Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Career change

Anyone do a career change after PP? I had PP 4 years ago and left my teaching job last year because I didn’t feel teaching was for me. It was a really hard decision but I’m glad I made it. Now I stay at home with my almost 4 year old. And struggle with not having a future career path or plan. I feel bored and restless as a stay at home Mom and really want to plan for the future. Any advice?

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Dear Bravesurvivor, it’s difficult to know what the right decision is. I’m a teacher and I have found it incredibly hard after having PP after five years and am not sure if I will be able to continue in the long term but have found the alternative equally frightening. My advice is to focus on other careers you can take steps towards and focus on being able to research those options without having to be in a stressful environment. Feel free to pm me. Good luck x

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Hello Bravesurvivor2

Good to hear from you. I imagine teaching to be quite stressful at times although very rewarding. Taking a break to be with your daughter must be lovely and in a way has given you more time to find your feet after PP.

After my PP episodes years ago it took me a long time to return to work due to anxiety and lack of confidence. When I felt ready, I registered with a number of agencies for temporary work so that I could choose hours to suit my family and experience being back in the workplace. Eventually I accepted a permanent position during a temporary placement. Perhaps this is something you might consider to give you a taste of options open to you?

Take good care of yourself.

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Hello Bravesurvivor2,

This is a question affecting loads of mums on this forum.

Like Harmonygirl I used to teach, but in HE, often with not so mature students :-) I have had PPP in 2010 and have not returned to my former academic work.

Your recovery is an individual path and one needs to retune and listen to oneself. My mirror reflection has changed and I am in tune with it now.

I have not forced the issue, but I am also extremely fortunate that I am emotionally and financially supported and therefore can venture out slowly by just testing the water.

I have become a "homebird" and tweet happily from my homehub. :-)

I find volunteering very rewarding and actually started that in 2014, but was not ready at the time as I found out after 20 hours of volunteering in a support group.

However, my humanistic skills have become even more manifested,-that passion to make sure people are treated fairly and especially for those, with mental health issues.

Reflect on what makes you tick, your passion, what do you enjoy???...may be you need to build up on some of your previous skills...

I prioritise my family and keep my mental health at bay with yoga and meditation and loads of painting...I certainly have stayed away from the arena of Politics in Education, I only occasionally get involved on a theoretical level with my son's school.

Good luck, do not pressurise yourself...choices everywhere, choosing is much harder!

x

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Hi Bravesurvivor2,

I can relate very much to your situation. I was a professional in a stressful job which I returned to a year after PP, from the start I knew it was going to be a stretch to cope with the pressures but after a few months i was getting more and more stressed, not sleeping and my work was suffering. I went off sick then back onto the anti psychotic I had taken after PP. When I returned to work I realised that managing the stress of everyday life was taking a lot of effort and adding work into the equation was just a step too far. So, like you, I decided to be a stay at home Mum for a bit.

However I have found it very hard to adjust to the new lifestyle and like you am wondering whether I should do something more. It's difficult to get the balance between finding something to do that challenges and stimulates you enough but not so much you feel stressed! Currently I'm focusing on exercising, singing and doing voluntary things to find stimulation but I do wonder if part of me will always feel a bit dissatisfied until I find a new career.

I hope that you're able to find something that is right for you. Until then, have you got any projects you could work on?

Best wishes, Hazello

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Thanks for your reply Hazello,

Yes I do have projects to work on currently. I started my own interior design business once I quit teaching. In currently on my second client but I feel so unmotivated and stressed about it. I don’t know if it is a sign I should be doing it or an ego fear? I had a relapse psychosis event this fall and I feel like it really put my life in a whole new perspective since the initial PP event. I feel like I’m getting to know myself again!

Wish you the best

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I know what you mean about getting to know yourself again, I feel much the same. I suppose having mental health difficulties can rock your sense of self and building up confidence again can be a real challenge. However I hope that we will get there with time. I am finding I constantly need to remind myself to be patient with myself and not expect too much too fast.

I find it really reassuring reading the messages from others on this forum to realise that others do recover fully and regain confidence in time.

Hazello

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Hi Hazello

Have you stayed on the antipsychotic long term? If so have you had any side effects?

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I was on anti-psychotics for about 8 months and the side-effects I experienced were drowsiness and a little bit of weight gain. After coming off this I have recently started on an anti-depressant which seems to be having some positive effect though also has a side-effect of weight gain which I'm not too pleased about!

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Thanks for your reply. Can I ask if you experienced insomnia coming off the antipsychotic and if your antidepressant has helped with that. If so which antidepressant?

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Yes I had insomnia after I came off olanzapine though I had been experiencing insomnia premenstrually even on it. I'm on mirtazapine now which is sedating particularly at low doses and I'm finding my sleep is much improved since going on that. My mood has also started to improve I think though it's early days.

Hazello

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Hi. I too gave up my Marketing job after becoming unwell with PP. I had two years off and then I started volunteering which was a really good way to get my confidence back. This then led to a paid role after a year. I would say find something that you are interested in and have a go!! Good luck xx

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Hey bravesurvivor. Also a fellow teacher. Currently signed off with work stress and depression. Although I have loved teaching I think there's too many elements that I can't control for me to make it manageable in the long term. But I have always found it stressful and I think the pp has made me question whether the stress is worth it rather than PP rendering me unable to 'perform' the job if that makes sense. If you want to pm me feel free.x

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Hello!

Just wanted to jump on the bandwagon with volunteering. I volunteer obviously with APP and also an organisation called Home-Start supporting families with children under 5. Ideally I would love to stop working in FE and just volunteer full time! I have found it to be great to increase my confidence and work in areas that actually interest me and I am passionate about. Plus it has been a great way for me to meet like-minded people and share my experiences of PP in a positive way, as well as learning a lot.

As other people have said don't put pressure on yourself and only do what feels right for you.

Look after yourself. xx

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Hi there,

I too have had a complete career change since having pp in 2016. I had a years maternity leave and then went back to work part time at the marketing agency I was at before I had my baby. I managed a year.

I started to just feel like it just really didn’t matter and that making big corporate companies more money left a sour taste in my mouth.

My care co-ordinator and psychologist told me about a peer support work programme which I got really enthusiastic about. I’ve now left my job to do the training and have been accepted in to the programme. There were over 85 applicants and we’re now down to 20 of us which is the final amount.

I’m loving it, fincancially not so much...but I’m looking at some other work to support me during this time. The paid role starts in June which will be great but only a guaranteed 7.5 hours a week and max of 16. I would like to be doing more but maybe I’m not quite ready.

I think when you’ve had pp it might put you off having other children so important I think to spend as much time as you can with your little one.

I wish you all the best. Maybe you could look at how your experiences might be able to help others? I for one find it very rewarding and we’re a fairly small group of people who have had pp.

lots of love,

Natalie

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Hello i was a crafts person before PP, after my second child I re trained as a Birth and Postnatal doula its my soul job! I dont think i would have been interested in it without having PP and definately wasnt interested in mums, babies and birth when at university x

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