Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Risks during peremenopause

Im completely new to posting on here so please have patience. I suffered from PP 5 years ago and iv had no other symptoms since but I am getting increasingly worried that I may be starting early menopause. I am 44yrs old. I have been recently feeling quite depressed, no energy and extremely short tempered, along with other symptoms like feeling hot, faint, irregular periods. Blood tests I have had say I'm not premenopausal and when I mention my concerns re relapse of PP I don't feel like anybody takes me seriously as iv had no other problems only immediately after birth of my son. I feel PP has had a massive impact on me and I struggle at times to move on from it and now feel the fear of a relapse is also all consuming

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Hi lgreen, welcome to the forum - I am sorry that you are struggling at the moment, you are certainly not alone and how you are feeling is perfectly normal given the circumstances.

It is easy for people to tell us not to worry as the fear of relapse can sometimes make us feel worse than we are but it is hard to keep positive after PP. I think you are absolutely right to be proactive and seek medical advice and posting on here is a great way to connect with other mothers who really understand. I can identify with your concerns, I have a GP appointment this week as I am struggling at the moment - I am 46 next birthday and am also wondering if the menopause may be a factor.

I have learned to allow myself to feel how I feel - not dismiss my own feelings but afford myself some understanding and self compassion - not always easy but I find the support on this forum is really helpful. These wonderful ladies have really made a difference to me and for the first time since my PP 18yrs ago I have found a place where I feel truly understood.

Take care of you xx

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Thanku so much for replying and your words and understanding of our situation really helps. It's a very isolated, lonely place where only other people who have suffered PP understand our worries x

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Hello Igreen

Thanks for your sharing your experience. I think PP is such a challenge and the forum is a great place to find support.

I'm sorry to hear you have recently been feeling depressed and also worried about early menopause. Three years after my second PP episode when I was in my early 30's I had an early menopause due to having a hysterectomy for fibroids. Can you ask your GP to refer you to a Gynaecologist for reassurance about your tests?

Perimenopause has been discussed on the forum recently and there is a link to a post healthunlocked.com/app-netw... which might be helpful.

Also in the APP Insider Guide "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" app-network.org/what-is-pp/... page 14 there is a section entitled "Relapse Planning" and info under FAQ's "Am I likely to have an episode of psychiatric illness at other times?"

If you are finding it hard to move on from the impact of PP have you thought of counselling? Perhaps talking therapy would help you to release all your worries you have probably been keeping to yourself? Some GPs also offer in-house counselling. It does take time to come to terms with all that PP has thrown at us and we are all here to support you.

Take good care of yourself.

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Thanku so much Lilybeth. I have had counselling at various stages of my life but not specific for PP. I was referred to a general counsellor who to be honest hadn't even heard of PP so I didn't feel a connection. I will check those links out thankyou again x

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Hi Lgreen

I'm sorry you're feeling a bit depressed, and are struggling with worries of relapsing. It is such natural worries, PP is this huge trauma for us.

I just wanted to let you know that if you live in the UK you could also ask to be referred to a second opinion psychiatry service, with Dr Ian Jones, who specialises in PP, and other mood disorders, and is extremely knowledgeable about the risk of relapse. He is based in Cardiff but can do consultations over Skype. It is a free service so your local NHS authority wouldn't need to pay. You can be referred by your mental health team, if you are under anyone, or your GP. The link is here: app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

It may just help reassure you, to get some information about the risk at menopause and what you can maybe do to prevent it etc.

Take care, and I hope all these answers have been helpful.

Ellie

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Hello Igreen

I too have had counselling for other life 'events' but had no knowledge of my diagnosis until I had the good fortune to meet Dr Jones and some of the research team years ago. He was very understanding and put my mind at rest after so many years of wondering. In a way it was such a relief to finally know I had suffered PP which explained my psychotic episodes.

So I think if you can be referred to Dr Jones it might make all the difference and give you peace of mind, which is so important when you are picking up the pieces and trying to move forward.

Good to talk to you ..... take care.

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Thankyou Lilybeth where is Dr. Jones based and is his specialism PP? X

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Hello Igreen

Dr Jones is based in Cardiff University and can offer consultations via Skype if necessary, as mentioned in Ellie's post earlier to you with the link app-network.org/what-is-pp/... Ellie has also given info about his specialism being PP and other mood disorders while also being extremely knowledgeable about the risk of relapse.

Best wishes. xx

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