Action on Postpartum Psychosis

Meet up groups

Im a stay a home Mom who needs help with winter loneliness. I also had another psychosis episode 2 months ago and social isolation is not good. I’m trying to look for meet up type groups. Mom groups I find intimatating and I’m not having any luck with meetup.com. I was part of a mental health group but it was too big and I found it not helpful. Any ideas?

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Hello BraveSurvivor,

I've got 10 minutes, in the middle of the morning routine with my son. He loves watching his kids programmes and eating his Choco shells.

The dark months and harsh weather can really affect our mental health, especially like in your case short after illness and still recovering. I relate to you so much, because after PPP I felt so extremely lonely and obviously meds and traumatising experiences have inhibited my social skills, in fact it was reduced to a bare minimum, because of my anxiety issues.

OK, let's think what has helped:

1. Sometimes one has to try out various types of therapy, not everything is suitable or matches your needs, often based on your previous experiences. I did not like art therapy nor the cognitive one, but opted for a support group, specifically geared towards life management, identifying triggers, offering guidance and being listened to. Maybe you could talk to your GP, Care Co-ordinator, Psychiatrist...or connect with MIND (they have quite a huge variety on offer in order to tackle loneliness) Sometimes it is like trial and error: I found that I had to be open and try things out first and then make up my mind, if I want to carry on....I certainly had to give it some time...the benefits of the support group came after 5 weeks when I finally managed to sit in the circle, next to other participants of the group.

2. I often have a look at the community centres, libraries, art centres in our area...they often run some interesting groups pursuing hobbies i.e. reading groups, art groups, discussion groups about topics of interests. In your case you probably would look at activities like Sure Start or how about going swimming (baby and toddler swimming classes) Nursery places, play centres etc. offer events and activities.

(back from school run :-)

I know it is extremely difficult to get out there and connect. I also liked staying in my comfort zone, but I remember that I made a friend at Sure Start and that was just enough for me at the time and we just met privately.

I managed to join a yoga group at the time, exactly at the same place where the support group was held. For me it was important that I felt at ease with the environment, because of my agora phobia.

3. Overall, my son has in a way helped me to get out there and connect. It has been often extremely overwhelming, but I am getting better such as attending school events. In addition I have had to force myself to connect with other mums, because it was important to me that my son is not copying mum and was given the opportunity to develop friendships after school. I could offer my son alternative Education, but I can not be his class mates and that is also part of emotional stability.

I am proud to say that I have my own support network of just a couple of very nice and kind friends, which I connect with and feel comfortable with. I guess I have become very selective after my PPP experience. Our needs do change!

4. Another way out there is to volunteer, but this has to happen all in stepping stones. After 30 hours of support group in 2012/13 I started to volunteer for this type of groups...Nevertheless, after a while I realised that I was not ready...I just had lost my father...

5. I only discovered APP towards the end of 2015 and the type of loneliness I felt can just be shared with women on this social site, because they understood. Compassion!

Journalising and connecting with like minded women, who have been in PPP footsteps helps tremendously. You can find out on here, who is closest to you regionally...Peer support is happening...and mums do meet up.

I am sure you will hear from other mums who have felt very similar to you...The illness has kicked us back, but at the end we come out stronger. It takes time to heal.

Look after yourself.

Thinking of you.

x

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Where do you live?

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Ohio in the US

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Oh ok. I live in New Orleans.

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Hi there Bravesurvivor - thanks for reaching out to us on here. I personally found twitter a great place to build connections and meet other people with similar experiences. Some of this has grown into real life friendships (while many live thousands of miles away, but are nonetheless very important!). Just thought it was something you could try, along side meetups.com? A good way to start to find people on there is to take part in some of the regular twitter chats/hours eg #PNDHour or #PPDchat

Hope this helps, sorry if not relevant!

Love Kx

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Hi Bravesurvivor,

First of all here is a friendly hi and smile to help you with your loneliness today. 👋 😊. I think it can be really hard to connect to people when you have had psychosis, as although people can empathise and be supportive, I think unless you have had it it is hard to really understand that experience. But we all here ‘get it’ - you are not alone!

Practically here are some things that may be able to help you combat that loneliness

- As Jasa has said support groups are a good way to start as there will be an understanding of what you have been through and they are structured in a way to be inclusive, and you can participate as much or as little as you like. Perhaps chat to your doctor and see what is available to you?

- I know you have said you found mom groups intimidating but could you going to a group with a friend or family member? If it’s someone who knows what you have been through then it’s even better. Somehow things seem less daunting when you are with someone else and can help you chat with other people. Is there anyone who could do this with you to help you make that first step?

- If you feel up to going to a social group it might help if you come up with some conversation starters before hand to make it feel less intimidating. For example you could start by asking how long someone has been going to the group. This is great as you might find a fellow newbie who might feel the same as you, or someone who has been going a long time will know the ropes and can explain things for you.

-I found it helpful to give myself small goals and you get a sense of achievement when you then reach that goal. As Jasa has said sometimes you have to put yourself out of your comfort zone for a little bit to realise it’s actually ok. Sometimes the worry of it is much worse than reality.

- In the long term I have actually found it’s been best to be honest about my PP and most people who I see/ talk to on a day to day basis know. I think this is a very personal decision - for me it’s a huge thing in my life and I would rather people know. Thankfully almost everyone has been supportive and understanding but I get this is not the best thing for everyone.

Let us know how you get on and take care

Helen xx

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Thank you Helen those tips really help! I did have a friend who knows what I’ve been through invite me to a moms group. I’ll have to try it out

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Hi All, I live in Wiltshire in England.... Is anyone near me to meet up? Is anyone rich enough to fly me out to the US..... I've always wanted to go!!! Would love to come over and meet you xxx

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