Action on Postpartum Psychosis

continuity

Did anyone struggle with a sense of continuity while recovering.. like feeling that your life before and after PP are the same life? Also, did anyone have trouble with a sense of identity, like not being sure who they are? Also, I have really good days where I almost feel like myself and they're usually followed by bad days.

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Hi Katkus

Kind of strange reading your post as i could have written this myself a few years ago. I found this a really tricky part of recovery like that being 'sane' and 'normal' was tied up in my identity and because i acted and experienced such weird things I wasn't sure who I was or what i liked or did anymore!

I have gradually accepted that PP is part of me and 5 years on can see that it had deepened my empathy for other in my work as a doula. It has also given me the opportunity to do things i would never dream of last week i spoke for an hour on my experience to HCP's who were doing training on PP. I would never had thought i could have done this as I hate public speaking!!!

Do you have anyone around you either a friend or a Health professional that you can talk things through with? I had a Community Pschyiatric Nurse who was amazing and so understanding when other people just didnt get it.

Be kind to yourself in my experience recovery take a while

love Meridyth x

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Thank you for your response. I do have a good therapist now but I feel that once a week for 50 minutes is just not enough! It's wonderful that you are using your experience to educate others, and that you've gotten over your fears of public speaking in order to do so. I guess I just have "recovery impatience". I keep wondering when I'll finally get "there". Even though there are so many signs of improvement, I want to finally feel that the experience is behind me. I suppose I feel I'm at the end of my reserves after the battle that recovering from PP is..

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Hi Kaktus,

I often think of "the before and after"...as I mentioned in other threads, I can not change the past, but live with the hear and now. Activities are short term planned, but I find it easier, if I have a routine in place and not too much "crowd encounter" as I need to recover from that, because of my anxiety issues.

Coming to terms with a new identity in my case has been a long process as my recovery has taken me to different levels of experiencing therapeutic encounters.

After PPP and two years on I joined a support group. I have had many issues (i.e. loss and grief), but the experience of group therapy was most suitable for me as I needed to learn to be able to trust and integrate into a group...The group leaders were absolutely amazing and very kind, where I regained life skills and coping mechanisms for triggers.

I was also physically hurt at the mixed psychiatric gender unit. The intervention for restraining whilst having episode caused shoulder injuries...so in the first year, once coming of Lorazepam, I struggled with my mobility. I tried Chinese acupuncture to relief the pain...

Our journeys of recovery have to be tailor-made for our needs, but that depends very often on financial circumstances, resources, staff training and awareness raising and NHS partnership and other available charities within localities.

I always call my past before my son's birth "my previous life". I am grateful not for the suffering I had to endure, but for the gifts I've received afterwards such as my beautiful son and all those beautiful moments...My skills and abilities have been enriched, because of the illness and my journey afterwards.

Bye for now... :-)

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Thank you for your response. I'm so sorry to hear that you were physically injured, that sounds awful. I keep trying to remember that our journeys are individual. I know that's an important point. I finally have a good therapist and I think I am on the right antidepressants now because I've seen a big improvement in terms of the depression. It's just... the pieces aren't all back yet if that makes sense. And I'm wondering when it will happen. As I said above, I'm being impatient, I know.

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Hi Kaktus. Yes I can completely relate to the way you are feeling at the moment, I had PP six years ago. I think one important thing to remember is that when you become a Mum your identity changes overnight let alone when you have experienced a serious mental illness at the same time! One thing that really helped me was to have a few hours each week on my own without my daughter. I could do whatever I wanted in those few hours and I started to remember things that I enjoyed like walking and I started a cookery course. Hope that helps. X

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I completely relate. I'm on this identity journey right now. It's frightening and hard at times. I've had to develop a schedule for myself with things I enjoy or need to do in order to show love for myself and my family. It's my mommy identity.

You will discover your own identity as you talk and take time for yourself to reflect on what is most important.

I'm not out of the woods yet. I'm still dealing with some guilt and anxiety. It's a daily struggle, but I'm committed to my new identity.

You're in my thoughts.

Much love.

Gina

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Hi kaktus,

I can really relate to your struggle with the before and after feeling. At the beginning of my recovery in 2014 I told s friend that I want things to go back to how they were before and I wanted to feel the same as I did before PP. She is a realist and said that I may never be back to normal that i might have to find a new normal. It really shook me when I heard that and scared me at the same time.

But she was right experiencing PP created a huge change and awaking in my life. I will never go back to who I was before. I have different interests, ideas and values. PP was definetly a milestone for the new me.

There are growing pains to your new self but think of it as you are growing into s better person. Sometimes I think of the plant world and sometimes you have to cut and prune them done to help them grow with more vigor. Enjoy getting to know the ‘new’ you!

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Wow, thank you. This is a really helpful way to think about it. I do feel like I have in some sense been changed for the better, though I'm still "newly hatched" if that makes sense, still going through those "growing pains".

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It was a struggle, but I’m back to the same woman that I was before the illness. Nothing has changed permanently, except for the fear of PP after my next baby.

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Hello kaktus

Thinking of you. Even though your therapy is only once a week I hope you feel some benefit. Easier said than done I know but try not to worry .... you'll eventually find your wings and flourish as the days become easier to manage.

Take very good care of yourself.

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Thank you Lilybeth. I'm slowly finding my way... still have ups and downs but definitely have seen a lot of progress. I'm hoping the arrival of spring will help!

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Hello kaktus

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'm so glad you have seen a lot of progress even though there are ups and downs. Slowly but surely the better days will outweigh the not so good ones. I'm looking forward to spring too as it's so cold here in the UK ....... -5 today :( but I like the blue sky and changing seasons. I suppose living in the Czech Republic that temperature is not too bad? Apparently we have storm Emma arriving tomorrow!!

Take good care of yourself .... spring is not too far away :)

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Hello kaktus

I hope you are still making progress.

Take it easy .... we are all here for you.

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Hello. Thank you so much for checking in. I am doing MUCH BETTER. I almost feel like myself again. Spring is almost here and I feel like I'm being reborn. I wish springtime healing for everyone here. Lots of love.

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This is lovely to hear kaktus I hope you continue to get better and better. This is such a lovely hopeful message for everyone! Take care x

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Hello kaktus

That's a great start to the day, reading that you are doing much better :) It's such a relief when you realise you are coming out of the woods isn't it and looking forward? Spring is a lovely time of year for hope ..... thanks for your good wishes.

Take good care of yourself. Sending you a hug :) xx

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Hello kaktus

I hope you are continuing to feel better into your recovery.

The clocks go forward next Sunday, 25th for the start of Spring :) We have snow in some parts of the UK this weekend and it's below freezing so Spring will be a welcome sight!

Take care.

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Yes it’s snowing here too! :) but I’m feeling great and bonding more and more with my daughter. Love to you all, you’ve been like angels to me.

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Lovely to hear your update kaktus. So happy that you are feeling great and bonding more and more with your daughter. You're a great mum and your partner has been an amazing support. We are all privileged to have shared in your experience and so glad to have 'met' across the miles :)

Take care in the snow ...... the hope of Spring is around the corner.

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Hello Kaktus,

so happy to hear from you again.

Yes, it is still cold in my region. My son, partner and I built a "cool snowman" yesterday. Good fun!

Take good care of yourself,

x

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