Psychosis or just Depression.

Hello everyone, I'm new here. I have 4 boys. The youngest being 8 months old. I'm currently experiencing psychosis and am being looked after by the home care treatment team. The issue I've got is that I've recently had thoughts of harming my baby. There is a horrible man's voice in my head telling me to do it. Last night he would not leave me alone so I was awake all night until 4 am cleaning. I also self harmed and it stopped the voices for a while.I'm being treated for major depressive disorder with psychosis but I think that this is postpartum psychosis. I have good insight into my condition. The problem is, i think I have ptsd, bipolar and ocd too. Plus I'm concerned that I do have ppp. I'm scared to tell the nurse when they visit on Monday, as they may put me into hospital or take my children away. There have never been any issues with my parenting and we have a very happy, stable home, despite my current mental health. Could someone please give me some advice. I am on seroxat 20mg and rispiridone 2mg. I think this needs increasing. How do I approach all this with my nurse on Monday?

24 Replies

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  • Hi Jake19, welcome to the forum. I'm sorry to hear that you are going through a hard time at the moment. I had pp after the birth of my first child in 2009. It's an awful time for everyone but with the right treatment and support you can recover. Hearing voices can be really upsetting and I remember feeling this way too.

    I would really encourage you to be honest with your nurse on Monday about your fears and also that you have been self-harming. Are the team treating you a specialist perinatal team or more general adult mental health? There are some good resources and info on the APP website which you could share with your nurse perhaps? The link is app-network.org.

    I was treated in general wards and then a mother and baby unit and professionals do really want to keep mums and babies together in my experience. I appreciate it is probably really hard with you having three older children as well. Do you have close family and friends who can help you out too?

    I'm afraid I don't have experience I can share of the meds you are on as I took different ones. If you feel your symptoms are not improving it may help to ask for a medication review. When the right combination of meds is found it should help your symptoms.

    I hope some of this is helpful. This is a really good place to share experiences and we are all here to listen and support you as you recover. Take care, xx

  • Thankyou for replying. I'm not going to harm my baby but I have to admit I do hear voices that tell me to do awful things. I've told my dad and he is an ex psychiatric nurse and he's told me not to mention certain things that I have discussed with him. Is this right? I'm scared they may take me in hospital. It's my dad's worst fear but I kind of hope they do for a short while as I need to get better.

  • They are treating me in a general adult team. They have not mentioned ppp...they have said it's a major depressive disorder with psychosis. I think this is the wrong diagnosis. My mum is going to speak to them tomorrow as she has got it what is wrong with me. She is also an ex nurse. I need help. I'm sure my dad has put cameras in my house to check that I'm caring for my baby properly. I think they are hidden. He needs to tell me the truth.

  • Hello Jake19

    Thank you so much for reaching out here. I'm sorry to hear you're struggling at the moment. It must be a comfort to have the support of your parents.

    I had PP twice many years ago and was sectioned and treated under general psychiatric care. I also heard a commanding male voice which was all very real and frightening at the time. It's very difficult to explain to family how you feel but it's a very treatable illness.

    Following my second PP I was mainly treated at home except in times of crisis when I was admitted as an inpatient to a general mixed adult psychiatric unit. I wonder if APP's Second Opinion Service would be helpful to clarify your diagnosis to professionals? If you are in the UK you can be referred by your GP or Psychiatrist to Prof Jones who is very knowledgeable and understanding. I met Prof Jones some years ago and he was very helpful as he has been to other mums here. The link is app-network.org/what-is-pp/....

    I know it must be very difficult for you but I would also be open with your Nurse tomorrow as she will want to help. It is so hard to deal with by yourself and try to keep a lid on how you really feel. Perhaps, as you say, a short stay in hospital would be better for you so that you can receive the care you need? There's also a blog, ppsoup.com which might be helpful to have a look at.

    Take very good care of yourself. Thankfully I eventually made a fully recovery after both PP episodes and you will too with good medical care and support.

    We are all here to listen .....

  • Thank you. The thoughts I'm having are very very disturbing and I'm scared I will self harm again as it stops the voices. I need the nurses to listen to me.

  • Hello Jake19

    Is it possible your parents or someone can stay with you tonight and until you see the Nurse? I'm sure as your mum is a Nurse she will know that you can go to A & E if you are having such thoughts but that won't be easy for you with your children.

    I hope the Nurses will listen tomorrow. You can also ring the Samaritans 24/7 if you need someone to talk to, on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.

    Stay safe and take care. We are all here to support you.

  • Hello Jake19

    I'm sorry you're struggling with so much at the moment.

    I think mental illness is very grey with not much black and white. I'm sure diagnosis can be very difficult and is perhaps partly only confirmed through which treatments are effective. There seems to be a wide spectrum with a lot of overlap when it comes to symptoms.

    PP usually hits within days or weeks of childbirth but I think diagnosis can be made up to a year after birth (the postpartum period).

    From what I understand, the main symptom that defines psychosis is the detachment from reality - delusions, hallucinations, believing things that can't be true, basically living a different reality (for me I believed I was Mother Earth, the 'chosen one' whose job was to have all the babies; I believed every sign on the walls, article in magazines and newspapers and everything I saw on TV had hidden meaning and was aimed just at me; I was language, colour, it was all quite abstract!).

