Recovery journey : I feel that I need... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Recovery journey

Gemma8888
Gemma8888
99 Replies

I feel that I need some help. Had PP in Feb this year 5 weeks after my baby was born. It was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me.

Came off olanzapine one month ago. Feel like I am just scared all the time I will get ill again. I have got only external stressors in my life too which doesn’t help like problems within my external family. Feel like just this week I have really struggled. Initially when I stopped the medication my sleep was being affected but now I have anxious thoughts and I am scared as I am going back to work in one month and I am worried I will not be able to cope.

I know it will probably be good for me to go back to work but I am scared x

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Gemma8888

Lovely to hear from .... congratulations on the birth of your baby :) It's such a shame that the joy of motherhood should be tarnished by such a traumatic illness but here you will find lots of support and shared experiences. I'm sorry to hear you suffered PP in February, it really is a scary experience. Did you have specialist care in a mother and baby unit?

I had PP many years ago but still remember how frightening and real it all was at the time. Do you think you need to ask your GP about medication if you are having anxious thoughts? Have you had guidance about returning to work from Occupational Health on a phased return basis? I can understand your anxiety about returning in such a short space of time into your recovery. Is it possible to return on a part-time basis at first just to find your feet and settle back into the routine?

For me it was all about rebuilding my confidence before returning to work. Have you had any talking therapy to help with your external stressors? Some mums here have benefited from CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which I also had unrelated to PP. I found it very helpful to talk about issues I didn't want to worry my family about and changing the way I thought about things. Your GP should be able to refer if you think this is something that might help.

I think when we have had an illness such as PP, it is very important to look after our mental health as we are recovering from such a traumatic time in our lives. I wonder if you have seen the PP Guides, "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" and "Postpartum Psychosis : A Guide for Partners" at app-network.org/what-is-pp/... I know returning to work is good for financial as well as social reasons but it's also important to make sure you are well enough first.

Take good care .... we are all here to support you.

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Gemma8888
Gemma8888
in reply to Lilybeth

Hi Lilybeth,

Thanks for your reply. I have had a look on the internet at the recovery after postpartum psychosis. That’s how I found this online community. I think now I have come off the olanazapine I have felt the need for more support. I feel as though I am now getting more confortable with accessing things online as my PP episode was linked to social media I have avoided it till now

I didn’t go to a mother and baby unit. Luckily my husband was able to really supportive. But he has been working away a lot lately so don’t see him much.

I was open to the perinatal team but they closed my case just before I stopped the anti psychotics. I have been to the GP and suggested him increasing my antidepressants (Escitalapram) which he did about two weeks ago. Not done anything else like CBT or anything related to the PP but maybe I could try something.

Going back part-time, my work wanted me to return full-time so having to move departments to return part-time. Not had anything to do with occupational health. My workplace is has not offered this but does know what happened in detail due to the nature of my job they were informed.

I hope that makes sense. Thank you sooo much for the advice and support x

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer
in reply to Gemma8888

Hi Gemma888

Good to hear from you. So glad you found the forum via the Insider Guide! As my PP was a while ago I didn't take Olanzapine but I found a post "Weaning off Olanzapine" where some of the replies talk about insomnia and anxious thoughts. The link is healthunlocked.com/app-netw...

Do you think it might be possible to be re-referred to the perinatal team as perhaps they can signpost you to ongoing care in the community? I think that as you have only been in recovery for a few months, you need more support other than your GP's input.

I'm glad you have arranged to go back to work part-time, as I think full time would be too much. Even returning part-time I think you need to take regular breaks. Your employer does have a duty of care so make sure you are not overwhelmed by working in a new department.

My PP episodes were linked to hearing a commanding voice and also I thought the radio was playing music just for me! After my second recovery I suffered with depression which seemed endless but I made a complete recovery eventually. I found the forum a great safe space to talk and share experiences with other mums who really understood. There is also a brilliant blog "PP Soup" at ppsoup.com which might be helpful to read.

