Action on Postpartum Psychosis
2,041 members1,367 posts

PP affecting my wife now

Hi All,

Please can anyone advise me on how to handle this mental illness my wife has just 2 weeks ago? She's currently at the hospital refusing medication because she feels she's well. Yet she keeps having short episodes, is there anyway i can convince her to take the medication. It's getting me frustrated.

16 Replies
oldestnewest

Hello kojo. So sorry to hear about your wife. It is a very frightening time. I had pp 3 years ago. I ended up in a secured physciatric ward and totally refused my medication. Same as your wife, I also thought there was nothing wrong with me. I was totally confused about where I was. I thought I was in prison. That's what this horrible illness does to you. Gives you delusions and makes you hallucinate. It's very scary for your wife but also for you and your family. If your wife is being looked after on a ward they will make sure she takes her medication. What helped me get through my nightmare was knowing my partner was there. He always came to visit me. Even though half the time I didn't have a clue what was happening. Best wishes for you and your wife.

Anna10.

2 likes
Reply

Thanks very much Anna. This is exactly what happening now. I will do all I can to support my wife in this illness till she gets well. But how long did you stayed in the hospital and how long were you on medication?

Reply

I was in hospital for a month and had to be sectioned as I refused medication. In the end I had 4 lots of E C T and was on Olanzapine and anti depressents. I was off all meds earlier this year. It is a horrible time for you right now and I wish you both the best.

1 like
Reply

Thanks Anna. I really appreciate your words of encouragement. I will encourage myself and work with my wife till the end. Thanks for letting me know she will be better and be my wife as i knew her before. Stay blessed

Reply

She certainty will and although it doesn't feel like it yet..... you will both look back on this nightmare. Take care.

1 like
Reply

Thanks very much for the hope and love you have shown me. am confident now.

Thanks

1 like
Reply

I'm sorry to hear what you and your wife are going through.

When my wife first fell ill, she was still in hospital but I was the only one to see her symptoms. She would confide all kind of nonsense to me and appear in good spirits to everyone else. I had no idea what was happening and it was only when she got a lot worse that the medical staff took action.

That was forty years ago. I'd hope that we're all a little more enlightened now!

If you haven't already done so, speak to the nursing staff and doctors about what you are seeing.

It's not uncommon for PP sufferers to be treated under the Mental Health Act - frightening and intimidating - but it might be necessary for her to get the treatment she needs (the sooner the better).

There's some good advice for partners at: app-network.org/partners-2/

Andy

1 like
Reply

Thanks Andy for this information. It happened 2 weeks ago. And she's is now in the hospital but refusing medication from the doctor. How do I convince her to take the medication. She claims she's not sick. She's also afraid of the side effects of the medication. These are some few reasons she doesn't want to take the medication.

Reply

It's in the nature of the illness that your wife doesn't think she needs medication. She might think she's feeling particularly bright and well. I'm sure you've already done what you can to try to persuade her. In my case - even though my wife is averse to taking medicine - she would take it if I asked her to. Nothing to do with me - just a vaguery of the illness. I therefore had to be around when medicine was being given out - or I had to find out if she'd refused then ask the staff to try again with me present.

Keep the dialogue going with the doctors, nursing staff, social workers - anyone that will listen. Make sure they are aware of her symptoms.

Sectioning might be the only way for her to get the treatment she needs - but everyone involved will be reluctant to take that step. You need to be sure they fully understand what's going on.

It's a dreadful time; so sorry for what you're going through. Remember to take care of yourself.

Andy

1 like
Reply

Hello kojo

I'm sorry your wife is very poorly at the moment. I can identify with thinking that nothing is wrong. When I had PP twice, a long time ago now, I thought everyone else had a problem and I was fine, so I was very reluctant to take medication. PP is a very distressing illness for those who can only watch. I can only describe it as like being on another planet ..... I wasn't aware for a long time what was going on. I had delusions which no one would believe and so retreated to my bed! I also had hallucinations and was eventually sectioned for my own safety under general psychiatric care ... without my baby. So it's positive that your wife is communicating.

Just to add to the good advice you have already received, I wonder if you have also had a look at the other APP Guide "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" which you could perhaps read and mention to your wife, the link being app-network.org/what-is-pp/... I appreciate this might be difficult though.

It's not easy for you at this early stage of your wife's illness but just by being there for her when nothing else makes sense will be a great comfort. She is fighting against her illness and probably will say things that she doesn't mean, so don't be offended :) I must have been a nightmare for my husband and family, dealing with the unknown at the time.

It is a shame that the joy of having a baby is tarnished with this traumatic illness but with your good care and medical input she will fully recover in time. For now all you can do is reassure her that you believe everything she is saying and you are there for her.

Remember to take care of yourself too as this can be a very distressing time for family and friends. We are all here to lean on for as long as it takes .........

1 like
Reply

Thanks very much Lilybeth. Its comforting to find such a blog that reassures me everything will be fine. I appreciate you guys alot and thanks a million times God bless you all.

2 likes
Reply

Happy to help if we can ...... we are all here for you. God bless.

Reply

I don't know , maybe you should tell her she can't come home till she agrees , maybe tell her how many of us take it and we are OKAY

Reply

hi Kojo12 and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry to hear things are tough with your wife being ill with pp. When I was ill I had no awareness of it and also refused meds. I had to be sectioned in order to get the treatment I needed. But I got better and am very grateful for all that the professionals and also my wonderful husband did for me. Your wife too will come back from this and I hope that you can get good support for you all to come through this. Take care and please feel free to come back and ask any more questions. Xx

Reply

Hi Kojo12,

My wife had pp too, it was the most scariest thing we both had to deal with and you wonder what the heck is going on but with time, the right care and support it will get better.

My wife stayed in a Mother and baby unit for approx 12 weeks, before she was allowed home full time to continue her recovery. We had times where she refused her meds, even times when she convinced all the other mums in the unit to stop taking their meds too! interesting times they were!

I think the main advice, is offering that reassurance to your wife, listening and supporting. After my wife's recovery, she has often said how she used to look forward to my visits, even though she was battling with all the other thoughts that were going on.

At times it can be the most frustrating illness but I never tried to show that to my wife, preferring to go and find myself a couple of minutes away, even if that sometimes meant sitting in the car and screaming!

I used to take it one day at a time and not think too far ahead. As Andy said, I also found it good to talk to the staff, understanding their views and thoughts but also talking through mine and letting them know who my wife really was.

Remember to try and take care of yourself too, sometimes easier said than done of course.

Take care and best wishes

1 like
Reply

Hello kojo

I hope your wife has now accepted that she needs medication to slowly recover from her illness. With good medical support and your care she will eventually recover. There's a book on the site entitled "Husband in Storm" which gives an account of a partner's perspective. There is also a blog https:ppsoup.com/2016/01/26...

It's not easy for your wife, fighting to be well. Please take care of yourself too.

Reply

You may also like...