Positive update

Hi all. Firstly apologies for not being in touch earlier. I seem to have had an ok week since seeing my consultant a couple of weeks ago and talking therapy seems to be helping. It has been agreed that I will reduce my Olanzapine to 2.5mg and my Venlafaxine to 150mg and see how I go. The bad thoughts haven't bothered me for a couple of weeks but still have very bad anxiety most mornings. Think this is something I am just going to have to live with for now. I have been venturing out but do feel more comfortable at home. I try to plan something everyday out of the house however and try to pick myself. I'm bothered about the weight gain on the medication so am keen to wean off but understand there are difficulties with this. On the medication I find it hard to find motivation to be active and used to be a keen gym person and runner so this has been getting me down. I'm hoping in the new year I can begin to get my life back. Fingers crossed! Thanks for all your support x

14 Replies

  • Hello bethanylj

    Good to hear from you, I did wonder how you were. It's good to hear you have been ok since your appointment with the consultant. I think the more talking therapy you have, the more relaxed you will be. It's such a good way to let your feelings out ...... a bit like this forum!

    You are doing well to plan the day and go out of the house .... although there's no place like home and it's a comfort to be there. I wouldn't worry too much about finding it hard to motivate yourself ..... sometimes the effects of medication can slow you down but you have come a long way and should be very proud.

    We are all here for you if you would like to talk at anytime.

  • Hi Bethanylj, thanks for your update. It's good to hear that things have been going OK and you have had a meds review. Getting out of the house was something I really struggled with too, and at this time of year especially it can just be nice to be inside and warm. I hope you have some nice plans for your first Christmas with little one and that you also have time to relax and reflect at times too (I know how busy it can get!) You have already come so far and we are all rooting for you and thinking of you, wishing you all the best. Take care, xx

  • Hi Bethany,

    It's 9 months since I was hospitalised with PP and I've just taken myself off my prescribed olanzapine which I'm pleased about. I can relate to the anxious thoughts you have, and like you, am thinking I have to learn to live with that. I think that It's easy to worry about worrying though! We need to remind ourselves how far we've come.

    Hazel x

  • Many thanks for your reply Hazel. I'm interested to know how you have reduced your Olanzapine and how you have found being off it? I have tried a number of times but found I couldn't sleep and then this exasperated my bad thoughts. When I say bad thoughts I mean the thoughts that I had when unwell, being reminded of them if that makes sense. I have moments where I feel fine and in the moment and other times I feel like I'm in a bubble and things are not real. Very frightening. X

  • I found that the high dose of olanzapine was making me drowsy. I took guidance from my GP and CPN before i reduced and would take the lower dose alternate days and the original dose between for about a week or two before dropping down entirely. I had insomnia each time the dose dropped but after a few days my sleep would improve.

    Now I'm off entirely I have had a few days here and there where I've felt more anxious or low than I was but since it's not continued beyond a couple of days I've stuck with it. .. I suppose it's about what's right for you and you need to feel confident It's the right time and you can cope with any withdrawals before you reduce. I have tried to keep an open mind about going back up the dosage if required.

    Although the thoughts are worrying, it does sound like you have some insight into them which must be progress from when you were originally unwell?

  • Hello Hazello

    Thank you for your supportive replies on the forum ..... it's a good place to share our unique experiences of PP. I just wanted to comment about your reply on this thread as I don't think it's a good idea to take yourself off prescribed medication without the approval of your care team.

    I can understand that you might feel well enough and be pleased about it but I think you should take advice first. You have probably noticed on the forum that I had PP many years ago. I didn't like taking medication although it was keeping me stable. I thought I could reduce my dose and take myself off but I soon went downhill after doing this and was very unwell. It took a long time to get back to where I had been in my recovery. So while you might feel well enough to take yourself off Olanzapine I would check first with the professionals looking after you.

    Nine months is very early in your recovery and you are doing very well..... but please don't rush yourself. I understand how much we want our families to think we are 'over it' but it takes a lot of courage and determination to stick to the programme and be guided by the care team.

    So take your time and you will eventually fully recover. We are all here for you to talk if it helps. Stay safe and take care.

