Resentful of husband and medical staff

I wonder if anyone has experienced anything similar...

The onset of my ppp was a few hours after delivery. I hadn't slept in days or eaten much and had a forceps delivery so was pretty shell shocked. I felt totally overwhelmed and wired and said to staff (and my husband) that I needed something to help me sleep as I couldn't switch off and was feeling more and more bizarre. Medical staff refused to give any medication/sedative etc and my husband was hugely out of his depth as I got more and more ill ending with me hallucinating, screaming shouting etc crying. Convinced I was dying or dead and convinced my baby was in grave danger.

I was lucky that I had fairly good insight into the fact I was becoming unwell and losing touch with reality but it felt like I couldn't make anyone listen to me. If I had been given something to help me sleep and helped to feed my son I really don't know if I'd have had the episode and I find myself resentful at this idea.

I feel that ppp has changed me fundamentally and that I lost a lot of confidence in myself and in my role as a new parent.

I'm slowly feeling more like myself but can still get very angry and resentful at my husband to the point where it has ruined my trust in him.

Will these feelings go? Any advice on how to deal with them?

11 Replies

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  • Hi zacsmumlou,

    Coming to terms with feelings after pp can be so hard and thanks for reaching out to talk here to us. I too was completely shattered by my pp experience and my confidence took a huge knock. It did take time to rebuild thirsting probably all aspects of my life - as a mum, a wife and a person in my own right. It's a cliche I used to hate hearing, but things really do get easier. The difficult memories get replaced, or at least outnumbered by, much more positive and happy ones. I promise it does get easier. PP is a horrid illness and it really isn't your, or anyone else's fault. I do understand your frustrations though. I hope this can start to get easier for you soon.

    I also wondered if you have seen the APP Guides? The link is here: app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

    Hopefully there is some info in there , especially the Recovery (& perhaps also Partners) which will be useful to you.

    Take care, I promise things do get better. All the best, xx

  • I had a really similar experience. After going though a very tough and traumatic birth, I knew something was wrong very soon. I was wired, couldn't focus, couldn't fall asleep. I told my family that I felt like someone www giving me Ecstasy or a stimulant.

    After this was all ignored and passed off as my reaction to a tough birth, this got worse and I experienced the horror of psychosis, and all the confusion and delusions and hallucinations. I felt VERY resentful for a long time that no one tried to help me avoid that, because it was really a horrible experience.

    What had helped me recover the most has been specialized therapy for the treatment of trauma. I found that just experiencing psychosis was traumatic, and the circumstances of my really awful birth just prior added to that. I did not truly feel well and like myself until after I did EMDR.

    I found it helpful to discuss my feelings with my husband. He took it very badly at first - no one likes to be criticized and be told they let someone else down. But our relationship got back on track once he was able to acknowledge and make a true attempt to understand my perspective about what happen to me, and his role in it.

    Sending big hugs to you. It's very difficult to feel isolated from the ones you love because you feel let down, just at a time when you need their support the most. I hope it helps to know someone else has been where you are now, and found a way through. xx

  • Hello Lou

    Lovely to hear from you and glad you are able to share your experience of this frightening condition. I do totally understand the resentment and loss of confidence.

    I was admitted to a general psychiatric ward a few days after the birth of my first child. After a long, but straightforward birth I just couldn't sleep either in hospital or at home. . My mind was on overdrive, I was so excited, lots of plans and ideas, chatting away non stop, inviting friends round for dinner, I was Supermum of course I had absolutely no insight at all as to something was wrong. Not sleeping came with the territory surely? It just so happened that my friends who I had invited round were a midwife and junior Doctor who happened to be working on a psychiatric run! Obviously my husband had been very worried and between them arranged a home visit from the psychiatrist and was sectioned the following day. I deeply resented this interference, had no wish to be admitted for a 'rest', I refused medication as I wanted to continue breast feeding. Anyway I blamed my husband for his complicity in arranging the admission. He is a medical practitioner himself. To this day, I still find it different to talk to him about it. Anyway I was put on anti psychotic medication and remained an inpatient for 8 weeks or so and then suffered from crippling depression on my return home.

    PP robbed me of my confidence, I felt so ashamed and guilty. I had not long moved to the area and felt so isolated. I was no longer an outgoing person who had travelled widely and had a career, I was a shadow of my former self.

    Anyway I didn't have the confidence to return to work. I slowly picked up the pieces, buried those feelings and got on with my life. PP is brutal and takes time to recover, take small steps and don't let it define you. I took comfort in the fact I had a beautiful, healthy daughter and went on to have my son 2 years later with no problems at all. I have had a rich and fulfilling life which has been truly blessed by my lovely children, now in their 30's.

