Update : Hi everyone. Not posted or... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Update

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Hi everyone. Not posted or commented for a while because a) I didn't want to bring others down who are new to PPP and b) I wanted to try and try and get on with my recovery. My daughter is almost 21 months old and if I had wrote a couple of days ago I would have said I was on the home stretch and was doing fantastic. Doh! I've had the worst few days in a long time. I'm off medication which I am pleased with but last night I woke up with the most horrific dreams and told my partner I wanted to die and that everyone would be better off without me, I cried, I shook, I screamed??? This has not happened in over a year and as a result my head has been in bits today. I really thought I was better and in track to go back to work in January but today has been a reminder that I am in fact struggling a little. I make sure my days are packed with activities and my daughter is entertained all day and I think I have just burnt myself out. I'm tired but not sleeping great etc. Anyway, not sure what the point of this post is all about... just trying to reach out I guess because people don't understand and I feel a bit deflated x x

17 Replies

Hi bethanylj, I'm sorry to hear you are struggling but glad you have been able to write a post. I had PP 18yrs ago and remember trying to be the perfect parent and burning myself out too - I think at the time I was putting alot of pressure on myself to be "better" overcompensating for the time I had been ill and over filling my time and my daughters with activities and trying to prove I was OK . I realise now that I should have taken much better care of myself as I had nothing to prove. Instead of pushing for my recovery what I should have done was be patient and understanding but sadly I didnt have that awareness at the time. There was no one who I could talk to who had been through this. This forum has been such a great comfort to me just knowing that others get where I am coming from means alot.

Remember that whatever you feel able to do is enough and everyday is a step forward and sometimes we just need to be kind and gentle to ourselves. Take care xx

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Hidden in reply to butterfly1999

Thank you for your reply. I'm sorry that you have been struggling too. My partner is in the fire services so works shifts so have found this hard and Hattie is coming to an age now where she is defiant and wants to do things her way. Some days I cope better than others but last night made me realise I'm perhaps not as strong as I thought I was. Hoping for a better day tomorrow x

That's a great answer!

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello bethanylj

I'm not surprised you're feeling deflated after doing well for a while. So sorry to hear you had an awful few days lately. I'm glad your partner was there to comfort you. I think at times we are so anxious to prove to family that we are well that we can do too much, too soon. It sounds as if you have been very busy keeping your daughter occupied and haven't had a rest yourself.

In a way it's a good thing that you have realised you are struggling a little. Do you think a visit to your GP would help if you're not sleeping? I had similar treatment and medication so I think you are doing well to consider returning to work in January. It took me a few years or more to find my feet.

Do you have family who could look after your daughter for a few hours while you have time to yourself? If not, perhaps you could snuggle up together under a duvet to watch a children's film together? You have been through so much on your way to recovery so try not to put too much pressure on yourself.

Take good care.

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Hidden in reply to Lilybeth

Thanks for your reply. I think I have been doing too much but I so desperately want to get back to normal. The thing I am struggling with at the moment is this distant feeling like I'm preoccupied and not totally with it?? I'm panicking that this may be permanent and connected to the ECT?? Did you feel anything similar? It's not all the time but when I get it I do panic and ruminate about it. As mentioned below I've also been drinking wine in the evening to relax when Hattie has gone to bed, however I have realised that this is not making me feel any better but giving me other things to deal with i.e. Feeling crappy in the morning. In the short term it helps with sleep and anxiety because it helps me relax but long term it makes me feel groggy adding to my anxiety the next day. You mention visiting my GP but I really have a fear of doctors at the moment because I don't want them to change or up my meds and an appointment of any kind just brings back memories of being very poorly so I tend to avoid. Silly I know x

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer in reply to Hidden

Hello bethanylj

By the way that's a lovely profile picture! I don't think we realise at first how much we have been through and the impact of PP on day to day life. Although it's been 21 months you have dealt with so much to get to where you are now.

I think it's understandable to relate not feeling 'with it' to your ECT treatment. As I had ECT treatment following both episodes of PP I did worry about my recovery in the early years even though it was the only treatment that worked for me in tandem with medication. Apart from a fuzzy head after each treatment I can honestly say that I haven't had any ill effects.

As you mentioned, I think it's a good idea to weigh up whether having a tipple at night is a good idea if you're not feeling refreshed when you wake up. I recently found mindfulness music on YouTube to be very relaxing after a stressful day so that might be an alternative to help with sleep? It's a shame any kind of medical appointment reminds you of being poorly. Perhaps you might feel more comfortable asking a doctor to visit you at home if your symptoms persist, so it might feel more like a home visit rather than an appointment?

It's good that you are having a break in October and I hope you celebrate how far you have come together :)

I think from reading your post that you are doing too much - I tend to overstimulate myself when I do and can't sleep.

