Action on Postpartum Psychosis

Reassurance needed

Hi everyone,

I suffered with PPP in September last year. I was sectioned and spent 2 weeks in MBU. It was a very very scary experience.

Initially I was doing very well at home when I was discharged and was taking 5mg of aripipazole. Although I did have some disturbing flash backs. However as time is going on I am really struggling with ongoing anxiety and depression. Fortunately I have not had a recurrence of the psychosis!

Just wanting to hear of other people's experience with recovery as I am becoming very frustrated that I am a long way of being 'me' at the moment.

Thank you all.

11 Replies

Hi LA88,

I had PP in August last year. Spent 10 weeks in a MBU which I found to be a very friendly environment. I experienced some many delusions some very distressing and some quite hilarious! I also experienced mania as felt extraordinarily high (so it wasn't all bad for me).

Luckily I was diagnosed with PP quite quickly so I got treatment pretty immediately, apparently this helps the recovery process. I do find that week by week I am feeling more myself, although my husband says that I am quieter than I used to be. I do sometimes have some flashback type moments too. I don't want to sound 'hippy dippy' but I have started doing some mindfullness meditation which has allowed me to have these experiences without feeling scared or anxious. (I use the headspace app it's really simple).

I do feel like my confidence has been knocked, especially I have gained quite a bit of olanzapine weight.

Warmest wishes


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Hi there, sorry to hear about your experiences. I had a very similar experience, with PND and anxiety two weeks after I was released from MBU, having had PP (Sept 2015). I was put on a high dose of Sertraline (anti-depressant) and found that helped a lot. I can now say I am back to my normal self, even though I am still taking the same dose of Sertraline. I may try to wean off a bit in the spring, but am happy to live with the side effects for now (night sweats!). I think there is still quite a bit of stigma around about taking anti-depressants, but personally I find them very helpful, and don't feel a huge pressure either way (to be on them or not). I also found exercise and having time to myself very helpful.

I can understand feeling frustrated, but remember you have been through a huge, life-changing experience. Personally, while the PP was awful, scary, weird for everyone involved in my case, and we were totally unprepared for it; I now put it down to just one of those 'interesting/challenging/scary' life experiences....that make up a full, rounded life. xx



I suffered PPP twice now and had depression in between so had a diagnosis of Bi-Polar. It has been so difficult to experience during the episodes and the aftermath.

In my experience it took a while for me to feel like ME again but it will happen. It took me about 10 months (then I got pregnant with my second!). For me, it helped me to have my own space to do something I enjoyed; spending time with friends and on my own. I think that helps to reconnect with yourself.

I think it took longer to feel like myself after my first born but bear in mind the massive change, its hard to be like the old you because baby has changed everything!

It is a really difficult experience to go through and youre doing well to be on such a small amount of medication at this point. Time heals everything. Just be patient with yourself and take every day as it comes and you will get there.

Sending my love xx

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Hi LA88 and welcome to the forum,

Recovery from PP can be a long road, so well done on getting this far and finding us on here, I hope the shared experiences will be helpful to you. I had PP 7 years ago now and remember getting home after being in hospital & MBU for 3 months, then thinking I should be better, but it was just the beginning in some ways. For me, anxiety also featured heavily and regaining my confidence was key in finding my way back to "me", both as a mum and wife as well as being an individual in my own right.

APP has a Recovery Guide which might also give you some more info, it has been written with the input of women who have "been there":

If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask. You will get to where you want to be, I know I was impatient to be back to "normal" (whatever that is!) but it was good to take things gradually, with hindsight. The flashbacks can be hard, but with time, you will start to build other more happy memories and the difficult ones will fade, although perhaps never completely go away. I think it's our brain's way of processing things. All the best with your continued recovery, take care, xx



Welcome to the forum, it's so great you found us.

I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing anxiety and depression. I did too after the PP. I had PP in 2011 after the birth of my son. I have to say the anxiety and depression afterwards was the worst part.

I just really wanted to reassure you that you will get better, and you will be yourself again... at times I thought I never would be somehow just time passing, my son getting older and growing in confidence as a mum, good professional support - particularly from a psychologist / cbt, reduction in the anti psychotic (I think it does affect your mood / motivation) and proactively trying to do things for myself and 'fighting' it all helped me to recover...