  • Hi Lilybeth,

    I realised after I wrote that message that it might not be helpful for some people reading, so sorry about that. I would definitely recommend working with the professionals involved. I took guidance from my cpn and GP about reducing my medication.

    I have been fortunate to have symptoms of anxiety and depression which have been manageable and am now receiving CBT which I think is going to really help me in the long run.

  • Ps thanks for your kind response, I think I am possibly putting myself under quite a lot of pressure to be well and get frustrated that I still don't feel like 'myself'... I have found it comforting to come on here and feel that I'm not the only one with these struggles. I have been on a steady upward trajectory so far though and hopefully it will stay that way.

  • Please don't apologise ....... I was only worried that you could make yourself ill. I didn't realise you had received guidance from your GP and CPN. I'm glad your symptoms are now manageable and CBT will be really helpful to release all those thoughts you have kept a lid on.

    The forum is a great place to 'meet' and share experiences to support each other. I'm glad you found the forum and hopefully your recovery will continue to go well. I think we do tend to put ourselves under pressure but with medical input and support you will eventually fully recover, especially as you are receiving CBT. In the meantime please keep in touch here to talk any time.

    Sending you a virtual hug :) .... take good care.

  • Hi Bethanylj, Hazello and Lilybeth,

    It's great you've been able to share experiences. I too took olanzapine when I had pp and for a year afterwards as part of my recovery. Getting the balance of meds right can be so hard. I too was desperate to be off them and "better" but I got there and whilst it didn't feel like it at the time, the advice and support from professionals was vital as was taking time and not rushing myself. Although at the time I didn't see this, please know that recovery from pp may be hard at times but it is very achievable. If you've not seen them, the APP Guides also have some good tips and have been written in collaboration with women who have "been there". app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

    We are all here to chat and lean on. Take care, xx

  • Hello bethanylj

    Just wondering how you are since your last post. Has the medication made you feel any better? I hope you are ok.

    Take good care of yourself.

  • Hi many thanks for your message. I've had some really good weeks lately and my anxiety levels have decreased. However the past few days I have felt down and the negative thoughts have crept back. It seems when I'm low and tired I revert back to feeling desperate and worry about going back into hospital. I really thought I would be better by now having been discharged from hospital since August. Recovery is taking longer than I expected and I'm not back at work yet. My daughter is doing well but I won't lie, I do find things hard trying to look after her and myself. I'm still on the 2.5mg of Olanzapine and 150mg Venlafaxine and don't feel I will be coming of this medication for a long while yet x

  • Hi bethanylj sorry you've been having a few bad days. It's really good to hear you've had a few really good weeks. This was exactly my experience, with the good weeks getting longer and longer. This isn't a step back, it's all part of the recovery, you are slowly getting better... you are going to have those good weeks again...

    I know at the time it felt never ending but even a year after my episode I was still having some not so good moments but just longer and longer good ones. You're going to get there.

    Take care


  • Hello bethanylj

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. It's a shame that you were doing really good with your anxiety and now you feel down. Recovery can be a bit like that ...... some good days and others not so bright. Try not be so hard on yourself as you were only discharged in August and it does take a while to adjust to coping at home under the affects of medication.

    I had PP a long time ago and was in hospital for the first six months so you are doing really well coping with so much. I know it can be frustrating. I found that I was anxious to prove to everyone that I had recovered and pushed myself to be well but that wasn't a good idea. Try not to worry about returning to work just yet although I know it's a question of finances at home.

    Perhaps if you are feeling really low with negative thoughts you could contact your doctor or the Consultant for advice? I didn't take the medications you mention as my PP episodes were so long ago but there are mums here to share their experiences with you.

    There is a brilliant blog ppsoup.com/2015/10/23/havin... which you might find reassuring. Try not to rush yourself .......your baby is thriving so you are a brilliant mum and you will fully recover in time.

    Take very good care of yourself .... try to sleep during the day when your baby has a nap. I know it's usually the time to get jobs done but you do need to rest as much as you can to build your energy levels.

    We all understand and are here for you to talk anytime.

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