Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Did anyone have depression and anxiety after being medicated

Hi I’m nearly 6 months in after being sectioned and medicated. I have gone through a month plus of depression, lost, and my life meaning nothing no more. I struggle to get out of bed and when I do wake up, I feel anxious in what to feed the kids, get them ready for school etc and so this send my stomach to turn so I go to the loo due to it. I am dependent on a family member to do everything for me and my children. I just wanted to know, has anybody gotten to this stage? And did antidepressants work? Can you bounce back from it?

I feel after this illness and being medicated I’ve lost my life and cannot do anything for me or my kids.

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I think it’s common to have crippling depression after pp, I certainly did. It does get better honestly. Antidepressants will help but it may still take time to recover. Take all the help that is available and go easy on yourself.

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Thank you so much. I think I need to trust the professionals and just ask for help. Has there been a case where you could switch drugs as the one I’m on is olanzapine and it helps with managing the psychosis however not the rest. Or in my case I take antipsychotic aswell as antidepressant.

Thanks

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I take both. As far as I know they do different jobs so you need both: Anti-p to continue for a good while after end of psychosis and anti-d to deal with the depression.

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Hello twinkleDust1

So glad you found the forum. We are all here to support you at such a difficult time and share our experiences. Congratulations on the birth of your baby! It's such a shame that the gift of a baby should be tarnished by such a traumatic illness but with good medical care and treatment you will fully recover.

Are you in the UK? Like many of the mums here, I can relate to your experience as I was sectioned to general psychiatric care years ago. Depression is very hard to cope with and a month must be very tiring for you. Following my PP I had what seemed like an endless depression and my bed was my sanctuary as I was so anxious about coping with a baby and routine My first son was six at the time. Are you receiving regular visits from your CPN or Health Visitor so they can help you?

I received treatment and support at home with regular visits from a Psychiatrist, CPN and Health Visitor. Medication did help but I also had treatment to bring me out of what was a very deep depression. Being medicated made me feel everything was in slow motion but it helped to keep me stable.

It's good that you have the support of a family member. I wonder if the Home-Start group would be able to provide some support to you and your children? There's a page on their site under Mental Ill Health and post natal illness at home-start.org/.

Take good care of yourself. It is possible to eventually overcome this illness but you will need a lot of help and support. Your GP should be able to signpost you to the care you need. Another resource which you might find helpful is PANDAS (pre and postnatal depression advice and support) which has been mentioned on the forum and might be helpful at pandasfoundation.org.

Sorry for this long post as I know how difficult it is to focus at times. :)

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Thank you so much for taking the time out in writing your reply. Yes I reside in the UK and have a CPN who I see often. I have an appointment this Friday with the dr psychiatrist and will discuss my feelings. May I ask how long did it take for your depression to go away? And how was it for you taking care of your children I.e school runs, did it ever get to a stage where you couldn’t take them to school?

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Hi TwinkleDust - I just wanted to offer a few words of reassurance. I know how desperately you must be wanting to get back to “normal” and do all the things you want to do. I was exactly the same, I think! But 6 months is still relatively recent, in terms of recovery from such a devastating illness, so be super easy on yourself. The olanzapine I was on (for about a year post my discharge from MBU) made me so sluggish. I was walking through a fog for a lot of that time. But each passing month got a little bit easier.

I had some fantastic support from a specialist health visitor at that stage. Do you have anyone like that in your area? Worth asking your GP, maybe? My HV (from the “early intervention” team) was great at building up my confidence in my parenting abilities and encouraging me to do more and more of the things I had always envisioned I’d do as a new Mum!

Hope this helps - congrats on your recovery and lots of best wishes to you and your family xx

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Thanks KatG PP is a crippling illness which I hope we all bid farewell to. Thank you for giving me supportive words of advice and your right 6months is pretty raw and fresh. I’ll just take each day as it comes. Some days I feel like I don’t want to live anymore and others just empty but getting on with things. Hopefully this will be a thing of the past. Thank you all so much for your kind words of advice.

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Hello twinkleDust1

You're very welcome to any support here as some of us know how awful depression can feel. I'm glad to hear you have professional support around you. It's very important to discuss your true feelings with them so that they can help. I know it's very difficult though when you're depressed as everything is such an effort and for a while I just wanted to be left alone.

I had a very deep depression and I think you're doing really well in communicating as it was something that I wasn't able to do at the time. My experience with depression after my second PP was many years ago and I'm sure recovery times have changed. To be honest my depression lasted for over a year and I was given ECT treatment as a last resort, which did help me to recover in tandem with medication. When I came home with my second son I wasn't able to do school runs and relied on family to help.

