Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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postpartum psychosis

Hello, my best friend became ill (postpartum psychosis). I wish I could help her. She's already in hospital, but doctors not doing much. It's seems she's very stressful about it, sometimes she can't even recognise her husband, but sometimes she's talking very well, like she was before. How could I help her? By natural remedies or any good medicines? We're supporting her as much as we can.

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Hello Ina92

What a great best friend you are reaching out to help. So pleased you have found the forum where you will find lots of support. Is your friend in an MBU in the UK? I had PP some years ago and it is a very frightening illness but with good medical care it is very treatable. How long has your friend been in hospital? Perhaps the doctors are trying different medications to see if they are helpful.

Have you seen the PP Insider Guides? "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" and "Postpartum Psychosis : A Guide for Partners" at app-network.org/what-is-pp/... This might be early days to read as your friend must be going through such an awful time at the moment. I had delusions and hallucinations and I think my family must have despaired that I would ever be well again as I was 'switched off' for a while. So that's perhaps a good sign that your friend is communicating to a degree? Thankfully with good care and support I fully recovered to enjoy those precious times with my new baby, as your friend will eventually.

I think just being there as support for your friend and her husband is all you can do at the moment until she is stable. Try to keep talking and reassuring her although she might not make sense as she is fighting so hard to be well. Please take care of yourself too as this must be a stressful time for everyone. We are all here to listen .....

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Thank you a lot for your answer. She's now in General Psychiatric Ward in UK. But just few days there. Cause few days earlier she was staying in Holland's hospital. As her husband was trying to bring her to country, where she's from. But it was unsuccessful, he had to stop the car, cause she started hit him while he was driving. When he stopped the car she runaway, her husband called police, finally with the help of police they found her next to river or lake, standing naked in water and shouting on policemen that you're vampires and stuff like that.

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Hello Ina92

I'm glad that your friend is now safely in the General Psychiatric Ward here in the UK. When I had Postpartum Psychosis (PP) there were no mother and baby units but I was successfully treated under General Psychiatric care.

I'm so sorry your friend sounds very unwell and the delusions are all very real and frightening to her. It must have also been a worrying time for her husband. During my PP episodes I said and did things completely out of character too. Try not to worry as your friend is going through such trauma but once she settles into hospital her care team will be able to support and monitor her. Rest assured that she is in the right place to get the help she needs for now. Perhaps the frequently asked questions page at app-network.org/what-is-pp/faq might also be helpful to read as there are also personal experiences there.

Take care .... we are all here for you so please write if it helps.

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Hi Ina92

what a great friend you are. I had p.p in 2016 and am totally well now. I had visitors when I was in psych unit but do not remember this but if you can visit as my dear friends did it would be helpful. Things I found helpful in no particular order were:

I was sent a few get well cards and when I stopped hallucinating I found them and I think that was when I realised I was in psych ward.

A friend kept a diary of everyday I was away from my family which although I could not read to start with I treasure dearly.

Make sure as many pics are taken of the baby as your friend can keep these and for me it made the gap smaller of not being with him.

People that visited me on psych ward brought me food Smarties jaffa cakes etc as I lost a lot of weight while in there. if you are allowed go in at meal times and see if you can help your friend eat that is what my husband ended up doing.

My sister brought me in McDonalds which I remember. I was not woken for breakfast and missed most meals so do remember being hungry.

We have great friends and they rallied round looking after my husband and baby. My husband lived with our friends

If you have any questions please feel free to message me. I send you all love and strength to get you through. As soon as the Drs find the right meds your friend will be on the path to recovery. If you have any questions please post them here this is a great group and everyone will be supportive. Marie x

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Thanks a lot. I liked idea about get well cards a lot. And about baby pictures, you are right we need to take as much as we can. In general, her husband also very supportive, so for sure she will recover soon, I truly believe in it.

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Stick with her, brilliant that you care, I had pp 16years ago, I went to Priory Chelmsford mother and baby unit, I was v lucky they had a space, I had nanny to look after baby but keep him close to me, now he is 16 and we r both v well, keep visiting her, etc

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Thanks a lot, I will stick with her for sure. She's really a good friend, and I'm so sorry that it happened to her.

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Hi Ina

Welcome to the forum, it's so good you have found us. I'm really sorry to hear about your friend, I had PP 7 years ago after the birth of my son. It was so scary and traumatic, for me and my family, but also my friends.

As others have said, you can be such a great help and support. I know it must seem scary if she is very unwell, but she really is going to get better, but she will need as many people as possible supporting her.

I wanted to give you this link to this blog post that someone wrote about what to say to someone who has PP. It rang a lot of bells for me, and I thought that it may help you, in knowing how to support your friend:

ppsoup.com/2016/01/26/what-...