I have to say you are still relatively early on in recovery, four months, though I know it can feel like an eternity to struggle that way. I don't want to make you feel worse by saying that I did struggle on and off for about a year... not all the time... but each person is so different and recovers in different amounts of time. But you're going to get there. As you can see you are most definitely not alone, many others have been where you are, and are fully better and fully themselves again. I have an amazing bond with my son, and am so happy. You will too I'm sure.




I too can relate to what you've said, I had PP in February 2016 and found it really frustrating after I got home the MBU that I was not 'myself'. I am still on the journey of recovery but I'm getting more and more relaxed and comfortable with my role as Mum to my wee boy.

I think even some people who haven't had PP find parenthood changes them a lot so I often wonder if even minus the mental health issues I might have felt low in confidence as a new Mum,although maybe without the depression/anxiety my confidence would have built up more quickly.

I've just joined a choir and I'm looking forward to starting back at work in March, I think that will help my confidence a lot.

It all takes time unfortunately, there isn't a way to speed up recovery (well not that I've heard of anyway! )


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Hello LA88

Welcome to the forum where I hope you have been reassured by the replies here. I think you are dong well so early in your recovery although I do understand how draining anxiety and depression can be.

I was always described as an 'anxious mother' by my GP when my sons were babies, many years ago. Following my second PP I had what seemed like an endless depression but with good professional care and support from my husband I did eventually fully recover.

Take your time to rebuild your confidence which has taken such a knock with the trauma of PP. Perhaps you could have a 'date night' with your partner, even just dinner for two at home ..... to give yourselves a break and relax for an hour or two? Also meeting up with friends for coffee and a chat can be a good way to pass the time of day. Try to slowly build things into you day, possibly going for a walk; meeting friends; finding a new treat such as a relaxing massage once a month or a yoga class, so that the anxiety is kept to a minimum and exercise is also a good way to lift your mood.

Take good care of yourself. You will be well eventually and have so many brighter days to look forward to.


Thank you all so much for your replies. It is really appreciated and its so good to know with time and patience I can get back to me!


Hi la88

I experienced PP last February, once the psychosis parted I had around 6 months of anxiety but slowly & surely I am getting much better.

It's a huge trauma for any woman to go through so be patient & give yourself lots of self care and "you" time.

I've found it helpful to slowly integrate things I enjoy for myself & to regularly express my thoughts & feelings not keeping anything bottled up. There's no time frame in which to be better by, everyone is different.

I'm sure self confidence and a sense of being yourself will start to return along the way.

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Hi La88,

So sorry to hear about your experience and that you are having a tough time - I hope you can find this forum helpful, I certainly did.

I suffered with pp during actual labour in Jul 2015 and spent 3 nights in a psychiatric ward. ( not and MBU unfortunately) I was on olanzapine and then came off it with medical agreement 3 months later. I suffered a relapse then, basically the withdrawal symptoms meant I could sleep for 4 days and I think I was on the verge of another psychosis. I went back on a high dose of olanzapine and then a couple of months after also started sertraline for depression.

I was weaned off the olanzapine - VERY SLOWLY- over a couple of months in sept but am still on sertraline.

I can completely relate to not feeling yourself, I used to cry because I missed my old self so much - it was like I had lost who I was and my confidence was shattered. Thankfully this goes and I now feel myself completely, it is different though as now am a mum, it's a new you but it is good.

It took me along time to accept what had happened and deal with it, and I really struggled to bond with my daughter- I loved her but didn't realise and questioned everything I did - was it right?

I found talking to people, family friends and getting therapy really helped. I was surprised at who many people had tough experiences in the beginning once I starting talking.

Know that you WILL get better, it just takes time and a lot of love and support. I am now fully recovered, back at work and love life - At my darkest days I had to force myself to get out of bed and every minute was a struggle. My daughter is now a confident happy 18month old and my worries that she would be affected never came true.

Love to you, I have every confidence you will recover and will be posting on here supporting others with your story. Xx


Hello LA88

Thinking of you ....... I hope you have good support around you. Coping with anxiety and depression can be a real struggle but eventually you will fully recover. Just take things day by day and you will find your place again.

Take good care.


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