I sometimes take the sleep aid from the supermarket for 2 weeks and it gets me back to a good sleep cycle.

Do you have much relaxation time? Mine is spent running or at body pump, I cannot be with my kids 24/7!

Take care xx

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Hidden in reply to Mims2014

Thanks for your reply. Relaxation time? What's that lol

It's difficult as my partner is in the fire service and works shifts so the majority of the time I am on my own while he works long shifts. Also when he's not working he's in bed recouperating. I do need to find time for myself and this is something I will try and work in over the next few weeks. We are going away on the 8th October so hoping that will be a good time to relax.

Many thanks for your comments x Beth

Hi Bethanylj

Sorry to hear you have been having a hard time. It can bowl you over sometimes after feeling so well. Maybe it is just a warning sign to make sure you look after yourself properly! Sleep for me is essential & if disrupted or I am struggling my mood can take a dive.

My boy is 33 months now & I am now off my medication. How long have you been off yours if you don't mind me asking? I found it hard to sleep initially for the first month or so, however I now sleep fine.

Something I am still learning is self care. It's all too easy as a ppp mum to get consumed by the guilt of the illness & lost time with our little ones when we were too poorly to look after them. I know I still work on this daily & have to take pj days when I feel really tired & schedule in some time for myself.

It sounds like you are doing an amazing job with your little one. Look after yourself & be mindful of your moods & own needs too. As mentioned earlier if you continue struggling a visit to your GP just to check in could be an idea.

Take care

Em x

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Hidden in reply to EmilyGolds

Thanks Em. I've been off Olanzapine a couple of months now. I still take a low dose of Venlafaxine. I'm just really frustrated by how long it's taking to recover. Some days I feel lethargic and like I can't be bothered with anything, which is really frustrating as I want to be out and about doing things and being active. I'm also not sure whether ECT has affected my memory as I find it hard to retain things which sets my anxiety off. One thing which does need to change is the habit I have got into in the evening. To relax I have been having a couple of large glasses of red wine, suppose a kind of reward for a hectic day..... I do however think this has added to my crap feeling in the morning and this needs to stop and I need to find other ways of coping. I didn't have any last night but again had a crap nights sleep and although I don't feel as groggy this morning I still feel a little low after the past few days. Hoping this lifts without having a medication change. Thanks once again for your comments.

Many thanks

Beth X

EmilyGolds profile image
EmilyGolds in reply to Hidden

Hey Beth,

I can relate to the frustration over how long it takes to recover. I came off all meds initially when my boy was 1 & half.

Unfortunately I had so much going on in my life I had a blip & had to go back on them for another 6 months. It felt like a real kick in the teeth at the time, however I know now that it was right for me.

Learning to live with & manage the lethargic days was hard for me too. What helped me is learning that other non ppp Mum's get days where they just chill with their little ones as they get really tired days too.

You certainly won't be the only Mum who enjoys a large glass of wine of an evening Beth! Alcohol is a go to reward for many of us after a long day. When first coming off my meds in July I indulged most evenings to unwind or help me sleep. I couldn't drink alcohol on my meds so it was nice to be able to enjoy a glass or two.

Recently I have stopped drinking as I am on a detox for a month & have found myself feeling much better. My reward this month is a spa day & massage (looking forward to this).

Take good care Beth & I hope you get over your blip & are in calm waters again soon. You have done amazingly to come so far already 😊

Sending love & light.

Em x

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Hello Bathanylj,

yes, what a gorgeous picture of mum and baby!

How are you today?

We are all so very different with regards to our life circumstances, even though we all suffered from PPP.

However, what I have learnt not only because of my own experience, but reading through many messages on this APP forum...

We all have to be kind to ourselves and learn to take the rough with the smooth, meaning implementing coping strategies, when some days are more difficult than others.

In order to find inner peace and balance I need to exercise, but not excessively as I used to.

My Yoga and painting helps a lot. It is difficult to prioritise, when too much is thrown at you. I have had to learn to say "No". It is good to share your worries and connect maybe with like minded people.

...yep and a glass of wine, but all in moderation! :-)

Look after yourself,

x

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

Aww thank you for your lovely comments regarding our photo. I'm truly blessed to have my daughter she is so so happy despite everything. I've had an ok day today. I've managed to get to the gym and do a 3mile run and also swim, sauna, jucuzzi etc. It was nice to feel free and normal for a change. I find the mornings hardest and really need to motivate myself to do things. My anxiety can take over that much that I want to stay at home where I feel safe but then I have a battle with my head because I want to do things. It's very hard to explain. I am at the moment trying to relax for half an hour until my daughter comes home from her grandmas. I struggle with my weight at the moment and also horrible sweats since coming off medication so I crave the gym to feel alive etc. It's hard though as I don't have childcare or not much so I feel I have to cram things into one day.

