Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Frustrated by PP

So I sit and write this in my living room when I should be at work, but I have been signed off my job with severe depression. All I wanted to do when I had postpartum psychosis in 2016 was to get over it and get on with my life but going back to work just feels too damn hard. Now I'm worried about my future, whether I'm too 'fragile' to deal with what life throws at me. Someone please tell me it gets better! My daughter is 18m now and thought I should be getting some sort of normality back!

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Hi there

It will get better! I didn't suffer from pp but Pni (or pnd) - there were times when I couldn't put one foot in front of the other and couldn't imagine ever feeling well and having a normal life but I did. It's so hard when all you want is to feel well again. Try not to worry about the future. Focus on doing things to help yourself now . Recovery can be frustratingly slow. Do you have a good support network? Perhaps try to focus your energy whilst you're off work on something that you find enjoyable? x

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Thanks Rocky for your kind words. Spending time with my beautiful daughter perks me up and gives me purpose.

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That's wonderful to hear. Our wonderful treasures really can give our lives purpose. You're a fantastic lady doing a wonderful jobx

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Hello GorillaMumma

It's awful that you have severe depression but home is the best place for you :) I think I've mentioned in your previous posts that I had PP many years ago. After my second episode during recovery I had what seemed like an endless depression. It took me more than 18 months to find my feet and confidence to even consider returning to work so you have done really well compared to me.

It does get better and with good medical support you will be well again. When I was depressed even getting out of bed was an effort!

I think when we have battled through PP and got our mental health back it's very important to look after it. Is it possible when you are well enough to return to work that you could reduce your hours as coping with work and routine can be stressful? When I was thinking of returning to work i registered for temporary work with an agency. In this way I built my confidence, did hours which fitted around my family and regained my social skills. Eventually I was offered part-time permanent employment as a result of my temporary bookings.

Some years ago I had to take a break due to work related stress which again made me rethink my work life balance. It's not being 'fragile' so much as being aware of taking too much on.

I hope you have support around you and can talk to family and friends about how you feel. On page 9 of the APP Guide "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" there's a section about depression under "Your Feelings" which might be helpful, at app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

Wrap yourself in the comfort blanket of home and take good care. Sending a hug :)

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Unfortunately I was only doing my job part time and it hit me anyway! I currently am a teacher and just felt like I was in a goldfish bowl. Maybe time for a career change I think!

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Hi GorillaMumma .... With my second PP I was mainly treated at home as my first son was six. I had regular visits from the care team. Do you have similar support?

I think at times, after having PP, we are so anxious to show family and friends that we are 'over it' that we put too much pressure on ourselves to be well, trying to carry on as we were while dealing with the effects of recovery and a new bundle of joy :) I don't think we realise how much we have been through and need to give ourselves time to heal before rushing into work which can be an added stress.

Teaching today must be very stressful, even part-time. Perhaps although you are severely depressed, when you are feeling stronger this might be a chance for you to take a step back and consider a career change as you say.

PP mums are amazing and our children are the best medicine!!

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Don't give up. If you enjoy being with children maybe teach some younger ones less trouble. It must be really hard to teach today.

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I can completely relate to the feelings of worry about being able to cope with what life throws at you, I left my job in October after finding the stress too much.

I am not much further ahead of you, having had my wee boy in Feb 2016 however from what I've gathered from what other women have told me is that it will get better but it can take time, we need to be patient with ourselves (patience is not my strong point!). I think that a lot of women who haven't had PP find it hard to work whilst being a parent too. We've got an added hurdle to cross.

Have you been back to work yet? Are you receiving any treatment for your depression? For me I am trying to make myself do things that I know are good for my mental health even when I don't feel like it, like yoga and singing in a choir.

I sometimes find it hard to feel confident in myself without work but I'm trying to tell myself we're doing the most important job there is, being Mummy to our little tots!

Hazello x

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Hi I am currently being looked after a home treatment team for my depression. Javelin been back since June but think I have been slowly declining since then.x

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You've done so well getting back to work at all. I think the thing I've found frustrating is that recovery isn't always a linear process, you can take backward steps as well as forwards.

But we will get there, I'm sure.

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Hi Gorillamum,

My baby is 20 months now and I can really relate to where you are now. I am in the same place as you except for me it's bipolar disorder not depression (which I wasn't diagnosed with until about 4 months ago). Same worries about what the future will be like an whether normal will ever exist again. Hang in there! Surely this has got to get better for the both of us soon right?

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Down Under the answer is YES!

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Hello GorillaMumma,

wow, you've got a lot of post in a very short period of time and even somebody else from NZ. It is a great forum for support and exchanging experiences, sharing our struggles, but also the happy moments.

Yes, it is not easy to find the right work/ home balance after having had PPP. I suffered with this traumatising illness in 2010 and unfortunately did not receive appropriate care when sectioned. Once in my own sanctuary and with my partner as full time carer I gradually improved.

I thought you might be interested that I have been a teacher/lecturer myself. I could not go back into my former profession, because of the stressful environment, especially being confronted with the political arena within an establishment.

In fact I have had to re-focus completely and scaffold a new me. Considering that I was unable to look after myself or the baby for quite a substantiated time, I am now happy with who I am. Of course I have set backs, because unfortunately I am often in a roller coaster mode with my fear and anxiety.

Tuning into your needs is vital, because we are more sensitised to stresses. I had to have therapy in order to identify my triggers and to implement a toolkit of coping mechanisms. I do struggle with my menstrual cycle/and heard the terminology of menstrual psychosis.

I am pleased you have professional support. I do not shy away and always look around the national health service (NHS) or charities for mental health.

Obviously I do not know much about the health service down under, but know that it is a beautiful place to be...I've been twice and travelled around NZ. Because of being an Educationalist, I know a bit about the interwoven holistic approach for children and the great outdoor activities at your place. Enjoy your special time with your daughter!

Wishing you well,

:-)

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