I hope you have company while your husband is away at work. Take care and please pop in here again to talk if it helps. x

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Gemma8888
Gemma8888
in reply to Lilybeth

Hi Lilybeth,

I look at the link you sent and there were lots of people having similar problems to me which has helped so I know it’s normal and things will hopefully get better.

I have already rung the perinatal team and the have reopened my case. They said they will call me again soon to see how things are going.

I think I am just getting scared at the thought of returning to work and needed some reassurance. So glad that others in my situation have had similar issues. As I was worried I would get ill again.

I feel reassured I am doing all the right things. It’s just a scary time. Thank you sooo much for you support and advice x

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer
in reply to Gemma8888

Hi Gemma8888

I'm so pleased the link was reassuring with mums having similar problems and knowing it's normal and will get better. I felt the same when I found the forum ... I had felt so alone but was so surprised and relieved to find other mums who had experienced delusions!

That's good to hear the perinatal team have reopened your file and will be there to support you along the way. It's not surprising you're getting scared about returning to work, especially in a different department. Hopefully you will be able to take regular breaks even though it's part-time.

So pleased for you Gemma :) You should be very proud of yourself, coming through such a trauma and being ready to return to work. Take care .... we are all here if you would like to talk at anytime. x

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Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator

Hi Gemma8888

It's great you have found us, welcome to the forum.

I had PP 7 years ago now, and I was on the same medication you were on, Olanzapine and Escitilipram.

PP is such a trauma isn't it? And I think the fear of getting unwell again is something everyone I have spoken to experiences. I'm so sorry you're feeling so scared and anxious, I do remember feeling that too. It's also really natural that you are a bit anxious about returning to work. They were all things I experienced too.

You mentioned that you were supported by the perinatal mental health team? I wondered if it would be possible to be re-referred to them again, just so they can support you during this transition? With your anxieties around returning to work, and struggling with being off the anti-psychotic? I know that a perinatal mental health team can support up to a year after postpartum. Perhaps you could contact them directly, or ask your GP to re-refer you?

After I had PP I was supported by the Early Intervention in Psychosis team (there wasn't a perinatal team in my area). They helped in my return to work for example, meeting my supervisor to explain to them what happened to me, and what kind of support I might need. I felt very anxious about returning to work too. They also helped me with my anxiety about coming off anti psychotic medication. It sounds like you would benefit from support like this?

I hope anyway that it is somehow reassuring to know that you are not the only one who has felt all the things you describe, they are such normal and natural feelings after experiencing PP. And I hope that you can get some more support with it all.

Take care, don't hesitate to write on here whenever you need to.

Ellie

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Gemma8888

Thank you Ellie for you reassurance. It has made me feel much better about my feelings and thoughts I really appreciate the support this forum offers and I am glad I found it and had the confidence to sign up and post x

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Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator
in reply to Gemma8888

I'm so glad it's helpful. I know that this forum, when I found it about 6 years ago, was such an amazing support and relief for me too. And it's great you were brave enough to post on here, not easy to do I know! Take care, and I hope your fears get less and more manageable, as I know you will. XX

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Teresa_K_S
Teresa_K_SVolunteer

Hi Gemma8888,

Wow, you really are doing brilliantly. You've been well enough to come off Olanzapine after only a short time since your PP. Your husband is working away a lot and you are soon returning to work. All that is amazing.

I think everyone on this forum will relate to feeling scared of being ill again. We've all been there.

You ve probably already learned ways to reduce stress.

Returning to work can be a stressor but if you look after yourself it can also provide a welcome change and break from being at home.

Do you need to return to work so soon? If its worrying you could you maybe postpone it?

Its good to hear you will be going part time. For myself I always used to refer to going back to work part time as having the best of both worlds 😆

I'm sure you will do super, as you have so far. If you can stay well tuned to your own body I think that will help. Make a list of what symptoms signal to you that you are stressed etc sleeping problems, low mood/tearful, worrying. What ever are your normal warning signs. Don't worry because as you get better and better you will find your ability to deal with stress increases massively. All the best and keep us posted on how you are doing if it helps to chat on the forum

T x

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Gemma8888

Hi Teresa,

Thank you so much for your positive words. Your post is Heart warming.