    The intrusive thoughts you're having sound awful, it's good you know they're not real and know you wouldn't act on them.

    I agree it's best to be completely honest with those looking after you as they need to know what they're treating. I think the way I'd approach having a discussion about your diagnosis is to explain your symptoms and query whether it could be PP as you're still in the postpartum period? Sharing some of the information from APP's website with your nurse is a good idea. The most important thing, whatever the diagnosis you're given, is that you get better, and with the right treatment you will.

    Any perinatal mental illness is awful and cruel. I do hope things start to improve for you soon. Look after yourself and good luck tomorrow.

    Best wishes, J x

  • Hello Jake19

    I hope the nurses will be able to listen and support you today.

    Take care. xx

  • Thank you. I will let you know. Much appreciated.

  • Just to let everyone know I have an appointment to see the psychiatrist on Thursday. I've got people with me until then and I won't be left alone. The nurse has said the symptoms are similar to a schizo affective disorder brought on by severe ptsd. Possibly mixed with ppp. However, the psychiatrist will be able to give more answers on Thursday. X

  • Hello Jake19

    Thanks for taking time to update here. I'm glad you have company until your appointment on Thursday and hope you can make a plan for ongoing care.

    I know it's not too long to wait but it might be an idea to make a note of the intrusive thoughts, so that you haven't so much to explain during your appointment. I was always anxious in front of professionals and forgot questions I had intended to ask.

    I'm sure you've had a tiring day. Take care, we are all here to for you. x

  • Hello Jake 19,

    I have read your post and comments. I will not add too much.

    I have had PPP in 2010. It took quite a while until professionals diagnosed my illness. I was sectioned to a mixed gender unit and I have to admit that it took a while for the professional team to figure out which types and combination of anti-psychotics were going to help and subsequently beat the Psychosis. I feel your pain, because Hallucinations and intrusive thoughts can be such a frightening experience.

    Luckily the recovery was a positive experience. When I got out of hospital professionals and family were following a care plan, which was designed by my care-coordinator. Once I was on the up, I was part of the decision making with the care plan and support network inclusion and worked towards my self-management in order to stabilize my mental health.

    Wishing you a very positive experience with your Psychiatrist. Once I improved I managed to do some notes before seeing my Psychiatrist on a regular basis. I always tried to be open and honest about my feelings. I hope there will be some clarity with regards to working towards a diagnosis, so that you can receive help and support accordingly.

    I will be thinking of you.

    x

  • Hello...I very much appreciate your reply. Thank you x

  • You are welcome Jake 19. Hope once you know more you can discuss recovery and coping mechanisms. Good luck on Thursday.

    Bye for now x

  • Hello Jake19

    I hope you are ok and your appointment goes well today.

    Take care. x

  • Hello thanks for your well wishes. My doctor is still treating me as an acute case of ppp. Any other diagnosis will come later I'm told. He has doubled my medication. So I will hopefully be able to sleep. I still feel detached from my baby and don't want to care for him much but I'm forcing myself to do so. I cried when I spoke about him today. I love him dearly. I will update soon. Things have been tough over past few days but I hope for them to get better. I love my family and want to get well for myself and them x

  • Wishing you and your family all the best Jake19. Sounds like you have got some good care going on. Sleep well.

    Kat x

  • Hello Jake19

    Thanks for your update. It sounds like a very emotional day for you. Hopefully the increase in medication will be helpful. Try not to worry .... your motherly instinct has been hidden by all that you are going through but it will surface again as you slowly recover and have time to heal.

    Take care. x

  • Jake always be open and honest with your psychiatrist and all the professional s involved with you so you can get the best treatment . Never hold anything back. It's very important.

  • Hello Jake19

    I hope the increase in medication has made a difference and you are feeling ok.

    Take care,

  • Hello,

    I'm actually starting to improve. I am struggling slightly with the side effect of drowsiness so if anyone has any tips I would be grateful. I am on rispiridone 4mg.

    Thankyou for asking after me and I'm hoping I'm now on the road to recovery.

  • Hi Jake19.

    I had PP last year and was prescribed rispiridone. It worked for me... but the drowsiness was horrific. I really feel for you.

    My dose was changed so I could just take it in the evenings before bed which did help a little. But I still had to have a huge amount of help from my mum to care for baby which was really tough. It felt like I was failing every day. It really is a truly awful illness. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

    My meds were gradually decreased over several months. With each step I did feel less exhaustion.

    You're doing great I'm sure, hang in there.

    X

  • Hi. The drowsiness is overwhelming on rispiridone isn't it? It's almost like a synthetic tiredness. Really weird. It sounds like my situation is very similar to yours. My parents have helped out loads. I'm getting there though x thankyou x

  • Hello Jake19

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I'm glad you are starting to improve. That's such a good feeling to keep you going isn't it? I didn't take risperidone during my recovery but there is a post here, with a reply from Jasa which might be helpful, healthunlocked.com/app-netw... who experienced tiredness after taking 2mg of risperidone in the morning. The psychiatrist adjusted the doses of risperidone to 1mg in the morning and 2mg at night, although you mentioned you take 4mg.

    Perhaps your care team will be able to help? I'm sure there will be other mums here to add their support and experiences. In the meantime take good care of yourself.

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