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Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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First grandchild, daughter diagnosed with PPS, big shock

My daughter was diagnosed with PP two days ago. Her longed for baby son and our first grandson is only 11 days old and we are just heartbroken and worried sick for her. she's never had any mental health issues at all and its heartbreaking seeing her in the mental health ward. My son in law has been taking baby in to visit for a few hours every day and the ward has made her up a baby room where she can sit with him. No mother and baby unit available for them as yet. Just the beginning and we are really worried and scared for her our son in law and baby

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Dear Drumchapel

Welcome to the forum. I'm so sorry you and your family are going through this horrendous illness. You will find a lot of help and support on here: when I was ill four and a half years ago my husband found this site and posted on here shortly after I was admitted. The support he received ran for many months and pages and pages of replies. If you search the archive under "Partners" and look for a thread started by ThamesValleyRoyal you will see it. Much of the advice there will be relevant to you and your son in law, particularly at this very early and confusing stage.

From what I remember, the important thing right now is to keep calm and keep positive (very hard to do!). Remind your daughter and her partner that this is an illness, a temporary one, and she will get better. Don't try and argue with her delusions or play along with them, just be there as a supportive presence.

"Oh this must be so frightening/confusing for you" "I'm here for you" "we are going to do everything we can" "you are SAFE." Etc.

In her moments of clarity (and these will become more and more frequent as the medication starts to kick in) be there to reassure her that the baby is grand, and help her with all the many anxieties that will surface. Hopefully by this stage they will be in an MBU where bonding can be facilitated more easily...

Sorry there is so much more I could type but don't want to overwhelm. Do try and read some of the other threads and many many congratulations on the birth of your grandson!

Katg x

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Hi Drumchapel,

I had PP in February 2016 and had to spend 2 days in a general ward before the MBU became available. I can remember feeling absolutely terrified and really upset to be apart from my baby and I really feel for your daughter and for all of you as you support her. It's so difficult. I really hope that an MBU bed becomes available soon as it is absolutely the best place for your daughter at this time. However, even in those 2 days I got to know some of the staff in the general ward and it became not such a terrifying place.

Can I just offer you reassurance that PP is very treatable and women recover from it fully. 16 months down the line and i'm so much better.

Best wishes,

Hazello x

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Hello Drumchapel

Welcome to the forum where you will find lots of help and support. I'm sorry you're heartbroken that your daughter has PP after the gift of your first grandson. PP has struck many of us out of the blue and it is a frightening experience, very upsetting for family and friends to witness.

I had PP many years ago and was sectioned to general psychiatric care but eventually with treatment and support I made a full recovery, as your daughter will in her own time. There were no facilities for babies and so I didn't see my son for a while. It's very good that your son-in-law is taking the baby to see your daughter and visiting to reassure her that she will be well again.

There are APP Insider Guides here "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" and "Postpartum Psychosis : A Guide for Partners" which might be helpful to read, the link being app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

There is also a post here written a few years ago entitled "A granny's PP experience" the link being https:healthunlocked.com/ap...'s-pp-experience/ which is a very good insight. As it was posted a few years ago I'm not sure if the link will work but if you search for "APP A granny's PP experience" at the top right of this page you should be able to find it.

It's very early days for your daughter but now that she is receiving professional support she will get better day by day. It must be very distressing as this is a traumatic illness so please take care of yourself too. There will be other mums here to share experiences and offer support.

Take care ..... we are all here for you.

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Hi there and welcome to the forum. I am sorry to hear about your daughter and touched that you have joined the forum for advise and support. I wish I had the same support from my mother it willmean alot to your daughter and she too when she's out of the haze of psychosis will be able to join when she feels ready. I was diagnosed with PP when my 3rd child was 6 days old. I had no previous history of mental illness and had not heard of PP so didn't understand what was happening. I knew something was wrong but did not know what. From being on this forum I know that PP effects women in different ways. I had delusions and was convinced and utterly terrified that there was a ghost in our babies room. I was lucky enough to be admitted to a mother and baby unit but I was so out of it I didn't know if at the time. I had no concept of time and did not know what was real and what was like a dream world. It made it difficult to know who to trust and for the first 4 days I refused to eat,drink,wash,take medication, sometimes I wouldn't even recognise my own baby and I couldn't always feed her. It was a very distressing time and I saw many horrendous things, which led me to refuse to open my eyes and then refuse to talk. I can only imagine what those 4 days must have been like for my partner and my family. To see me in a state and acting so peculiar. It must be awful for you to see your daughter suffering and you must feel helpless. But by being on here you are helping and she will appreciate that when she understands. You must be a very loving and supportive mum. Just be there for your daughter and I'm time she will recognise that you are.

I came out of the haze after 4 days as I'm my head I decided I need to focus on what's real, on what I need to get better for. So I focused on my partner and our 4 children. This helped me to get back to the here and now. I was devaated when i came round that i had lost 4 days as I still thought it was the same day that I had got I'll and this meant I had missed my partner's birthday and registering our daughter. I was in the MBU for a month while they medicated and monitored me. It was an unpleasant experience at first as I had to be watched 24 7. Not nice when you feel well in yourself and yoive got strangers watching your every move, even when you sleep and sometimea it was men. But it helped me to get better and I was able tobond with my baby and enjoy arts and crafts and different therapies. My partner took time off work so he could visit us every day. It must havebeenhorrid forhim at home without us there. Probably harder for him than me.

My baby is 7 months now and I feel okay, no more than okay. I don't feel like I'll relapse or anything and the flash backs are becoming less regular. I feel around 80% better and in joinong this forum ive realised that it is normal for recoveryto take a long time and for others it has been much longer.