I am hoping that going back to work will be a good thing. I have done the job for 10 years since I was 21 so it’s kind of part of my identity in some ways now 😂. I have always been a really busy confident person. But feeling really vulnerable atm. Also ashamed and embarrassed which I feel has got worse since stopping the olaxapine. I know that it will get better with time tho as I can see from the others posts. I just wish I could be more relaxed and not worry too much. I never want that to happen to me again.

I think before I go back to work I need to do some excercise class or mindlessness class to hopefully ease my anxiety. It’s only three weeks till I have to go back but it might help.

It’s nice to know that there are others have suffered PP and come through it. Hopefully it will make me stronger....

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Teresa_K_S
Teresa_K_SVolunteer
in reply to Gemma8888

Hi Gemma8888

Wishing you all the best on your return to work. Don't feel ashamed as there was nothing you could have had any control over. It certainly doesnt make you less of a mum. I found if anything it made me fiercely protective of my little family and in many ways I grew stronger. Remember, as you return to work to only share information with those you want to. I was very good at baring my soul to everyone and sometimes afterwards would regret sharing so much. But thats me, I ve always been pretty much an open book!

I used to find Pilates helpful (till my instructor moved abroad to set up a pilates retreat-how selfish 😄). Maybe yoga might be helpful for you as there is meditation and the breathing exercises would help with your anxiety.

Take Care for now and good luck

T x

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Hidden
HiddenVolunteer

Welcome Gemma to our APP forum,

it is so useful to be able to talk to mums, who have experienced the same traumatising illness.

You are doing amazingly well, but like Lilybeth said it is important to get still enough guidance and support in the after care & simultaneously learn how to look after oneself.

I believe it is crucial to have the link to a support network whereby professionals are involved. You are at a very early stage of your recovery, even though we are all very different, it is so important that stress factors are kept at a low level.

I wonder whether some of the employers actually understand the seriousness of the illness. It maybe worthwhile to talk to the occupational health, thinking of an integration back to work "rehabilitation process", which should be supported by the line manager, human resources, and occupational health.

You were talking about preparing yourself...you know it is very difficult to work towards a deadline, I believe after suffering from PPP in 2010 I have had to change my life style completely, beside focusing on my new role as a mum.

Ok, what helps and where can you get support-it really depends on your locality

1. mindfulness of breathing via meditation and yoga classes reduces stress and anxiety significantly...but regularity is of importance...

2. talking therapy - loads of options possible where you can pursue activities with like minded people, something you feel passionate about, a project, volunteering, arts class etc...

3. get in touch with Charities like Mind, your GP, or ask the perinatal mental health team, contact health visitors etc. who could find you a support group, if you wish to...sometimes there are specific workshops run in libraries or interesting courses for keeping mental health in check, self management toolkit etc …

4. Journalising or tracking your mood, which could be partly evidence for your own well being, but would be great to use as a tool for data collection, especially when you want to re-cap your well being with professionals, who could help you setting up a health care plan, ground rules and routine for your mental well being.

5. I definitively would suggest a work diary, because this always could be used for evidence, when you are in desperate need of emotional support. It is the obligation of the employer to look after their employees. May I suggest to make sure that you are a member of the Union as well, because the contractual agreements are of great importance in order to protect your employment. Get advise whether your old contract has been adapted to the new job...The new job has to fit your skills and abilities after the illness and in my view you need to have a different contractual agreement for safekeeping your employment, in case you should get poorly...

My health comes first and only I know how much I can take or how much I have to let go and whether I have to re-adjust. Stress management is not easy, I am still using coping strategies nowadays.

