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Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Update - 18 months on

Hi all. Just a quick update on my progress 18 months on. I successfully completed ECT 4 weeks ago after refusing it 12 months previous on the MBU. I have since had a week in Marbella at a friends villa and feel a lot more positive. The depression and anxiety seems to be deminishing but I'm still left with the apprehension of becoming ill again. I'm still on antidepressants and antipsychotics but hope to decrease the dosages in the next few months. For now it's all about gaining confidence and enjoying my daughter. I hope to go back to work but am not rushing things yet as I don't want the stress of teaching setting me back. I hope you are all progressing well and for those who are only just beginning their journeys please take solice in the fact that things do improve and you will begin to feel normal again (whatever that is lol) x Best Wishes x Beth

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Dear Beth - thanks so much for updating us with such a positive story! It sounds like you are doing fantastically well, and great that the ECT is working too. As you know, recovery takes time and patience but it sounds like you are on the right path.

Definitely don't rush back to work - teaching is stressful enough at the best of times! But yes at the right time and in the right way getting back to work can be brilliant for self confidence and getting self esteem back.

All best wishes

Kat x

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Good to hear positive news. Thanks Beth and well done.

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Hello bethanylj

So pleased to read your update. I'm glad the ECT has been completed and you were able to have a holiday. It's good that your depression and anxiety seem to be lifting and you are giving yourself time to heal before returning to work. I imagine teaching is a very stressful profession so when you do decide to go back, I hope a phased return is available to gently ease you back into work. In the meantime be very proud of yourself and thank you so much for your positive thoughts which will be so welcome to other mums coping with recovery.

Take good care of yourself.

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Hello bethanylj

Just wondering how you are and if you're still taking it easy before returning to work?

Take good care of yourself. x

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Good afternoon and thank you for your reply. I will not lie things have been tough. I have successfully come off Olanzapine and am withdrawing from Venlafaxine (from 225mg to 112.5 currently) but having done so my mood and anxiety have took a bit of a nose dive. I manage most days but can become weepy. My thoughts often get jumbled if I’m over tired or stressed and that frightens me. I struggle with memories of the ward and ECT and often get upset by everything that has happened but I’m presuming this is normal after trauma. I wear myself out by thinking so much all the time and often find myself very very tired. I just get mad with myself that this recovery is taking so long. I so desperately want to be back to the person I was before PP. x

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Hello bethanylj

Good to hear from you although I'm sorry you're having a tough time. Do you think reducing from Venlafaxine might be a reason your mood and anxiety have dipped? Perhaps you can check with your G.P or care team to see if the dose might need adjusting more gradually.

I think after all you have been through as well as ECT it takes a while to come to terms with what happened and make sense of it all. At this early stage some memories will be quite raw, which I think is quite normal although distressing at the time. My PP confinement and ECT were a long time ago but I can still recall the dark ward and some other poorly patients who would shout and cry out at night.

Try not to rush to be well although I can also remember wanting to prove to family and friends that I was fine and doing well, when all the time I felt like a duck .... calm on the surface but paddling like mad underneath and tiring myself out :) Have you tried listening to mindfulness music as a distraction, or any calming music after a stressful day?

PP is an overwhelming trauma on its own and ECT can be very hard to go through, although very effective in my case. So although you think you haven't come so far since, try to think positive and be proud of yourself coping day to day.

It's not easy. When you do eventually fully recover you might recognise some qualities you had before PP but find a much stronger, confident, compassionate 'you' emerging.

Really good to chat with you again ..... take care. xx

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Hi bethanylj,

Thank you so much for your lovely up-date!

It is always such a delight to see that there is light after a pretty rough experience. So happy for you that the glass now is half full, and not empty anymore.

I do appreciate the momentum with the ones, who matter most to me!

So pleased you had a fabulous time. Change of scenery and wonderful people around you helps to put things into perspectives.

Look after yourself,

x

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Hoops, I just realised that your message was 5 months ago. Thus, Lilybeth's question is more appropriate. I do hope that you are fine, too.

x

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Hello again bethanylj,

I am pleased to hear from you, yet sorry that you have been struggling.

Lilybeth has written a heart felt message and it resonates with my emotions.

We all have had PPP, but our experiences have not necessarily always been the same, - nevertheless for all of us it was traumatic!

Try to be gentle with yourself; it takes time to heal. Rather take a step back and then again forward...you will get there at the end.

My life has shifted...and I can not change my past...but try to convert my negative experience into something positive...my purpose is focused...

We will not be the same, because we continue to learn and develop and acquire newly found skills; peeling off the old layers and gain a stronger growth...my opportunities are much more focused on creativity...we all will find a new path...you, too!

Good night & take care.

x

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Hello bethanylj

Have things been any easier for you this week with your mood and anxiety? I hope so. Did you speak to your doctor about how low you were feeling since the reduction in medication? Some mums here have benefited from CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) and I wonder if this would help you to vocalise your thoughts? I also had counselling which helped me to put things into perspective, unrelated to PP. Perhaps your doctor will be able to refer you if this is something you might consider.

Take good care of yourself ..... we are all here for you. x

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