Hospitalization Anniversary

Hi Everyone,

3 years ago today was my second hospitalization due to PP.

This one was a though one cause by this point I had gone very far into my psychosis. I truly had no idea why people even wanted me to go to the hospital. I thought they were all crazy.

My family finally got me to go to the ER by saying that we all have problems and all need some help as a family. That at the time made much more sense to me.

I would say it was a good three weeks after this hospitalization that I even understood what I had.

I was kept for two weeks all while thinking I am right and they are wrong. Not once was the term Postpartum Psychosis told to me. Perhaps they thought I would not be able to fully grasp it.

I am in America and we only have two mother baby units which were far from me. And since my situation got so serious there was no time to travel. So I was with out my son.

At the first hospitalization they said my son could visit which did not happen and by the second I knew I would not see him till I got home.

In my daily life I am doing very well but memories do come up especially on anniversaries like today.

Anger comes up about certain clinicians I felt did not treat me well but I know that the anger just leads to nothing for me.

What I am angry about though is the lack of research and facilities for mothers in America. I was in shock that I live in one of the biggest cities in the world and there is not one unit for people like me.

I guess my main question here is what do people do when anniversaries come up. How to handle the emotions and do something nice for yourself?

Much love to everyone who has been a victim of this no matter what stage you are at.

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  • Hello flower12

    Thank you for sharing your experience on what must be an emotional day for you. I also had PP twice and my second episode was over thirty years ago, so I can imagine as you are only three years down the line how raw and upsetting it must be to recall.

    Like you I had no idea why I was being admitted to general psychiatric care again, after a gap of six years. I do remember my odd behaviour but like you I thought everyone else was wrong and I was right. PP was never mentioned to me by my family due to stigma and sadly to this day my parents never engage in conversation about it. Reading my notes I imagine I caused them a lot of anxiety and they asked my husband not to talk to any of our friends about my PP as they thought I would be judged but all that left me with was unfounded guilt.

    Mixed general psychiatric care in the UK at the time was not geared to accommodating mothers with their babies so I was without my sons for a long time.

    Finding APP was a light bulb moment for me as my PP diagnosis was confirmed after sight of my medical records. The unfounded guilt lifted as I had answers to so many questions I had wondered about for years.

    I'm not sure if you're aware of Postpartum Support International in America, the link being postpartum.net/get-help/pos...? Perhaps you will be able to find support via the Co-ordinator mentioned. I'm sorry there's a lack of research and facilities in America. Here in the UK there are now mother and baby units although more are needed.

    Being so much further along the road, 'anniversaries' are not so emotional for me now although there is still sadness that I missed my sons' very early days. I do remember how ill I was and thankfully how far I've come since, so these days it's more of a celebration as time heals.

    I think you should be proud of how much courage you have had to come this far as we treasure the precious gift of our children. Be very kind to yourself and enjoy all the loving hugs from your family. There will be other mums here to share their experiences.

    Take care and wrap yourself in the comfort blanket of home. xx

  • Hi Lilybeth,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. Even though it is hard to hear others have suffered this it is also very comforting to know I'm not alone. I do feel it starting to heal with time and hope the healing continues.

    I think the transition of my son turning 3 and truly leaving that baby stage has brought up some emotion too.

    At the same time though I am really enjoying this age and feel grateful I have gotten better.

    Thanks for letting me know about the site for the US. I hope to some day meet others who have had PP.

    Tonight I ended up having a good talk with my husband about how the anniversary was hard and just tried to take it easy.

    Thank you for your advice 💜 Xx

  • Hello flower12

    I'm glad my post was a comfort in a way as you're definitely not alone. Three was a lovely age with my sons too. I was finding my feet which was such a relief and they were such good company.

    It's good you were able to share your thoughts with your husband for support. Take things a day at a time as there are lots of family adventures around the corner when you are feeling stronger.

    We are all here for you. xx

  • Dear Flower 12,

    Yes I can imagine that although it is 3 years ago this experience was extremely traumatic, confusing and hurtful in that you didn't see your little boy for some time.. Memories of trauma are very hard to erase but they can be lessened and accepted with help if that is what you wish would happen.. A good doctor would give you all the available help which might ease this ... Post traumatic stress is such a known thing now and how the effect lasts on a persons mind and body.

    Such a shame that there are few MBU s in America.. I cant believe it.. seems such a progressive place with vociferous women being heard and its reported in our press frequently. I have found that having PPP there are many side issues both during the episodes and afterwards .. In my case I felt ashamed and totally bewildered that I had suddenly become mentally unbalanced...Even now years later it is so clear , although I have got over it .. At the time I was also dealing with an ill alcoholic husband , and life was a nightmare ! I cant believe I survived it but I did...

    Just as a suggestion could you alert mother and baby groups to be more aware of PPP and PND? It could really help to share your experiences.. makes me wonder how many women are suffering from these awful periods after having a baby (often the first but not always),and don't get the help they need? Here in the UK there is now greater awareness of mental health issues luckily and I think things will improve even more if women keep up communication with each other and lobby those who listen..

    I do wish you well and let us know how things go ... with love Denise

  • Thank you flower,

    for your deep account of feelings. Can you see my little symbol above. It is one of my many paintings throughout my recovery...it is quite a big canvas and painted in three levels.

    The bottom is like being in the underground. My dreadful experience in a mixed psychiatric gender unit in 2010 and above those intertwined rings (mauri symbol) symbolising all the strengths and love of my partner and his family including my baby, - hugging, holding and looking after me...still in a critical stage, because of the red background...and then those flowers, finally growing again...you are one of those flowers, because the painting is called: "Flowers will grow again"! A future ahead.

    I have had no chance of an MBU, the nearest on offer was in Manchester, far away from my home town. However, the situation for mums with PPP is slowly improving in the UK, even in my locality.

    There is a time and a place for new avenues, but first and foremost your recovery is paramount.

    I was so poorly that I had to have full time care once released from hospital. In fact the head of the Psychiatric Unit wanted to section me again, but luckily that decision was not in her hands anymore. My own sanctuary and my partner helped me to stand on my own feet again and I even weaned off my drugs after one year.

    I completely understand that you feel sometimes frustrated, I believe we are very critical with ourselves and want to just get on with life...I mind race a lot and then try to focus on what matters most and live with the momentum.

    We all have our own "speed of life" and need to learn how to moderate it in order to keep emotionally well balanced.

    Only towards the end of 2015 was I able to "empty some of my bottle"; meaning sharing my experience with like minded people & true compassion, because I had found like you the APP forum. With the help of my care worker, support worker and the fantastic APP team, I actually managed to raise awareness about PPP and APP in my area through my art exhibition.

    I was happy, but very drained! I am not sure whether I could do that again. It is very important to be able to say "NO" and to protect yourself. My family is my priority.

    Time will heal...and focusing on the hear and now makes me so very happy. My son is 7 now!

    Wishing you well,

    wishing you happiness

    x

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