How to protect children from mood swi... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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How to protect children from mood swings

Becciandbump
Becciandbump

Hi

Wondering if anyone had any advice of how you coped if psychotic and behaving out of character around other young siblings apart from the new baby who might not understand. My hirnibes have been raging this pregnancy and I’ve worried it’s a sign I may get ppp this time (escaped it last time) although felt reassured when a pregnant friend told me she was so mad at her husband today she threw a cereal bowl out the back door into the garden in anger it made me feel so normal that my hormone surges are not necessarily bipolar related!!! I have had panic attacks and have left the house and sat in the car alone so my daughter didn’t see leaving her with my husband inside but there have been a few times I’ve burst into tears infront of her she’s been ok and is well adjusted and happy but I’m starting to worry that I’ve still got another three months of pregnancy to get through and then postpartum period and she’s at such an impressionable age being 18m. Any tips or looping strategies?

18 Replies
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Should have read my hormones

Coping strategies

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Becciandbump

Sorry to hear you have had panic attacks and worry about PP.

My PP episodes were a long time ago when mental health was in the dark and not spoken about. I didn't know I had suffered PP twice until I had the good fortune to meet Prof Jones of APP when my sons were in their late teens / early twenties (six year age gap between them). I have vivid memories of my psychotic episodes but my illness wasn't spoken about due to stigma at the time and no MBUs.

After hospital admission during recovery from my second PP I was mainly treated at home with professionals visiting me. To be honest I was very ill at the time and my husband and family made sure my six year old went to school and looked after him if I was admitted to hospital for treatment.

It's not easy but try not to worry, as thankfully for some mums PP did not return and you 'escaped' it last time :) Perhaps you could make a list of your network of family and friends your treasured daughter can visit, as you would if you're not feeling well?

Take care and rest as much as you can.

Thank you she has two godmothers near by but I don’t have a supportive family sadly and my marriage has been struggling a bit recently my husband has been stressed but he has refused to get help and keeps blaming me but I haven’t had a mental health issue apart from the panic attacks over how my family have treated me for over 4 years, we’ve just finally started some counselling together but he’s not really engaging with it already as doesn’t believe he needs it. I’m having to enlist friends for the postpartum period because I don’t feel he’d be able to cope if I was unwell

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer
in reply to Becciandbump

Hi Becciandbump

I hope your husband will eventually engage in counselling .... I think it's hard for men to talk about their issues. Perhaps you could look at it together as more of a 'date' and possibly go for a coffee or walk after counselling just for time out? He might open up about what's stressing him .... it might be that he doesn't like to see you upset and wishes he could do more to help.

It's good that you have a postpartum plan with friends just in case your husband is overwhelmed. It might be an idea for him to talk to his GP if he is feeling stressed so that he can feel more positive before baby arrives.

Take good care of yourself .... we are all here to lean on.

Hannah_at_APP
Hannah_at_APPAdministrator

Hi Becciandbump, it's such a natural thing to worry about getting PP when you are at risk of it, so I know how you feel. I had an episode after my 1st son was born and had another child 4 years later, and stayed well thankfully. Pregnancy was such a worrying time and we tried to keep everything really low-key and not stressful at all, but it's just a natural reaction - of course there were times when I felt overwhelmed and scared and worried that I would get ill again. I know it's not exactly the same situation as you but I can definitely relate.

I hope you have good support, from a perinatal mental health team if possible? It sounds like your husband is a great support to you too, I don't know where I'd be without mine at times (& of course he drives me round the twist at other times too!) The panic attacks you describe might be worth mentioning to your mental health team and/ or midwife when you next see them too.

