Action on Postpartum Psychosis

Juggling all the balls.

I had pp just over a year ago. I was discharged from services last week. I am really struggling at the moment. I feel like everyone is bored with my illness recovery. I get no help from family, I am working, looking after our 13 month son, our house and everything seems to fall to me. My husband is supportive but he is really busy at work. I am so sad and can not stop crying, I worry about getting g ill again. Has anyone else felt like this please x

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Hi Theo116, I’m sorry to read you are struggling and can relate very much to this post. It’s now two years ago since my postpartum psychosis and the difference now to a year ago is huge. I clearly remember feeling as you’ve described and everything felt so overwhelming and I did cry loads. I had to take so much care of myself and really Look at what I spent my time doing. I even found going into shops a big deal, I would feel so stressed and that I was exhausted just getting there. A year ago I was so afraid that I was always going to feel that way and I can tell you another year on I do feel recovered and happy, completely different to this time last year. I am very careful not to do too much and have to do my relaxation and of course sleep! I did go and see my gp a few times as it frightened me so much so if you are worried by your mood or thoughts definitely seek help. I hope you can take some comfort in my post, remind yourself of how far you have come since you first became unwell and you will feel better.

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Thank you so much for your message x

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Sorry to hijack the post but it’s great to hear about people getting better. I am roughly one year post onset of my illness now and am hitting a difficult time as I ‘expected’ to be completely better by now. I feel like I have to pretend I’m okay as surely everyone must be bored of hearing how difficult I find everything.

Emily out of interest, you mention that going to the shops was difficult for you. Was it that you were just exhausted, too low or confused or a mixture of everything?

Theo, I completely empathise. I’m in the exact same situation as you at the moment. Although I have not been able to return to work yet which makes me feel even more of a failure!!

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Dear milky buttons so lovely to hear from you. I am sorry that you are also struggling. Pp is such a horrible illness. I think we forget how far we have come and I know I struggled really badly on the anniversary of getting pp. I know my family love me but you can not see our struggles. I send you all te best for the future x

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Hi milkybuttons,

The problem I had with going to the shops were everything you said. I would get so confused by products and layouts, it could feel too bright or noisy and I just couldn’t think straight. There were days I was so exhausted that simply walking around was too much. I was just completely overwhelmed and it was so stressful just doing something that used to be the norm for me. I couldn’t understand as I used to work In a superstore so it just shows what ppp can do. Don’t get me wrong I don’t go to the shops during “rush hour” as I refuse to put myself in crowded places when I don’t have to. I cope absolutely fine in shops now and I seriously thought this day wouldn’t come. It all takes time and it’s really hard, At times it feels impossible but you do get there! I hope this helps you. Try and be kind to yourself and take one day at a time.

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Hi theo116,

I'm sorry to hear that you feel everything's hard. I'm in a very similar situation at the moment. I had pp 19 months ago and the crisis team got involved yesterday as I've been having dark thoughts again. I keep thinking I'm going backwards, I think I should be able to handle things as I was discharged. I let the thoughts build and build and on the surface to people I was happy and healthy. But I felt like a bomb went off in my head yesterday and I couldn't keep it up no longer. I've been in a dark place lately and reading that you are in the same boat makes me feel that I'm not going crazy again. So thank you for that x

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I am so sorry to hear you are struggling too. How are you today ? I am off work today and am trying to rest. Take care x

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Hi Daninicole

I wanted to reply to your post. I’m so sorry you’re struggling with dark thoughts. It’s good if your Crisis Team have been on hand. Have they been helpful, and are you still with them? I really, really hope you’re getting good support. It’s so difficult dealing with difficult stuff while processing and getting through PPP.

Please be very kind to yourself. I know 19 months after PPP I was very much struggling with thought processes and fears. I thought I should be much much better, but couldn’t see how I could get out of the situation.

I really hope the crisis team can help you through this experience. I mentioned to Theo116, I found counselling very helpful, after being put on a waiting list by my GP, and as part of that i’ve found Mindfulness to be helpful. If either of them sounds like they might be of interest, perhaps your GP, or maybe the Crisis Team, could talk to you about them?

Allow yourself to take it slow (which is something so much easier said than done when you’re a Mum! but I mean in terms of steps for you health wise.) You will come through this and you will get better. Please take good care, Jen X

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Hi Jen, thank you so much for your comment. The crisis team are now involved which I fell better for. I was holding onto these dark thoughts for weeks and on the surface I was happy. But without talking about it it gets bigger and bigger in your mind. Now the thoughts are a little smaller.

