Hi there I'm New to this forum, I am currently experiencing the Depression side of postpartum psychosis and it seems never ending. The worst part of this current episode of depression is feeling disconnected with everything and everyone, I am fortunate that I have great support from my partner but this feeling of numbness and emotionless doesn't seem to subside. I constantly feel like a terrible mum and unable to have the connection I once had with my daughter who is now 11months. I am currently struggling with huge anxiety, continuously questioning my ability as a mum and every day feel more and more useless and hopeless. Has anyone else found they feel disconnected to their baby....does this attachment/bond come back? I feel I'm letting my baby girl down and failing her as a mother. I would really appreciate feed back of anyone feeling similar feelings and any help and advice to get through this depressive state...
Depression PP : Hi there I'm New to... - Action on Postpar...
Thank you for your post and welcome to the forum. Here you will find mums with similar experiences to support you and offer advice. I could have written the same post many years ago as following my second PP I suffered crippling anxiety and depression which seemed endless. My depression lasted for about a year although some mums had shorter bouts.
I had the feeling of being helpless and hopeless. I lost all confidence and it took quite a while to rebuild and find my place again. In my second son's early days, my first son too, I depended very much on the support of my husband and parents. I was mainly treated at home but was hospitalised in times of crisis for treatment.
Try not to worry, you are not letting your daughter down or failing as a mother. We have all been through so much when PP hit many of us out of the blue. It takes time to recover from such a traumatic time in our lives. To reassure you I have a very strong bond with my sons who are very caring and supportive.
Perhaps you could ask your GP to review your medication and book a double appointment so that you have time to explain how you really feel? Also CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) has proved helpful to mums here. Talking to a therapist about your feelings and worries might help, as sometimes we don't like to worry our family about how we really feel and what our thoughts are.
There will be other mums here to share their experiences. Take care.
I'm so sorry you're going through the depression. I did too. And I can completely relate to all the feelings you describe, feeling disconnected and numb from everything including your daughter. I felt the same, and felt like I was an awful mum because of it and that I was harming my son. You are really not though - the fact you're thinking of your daughter in the midst of the awful depression shows what an amazing mum you are.
What helped? I was lucky to have a brilliant psychologist / cbt therapy. She kept telling me I didn't need to be happy in order for my son to be happy... somehow that lifted the negative spiral I got into (the thoughts I was harming my son would bring me further down into the depression).
I also found routine really important , just giving myself very small tasks to complete everyday and praising myself for that (household tasks going for a walk, having a shower). And also writing in a diary just one or two (or more if I could) good things that happened that day. I also tried to go to women only swimming, I think exercise can really help lift mood...
My son is 5 and a half now. He is an absolute joy and we have an amazing bond. The experience hasn't effected him at all...
You will get better, be fully yourself again and feel connected to everyone again.
Take care xx
Hello Beckless 30,
it is good to hear from you and pleased to meet you on this forum. It is a great way of connecting with mums, who suffered with PPP.
I have not been diagnosed with depression, but can relate to your anxiety and confidence issues. We have had to cope with a very difficult and traumatising illness and thus, mental health still can affect us in various ways.
It is important to have a support network in place, so that help is at hand when you need time out. When I am poorly I am fortunate enough that my partner will step in. Unfortunately I can not rely on family (abroad), but developed some friendships with mums. Not many, but those once understand my circumstances. In addition I am trying to focus on a routine. If there are any big goals ahead I tackle them in stepping stones.
In order to build on my confidence and scaffold on my well being I regularly meet up with my care coordinator anfd GP, - they offer me a service for my needs...I have participated in support groups, worked together with a support worker to prepare for goals and confront my fears etc.
Yes, I do agree that when down exercising is a good way of uplifting yourself. I walk and cycle or enjoy gardening and loads of painting (I suppose more of using your dexterity/fine motor skills
My son is now 6 and I am a happy mum...you will find many ladies on here who have gone through rough times, but are the most amazing mums.
Take good care,
I too had severe bouts of depression after being discharged from MBU.
As hard as it may feel currently, the fog will lift gradually and life will begin to feel brighter. Take each day as it comes and just go through the motions if you have to and those days you feel more lifted, do a little more.
You are not failing your daughter, my son and I have a fabulous bond, I still have periods where I feel like low (exercise has helped me with this) and life can feel bleak (usually because I overthink things too much) but I have loads more positive days and I embrace these.
I'm also a great believer in doing something just for yourself each day, even if it's just a bubble bath, that me time is very important I find.
