Medication After PPP

Hi All,

I just had a few questions as my wife and I are now about 6 months post and things are going very well and have been for awhile. Once the right medication is found it is true things start to turn around rather quickly. So my advice is continue to push your doctors for changes until that is found. Just my experience. It makes a huge difference. Now my question for everyone...

How long did you stay on medication before coming off of it? It is such a challenge as how does one truly know if this is an onset of a long term illness that requires maintenance medication?

Our doctor believe most instances are bipolar type 1, but since my wife has never had any other mental illness before that after 1 year she should try weaning off all medications. While we do not care either way it does make us nervous given the fact that most research shows you "probably" should stay. We are just looking to hear what others have experienced.

Thank you all!

24 Replies

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  • I was recommended six months, then changed to one year. I do not have bipolar, and my understanding is ppp is a completely different diagnosis to bipolar.

  • I'm fine now with no medicine. Drs only say I need to go on it again post pregnancy. Off course in super stressful situations I will consider medicine again.

  • Thank you for sharing! How long have you been off medication now? How long did you wean off?

  • Been off for three months. Was on 3mg risperidone two months, two mg four months and the rest on 1mg. Stopped taking 11 1/2 months. Not really weaning at the end, just came off it no problems. mostly at that time you just have to feel psychologically well enough to come off medicine and trust you have enough strategies (eg through psychologist) to cope with early warning signs of anxiety/depression, while being off medicine.

  • Hi chadlink I came off meds after about 1 year, gradually with guidance from my psychiatrist. That was over 4 years ago now and I have been really well since. I have been diagnosed with pp, not bipolar. I personally feel thats a much more accurate diagnosis as I've never suffered from highs or lows before or since.

    It sounds like your wife is similar?she could just slowly come off meds with the psychiatrist guidance, and if she starts to not feel well again she can just increase very easily.

    I hope that's helpful

  • That is helpful. So you have been 4 year without medication? That is promising for many! Although taking medication is not a bad thing if it is necessary.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Hi Ellie, my wife and I are still doing really well. Now 7 months post PP. Our doctor plans to start weaning us off Latuda and Zoloft starting in August. Have you experienced any issues following the 4 years you have been medication free? Any thing you have had to change about your lifestyle to stay healthy? Her doctors no believe she will most likely stay healthy long-term and my not have any underlying illness.

  • Hi chadlink, great to hear your update 7months on. It is positive to hear that the doctors have a plan to wean off meds too, I found this really helped me to have something to aim for, timescale-wise.

    Wishing you both continued health and happiness, take care, xx

  • Hello Chadlink,

    I am so pleased that your wife is doing well with the right medication. I am not reading the other messages below right now, but just refer to my personal experience.

    It was a long battle finding the appropriate medication, one of the reasons why I was sectioned. In addition I refused to take medication. My partner had to sneak a mobile into the psychiatric mixed gender unit in order to proof to the professionals that I actually was not sleeping despite the medication. Finally after 4 weeks I was administered a combination of very traditional drugs, which finally tackled the psychosis.

    I always highlight the point that every case is unique. My partner said, he never experienced such a strong person. I never self harmed, but fought against everybody mentally and physically, despite being so ill. (I switched to German and French quite often) I was in isolation for long period of times throughout the hospital stay and have had too many bad experiences...Despite hallucination and extreme challenging behaviour I wanted out-home to my partner and baby.

    Now the good news...PPP was in 2010. As soon as I got out of this forlorn place my recovery started properly. The after care was so much better and I weaned off Lorazepam and Risperodon towards the second half of 12 months. So in my case your doctor was spot on.

    I struggle with fear and anxiety throughout my menstrual cycle. My partner and I, who also has been my full time carer whilst on heavy medication, believe that negligence and physical abuse has been a contributing factor to my condition. I have been offered anti depressions many times, but I certainly prefer my alternative route without chemicals. I keep very fit and paint a lot.

    I enjoy the momentum and do not focus on long term planning. My partner and I are so grateful to have a little miracle; our little man, who is now 6 years old.