    As awful as it is, it will get easier, take it slowly, one step at a time. I send my heartfelt good wishes to you and all those other brave Mums who share their experiences on this wonderful forum. Love Vee xx

  • I find that with Psychosis it feels weird...like your in another world do frightened of trusting people

  • Hi Lou

    Thanks so much for your post. I can completely relate to what you say about feeling like PPP changed you fundamentally. That is exactly how I felt. I'd had some psychotic episodes before having my daughter, and had PPP when she was 9 months. But even though I'd had episodes before, nothing prepared me for PPP. I think perhaps because so many hormones are involved, it's such a shattering experience. I was convinced I'd never feel myself again, felt like not talking to anyone, had really bad anxiety. But I wanted to say to you that these feelings do go. You do get yourself back, it really does get better. It's a really, really hard illness, but things will change.

    I really hope you find things that help, I've found writing things down helps - but I've always been a sort of writing things down kind of person. Trust is also difficult, as you say, I think because PPP is so other to anything ever experienced before, so it's really, really difficult to explain both the experience of it, and the experience of what happens afterwards. I found APP so helpful for that.

    Sending very best wishes to you, you say you're slowly starting to feel more yourself, that is brilliant, and those feelings of being more you will grow xx

  • Dear all,

    some very inspiring post here. Everybody involved on this forum is at a different path of recovery. You all should be proud of yourself, because for some of us looking back does set off very mixed feelings. I am still trying to analyse and clarify my own path.

    It is not easy to be transformed into a life after PPP, but I can not change the past nor can I be the one who I was before. Nevertheless, this is here and now. I am a mum and move on...

    Listen to the birds and bees :-), enjoy the momentum and seek contentment by experiencing life. Just enjoy nature, offer yourself time-out, learn or try to pursue a hobby. Journalising is very therapeutic, too.

    You know, I would love to work and earn some money, but I have my limitations at the moment.

    All gradually and in time!!!

    I enjoy my yoga and try to meditate again, and painting, and lots of gardening at the moment....

    Wishing you all a happy day!

  • Hi,

    I had a lot of feelings of resentment towards my husband and medical staff too. It was really hard to cope with at the time.

    It has been 2 1/2 years and I can tell you it gets a lot better. I do sometimes have feelings of resentment or loss come up but they are manageable.

    At first I felt totally unconfident as a mother. As time has passed though my confidence has grown.

    Even though I wish this had not happened to me or to anyone else I see how the process has made me a stronger person. I'm trying to use that strength in all of my life.

    I hope this helps. I truly think I know the place you are in and it is a hard one That I still visit sometimes. Sending love and healing your way.

  • I am sure your husband is on your side.. don't resent your husband

  • I think because I work with a lot of people suffering with their mental health I assume everyone can 'spot' the signs but you're right, he was on my side it just didn't feel like it at the time. He also trusted everything the health professionals were saying. And they were wrong!

  • I can relate to much of what has been said here. I was wired after an approx 52 hour labour culminating in a section. I had had only about 3 hours sleep in about 65 hours. I told midwifery staff that I wouldn't be able to sleep in the ward and asked for sedative and a single room. Fortunately, kind midwives pulled strings and got me both these things. I managed 4 hours of sleep after that however it was possibly too little to late as over the next 3 days sleep was nigh on impossible and I gradually became more and more anxious and with ruminatory thoughts about the birth.

    I've been resentful towards the staff in the hosp that I wasn't allowed home because I felt that I would have had a better chance of sleeping there. Also resentful that I told staff I was not sleeping and nobody thought to refer me to be assessed by psychiatry until I was psychotic and then upset that I was moved in the middle of the night to a general psych ward without my baby.

    However I feel better with the passage of time about most of these things. I realise that it's easy with hindsight to see how things could have been different but I suppose they see lots of women with similar issues who don't go on to develop psychosis. Also there are limitations in services and although it pains me, possibly the place where I could be safest at that time was the psych hospital.

    I still wonder if staff could pick up on early warning signs of psychosis before it happens. i would like to do something about that but i don't know what. ..

    I don't have resentment towards my husband now because he did his best in a very stressful situation but when I was ill I didn't understand why he couldn't just look after me and felt abandoned.

    It's interesting as well that you mention the insight you had, I had a lot of insight but I feel that as soon as the diagnosis psychosis comes in you're seen as a completely unknown quantity?! I got immediately less psychotic when my husband told me I had PP (interestingly none of the professionals told me the diagnosis! ).

  • Hi Lou

    I can definitely relate to your post. I resented my husband, my mum and a close friend for 'locking me up'. I'll admit, it took a while to trust them again and to realize that it wasn't anyone's fault, but our relationships improved over time and hubby and I are fully back on track.

    Unfortunately three years later, my confidence is still fairly low and I'm more of a pessimist these days instead of the optimist I once was. I am confident as a mum now, but not quite as confident at work and am more anxious in general.

    I feel like PP left a scar on my soul that will never heal, and that I'm a different person, but, I'm trying to embrace the 'new' me and not dwell on the past. I recovered really well, my son is the best thing that's ever happened to me, I'm back at work, functioning well and feel happy and grateful most of the time.

    As they say 'time heals all wounds', I think everything eventually does return to normal, but it may just be a new normal. X

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