about a a year ago, and it could not have been more different than it was with our first born. As soon as my wife came home, she became distant, grew some manias, and dellusions, started having weird behaviours like eating dog food and bird food, increased her sexual drive, stopped talking to her family and friends, because she got the idea that they harmed her... We convinced her to see a doctor wich she did for 2 months (she was diagnosed with psicosis). She got better, but refused any problem, diagnosis and medication, and stopped seeing the doctor.

In the meanwhile she continues to be always affraid the baby isn't eating or sleeping enough, very anti-social, distrusts everything mainly me (she's always implying that i have affairs and that i'm meeting someone), became what it seems to be sex addicted, always trying to find excuses not to go to work (only wants to stay at home), she used to have an excellent relationship with mother and sister, but now believes that they never helped her or liked her! She used to be a very outgoing person who loved to be with other people and now...

The truth is, I've become really distant, cold, unaffectuous, I hate when i'm alone with her (although she most of the time is sweet, and tries to save our relationship), but don't want to end because of the kids, because i do not know how she will react...

Maybe it was to streesfull to cope with her problem, to try to make her see that she is no well, but I feel like i'm at a dead end, and fear for my own mental state.

5 Replies

Hello Lobus

Welcome to the forum where you will find lots of support and advice. I'm sorry to hear that your wife has been struggling with psychosis. Perhaps if she wasn't so reluctant to have a diagnosis, it might have been suggested that she had Postpartum Psychosis which is a very traumatic illness suffered by mums here.

I had PP twice, many years ago and was very ill with delusions, hallucinations and odd behaviours. This was all very real and frightening to me at the time but very difficult for my husband and family to understand as it was so out of character. I feel very sorry for your wife trapped in her world of suspicion about people. I was very suspicious of people, imaging they wanted to harm my second son and very stressed that my first son did not wake every four hours for his feed. This is probably why your wife wants to stay at home as she is worried about your children being in danger without her. Nothing makes sense but it is all very real to your wife.

There are Insider Guides which perhaps if your wife could read the one entitled "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" she might find similarities to her own illness and realise that she needs medical help and medication. There is also a Guide for Partners which might be helpful to you. The link being app-network.org/what-is-pp/... ......

If you are in the UK APP's Prof Ian Jones offers a second opinion service which has been invaluable regarding advice and support to some mums here. The link being app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

I can understand how weary you must be, having coped for a year with your wife's psychosis. If you can find a way to access medical support, even just by going to the hospital A & E, or going to your G.P to discuss your own health and the concerns you have about your wife so that he can signpost you to services. It hasn't been easy but full recovery is possible with the right medical support and treatment.

Please keep talking here if it helps. We are all here to listen.


Hi Lobus,

My wife had pp following our first child, it is a terrifying illness to suffer and is equally frightening for partners/husbands. The only way I got through was too take each day as it came, not thinking to far ahead and reminding myself that it is an illness; your wife is still there but she is battling with thoughts that are very real to her.

I think it is really important to try and get the medical help that she needs, although doesn't want. As Lilybeth said try and see your gp, or access other medical help; it's so difficult, I know my wife didn't want to go anywhere and I couldn't pressure her, eventually the right services were mobilised and the crisis team became involved etc.

After the first part of pp, my wife was admitted to a Mother & Baby Unit where she received the necessary treatment, but following her release some 12 weeks later, was still on some medication for a further year or so.

Are the family supportive and able to give you help and some rest?

Remember your wife can recover with support and treatment. There is useful info in the links Lilybeth has given.

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Thank you all. I've been through several stages, the angry stage, the desperation stage, the indifference stage....

I'm tired of trying to make her see she is not well. She admits that she is different but also says that she is much better this way and that her old self will never return and that it should have never existed.

The only way she will see a doctor (she never went to a routine apointment after the birth...she avoids doctors as much as possible unless its to stay at home with one of the childreen) is if I would call the 911, but i don't believe she has done anything to endanger our sons to do that...

As i said she becamea sex addicted, every day she needs sex, and if not she becomes frustrated and desperate as if it's a matter of life and death, and sincerly I no longer feel any attraction to her on the contrary, her behaviour (i'm ashamed to say...) disgusts me, i can no longer give the support and undestanding she needs, and i'm starting to think if she's fine (just a bit different) and I'm the one with a problem (wich it must also be true, but i also sugest that we both se a doctor, but she refuses and says that i'm the who's crazy...).

My only reffuge is my friends, but even so it is a problem to arrange to hang out with them because my wife starts fights, and doubting that i'll be with them and sometimes even convinces my eldest son to come with me so that she may ask him later what we were doing, even when i go to the grocery she tells my son to come with me...

Sorry for my english, but i'm portuguese!

Thank you for your advise, there is very little information and support groups in Portugal.


Dear Lobus, I am so sorry that you are having such a difficult time and your wife is struggling. Your English is fine! I am German and live in England. I suffered from Post Partum Psychosis 6 years ago.

Your wife needs a diagnosis in order to get help-post natal mental health issues are diverse. She may has some intrusive thoughts. With Post Partum Psychosis it is often the case that women get poorly 2 weeks after they have given birth. If administered the appropriate medication you will recover. Every case does vary and in my case I had to be administered to a Psychiatric hospital.

Life is exceptionally hard for the father and family members do struggle as well. For us it was like a culture shock as we had no idea what the illness was. I improved my health, because of the love and kindness I received from my partner. He was desperate to get me out of hospital. I was very poorly for one year and on very strong traditional anti-depression medication. My partner and his family including the health system, we co-operated with created a support network specifically for me and my family. I have had to regain confidence in order to accomplish daily routines subsequently being able to look after my child again. At the beginning there was a crisis team, then hospital and then the path of recovery at home. My partner had been my full time carer for many months

Yes, since the illness I have changed and I am not as sociable anymore, but so terribly happy to be a survivor. My partner, my son and I are a very unique and happy family. You and your partner/wife need now support, somebody to give you some professional expertise.

Wishing you good luck from the bottom of my heart.



Hi lobus. You have come to the right place to get help and advice. I think it would be good if there was a group for partners and family to discuss how they are feeling throughout this illness too although it's great that a lot of those family have been coming here too. I think you need to go and see your GP asap to yell them everything that us going on with your wifE. She is obviously unwell and needs immediate help to get her back to feeling like she used to again. It must be terrifying for her. It is a hard thing to accept you are psychotic. That's an awful diagnosis to receive to start with so I can understand that she's avoiding it. Seek help, hopefully they can refer you to mental health services and a home visit can be done for your wife. Hang on there and keep talking here if you need - most of us on here are mums who have all been there and it us a hidious illness but with the right meds she will recover but she needs your help to get the doctors she needs! !


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