Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Childrens behsviour

Hi everyone. I suffered with PP 3 years ago. I was concerned everything was contaminated and my children will be hurt. I was hallucinating seeing worms on them and bugs jumping about on my pillows and into my ears at night. Anyways, it's come back. My daughters did actually catch worms 3 wks ago and we have done the necessaries to make sure the worms have gone but I am having a relapse. It's bought back too many horrible memories and I've gone right back to square one.,everyone around the house who's trying to helping are getting upset, tired, fustrated. We are having meetings in the other room to discuss how we will over come this. The crisis team got called in to the house. My 7 yr old is really playing up. Won't listen at all to me or my husband. Puts her fingers in her ears. Won't do anything we tell her and because my husband is so tired and frustrated he doesn't let her talk he just shouts at her and punishes her. I've taken her out today to try and explain to her what's going on with mummy's head and why everyone is shouting. She got very upset and said she's doing it to get attention, but nice attention like she used to get. She wants the house to be normal, no shouting and wants to be listened. She says she wants her mum back. So tonight I put all things that I can't do in to one big go and just went for it to try and proove to Matilda I can do it! I did and it was bloody hard. I took her to bed, let her speak, didn't shout, but she went mental at me calling me the worst mum ever and I do nothing for her! This is SO out of character for her!!! I feel like it's always my fault! I don't know what to do. I'm trying to get myself better whilst keeping my family together 😢

12 Replies

Hi Hayleynevin, I'm so sorry to hear that things have been so hard for you and your family. Relapsing is something that a lot of people worry about and the worms and other things you mention sound very upsetting. Memories from our pp can be really hard.

It's good that you have the crisis team involved and also your family around you - although they are feeling tired and frustrated too. I bet you are exhausted and it's so great that you did all those things with your daughter but I bet you are tired out now! I have a 7 year old too and whilst the toddler years are said to be tough I think there's something around 7/8 year olds which is challenging too. They are still so little in a way but also are growing into strong minded individuals who don't always know how to cope with their emotions (in my experience anyway). It takes time and patience which can be tough when you're not feeling 100% yourself.

I know you already have a team involved but I wonder if they or your gp can suggest anything for your daughter to further support you all as a family? I guess with the long summer holidays coming up school is not something to look into st the moment as I know some have a lead teacher for emotional matters. Perhaps your local children's centre?

Sorry if this is not much use. I hope you can all get the support you need to get through this tough time together. Try not to put too much of it on yourself - none of this is your fault and I hope you can find strategies that work to bring you closer together at this tough time.

Thinking of you, xx

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Thank you so so much for your reply. I hear what your saying, 7 yr old girls who think there going on 18 can be a battle anyways but she's definately lashing out. My first PP experience was when she was born and suffered again after my 3 ye old was born do my eldest daughter suffered watching me then too. I worry in emotionally disturbing her! I think she does need some sort of help? She wrote me a more this morning and left it for me before she went to school saying she hates me 😢😢😢


Dear Hayleynevin,

I am so sorry that you are having a rough time. PPP and recovery time is sometimes not easy, when affected by too many emotional and social roller coasters.

Without being too educational I am trying to think of "hands-on" coping mechanisms. A bit of brainstorming...

1. own mental health and well being and partner's support

It is good to cry out for help and look at the professional support at hand as Hanna already mentioned. You are doing really well here as you are already in touch with the crisis team. If I look back at my support network I probably would highlight initially my crisis team, then my GP, Psychiatrist, care-coordinator, support worker. In addition your family and friends you can trust, close people, who can help and support for giving you time-out.

My partner and I also wanted help and support. We asked the professional team for possible referrals. My partner received support from work and was in touch with occupational health, - in addition he received emotional support as full time carer. I was referred to support groups via my care co-coordinator. This could be either charity run, local community, partnership (NHS). The GP could help in this case. This was happening after PPP throughout my recovery and I am still recovering...:-)

2. Children

I do believe that mum's who suffered PPP are very unique in their relationship with their children. Attachment and bonding between mum and baby is a sensitive one. In my case I was sectioned and could not be the mum I wanted to be in the first year. Dad had to take over.

In my opinion quite often children with mums, who have mental health issues are much more sensitive, which is reflected in their emotional intelligence. "Challenging behaviour" is a way of their own coping mechanism, -trying to communicate...

Obviously I do not know the exact problems, but maybe the following helps...

- In case of being very poorly, it is important to have somebody, who can step in. I get poorly and my partner is filling the gap when I need time-out. Situations do vary and hope you can rely on a family network or some other mums, you may have developed a friendship with.

- I struggle with fear and anxiety and also understand your returning flash backs. We, as a family always have been open with our son about mum being poorly. We are trying to be very matter of fact about our emotions and communicate, always making things explanatory for our son's unique world and life (why and how). When I need time out, my son usually knows. I either need to rest or do activities to focus on. Strangely enough I often do focused activities with my son and thus, we have a lot of quality time together and learning from each other.