I also wondered if your friend has been offered a space in a mother and baby unit? It is very hard that she is not with her baby, and she should receive specialist support in a mother and baby unit. Has this been mentioned at all? It may be lucky that she is still in this country, and not back home, as in the UK, though things can always be better, we do have some really good specialist support for mum's who are mentally unwell after having their babies. I really hope your friend will be able to access this support.

Take care, and do come here with any questions, and support for yourself

Ellie

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Thank you a lot for your answer. Just a day ago she got mom and baby unit, I'm so glad. Cause now she can see her daughter, nurse is bringing baby time to time to my friend for making a bond. At the moment she's staying in Nottingham's hospital and from tomorrow doctors will start giving proper medication, which according to them should be good for her. So hopefully, everything will be fine and she will recover soon.

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Hi Ina

This is really great to hear that your friend is in a mother and baby unit now. I was treated in a mother and baby unit, and when I was very unwell with the psychosis, like your friend, I was able to be with him for only short amounts of time, but once I responded to the anti psychotic medication I was soon doing all his care, and enjoying being with him. Recovery can be up and down, to recover from the trauma of what has happened, but your friend really will get there, and it's great that she has the right support.

Take care, and never hesitate to write on here for any support or information.

Ellie

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Hello again, I wanted to ask maybe you remember the name of medicine you were using. My friend is using olanzapin now, it seems it helps her little by little. In general, she's very sad that she needs to stay in hospital, she's always begging to go home, yesterday was so angry, even told husband that she will divorce him, if he's not gonna take her from hospital.

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Hi Ina92,

What a lovely friend you are. I remember when I was in hospital friends stayed away. Your friend is very fortunate to have you as Im sure your visits will make a big difference. I was on olanzapine and it did help although I didnt stay on it long term as I was changed to a different anti psychotic.

Its pleasing to hear your friend has eventually been found a place in a mother and baby unit. I hope this speeds her recovery and builds her confidence ready for going home.

I remember clear as day being very angry one time after ward round when I had been told I wasnt well enough to go home that week. It felt as if the whole world was against me and I thought no one cared or understood how I felt.

The week after I was proved wrong because my psychiatrists broke her ankle and hobbled in for ward round. I was told she came in especially to make sure I got my discharge that day.

Really what i wanted to get across from the story above is that the week I was angry and so upset at not being allowed home when I thought I was ready was a sign that I was much improved but not quite there. Im sure your friend won't be hospitalized longer than necessary. When she is allowed home Im sure she will feel so much better knowing she has you to talk to and to help x

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Hello Ina92

Great news to hear that your friend and baby are now together in the mom and baby unit. That must be such a relief for you and her family. I think the medication might take a few days to be effective. I hope your friend will slowly improve with good medical care in the company of her daughter.

You are such a supportive friend .... take care of yourself too.

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Hello Ina92

I hope the specialist care of the mother and baby unit is helping your friend to recover from such a traumatic illness, although it's early days. In time she will find her feet and it's good that you are there to support her when you can.

We are all here to lean on. Take care.

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Hello Ina92

Good to hear from you. I took antipsychotic medication but not Olanzapine as my PP was a long time ago. There are some posts about Olanzapine which might be helpful if you put the name into the 'search' box in the right hand corner of this page.

I'm sorry to hear your friend is sad that she needs to stay in hospital and wants to go home. I think I felt the same after a while but didn't realise how stressful it was to cope with a new baby, the effects of medication and routine. At first I was nervous about being home and missed the security of the unit. It was a gradual process, first for one night and building over time to weekend leave. I hope you can encourage your friend to stay where she is for now. The doctors will want what's best for her until she feels stronger and more confident with her baby. Take care of yourself too.

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Thank you a lot for your answer. We'RE trying to help and encourage her as much as we can and we will keep doing it till she be fine and even after whenever she will need help.

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Hello Ina92

Thank you for taking the time to reply. You're a great support to your friend which must be such a comfort to her in these early days of recovery. Eventually she will be fine and very grateful for all your help. Take care.

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Hi Ina

How is your friend doing? I hope that she is getting better? I know it takes time. Sorry I haven't written for a while, I have been away the last few weeks. I hope that your friend is slowly recovering. I'm sorry to hear she's distressed that she's in hospital. It could be the illness too, and just wanting to be back to normal, and what she expected to happen, not in hospital, which is such a natural feeling. I felt so much sadness that I'd been ill, and wasn't having the experience I'd hoped. It really is the right place for her though, while she's recovering, until she is better and able to look after her baby.

I was on Olanzapine too, like your friend. It was sedating, but this was good for me as it helped me to sleep which I was struggling with when I became ill (very common symptom of PP). After a few weeks unfortunately I dipped into depression, which some people who experience PP have after the psychotic episode. I was then also on an anti depressant, Escitilipram, but others are also put on a mood stabiliser as well.

Do write on here whenever you want to, with any questions, or just for support.

Take care,

Ellie

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