There will be other mums here for whom depression didn't last as long although however long or short, it is very hard to go through. I hope your dr psychiatrist will be able to reassure you and discuss a plan to move forward. It must be so difficult and I really hope you can rest in the half term next week.

There's a brilliant blog 'PP Soup' at ppsoup.com in which there's an article "Having a Baby Broke my Brain". It was written by a mum who also had depression so it might be helpful to read along with other shared experiences there.

Take very good care of yourself and please keep writing here if it helps to unload some of your thoughts. It might seem a long way off now but you really will feel better eventually.

We are all here for you ........ xx

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Thank you so much lilybeth your kind and supportive words really does give me a glimpse of hope. I cannot wait for half term and yes I shall try load off on here when I’m in my sunken place. Thanks for the link I shall check it out.

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Hi twinkle - do not focus on big things. Give your self-esteem a break. Just focus on small successes, like making a small sandwich for your child. To your child this is a big sign of love. That is all they need. That is all you have to do, nothing huge. Treat each small thing you do as a successes, because for you and your kids they are the only things that matter.

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That’s so reassuring as every since I was sectioned all that I knew has faded away. Even cooking! I make horrible food now and it frustrates me. But I always remember when I was at hospital, even washing a cup was a chore for me so I guess my body is taking time to heal and come back slowly.

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Hello twinkleDust1

I don't think we realise how much we have been through with PP and then to be hit by depression, so you do need time to heal and build your strength. That's good advice to treat each small thing you do as a success ..... perhaps even keeping a diary so that you can look back and see how far you have come.

I found music a comfort during my recovery. I heard a song in a shoe shop one day and after asking the assistant what it was called I bought it later that day. It was "I'm going all the way" by Sounds of Blackness, the chorus being : "Whatever it takes to make it, I'm going all the way .... I may be down sometimes but I won't be down always ...." I also now think "I'm still Standing" by Elton John is a shout out to my PP episodes and depression :)

Take care ..... we are all here for you. xx

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Hi twinkledust

I just wanted to write and add to the voices of encouragement for you. I had PP in 2011 after the birth of my son, and suffered really badly from depression afterwards too. Like you say everything felt like a struggle, and I would feel anxious doing the smallest tasks at times.

It is great advice to just take each day, each moment, and try to focus on just small tasks and see them for what they are - big achievements. I would find it helpful to plan my day a bit, even just an hour at a time, which I found really helped. By planning I mean just saying to myself - I will wash up, then put the laundry on, then talk to my baby etc... just very small tasks. Somehow it did help me, over time, to feel I had achieved things, and that I had managed to function, even though it was a big struggle sometimes to do them, or enjoy them. I also found CBT really helped me in challenging negative ways of thinking. Trying to write one or two positive things that had happened that day, or that I achieved, also helped build up the good thoughts too.

I want to give you hope - that you will get better and come through this, and your old self, and the things you used to enjoy and do will come back. I thought I would never get better and I really am fully recovered, with an amazing relationship with my son, and full of so much gratitude and joy in my life. I know you will experience this too.

Take care, and do write here whenever you need to.

Ellie

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Thank you all for your replies and have taken your advice to account and will be trying your tips. Very much appreciated xx

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Twinkledust....lovely name by the way! I am 8 months recovered and struggling exactly the same...comforting atleast and great we have support. You helped give me hope too!! Xx

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Thanks Gem. Glad I have as many mothers on here helped give me hope too! It’s a long and sometimes painful journey but hopefully it will be a thing of the past.

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Hello twinkleDust1

I hope you are ok and well supported by your CPN. Sorry to disturb you in half term but I wondered if the appointment with your dr psychiatrist was helpful.

Thank you for your reply Gem169 . Sorry to hear you are also struggling .... perhaps you could start your own post so that mums here will be able to support you too?

Take good care both. xx

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Hi there Lilybeth. Thank you for asking how my app went. Well it went how I aspected where I told them the truth. How I’ve been depressed. I was prescribed medications and put on a waiting list for CBT.

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Hi twinkleDust1

Thank you for taking the time to reply. You did very well to tell it like it is so they can give you the support you need. I hope the medications prescribed will make a difference when they have had time to take effect. CBT has been very helpful for some mums here so I hope you won't have too long to wait.

We are all here for you if you would like to talk at any time. Take care. xx

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