Sorry I have rambled but I just wanted you to know that no matter how impossible it may seem at themoment, your daughter will get through this and will get better. It just takes time and patience and understanding.

Take care and keep us posted

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Hi I hope your still feeling well thanks for telling me your story. My daughter is now home and doing well. Her medication was reduced yesterday and hopefully she won't relapse on a lower dose. It's a horrible illness and there is really not much awareness out there about it. Everyone is made aware of post natal depression. Hospital intensive team visit her at home regularly but it's a different person each time. They all want to know about PPP and my son in law feels like everyone is having a turn to go visit her do they can learn more about the illness. Good luck for the future and I hope you continue to keep well

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Hi. I'm sorry to hear your daughter is going through this. I had p p in xmas 2013 when my baby was 3 months old. I missed her 1st Xmas and my partner cared for her for 1 month whilst I was getting better. My mum was so worried for me too and always came to visit me. As did the rest of my family. I'm now completly off all medication and have been for a yr and 3 months now. I returned to work only 3 months after coming out of hospital. I feel great at the moment and find that talking on here and talking to family & friends about my illness really really helps. Time is a healer. You and your family will look back on this nightmare and be able to talk through it and see how far you've all come. Wishing you lots of love. Always here if you ever need a chat. Anna xx

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Hi there,

Congratulations on your new grandchild.

I can't add much to what the other ladies have said as their posts are so helpful and exactly what I went through.

I just wanted to reach out and say it does get better and your daughter will recover. I think it's a massive shock at first as what is meant to be a happy time, is not how it's turned out to be.

I was like your daughter in that I had never had any pre existing mental health problems. I was so confused as to what was happening and knew something was terribly wrong.

Your daughter will do well as she seems to have a solid support system. That is so important as you will find she needs bucket loads of reassurance.

I never thought I would recover and I never thought I would have a bond with my daughter.

My little girl is nearly 5 now and we are extremely close maybe because of what i went through. My psychosis was horrific in that it made me want to harm her.

I now barely remember it. I'm a normal mum and I have since gone on to have a baby boy (7 months old) without a reoccurrence of PP.

I feel so much for you. Sometimes it will feel as though your daughter will never get better. But she will.

Thankyou for being such a caring mum and grandmother. The medication can do so much, but the love of her family is the best medicine your daughter can have.

Xxx

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I felt I must reach out to you. Until 7 weeks ago I had never heard of PPP.

My first grandchild was born 7 weeks ago in Australia, where we are at the moment. It's been a very hard few weeks, but 7 weeks on I can honestly say that things have improved, it's a slow process and all I can say is gentle support, read as much as you can about the illness and keep coming back to this forum with questions. I don't know what I would have done without it.

We live in the UK and have been supporting my daughter in law and Son long distance until we got here 10 days ago.

My advice would be, keep an eye on your son in law, he too may need support and may not feel able to ask for it. I can't believe the stresses our son has been coping with. He said he felt as if he'd lost his wife and didn't want to face a future where he was single parent and carer. He was/still is concerned about going back to work and how they would cope.

My daughter in law was in a very bad place, but now she has been home from Clinic for 10 days and is reducing her medication, interacting with baby wonderfully well; Is still very anxious and I think we need to be aware of their anxieties and try and give positive reassurance gently.

Life is becoming more normal and they are settling into being a happy little family.

Try not to worry, make sure she is getting the help she needs and also make sure you talk about your worries, here was the only place I could do that, but it helped so much.

I didn't intend telling you my story, but bits of it I thought might help you. Just know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, enjoy the days you can, support as much as you can and take time out to address your own needs too. I hope your daughter finds recovery and support as quickly as my daughter in law has.

Congratulations on the arrival of your first grandchild. Even with the worries, isn't it wonderful to be a grandparent?

With very best wishes to you and your family for a speedy recovery.

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Thanks so much for your kind words. My daughter is doing so much better now and is more like herself every day. She's still quite agitated and nervy but loads better. Doctor is reducing her medication this week and I hope this goes well and she doesn't relapse as she would be so gutted if she did. She was offered a place in a mother and baby unit but preferred to go home and I think that was the right decision for her. Hope your daughter in law is continuing to do well. All the best for the future

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I am so v sorry you are all going through this. But like everyone says it is temporary and your daughter will completely recover. It is just a horrible chemical imbalance. I went on to have another child without problems and have been v well and v stable for years. And now it just seems like a horrible dream that I barely consider luckily. Give her lots of support and love. Give her time. Often after the high/psychosis she may commonly experience a low, but the right medication will even her out in time. Your grandson will thrive regardless

This site is full of v supportive people. And you will need support too through this extremely testing time.

For me, time plus medication and therapy (once I was better) and family support got me out the other side.

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Do not worry. This is a horrendous ILLNESS. However, to your credit, you appear to be on top of things and that may speed recovery, and lessen the impact. Support is so important, just keep giving it.

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As a grandmother i understand how you must feel. I have been through pp with my own daughter who spent 3 months in a mbu after the birth of our granddaughter in November. When she was discharged she was still very poorly with postnatal deppression but thankfully with a lot of medication and support from us she is so much better. 7 months down the line our grandchild is a delight and my daughter is great with her. There is still a journey to complete recovery but your daughter will get better as people on this forum reasurred me and that thought kept us all going through the tough times. One girl bounced back from pp in two weeks at my daughters mbu so everyone is affected in different ways by this illness.

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