My relaxation comes when Hattie is in bed and also when I have time with my partner over good food and watching television of an evening. The simple things.

The next few days will consist of trying to forget the last couple of days and trying to move on again. But I do find it extremely hard. Depression and anxiety makes you feel so crap and it's very hard to get sucked in by negative emotions. You need a strong mind to get over events like PPP and also relapses, but I'm sure you know this already.

I hope you are also being kind to yourself and thank you for your comments and support.

I'm sure this won't be the last you here from me.

Here's to a good week!!

X Beth

Claire_griff profile image
Claire_griffVolunteer

Hiya,

Very sorry to hear you felt that you couldn't post for fear of upsetting newer mums, the forum is a place where you can get the support you need when you are down!

My daughter is 19 months old and I too have had a blip lately in the form of some massive anxiety symptoms, paranoia and panic attacks, I was so shocked by it, like you I thought I had 'recovered' and that I wouldn't be affected again. I've had to have 6 weeks off work and had lots of time to analyse what happened, when I look back and see all the things I was trying to fit in it is no wonder that I've had a blip!! Part-time job, work stress, being a mummy, writing blog posts, family stress, poorely child, trying to increase my self employed work, the list goes on, it's no wonder why I was triggered and became ill, and I imagine it's the same for you, just trying to do too much can cause massive burn out!

I'm now much more realistic about my capabilities, I know that I need to just focus on myself plus just a few things in my life and make them the priority right now, It's fine to not be super active all the time, your child might actually enjoy some down time to potter about with some toys while you try to relax with a cuppa, I've started taking rainy pyjama/film days every now and then, and I know plenty of non-pp mums who do that without feeling guilty!

As for self-care I've always known it is important but not really taken it to seriously, however now I know I have to or could burn out, I've started using a mindfulness app for ten minutes a day which has been very relaxing and I now use nap times to relax rather than try to pack in self-employed work!

I hope you manage to find your moments of relaxation within your busy life and try not to pack so much in, take care,

Claire

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Hidden in reply to Claire_griff

Thank you so much for your reply Claire. I'm going to run the bath for my daughter as she is in her way home so my message will be short. I just wanted to reply to explain what I meant by not wanting to post on here. When I was extremely ill I was looking for a solution to the way I was feeling, a quick fix I suppose but I now know this is not possible. However if I was to read when my daughter was only a few weeks or months old that someone was still struggling 21 months in it would have probably have made my illness worse. It's a long time to feel poorly but as others have said there is no quick fix and everyone is different. I am just frustrated by the last few days as I really thought I was better. Again as you have said, I have been doing too much and beating myself up. I am trying to go easy in myself now and will only do what I feel capable of. It's not worth becoming ill again.

I'm sorry to hear you have struggled of late. Anxiety and panic attacks are something I really struggle with and I can identify how hard this is to deal with especially while trying to function day to day and look after a young child.

Where are you based?

I so want to meet with someone who has been through or is going through something similar. I met a few people on the ward but they suffered from OCD, schizophrenia and other conditions so they can't identify with me and PPP.

Speak soon and thank you for your reply. Milk and bath needs prepping for Hatties arrival lol 😂

Thanks

Beth x

Hi Beth, being a mum to a baby/toddler is soooo tough. We moved to Australia when my oldest was 18months and I got sick when my second daughter came along, we have no family here and my husband works abroad a lot (seemed to increase once baby number two came along). Motherhood to me was the toughest job ever, boring sometimes ...well quite frequently (I'm being honest) lonely and also Groundhog Day!

100% the most important thing is to take care of yourself, I promise it gets easier (once school starts 😏) You are doing the hard yards at the mo. I think you need not to overdo it, I agree that mindfulness and meditation is a great tool. So is sticking Peppa pig on the TV and chilling out together, and no one died from having beans/eggs on toast for tea now and then. I found a slow cooker is amazing, you can put a chicken in there, make a chilli or mild curry or something when you have a bit more energy in the morning and then have something nutritious to eat at dinner time (the witching hour) without having to stress.

Do you have any family that could help out she you can go and have some you time? Can you plan a weekend away (as a family) every so often to give you something to look forward too?

I've had pyscosis 3 times though over the years and still have to manage stress - doing too much. I've accepted that for me I have to stay on the antidepressants to stay well and have been in and off the antipsychotics. I think that most of us have had blips in the road with recovering, and that's ok, it's a journey. I promise it gets easier x

When

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Hidden in reply to Chilliboo

Thank you so much for your reply and I will reply to you tomorrow but I'm off to bed now for some well earned sleep. Hope you sleep well and message tomorrow.

X Beth

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