    Health and happiness and a festive Season

    Sabine x

  • Hi Sabine, great story! Did PPP hit right away for you? So you have been medication free since 2011? That's awesome. I wish you continued health and to all others!

  • Hi Chadlink,

    yes, 2 weeks after birth (PPP Summer 2010) Free from Meds June 2016. Glad Forum members could ease your mind...

    I tend to over analyse, but just go with the flow and life is great. Enjoy your unique little family...I do each day with my big and little man.

    Happy Christmas :-)

  • Merry Christmas!!

  • Hi Chadlink, good to hear your update 6 months on. I don't have any other diagnosis than my PP episode 7 years ago, after which I stayed on an antipsychotic for 1 year, with doses reducing from about 4-6 months onwards until stopping. I also took Lithium for 3 years, again with reductions before stopping, probably from the last year or so. It was important that there were reductions rather than sudden stops in my experience, and the careful monitoring by health professionals and those close to me for any signs of needing the dose altering up again.

    Everyone's experience is different I guess, but the year mark seems to be a common theme in one way or another. I would agree that taking meds and staying well is more important than not; lots of people take things for physical conditions and why mental health should be any different... although we all know of the stigma that still exists unfortunately.

    I hope that things continue to go well for your family, take care, xx

  • Thanks for sharing! So how many years have you now been medication free? Are you happy with your decision to discontinue?

    Happy holidays!

  • Hi Chadlink,

    I took a low dose of meds after my 2nd child in late 2013 and remained well after that birth - similar to J-B-55, we will never know if it did anything but it was something we put in place and to try and minimise the risk, I'd have tried anything! I didn't take anything during pregnancy but the same anti-psychotic, in a low dose, was taken for about 4 months. I have now been meds free for almost 3 years.

    I am absolutely happy with my decision, although equally aware that some people need to take maintenance doses for longer or indefinitely. I hated the idea of being on meds in recovering from my PP, but with hindsight I can see it helped me. And as people take all sorts of meds for physical conditions, heart conditions, epilepsy, etc, why shouldn't medication to keep you mentally well be the same? Unfortunately the stigma is too much for some people, but I do think it can be for the best. And if I need to take meds in the future, I will certainly do so.

    Take care, xx

  • Very true! Thanks for sharing. I hope your good health continues as I know it will!

  • Hi chadlink,

    I'm glad to hear all is going well.

    I stayed on meds for a year, then weaned off over 3 months. I've not had any issues since (my son is now 4 and a half).

    I had a second son in January this year and took a low dose of medication for 6 months. Fortunately I stayed well this time.

    I hope things continue to go well.

    J x

  • Hi Jx,

    Thank you for sharing! How long did you stay medication free after weaning off? Did you have any complications at all?

  • I was medication free for just over 2 years (October 2013 to January 2016), no complications. I went back on medication following the birth of my second son in the hope of it reducing my risk of recurrence, I'll never know if I would have stayed well without it anyway but it was one of a few measures we put in place. I'm now medication free again and hopefully that will continue.

  • I was on Olanzapine for c. 6 months, and then slowly weaned off over about 3 months. I had no after effects of coming off, but then my initial response to the drug was relatively quick (from psychotic to relatively sane within c. 10 days). I have been off the drug since the summer. Hope this helps, I remember coming off and being very scared of a relapse, but fortunately this didn't happen.

  • Hi Orea,

    That's great! Continue to do well! Did you have any prior episodes before birth? Depression or psychosis? My wife's was out of the blue with no previous issues or moods.

    Thank you for sharing

  • No prior episodes, no history of psychosis, one severe episode of depression previously, and quite a considerable family history of mental ill health... Is this quite similar to your situation?

  • Pretty similar! My wife did not have any prior episodes. Family history of just anxiety that we know of. This would definitely be the first chronic case if it ended up within the bipolar spectrum. Either way we both agree that no matter what it is we will work through it and find the help we need! Medication or not

  • Great that you're out there finding the support you need. It helps to be as well informed as you can be. Good luck with your decision on what to do next and enjoy your lovely family! :)

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