It's positive that you mention your friend's mood swings too, I think we are all susceptible to them, whether pregnancy or bipolar related and it can be difficult to see the difference can't it? I also found this when worrying about things, and the PP history seemed to add an extra "layer" somehow to it as well. I'd say you are doing the best possible by being aware of your daughter so I think she will be protected that way, and with your husband as well (I know this was the case with my son, and I think we make a good team - it's something that doesn't always get enough mention, the role of partners and the things they take on too). Do you still have contact with a Health Visitor or Children's Centre? The can also be a resource for you and your family unit,

I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly, take care & look after yourself where possible too, xx

Hi I saw the perinatal psychiatrist yesterday he thinks I am well which is reassuring he wants to see my husband for an appointment to see what is troubling him they have said they have sometimes allocated dads a cpn if needed so they have support. Things have been better the last few days and we have another counselling session tomorrow

My health visitor is good I’m seeing her in a couple of weeks

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Becciandbump

Good to hear from you. I'm glad the perinatal psychiatrist thinks you are well. It will probably be reassuring to you for your husband to see him too. That;s such a good idea to have an allocated cpn for support if needed. Lovely to hear that things have been better and I hope the counselling goes well tomorrow.

Try to rest as much as you can in this hot weather .... take care.

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Becciandbump

Just wondering how you have been lately? I hope the good support of your health visitor and also counselling has been helpful. Take care.

Hi lily Beth things have been quite hard I’ve had very little support from family members and my husband is just not prepared to be a dad again he’s struggling now My daughter is a toddler and it’s frightening me that he’s asking me to do so much and I’m having a section in two weeks and can’t lift. I fell over the other week and was given crutches but I haven’t even been using them as I’m just expected to carry on like normal by him!

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Becciandbump

Good to hear from you. I'm sorry things have been quite hard with little support around you. It must be very difficult to cope with routine and find time to rest since you fell over. Is it possible that your Health Visitor or CPN can arrange support around the house? Or perhaps there is a Home-Start group in your area to support your family for a little while?

Take good care of yourself. I hope things will be easier for you soon.

Jenny_at_APP
Jenny_at_APPAdministrator

Hi Becciandbump

I’m sorry you’re not getting much support from your husband and family. Hopefully when baby arrives that will change and they rally round. Seeing if you can get some help around the house is a really good idea, there are support groups out there as lilybeth says.

Take really good care, I hope these last couple of weeks go smoothly. We’re all here whenever you need to talk.

Jenny x

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Becciandbump

I hope you are recovering after your fall. Did you manage to find any support for yourself around the house? It can't be easy for you but I hope you are managing to rest when you can before baby arrives. Take care. x

I’m so sorry I hadn’t had time to update. I gave birth to My little girl On 03/09/18. She is amazing! I’m doing ok after a rocky 1st month after the c section. Isla is 10 weeks old now and my eldest is loving being a big sister I’m so proud of her! My husband was fantastic after the birth my c section scar split open and I had a lot of pain he did all the night feeds practically while on paternity leave so I could rest. And touch wood I’m avoiding the psychosis so far although I’ve struggled badly with anxiety and there are days I feel low but I’ve made some brilliant mummy friends and am even having a mummy meal out in 2 weeks I can’t wait to let my hair down after a hard 9 months with my new friends x

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Becci

Never worry about updating, it's only if you have time and feel like it. Congratulations on the birth of your daughter :) It's good to hear you are doing ok after a rocky first month and have avoided the psychosis. I'm sorry you have struggled badly with anxiety and hope your cpn has been able to help with coping strategies. I remember how awful my anxiety was.

It's lovely that baby Isla has a big sister and you have had great support from family and friends. So pleased that in your reply to another thread you mentioned your care team found you a new drug for bipolar which is the best you have ever taken. I hope you have a great night out in 2 weeks to celebrate with your new friends. Take care. x

Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator

Congratulations becci, I’m really glad you are doing well and that your elder daughter is enjoying her younger sister too 😊

And how lovely that you’ve made some new mummy friends! It can be so isolating at home with a baby can’t it, so it’s great you’ve found friends to be with.

As lilybeth says never worry about updating us, only when you want to.

Take care, Ellie x

Thanks Ellie, I also have to add that it’s been a real eye opener as to how I now feel since the pregnancy hormones seem to be fading. My husband has been absolutely amazing since my daughter arrived really practical helping in the night and he’s always more organised than me around the house he’s made the early days recovering from birth so much easier for me. I feel like I gave him quite a hard time while I was pregnant expecting him to understand me but I’ve since realised that it must be very hard for dads to relate to how it feels to be pregnant and he was doing his best to support me like he always has.

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