Finding some sort of closure - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Finding some sort of closure

Saloire profile image
6 Replies

Hi there lovely mummies. I’ve finally found a workaround, so I can post on here using the website rather than the app which is completely inaccessible to me with my screen reader.

I visited the mum and baby unit yesterday, as they phoned me and asked me to come and do some singing with Some of the mummies who are currently in there. It brought back so many memories, and listening to the brilliant live chat on FB yesterday also raised some pretty powerful issues for me. I think the main thing I’m battling at the moment is the fact that I was never actually diagnosed with postpartum psychosis, or indeed with anything, and even looking at the posts on here makes me feel a bit like some kind of fraud. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’d like some closure on it all, and to do that, I really would like to know what it actually was that I had. Maybe this is a bit unrealistic, but I just wondered if anybody else has had this experience, not formally having been diagnosed with anything, and not really knowing what their condition was.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’d like some closure on it all, and to do that, I really would like to know what actually was that I had. Maybe this is a bit unrealistic, but I just wondered if anybody else had this experience, not formally having been diagnosed with anything, and not really knowing what their condition was.

Hope you understood some of this waffle,

Sal X

6 Replies
Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Saloire

I'm so glad you found a better way for posting here. I can imagine how visiting the MBU yesterday stirred up a few memories. It also must have been so uplifting for some of the mums to take part in singing with you.

My PP episodes were years ago when there was much more stigma around mental health. I was sectioned to mixed general psychiatric care. I did have a diagnosis of PP but didn't know this myself. My parents thought I would be judged if we shared details of my illness, so it wasn't spoken about and my husband was asked not to talk about it with me. Like you, I wondered what had happened to me as I had vivid memories of my delusions and psychotic outbursts.

My sons were in their late teens / early 20's when I saw a newspaper article about research into PP and had the good fortune to meet Prof Jones and some of his team. After sight of my medical records he was able to confirm that I had suffered PP twice. I was so relieved and the shame and unfounded guilt I had felt for years lifted in an instant.

Perhaps Prof Jones and the Second Opinion Service might be able to give you closure? The link is app-network.org/what-is-pp/.... Your GP or Consultant can refer you for this free service.

I can understand how you feel. I wondered for years and it has made all the difference to share experiences and know that I'm not on my own.

Take good care of yourself. xx

Saloire profile image
Saloire in reply to Lilybeth

Thank you Lillybeth, I’ll definitely investigate this

Sal x.

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer in reply to Saloire

You're very welcome Saloire. Take good care. x

Jocelyn_at_APP profile image
Jocelyn_at_APPPartner

Hi Saloire,

I can completely empathise with your feelings. I wasn't formally diagnosed with PP as it happened while I was living in Brazil. It was through finding APP and follow up back in the UK that I sort of got to grips with what it was. I really needed to know why it had happened. I don't think I will ever know but I do understand it more, which has helped me.

Fortunately my episode was quite mild and shortlived but I know what you mean about feeling like a fraud after reading other's stories. Everyone's experience is different and no matter what that was it is still relevant to you and will have an impact on your life.

Take care. Xx

Dearest Saloire,

thank you for sharing your story. It is such a personal journey, even though we all suffered with a traumatising illness.

I was diagnosed with PPP in 2010 and experienced a dreadful time in a mixed psychiatric gender unit. However, the after care was much better and with the help of my partner as full time carer I gradually improved.

I believe there are loads of mums out there, who have been struggling with their mental health and being undiagnosed, whether it is PPP or any other mental health issue after giving birth.

I have been suffering with extreme Insomnia and mind racing throughout my recovery and did not find APP until the end of 2015. By then my house was full with colours on walls and canvases as I kept on painting throughout the night :-)

Only this year did I have a second opinion and a brilliant consultation with Professor Ian Jones (details already given by Lilybeth). My partner was involved and helped with giving vital details as I can not remember much in the first year and only have some facts via medical file and witnesses.

I am not sure whether I have "closure" since my second diagnosis?! I probably still come to terms that I have an affective mood disorder, at least my constant hyper activity and other symptoms has been now labelled.

Wishing you all the best on your journey of discovery. I guess for me it is never ending and I am continuously learning. I feel privileged to share my story with you and so many other ladies. In addition I am very happy to have my big and little man, who are always watching out for me! :-)

Look after yourself,

x

KatG profile image
KatGVolunteer

Hi Saloire - that’s lovely that you were able to go back to your MBu and sing with the mummies there. I’m sure they all really appreciated it! It must have been a very emotional thing to do for you, so I hope you’re ok?

You raise a really interesting point about the term “Postpartum Psychosis”. My Perinatal psychiatrist once explained to me that PP itself is *not* a diagnosis in itself. That is, it isn’t included as a separate condition in any of the diagnostic manuals that doctors use (eg the DSM IV). Instead, she told me, Postpartum mums with symptoms like ours (for me, I was floridly psychotic for approx 4 weeks, and then acutely depressed and anxious for approx 2 months, and in the MBU for all of that time) are described in various roundabout ways. Eg:

“Depressive episode, with psychotic features”

Or “bipolar affective disorder, postpartum onset”

Etc etc.

I think what was written in my discharge summary was that I had bipolar, and had had a severe postpartum manic episode with psychotic elements. Some sort of mouthful like that!

It’s confusing. Personally I would like to see PP set out in the diagnostic manuals, in the same way that things like OCD and PTSD are. It has very significant (and specific!) symptoms and seems to follow quite a set course. So I’m not sure why it’s not included as a diagnosis in itself? Perhaps someone from APP can comment on the history behind this?

Hope this helps, and isn’t just adding more confusion!?

Kat xx

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