A little bit about me

Hi my name is Ang. I am so excited to have stumbled upon this site. I just had my first gorgeous baby a few months ago and I ended up in a psychiatric hospital 3 weeks post birth. Didn't see it coming at all. I admitted myself with the help of my family because I was in a state of absolute terror. Was diagnosed with PP (which I'd never heard of) put on 20mgs of olanzipine and stayed in bed basically for two weeks then I got better one day and went home. I didn't have health cover so the experience cost me $12,000 of my $14,000 maternity payment from my work but the main thing was that I didn't kill myself which was all I could think of right before I got help. Now I am great, incredibly overweight but great otherwise. Can't wait to meet you all and talk about this I still haven't made sense of what I went through yet.

20 Replies

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  • Hello Ang

    Welcome to the forum and thanks for letting us know a bit about you. You did well to recognise that you needed help and admitted yourself to hospital. It is a shock when PP hits, I'd never heard of it either and had no mental health issues before.

    We are so lucky here in England to have the NHS. I'm sorry the experience cost you most of your maternity payment from work. It looks like money well spent though as you are very aware so early in your recovery. The thoughts during PP are very frightening and mine were similar.

    So pleased you are feeling great. It took me a long time to pick myself up and regain my confidence. This is a great place to 'meet' and chat to other mums and make lots of virtual friends.

    Take care and drop in anytime.

  • Thanks Lilybeth, Yep I am definitely still working through it, I have just noticed that I keep joking about what happened saying "oh that was when I had my mental breakdown, haha" "or my trip to the looney bin" But now that I've noticed it I won't do it again, because it lessons the seriousness of it, I think I was just trying to beat people to the punch by saying what I assumed they already think. My husband tells me no one thinks that and that I was just unlucky because of genes. I'm lucky in so many ways so it's ok, it's all part of the journey. I am in Australia I could have gone through the public hospital for free but I work at the public hospital and I couldn't bare the thought of my work colleagues seeing me in such a state without my baby. And because I'd worked in there , I knew that there was so much violence, intimidation, loud screaming, swearing, verbal abuse of staff and cell like rooms, and the gp was very very against it, he thought I'd be better off staying at home than going to the public mental health. But going to the hospital is the best thing I ever did for myself and my husband and baby.

  • Hello angviolet

    It does take a while to come to terms with how serious PP is and how lucky we are to be on the road to recovery or completely well. Many years ago I was sectioned to general psychiatric care, in a mixed ward without my baby and it was quite a frightening place. Things have changed so much for the better now with mother and baby units and I'm glad your GP was supportive.

    I'm sure you can breathe a huge sigh of relief that you are recovering and working through it. I hope you can now look forward to many happy hours with your newborn and husband.

    Take good care of yourself.

  • Yip things are going well now, thank you.

  • We have a facebook group for nz/Australians who have had pp - Beyond pp in aus/nz. look us up if you like

  • I'm glad your feeling better now. Everyone has their own preferences as to how to recover best. I'm a health care worker in Australia, working in public sector, and when I'm feeling unwell I only trust the public system, not private. I somehow feel they will kick me out ASAP when I'm better! I've had varied experiences. with public you can't be with ur baby, which made breast feeding impossible for me, without proper followup. One state was terrible (it was called drug and mental health dep...mostly ppl we're drug related), another state has been wonderful. but overall both places looked after me, so don't b scared of public, if you ever have to go in.

  • Hi Suzannah :) thanks. Yea I'm also a health care worker at the base hospital so I've seen what the mental health unit is like, and it's not good at all sadly and also I didn't want to be in that state and have my work colleagues see me because a lot of people at my work would have revelled in it and gossiped about me and I was totally messed up, didn't accept any visitors at the hospital at all. I've never been to private either, always been a staunch supporter of the public system, had the baby at the base, but yeah there's a very big difference depending on where you live. My hospital is under investigation for their maternity ward problems causing some tragic outcomes. I wasn't allowed the baby with me at the private ward either but that's actually what I needed at the time. I couldn't rest while the baby was in my care.

  • Hi there, another health care worker in the Australian public health system. I've had extended hospitalisations in both public and private hospitals... they both have their issues. The private hospitals have all been nicer, and easier to manage day to day issues in care, I think mostly because the other patients tended not to be as unwell - and I think that's also been reflected in the private hospital being inappropriate for me when I've been acutely unwell and needing to be in closed wards. I've also been to four of the public psychiatric wards in metro SA, and can definitely say that care is largely dependent on where you end up (plus what consultant manages your care). I had pregnancy care through the hospital that's connected to the psych. unit that I have had the most involvement with, and it meant that a lot of my psych. history was detailed in case notes, which were then read by random doctors and midwives who were just reading because it's "interesting" and not because of any relevance to my care. I don't think I could tolerate that happening with colleagues, so I am planning to go through a private obstetrician/hospital for my next pregnancy. It's a shame that sometimes to protect our health (and careers!) we sometimes have to pay so much more. :/

  • Hi. Welcome. you are definitely in the best place now to chat about your experience. it's a hell of a time and all mus on here have been thru it. Some people are family members of those who went thru it looking for support. Go ahead and share anything you want. everyone is very supportive. it's quite the journey to feel fully recovered but talking about it on here really helps.

  • Cool thanks Sarah x

  • Hello angviolet

    Just wondering how you are and hope your recovery is continuing to go well.

    Take care.

