Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Depression

How long did your depression last (if you experienced it)? Were you able to take care of your children? How much did the meds do? How much relied on things such as CBT? How did you cope with the lethargy and anxiety? Or the sensation that you've lost yourself? How long before you felt completely ok again, with your confidence back? How long were you on meds? Lots of questions! Thanks so much, it really helps me hearing others stories. I still do not know if I had psychosis, but without a doubt my depression was beginning to have psychotic features due to the wrong medication. I assumed meds would make it all just go away but unfortunately I'm still experiencing waves of depression and hopelessness :(

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Hello Twhwhts

Thanks for your new post. I'm glad you found support in the replies on your other thread. I think depression is awful because it weighs you down no matter how much you try to lift your mood. As I mentioned in your previous thread, the 'black dog' followed me for a year or more following my second PP. Everyone's experience is different and some mums here might not have had it for so long.

I also cared for my six year old son but had great support from my husband and family. I remember having to struggle to get myself organised to take him to school with my newborn. At times I was also having hallucinations which were all very real and frightening at the time. I had medication and treatment for over a year and was hospitalised in times of crisis for treatment. I did eventually fully recover but it took me well over two years to feel confident in caring for my family and coping with routine.

I'm sorry you're experiencing waves of depression and hopelessness. I also felt helpless and hopeless at times and it does take a lot of strength to keep fighting your thoughts and fears. I'm not sure if PANDAS (Postnatal Depression Advice and Support) might be a helpful contact as their group has been mentioned on the forum, at pandasfoundation.org.uk They have a helpline and online community. Also the Mind charity has a page on depression at mind.org.uk/. I hope you have lots of support around you. With the right medical help you will eventually feel much better about yourself as hard as that might be to imagine at the moment.

Take a day at a time ..... perhaps keeping a diary might help to chart your ups and downs so that you can look back and see whether you are going in the right direction? If not, you could take the diary with you to an appointment with your GP so that he can see how you are struggling and signpost you to counselling or other talking therapies.

Take good care of yourself. There will be other mums here to share their experiences. Please keep talking and don't suffer in silence ..... we are all here to listen. :)

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Good Evening

I started to feel like my old self after about eight months. I had better days and not so good days. I found going to baby groups really helpful although very difficult, but everyone who is honest is learning on the job and I have made some fab new mummy friends. I was on medication for 12 months and then reduced for another three months I am now 18 months down the line and am completely better. I have met several people with p.p. and the best advice I was given is sleep when you need too. I also avoided all stress and any decision making that did not need my input. I hope you have supportive family, look after yourself best wishes Marie x

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Hello Twhwhts,

I was on meds for over a year after, came off them and then went back on them, but am now meds free 3 years later. I also recieved CBT for a about 6 weeks and am just about to finish another set of counselling through work now. I don't think my confidence has ever fully fully come back. I am however much better at accepting things that are out of my control, which accounted for a lot of my anxiety. A really good technique is the circle of control. Things that are in my circle of control and things that I can change / deal with. And those that are outside my control - learning to let them go - which is easier said than done!

It can also take a while for your meds to kick in and balance out and it's important to keep taking them as prescribed even if you think they are not working. Unfortunately it's not an instant magic fix but you will get there. People, including myself, on this forum are proof!

Take care. xx

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hi there, I love reading others stories too, I think it really helps with the recovery process.

I had psychosis when my daughter was 2 weeks old, I recovered from that within 2 weeks when I was started on Olanzapine. I was initially fine for 2 weeks after returning from hospital and then woke up one morning just not wanting to be a parent anymore, I cried when my baby cried, i couldn't get out of the house, didn't want to see friends, obsessed over things like weaning when that was months away, etc. my nurse came to see me every week and on the second time she saw me I just burst into tears and said I needed help, she started me on anti depressants (sertraline) and unfortunately it took around 4 or 5 weeks for me to feel any different so my nurse has to visit me twice a week to keep an eye on my mood until they kicked in.

I went to a group that focussed on turning negative thought into good ones but I stopped going about 6 weeks in because I felt it just wasn't for me. to cope with lethargy I used to sleep when the baby slept and often ask my partner to mind her so I could nap, the only time I felt ok was when I was sleeping because it was the only time my thoughts were racing!

when I started to feel better i started getting out with the baby, even a trip to Tesco was a major activity, it helped passed the time until my partner came home. I then started to feel more confident to go to mother and baby groups, I went to 4 a week and still go now and have met lots of new mum friends. so all in all I probably spent 4 months depressed. but now I am myself again and looking forward to the future.

you will get there I promise :)

xxx Danielle

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Yes, I struggle with lethargy. I feel like since I got sick I am overwhelmed a lot easier. My grandma and uncle are here helping me with the kids as I can't be on my own yet, it's too much. I feel like I can't get excited for things as I used to, and my body feels sick all the time like the way you feel when you have a cold, so I know my anxiety is running strong beneath the surface still. I feel tense when I'm out with the baby. I was never this way with my son. I also just have no energy and still experiencing waves of fear like before. It is really hard. I'm 4.5 months postpartum, only properly medicated for 3 weeks.

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Hello Twhtwhts

I'm sorry to hear in your latest reply how you are struggling with depression 4.5 months postpartum and your body feels sick all the time due to anxiety. It's good that you have support from your grandma and uncle to help with your children. I found when I had depression that everything was such an effort, as if I was carrying a heavy weight which was holding me back.

As you have only been properly medicated for 3 weeks, I hope you will gradually feel the benefit of your medication. If you are still experiencing waves of fear like before, perhaps you could ask your GP for a review? It's far from easy to see that you will eventually have better days but you will. In the meantime, be gentle with yourself and lean on all the support around you.

We are all here to listen.

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