- I find it useful to exchange my experience with people who have an educational background or mums with children of similar age. I always bare in mind that I just want to connect with the once whom I trust in order to keep confidentiality issues. This could be in some cases teachers, educational establishments and child provisions (play centres etc.) I am not sure what is on offer in your local authority...I am also thinking of summer and play schemes, activities which your child maybe interested in. Distraction, routine, lots of fun activities can reduce stress levels for the child and simultaneously allows you to establish strategies to slowly self-manage and focus on your needs (i.e. well being, love and kindness, your partner ......)

Take good care and hope things will get easier...all in stepping stones.


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Oh thank you so so much for your reply. Lots of help and ideas there for sure!!! I only have my psychiatrist helping me now. The crisis team pretty much washed their hands of me and said I have my mum and husband so I'll be fine basically. My husband is a police officer and I think there is a chance we can get two weeks of intense family councilling through them away somewhere in like this rehab place they have. I'm not sure if this is a good idea? This is the third time my eldest has seen it happen to me. After the birth of her, poppy and this relapse. I've tried explaining to her . I took her out for a girly day on Saturday and took her for lunch at her favourite place. Her behaviour is so bad st the moment. Massive attitude, doesn't listen, just keeps saying 'your not listening to me mummy' so I say 'what?' And she says nothing, just pulls a face at me! We've been having secret meetings away from the kids (me mum husband) to discuss me basically and Matilda (my eldest) is picking up on it all! I asked her at this lunch if she thought something was up with mummy and explained mummy's brain any working properly at the moment so gets upset, does silly things and worries a lot which sometimes means I need to be away from them and daddy has to do mummy's jobs. She says she misses mummy and wants me to be normal and knows she's naughty but she does it to get attention but always gets shouted at and she doesn't like the secret meetings. I said I will try and be mummy again if she tries to be a good girl again. I'm trying my damn hardest now I'm back on all my anti psychotics drugs again and think I'm slowly getting there but she's not. My husband is frustrated with her, so is my mum. I need to help her but I don't know what the best way round it is xx


Hi hayleynevin

I'm so sorry to hear how much you, and your daughter is struggling. It sounds so hard, and really upsetting... its so great you've written to us on all on here.

I did have a thought that it can only be a good thing that your daughter is expressing herself ... Obviously I'm not a child therapist or anything and imagine it's hard and really upsetting to hear her comments, but it can only be a good thing that she is letting it out and expressing herself...

I hope you are able to access some professional support - for yourself and your family. The counselling through your husband's job sounds good. Your GP may be able to direct you to something else also, for your daughter too...perhaps there are some organisations who can work with families who are struggling and advise you how to support her, as much as you can within your own capabilities and with what you are struggling with.

You sound like you are being such an amazing mum though Hayley, battling your illness and anxieties, but fighting to get better, and forcing yourself to spend time with your daughter even when she is saying such upsetting things, and being so difficult. I feel really upset if my son says anything horrible to me, and I am feeling quite well in myself...

I also wondered if you / your daughter may find this film helpful to watch, perhaps together? it was made by Devon NHS Partnership Trust for children whose parents are struggling with mental health:

Thinking of you Hayley

Ellie XXX

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I'll take a look at the video now thanks Ellie. I'm seeing the GP again tomorrow and the psychiatrist Wednesday and James is calling his work tomorrow to find out about this rehab centre. Hopefully we can get somewhere! Thank you for your kind words. Your always such s lovely help.... I honestly don't know where I would be without you guys.... Xx

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Thinking of you, too, Hayleynevin!

Thank you for your kind words and trying to explain your emotions. It is good to talk.

It is marvelous that you and James are trying to look for professional help. This is good team work. My partner and I have done exactly the same when times were difficult. My partner's company was very forthcoming and generous with their professional help via occupational health including therapy. He was with me for the first 6 months as a full time carer and then, slowly re-integrated back to work.

I do agree with Ellie, - it is a very positive step forward that your daughter is able to express herself.

Wishing you the best of luck with your GP and forthcoming appointment for Psychiatrist. ( I am going to have a look at the suggested film by Ellie, sounds useful)

Take care, x


Hello Hayleynevin

I hope your appointment goes well today and that you found the film helpful to watch with your daughter.

Take care.

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Good luck for today! x


Hi everyone.... It went well with the psychiatrist today. She thinks I'm on the mend and wants to see me every 6 weeks and not every week now. I spoke to her about Matilda and she says from a professional view the fact Matilda is expressing her feelings is a good sign. If she was keeping everything in then this would be a problem and therapy would be needed. I've been feeling really well the last few days sbs Matilda really is behaving . Feeling happy! ☺️

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Hello Haleynevin,

this is such wonderful news.

Wishing you a lovely weekend. x


Hi hayley

This is so great to hear, yes I thought it was a good thing when you said your daughter was expressing herself, it's great to hear she's in a better place too.

I hope you can continue to recover, take care of yourself and I hope you can take it easy a bit too

Ellie x


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