Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Please don't be afraid to admit you are struggling: 18yrs on my PP experience has helped me to take better care of myself

hi lovely ladies, I've got to be honest I have been struggling lately. Things are no better with my daughter and I am really finding it difficult to cope in spite of accessing counselling support I have realised that I need to take some time off work. I spoke to my manager at work this morning and went home - I gave myself time to think and have made an appointment to see my GP next week. It is so important to listen to the alarm bells and accept how I feel as I am aware that if I ignore them and try to power through I will dip into a depression. Instead of feeling a failure and beating myself up as I did for years after PP I am proud that now I give myself permission to take care of myself and allow myself the time I need to heal. My job is supporting others and I feel that I need to practice what I preach.

I know I will get through this difficult time and I am going to be kind to myself. I appreciate and really respect everyone of you that may also be struggling and hope you can find some peace and comfort knowing that you are not alone XX

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Hi butterfly

I'm really sorry to hear that things are still difficult with your daughter. That's so good though that you have taken steps to take care of yourself, and make the difficult decision to take time off work which sounds like a good thing to do. I hope your GP can help you to access anything that may help you.

I agree with you , it's so important we look after ourselves, and as you say try and take proactive steps before it gets too late.

We all find different things helpful I think, for me I try and practice meditation / contemplation and write something called morning pages every morning (something I've started quite recently) to stay in touch with how I'm really feeling and what I need for myself, to stay balanced.

Take care, and I really hope things get better with your daughter and you can get any support you need. We are here for you, whenever you want to write.

Ellie xx

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Thank you Ellie, I'm aware this morning that I am starting to feel guilty about being off work that I'm letting people down but I know I need to put my own wellness first. I find that writing things down helps me but usually do it at night - I will try your suggestion of morning pages. I also like meditation and find the work of Louise L Hay really encouraging I listen to her morning and evening meditations most days. I love to colour in and find it helps me to switch off and relax. Thanks for your support it really helps to know I have this space to share with people who really understand.

xx

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Hi butterfly1999

Please try not to let your current situation with your daughter drag you down. Teenagers can be very selfish and thoughtless at the best of times and in a few years when she's has time to mature I'm sure she will feel sorry for what she's putting you through right now. It sounds to me like her father needs to grow up too and stop using your PP as a weapon. Perhaps, he's feeling ashamed now that he didn't support you better when you needed him most and trying to justify himself to your daughter.

I suffered PP twenty years ago and, understandably, it scarred my self esteem. Although my daughter was blissfully unaware as a small child that I had been ill she did witness me suffering a hypomanic relapse around five years ago and we decided it was time to sit her down and explain about my illness.

Throughout her teens, and to an extent still today, it seems her dad can do nothing wrong and if she is going to disagree or be annoyed by anyone it will always be me, which I have found hurtful at times. She can be quite adept at picking up subtle changes in my mood and pointing them out to me. I think my husband has a technique of tactically ignoring any conflict that goes on around him and I often had to remind him that parents need to show a united front against a stubborn or angry teenager. Another theory is that he's mildly autistic and genuinely doesn't read emotions well.

I am certain that living with your ex full-time will have highlighted to your daughter some of his flaws. We all have them even if we haven't ever been diagnosed with a mental illness! Leave her to enjoy his company, warts and all while you take some time to put your own needs to the top. When she comes back you will have your opportunity to tell your side of the story.

Take good care of yourself, you deserve it

Love

Jxx

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Thanks for taking the time to respond and sharing your story with me MrsJelly, its really useful to get another perspective as I do have a tendency to think its all my fault and the guilt kicks in. Thank you for your support - you have given me some hope - means alot xx

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Hello butterfly1999,

it is lovely to hear from you and thank you for your honest account. It surely helps others - your words highlight that life certainly is not always plane-sailing, especially when being traumatised...and that can be in many ways.

- I call them influential factors, either because of our body make-up & background, but also experiences and life circumstances, all of those can shake us up again on many different levels and make life a touch more challenging depending on what is thrown at us. They are all intertwined with each other (factors), -that is probably why my life always has been turbulent and full of surprises.

PPP illness is certainly not self inflicted or our fault, but strangely enough the guilt feeling is sometimes very daunting...

It is lovely that you give and support and help others in need, but simultaneously realise that you have to take care of yourself as well. It is good to ask for help. I have had a lot of professional support throughout my recovery.

It does not matter how long ago we had PPP...it is part of our life and we have to come to terms with what happens. I often do worry about the ones who love me and had to cope with my illness and my recovery or the once who just put their head into the sand. We all have our coping mechanisms!

Butterfly, you are not on your own! I journalise, paint, meditate, cycle...and also have accepted that I am not the person I used to be. Learning experiences are part of life. I am so grateful that my partner never gave up on me...you can be happy again on many different levels...nature is a great healer, too!!!

Bye for now,

x

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So true - it becomes part of who we are doesn't it. The hardest part is coming to accept that.

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Hi Butterfly, I can identify completely with the feelings you have described. if things aren't going well I can always find a way of linking the problem to something I said, did, failed to do or failed to do properly. It can be bl***y exhausting to say the least! It seems I'm always looking for something to beat myself up about and I can be very creative there! I've always been a bit of a perfectionist to be honest, and we know that life is never perfect. We just need to reassure ourselves that we're doing the best we can in any given situation and generally just try to be kinder to ourselves...yes, I've had the counselling too!

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