  • Hi Lilybeth, finding this site and starting to talk and think about what happened opened everything up again but I am doing fine just have been a bit down the last 2 weeks. I am going to start putting some things in place to try to heal myself a bit, thinking of trying meditation, yoga and some things like that. I don't get much support from my family, but I get so much from my husband and baby so I am very lucky. I know some people do not get support from anyone. I hope everyone on here is feeling okay.

  • Hello angviolet

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'm sorry to hear you have been a bit down for a few weeks. It is hard to realise what you have been through and talk about it. That's where I found this forum a great place to talk to mums who knew exactly what I had been through. I think it's also a good way to get everything out of your head as sometimes we don't have family to listen to how we really feel.

    I'm sure as you have looked on the site you might have come across the APP Guides, "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" and "Postpartum Psychosis : A Guide for Partners" the link being app-network.org/what-is-pp/... which might be helpful. After you have been through so much it's important to be gentle with yourself and find some peace. I think a few mums here have benefited from yoga and meditation so it might be good to try. Also, I'm not sure if your GP in Australia could signpost you to CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy)? I found this very helpful years ago, just talking to a therapist who made sense of how I felt was worthwhile. I can understand that you didn't want your work colleagues gossiping about you but you had no control over what happened and are amazing to be so aware at this stage in your recovery.

    Also, there's a brilliant blog .... ppsoup.com./2015/10/23/havi... all of which is very comforting.

    Take good care ...... PP mums are amazing :)

  • Hello Angviolet,

    pleased to meet you and to find out more about the health care in other countries when suffering with PPP.

    Hope you are still keeping up your courageous spirit. Path of recovery is quite a personal and unique experience, but it is so much better to share a traumatic experience.

    I find this forum extremely helpful and supportive, although it has been now 6 years since I have had PPP,

    Overall so happy to be 'blessed' (just spiritual) with my wonderful son and knowing that my partner went through hell, but shown immense strengths and still is my very special soul mate.

    Look after yourself,

    Sabine

  • i am trying to find some help for my 20 yr grandaughter, who previous to having baby had anxiety, depression and after birth, believe she had postpartum, so her mom and dad have been caring for the baby for over 3 months now

  • Hi Arvine that's really good of you to come on here to get advice for your granddaughter. I would say make sure she doesn't feel like a failure because that can be permanently damaging and Make sure that she gets help to look after her baby because although sometimes it's definitely needed to take the baby away if people try to help in a way that takes over too much it's not that good either, biggest thing I suppose is to talk to your granddaughter and let her she's doing the right thing by looking after herself.

  • thx anviolet, but there is much more to this story, she was in a very bad relationship with the father, he didn,t work, controlling, kept her debit card etc, involved in some drugs, terrible past of 3 yrs prior to baby born, parents took over baby when took to specialist dr appt in august, and seeing the environment, decided they had no choice but to take baby in their care , although my grandaughter was in emotionally abusive relationship, none of us, her family could persuade her to get out of it, even prior to pregnancy, she did undergo lot of stress, anxiety, he had no job, nor did she, were getting social service help through those times, bottom line, after parents took baby, she did leave, actually he locked her out in big fight, then she turned to one of his friends,and has been with him ever since, thats since august, doesnt seem to have emotional attachment to baby, sees her sporadically, days, weeks go by without visiting her at her parents,, seems not a priority, although she insists, she,s trying to get job, find housing for them so she will have her daughter, but so much more needs to be done now other than housing and job, because CAS was called, by her parents when they picked up baby initially, for their protection and baby,s and my grandaughter, none of us can understand, even though she is obviousl mentally stressed etc, why she doesn,t make attempts to be with her baby as much as she can, it,v upset our whole family, we,ve all tried so many things, and i have been helping her emotionally, financially, and tried to understand and be supportive, very hard, when she is putting her relationship with this new boyfriend ahead of her little baby

  • also, have to add, she did have issues, anxiety, depression etc, since in her teens or before i believe, and i have tried desperately to encourage her to go for counselling, therapy etc, more so during the last terrible relationship, she would never go, so having all tht going on priot to having baby, so definitely post partum was very likely to set in with her, she is smart in so many ways, but has made so many poor choices through the years, has very low self esteem , poor self image, and has had that for many years i believe, i am at the end of my rope trying to help her, and my son and daughter in law have almost given up too, thinking , she does not want, or cannot care for her daugther, hardly able to take care of herself, it,s been a nightmare for everyone, and mostly for her i,m sure, i have been so frightened many times about how she will manage, not get hurt , be safe, etc, do you believe there are moms out their, simply do not have maternal instinct,andcan simply not ever bond or attach to their baby

  • Did your granddaughter have post partum/Natal psychosis ? Did she have to go to a mental hospital for it?

  • On the weight front, I put on 2 stone over pregnancy & in hospital so much food in hospital... when my son was 10 months I stared SlimmingWorld (a uk group) I'm sure you have similar there. And in 10 months I lost 2 stone....it felt amazing & felt like such an achievement & boost to being well & more happy with how I look... (I've put over a stone back on now sadly 🙈 I love cake..... & being bipolar I often struggle emotionally & binge & comfort eat!!!) but yea, be encouraged, when the time is right and your in a more stable place you can do it gently & at your own pace. I've also discovered classes at the gym & very positive for mood... but be gentle with yourself for the next 6months-year, rest and enjoy baby and you. Sounds like hospital helped save your life. I'm happy to hear you've made it though. Such a thing to celebrate. Hope you have a fabulous Christmas and that you are reminded of how joyful and loving life can be. Look after you xxx

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