Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Feeling helpless

Had postpartum psychosis after my son was 3 months. It came completely as a shock; I had been doing really well. That has passed and now two months later, in a deep depression.

How long will this last? I feel so helpless and of no use to my child or husband. We’re lucky enough to have hired help, but day to day I only feel like sleeping or lying in bed.

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Hi Ckcho1,

First of all welcome to the forum, I hope you find it helpful.

PP is such a shock isn’t it? I took me a long time to accept and get over what had happened, I suffered with very bad PND just like you as well, so really empathise with you. I know when you are in the midst of it it feels never-ending, but trust me it’s not - that is the illness, you WILL get through this and be stronger for it.

Depression made feel useless too, and I thought I was the worst mum in the world. This wasn’t true, I just couldn’t see all the things that I was doing. Try not to be hard on yourself - you have been through an incredibly tough and traumatic time and you need time to recover.

I also felt like I wanted to sleep all the time, which added to the Mum guilt, but I know now this was medication and the depression. It’s so tough though. I used to have to write myself lists for the morning - simple things like ‘get up, get washed, change baby, feed baby etc’ it just made it easier so I didn’t feel like I had to think to much or worry that I would forget things.

Sending a smile and hug

Love Helen xx

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Thank you Helen, this is reassuring. I just have to remember one day at a time.

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I wrote lists too Helen. Sometimes it would have one thing, but it helps to remember you’ve accomplished something. X

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I really relate to this Ckcho1 when I had PP. Are you taking any medication?

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Thank you - yes I’m on sertraline and Haldol

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Hi Ckcho1

I really feel for you & totally understand how you feel. I had pp in December 2016 & then fell into a deep depression afterwards which lasted for many months.

It does get easier, & you will get better.

Helen's right, it's tiny things like writing a list of things to do that day, or just putting a load of washing on that helps.

Time is a great healer, & you will get through this.

Xx

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Thank you - this means a lot.

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Hello Ckcho1

I'm so sorry to hear how challenging things are for you at the moment. I had severe depression after my second PP and can remember feeling helpless and hopeless. My bed was my sanctuary for a while and I didn't have the strength to cope with routine. Thankfully my husband and family were very supportive.

PP is such an awful illness to recover from and to then be hit by depression seems so unfair but with good medical care and support you will have better days. I had a home treatment team visiting me regularly and wonder if this is something your GP could refer you for? Even just one professional to sit with you and let your feelings out might be helpful. There is also the PANDAS Foundation (Pre and postnatal depression advice and support) who have online support for mums suffering depression at pandasfoundation.org.uk/onl...

Wrap yourself in the comfort blanket of home and take very good care of yourself. We are all here to lean on.

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Hi Ckcho1,

Sorry you’ve been affected by PP, and then again with the depression. It’s a cruel thing, really awful. Well done for reaching out. I’ve personally found the forum really helpful reading other peoples hints and tips.

Do not punish yourselves feeling guilty about all the things you can’t do right now. I beat myself up hugely feeling frustrated by my exhaustion and low mood after PP. You are poorly, give yourselves kindness, space and time to heal. We are all so precious, and so is your family. It’ll all be ok.

Hang in there.

X

Ps: a few things that help me. Maybe note down a few of your own?

- music

- poems

- singing

- walking (not far initially, but just seeing daylight helps)

- nature

- tea!

- cake!

- positive thoughts book, I try and write in it at the end of each day when I remember

- helpful people. Accept the help, people want to support you. Forget the ones who make you feel rubbish or don’t bother!

X

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Hello Ckcho1

Just wondering how you are and hope the depression is lifting. I hope you have good support around you. Have you been referred for talking therapy, such as CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy)? Some mums here have found talking to a therapist / counsellor very helpful just to release thoughts and feelings. I think your GP will be able to refer you if this might help.

For the moment, as you say, remember to take one day at a time. Sending you a hug :) Take care.

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Thanks so much Lilybeth for checking in on me. I couldn’t have imagined this a couple of months ago, but I am doing so much better. I don’t need lists any more and I’m feeling more and more like myself. It’s only been a couple of weeks so I’m trying not to be too relaxed, but I think I’ve made a turning point.

I’ve been referred to a couple of mental health teams and they’ve been so incredibly helpful. I don’t have therapy yet, but due to receive it eventually.

I’m just so grateful to feel “normal” - I’ll never take it for granted again.

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Hello Ckcho1

Lovely to hear your update that you are doing so much better. It's such a relief isn't it when you can breathe a sigh of relief and realise that you have turned a corner?

I'm glad the mental health teams have been very helpful. I think it makes all the difference when you have such good support and hope you won't have to wait too long for therapy.

I think it's important to look after our mental health when we return to 'normal'and monitor our wellbeing. So take it easy and be proud of how far you have come in dealing with the 'black dog' on top of PP.

Take good care of yourself ...... one day at a time :) We're all here for you.

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