I had CAT 6 months after discharge, this helped me unpick learned behaviours that could spiral me, I've also had psychotherapy, which I found tremendously helpful.
Hope you start to feel more your like yourself very soon.
Take Care x
Hi Beckles30, I feel like this at the moment. I feel huge anxiety about everything - life feels overwhelming. I don't feel anything for my little girl (21 months) and I keep thinking about killing myself because I can't bear to keep going through this day after day after day. I do worry about how my behaviour and lack of interaction/connection affects my daughter, while at the same time feeling unable to be there more for her because I feel my own feelings are so all-consuming.
I've only been feeling like this since the beginning of April (I had a relapse in January) so it isn't that long yet but it feels endless.
How are you doing since you posted? I don't have any advice, just wanted to let you know I can relate to your post and you're not alone in your feelings xxx
I'm so sorry you're feeling so awful... this not feeling anything for your daughter isn't your real feelings though, I felt the same when I was depressed, it is your depression. I found when I was depressed I felt disconnected from anything and everyone, it was so horrible.
I know the feeling so well, that the feelings are neverending and you don't know if you can carry on.
Do you have good professional support and have you told them how you feel? It's so important they know how much you are struggling, so that they can support you. Are they specialised in perinatal mental health at all, or psychosis? If you feel that your professional support could be better you could ask to be referred to the second opinion psychiatry service in Cardiff, Dr Ian Jones, who is specialised in PP / perinatal mental health and also persistent mood disorders. He has really specialist knowledge and can advise the team supporting you. The link is here: app-network.org/what-is-pp/...
I did want to say that though I know that it doesn't feel like it, but these feelings aren't going to last forever, you will come through this and get better.
Take care, thinking of you and do write on here whenever you need to X
Thank you peppermint pig, I'm sorry to hear you are going through the same, everything g you've said sounds very much how I'm feeling right now, I just get through each day with the hope of my medication bringing me back as this is what my psychiatrist keeps reminding me to reassure me. It's hard to believe there's a light at the end of the tunnel but hopefully like me you will get through this difficult period too. Thinking of you and hope you start to feel a bit brighter. Xx
Hi peppermint pig how are you feeling?
Hi Beckles, I'm still feeling low. Still wishing I wasn't here. My meds have been increased but the only difference I've noticed so far is that I'm not crying as much. Im still having the same thoughts. How are you doing? Whereabouts do you live - are you in the UK?
Hi peppermint pig I'm sorry to hear your still feeling low, I am feeling very much the same but do find talking to people on here helpful. Yes I live in the UK.
Hi Peppermint_Pig (and Beckles30)
I'm so sorry that you are still feeling so low. That is so horrible.
Do you have good professional support? Do you feel you can tell them how you feel and be really honest - I know that is hard sometimes?
I had depression afterwards, it was awful, for a time every day felt like a struggle and I thought it was never going to end. I found it helpful to think of the depression as something outside of myself that I had to 'fight' in some ways - and that I had to use many weapons - medication, CBT/counselling was a lifesaver, exercise (I personally tried to go swimming once or twice a week but I think each person is different), having a routine / plan for each day, forcing myself to socialise whether with friends or my son, going out each day... it was such a struggle but somehow I got there. I also found writing down or thinking about three positive things each day helped slowly, just to build up with positivity and recognise my achievements.
You have been through so much, suffering a relapse, it's a huge thing to come to terms with. You are not alone, you are going to get better, it just takes time.
Thinking of you XX
Hello Peppermint Pig
I've been thinking of you since your post to Beckles. I hope you are having better days although it does take time for medication to kick in. I don't think we realise what a huge trauma PP is to our head space so we need a lot of time to heal.
I am further down the road and over the hill compared to other mums here. All through my sons' nursery and school years I worried about the affect my absence and isolation from them due to PP would have. All these years later, due to their hard work and determination my sons have professional jobs and more than that are very supportive and caring.
We all love our children but it's so difficult to function when we are held down by PP, When my grandchildren had a sleepover I found CBeebies bedtime hour very relaxing and always enjoyed the story at the end. When I settled them to sleep I would sing to them, one of their favourites being "Morningtown Ride". Perhaps you could work towards something simple like this, just enjoying the closeness of your daughter for a while at the end of the day?
I know that having a relapse sends you all the way back to square one and it's so hard when you are there to find the strength to fight your way through it a second time. Just a hug from your daughter will keep you going ...... you honestly will find your place and happiness again.
Stay safe and take good care of yourself.