Am I relapsing? : Hi, I suffered with... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Am I relapsing?


Hi, I suffered with PP 2 years ago after the birth of my second daughter. Infact I suffered with it after my first too. My experience with PP involved thinking that something terrible was going to happy health wise to my children if I or someone touched them without washing their hands. I was convinced everything was 'contaminated' and had severe OCD, cleaning everything. I wouldn't leave the house, I was seeing things like insects crawling everywhere, over my children, over my house, feel them in my ears. My anxiety levels were through the roof! I was on sertraline and aripiprazole. I've been off sertraline now for over a month properly and I just can't settle. I can't seem to stop finding things to do, things to tidy.... I have a very stressful and demanding job and I can't seem to switch off / calm down. In very highly strung, very snappy.... My husband asks for a cuddle on the sofa and I can't think of anything worse then relaxing. I just can't do it!!! Am I relapsing???? Help!!!

7 Replies

Sorry to hear you are having some difficulties right now. It sounds horrible for you.

As someone who has sadly relapsed twice I would recommend you seek advice from your mental health team - do you still have a community mental health worker or similar who can arrange for you to be seen? Relaxation of the mind is SO important to avoid stress for anyone who has had PPP I've discovered - have you tried mindfulness or yoga or some of the other relaxing things like adult colouring in? I've just started knitting - only basic stuff- and find that therapeutic. Thinking of you and hoping you receive some professional help soon - the earlier the better I've found is best.

I forgot to say I also take Clonazepam for Anxiety when I need it (I'm in that horrible post-psychosis depression & anxiety phase) which is very good, can be taken to calm before sleep if necessary, and is not addictive at low levels. It can also be taken with Aripriprazole. Have you tried that?

Hello, thank you so much for replying. I'm so sorry to hear you've relapsed twice. Did you notice it yourself or were you told by others? I've noticed I've been acting strangely but I thought it's just norm with a high demanding job. But my mind pulled me up on it and has requested I see my psychiatrist again. I've spoken to my husband and I think he sees what my mum is seeing but is afraid to say it. I'm so on edge at the moment I fly off the handle about anything. I know I do it and it upsets me when I do it because I know I don't want to. Especially at him. I'm thinking it is stress related due to job but scared to death it's triggered something again. I would say is try yoga etc but to be honest I'm just not in the frame of mind to do it. I can't think of anything worse then sitting still. I can do it for a second and then I'm up again.... Sometimes just stood there staring in to space thinking there must be something else o should be doing. Something more productive. Does that make sense? Xx

I ment my 'mum' has pulled me up on it

My relapses were brought on by stress 😕. I also had a busy stressful part-time job and was looking after my son too. A particular work project just tipped me over the edge as I wasn't sleeping and relaxing. I know I'm not good at relaxing and hate doing nothing and would find things to do and clean so I do understand. Looking back I probably had hypomania but didn't realise. The second time I recognised I felt "frazzled" by some medical health problems and asked for help but unfortunately didn't get very good advice and it was too late. In hindsight I should have used the words "psychosis relapse" when I called our crisis team.

I think you need to trust your own intuition if you think you are becoming unwell. Family can be very useful too as a check as, although you may not like what they say, they can have a lot of insight into the symptoms they are seeing. Your Mum sounds like she is giving good advice. Don't leave it too long as the sooner you can get the right support the better I've discovered - you may need to be a bit demanding as a relapse is a psychiatric Emergancy. Seeing the psychiatrist sounds like an excellent idea as they can check your meds doses.

Do try and relax even to just take some deep breaths and make sure you get good sleep!

Thinking of you..x

Oh gosh sounds like you've really been through it! A bit like yourself, I work part time (aparently) but I'm forever doing more hours, more travelling. Working from home at night on the laptop and phone. I've been working on a big project this weekend which is taking me away from home to Chester for the whole weekend. I'm feeling very anxious about it. Don't want to do the travelling in this weather coming, don't want to be away from the kids. I don't know if this is a big build up to that maybe? But I was like this even before the project started so can't be that. I've spoken to the GP who insists I go back on the medication until I can speak to my psychiatrist on 7th Feb as that's the earliest appt I can get. I've emailed the psychiatrist and said that this is what the gp wants me to do and what does she advise xx


Hi hayleynevin, I hope you are getting some rest and sorry to hear that you are worrying about a relapse.

It does sound like you have a lot on, and I know how my work can also be demanding (even part-time, it never really feels like less does it?!) I have learnt to be very strict and in some ways a little selfish - your health really does come before anything else.

Medication can be tricky to get right and I hope your psychiatrist and GP advice can help you through this. Take care, xx

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