Your comment was so supportive. I will cherish it. Thank you xx

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Hi Daninicole

Thank you so much for writing back and for your update. I’m so glad the Crisis Team’s support is helping. It really makes a difference sharing things doesn’t it, I think fearful thoughts and anxieties can get so big, and it’s very easy to feel we can’t tell people or let them out.

I’m so glad the thoughts are now a little smaller and I really hope you keep feeling better over the next few days. Thanks so much again for your update, I hope you have a restful night tonight and a good day tomorrow, very best wishes, Jen xx

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Hello Dannicole

How have you been since you last posted under Theo's thread? I hope you have been helped by the crisis team and have good support around you.

Stay safe and take good care of yourself. xx

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Hi Theo 116

I’m so sorry you’re struggling at the moment. It’s such a difficult process coming through PPP, I can completely relate to your post. Please reassure yourself that, it sounds like, if you’ve been discharged, the doctor must see improvements in your experiences, but I completely know what it’s like to be told ‘you’re doing really well!’ And inside feel very different. I found taking small steps really helped, even when I didn’t think anything was helping at all. I had periods when I wasn’t sure who to talk to too. It’s really good though that you say your husband is supportive, that’s brilliant, and hopefully there may be times when, amongst his busy-ness, you can maybe talk to him a bit about how things are for you.

It’s now just over 3 years since I had PPP and I really do feel myself. In some ways I feel differently to how I used to, but in a way that feels right. I definitely thought for a long time that i’d never get myself back. I have to be careful of energy levels, and of keeping myself ‘balanced’ and working on how to do that. I’m very, very conscious of my mental health, I think that’s part of the process of coming through PPP.

I had counselling last year and found that extremely helpful. I was on a waiting list from when I had the PPP episode. It took a while to come through, but was so useful. I wondered if you’d had anything like that? If you think it might help then do speak to your GP about it.

One thing I found in coming through PPP was coping with the times when you’re thinking ‘Ah, I feel so much better!’ And then something may throw you, remind you of PPP or bring back thoughts and thought processes that you had at the time. I’ve found Mindfulness really helpful for this and my counsellor talked about it in counselling quite a lot. I’ve found the times I need it feel hard times / or times when i’m v anxious. For me, it can help me get through those times to a place that feels a lot better, and that experience grows.

The above are just thoughts, you will find what helps you best, but please know that you are doing so much and so well, being a Mum and working through PPP, it’s such a lot, but you will get through this. Sending very best wishes to you, Jen X

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It’s so lovely to hear that people get through this horrible illness. Was it only at 3 years that you started to feel ‘normal’ again?

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Hi Milky Buttons,

I’m really sorry you are having a difficult time. I think looking back on the first year is particularly hard. You’ve done so well to get through it and though it sounds strange I think maybe, looking back, that the feeling of being different on the inside to the way you are on the outside is strangely all part of it, and though it doesn’t seem so now, it will get better.

I found the process of starting to feel more myself, looking back now, kind of went in stages. I think the first year I was trying to get through PP and just keep my head down and plough through stuff if you know what I mean. Then in the second year I found APP and it made such a massive difference to me. Half way through the second year I also started some counselling through my doctors that I’d been waiting for. I’d had psychotic episodes before having my daughter, as well as the PPP. It gave me strategies and tools for working with anxiety etc. and allowed me to talk through stuff. I think through this and working through it I kind of got into a different place.

I think everyone is different and processes stuff and goes through things in different ways and at different times. Please only take my experiences as just one instance, you will find things happen to you, and find things that work for you and help. Please know things will improve, and you will get better, Very best wishes to you, Jen X

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Hello Theo116

I'm also sorry to hear that you're struggling at the moment and really pleased that you have found the replies helpful. It's very hard to cope with work and home life as well as recovering from PP.

I'm not sure whether you have seen the APP Insider Guides "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" and "Postpartum Psychosis : A Guide for Partners", the link being app-network.org/what-is-pp/... There's also a brilliant blog PP Soup at ppsoup.com with shared experiences and info which you might find reassuring.

It's not easy to put yourself first when there are so many demands on your time but you really should try to find time for yourself. I'm sorry you don't have any help from family. Apart from your husband, do you have friends to also support you? Crying now and again is like a stress release but if you are feeling low perhaps you could speak to your GP to consider helpful therapies?

Recovery from PP is different for all mums but it's important to take good care of yourself. I think you're amazing coping with everything. Welcome to this unique band of mothers :) ... we are all here to lean on. Sending you a hug. xx

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