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Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Weaning Off Medication 1 year post PPP Advice

Hi All,

My wife is now 1 month away from weaning off medications. For those who remember she developed Out of the Blue PPP 9 days after giving birth and was hospitalized for close to 30 days. She has never had any mental health issues. Even depression. Always very stable and healthy. This was the first time anything like this has happened. No family history besides some anxiety. My wife recovered in roughly 45 days and fully recovered by around 4-5 months and has been very stable since then. My anxieties are pointed at the overwhelming research that shows bi-polar disorder or long term mental illness even though she has no history. So my fear is though she is doing amazing and we live a normal life...or as normal as it can be with a 1 year old...that weaning off the medication is a bad idea even though our psychiatrist recommends it. Does any one else have personal experience with out of the blue PPP and successfully weaning off all medications without relapse..specifically for longer periods than a year? Just looking for examples and confidence as everything I read clearly points to this being a connect to a long term issue that needs to be treated. Which is perfectly fine as we are fortunate to have found a medication that works great. Appreciate the replies!

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Hi Chadlink

I experienced PP like your wife, completely out of the blue with no previous mental health history at all. I was completely well before. I did suffer depression after the PP too which is quite common (it sounds like your wife recovered much quicker than I did) and I was struggling with the depression for over a year.

It is very normal for women who recover well to be weaned off the anti psychotic after about 12 months. I was weaned off very slowly at 12 months too, and I have been completely well since then too. My son is now nearly 6.

If you do it slowly you can then pick up on any issues, and increase again easily. I found that reassuring. I didn't have any problems coming off though, and didn't notice any side effects.

A lot of women recover really well from PP, and don't have any further mental health problems. I would also be lead by your psychiatrist, who is recommending you reduce by the sound of it?

It is really natural though to be nervous about your wife coming off meds, I know I was.

I hope this is helpful.

Ellie

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Hi Chadlink,

I also had absolutely out of the blue PPP in November 2016 (no mental health issues, preconception planning, very smooth pregnancy, attending prenatal yoga, natural unmedicated labor and delivery, loving family). I have already went off all medication (after 8 months) and I am so anxious as well. I will have a course of various B group vitamin injections in September and I am going to get back to work in October. Probably, I will also resume some nootropes and vitamins in autumn. But no antidepressants, antipsychostics and mood stabilizers anymore (hopefully). Sorry, my post is not that helpful for you, but just to let you know that there is a person who experienced such an unexpected illness and who inderstands you soooo well. Let have our fingers crossed and hope that this will never happen again with me and your wife.

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Thank you very much for the reply and I pray for a full recovery! After you weaned off the medication your anxiety came back? Do you feel if you would have stayed on medication that would of helped? Having a child is a huge accomplishment and it seems you are doing very well! Keep it up! Thank you!

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For the moment, I do not feel any need in medication and I am very happy that I weaned off. I think my anxiety is within normal boundaries and I am practically back to my older self:) (positive, ever smiling, extremely social, easy going, active). the crucial point is to wean off very gradually and only under supervision of a professional (which is I believe is your wife's case). I had a bad experience two months after my illness. My psychiatrist thought that i was doing great and just cut off two antipsychotics out of three at once (one of them fully and the other one on half). I felt absolutely TERRIBLE for two days. I just fell into a deep deep depression by blaming myself for making my family sad, by thinking that I was selfish and the worst person ever, I was nervous, panicking, fainting and even having suicidal thoughts. It was couple of days before New Year and I clearly remember my hubby playing with our adorable son and sorting out New Year gifts in one room and me standing in the kitchen and staring at the knife((( but at that moment I thought that I do not want to break the lives of my loved and cherished persons by taking my own life. Needless to say that once I got one of the antipsychotics back I became much much more better and celebrated New Year in a quite a normal mood. My psychiatrist understood his fault and all further cut offs were very gradual and I experienced no such awful side effects later on. Sorry for such a long reply. Me and your wife are absolutely happy persons to have such caring and strong husbands. Tons of luck to your family!

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Hello Chadlink,

pleased to meet you on this forum and thank you for the up-date of your wife's recovery.

I can very much relate to your account. My partner and I were looking forward to our baby and after the birth of my son in the Summer 2010 PPP creeped up on me pretty gradually within 2 weeks...I actually could sense that something went seriously wrong with me. It was out of the blue and took a while for professionals to identify.

I also have had to be hospitalised for 39 days and unfortunately there was no MBU place in my region. The hospital was a huge mistake, but I honestly can say that the after-care was very much tailored to my needs. The psychiatrist helped me to wean off my drugs within one year.

The unreasonable treatment during my hospital time and the struggle of finding the appropriate medicine was most likely the cause for my anxiety issues nowadays.

I lead a happy family life and have chosen to use alternative treatments for my fear and anxiety.

Ok - got to play with my son now.

Wishing you and your family all the best.

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Hi Jasa so you have been able to manage your anxiety without medication for many years now? Thank you for sharing your story!

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Hello again Chadlink,

Yes, despite the occasional obstacles I do enjoy life and its momentum, especially my family.

My choice has been to use the partnership/NHS as a provider in order to improve my health and manage my agora and social phobia. I have been attending support groups, developed my yoga practice and meditation for breathing techniques, trying to lead a healthy life style i.e. good diet, cycling, walking etc..trying to keep stress levels to a minimum; my partner always has been my rock.

I focus on the glass being half full and get to my goals...often in stepping stones. There is no rush....

Look after yourself and your beautiful family.

Wishing you happiness.

x

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I had mental health history but was off meds within 4 months I am in America and it was too expensive. I still recovered fine. I had more problem because of lack of familial support.

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