Look after yourself and your beautiful child,

hope this helps a bit

wishing you health and happiness.

x

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Gemma8888
Gemma8888
in reply to Hidden

Thank you Jasa. Some real good advice and ideas to take forward. I really do need to make sure I look after myself because that’s part of how I got ill taking on too much. Really love this forum and the advice and support it has given me x

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Revans86
Revans86Volunteer

Hi Gemma8888, welcome on board the most supportive online community. I’ve reallly benefited from the support here myself having had PP in late 2016.

Congratulations on your little arrival.

Everything you’re feeling is very similar to my own experience at the time. Returning to work after mat leave is a big change, let alone after having PP too. Sleep... the cyclical lack of sleep. It can be so tough, the more you worry, the more challenging it is. Another PP mum recommended an app called the ‘Insight Timer’. That’s really helped me at night.

Be kind to yourself. Simple things, like fresh air, making sure you eat and drink super regularly is my first point. ALWAYS TAKE A LUNCH BREAK AT WORK!

Don’t be hard on yourself. You’re not the same person as you were before. Not just your PP experience, but you’re a mum to little one(s) too now. That changes you and your outlook. So work may just feel different. I’ve gone back part time too. Sometimes I feel I’m not doing either role too well, but you know, I think that’s normal mummy guilt!

Thankfully my work have been very supportive, but I advise you do take it slowly going back. Don’t rush and try and do everything you once did. Especially as you said your role is changing too. Hope you have supportive colleagues around you.

Your health is more important than any job, so if you need more time, that’s totally fine. Keep talking as you are with your health professionals. Keeping a diary is good. Note down what you’re feeling, the good and the bad. It’s helpful to look back and remember how far you’ve come. You’re a STAR. Don’t forget it!

Wishing you and your family well.

Breathe!

Xxxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Gemma888

I hope you are ok and receiving support from your perinatal team. Not long to go before you return to work so I hope you are not feeling too anxious. Take really good care of yourself. :)

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mikefff

You must take steps to reduce as much stress as possible.

Also - other people will not take it seriously unless you do - even mental health teams will not do all they can unless you push them and insist you need support/help.

I'm saying just make sure you dont carry on and try to be normal, as it only makes others think that you dont need support...can you get reduced hours? Talk to your Hr or boss re. illness.

Dont forget, you had a VERY SERIOUS ILLNESS and you are recovering - dont let others belittle that fact, and do not belittle it yourself.

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Jas15
Jas15Volunteer

Hi Gemma888

Welcome to the forum, it’s great that you are finding the support useful..... you’ve had some brilliant advice and support from the replies already, so there isn’t much more to add, other than the point you make about feeling ashamed and embarrassed..... I can totally relate to that, in fact having had PP twice is still a very big ‘secret’ and I don’t disclose it very often, if at all.....I think stigmas and stereotypes of severe mental illness are thankfully breaking down, but there is still a long way to go, in terms of people feeling they can be open about their past history.

I can honestly say that since I have been involved with APP, (just over a year) my own shame is eroding and it’s been so amazing to have the support of the other volunteers, knowing that we all share the same ‘secret’.

I cannot emphasise enough how much I believe that attitudes towards physical and mental health need to stem

from an understanding that they are of equal

Importance...... a friend of my mine was recently signed off work for 3 months with severe depression..... how sad it is that when she returned on phased return, she was unable to discuss her vulnerability, that she was still recovering ..... I compared it to the scenario that had she been involved in a road traffic accident, with severe injuries, she would have visible ‘proof’ of being unwell and would most likely receive sympathy, tolerance etc from her colleagues..... instead of lack of understanding and shame.

I really hope you’re getting on well, if you have returned to work, and that you are feeling better...... we are always here to talk and listen.....

Best wishes

Jas

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Hidden
HiddenVolunteer

How are you Gemma?

Thinking of you...

Look after yourself :-)

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Gemma8888

Hi all,

Today was my second day back to work. I was feeling very anxious and stressed before I came on here and read all of the supportive comments :)

I am glad I came on here. It feels like my job makes it worse. I am a social worker and have moved back into child protection. It has been hard as my health visitor sits in the same office and she has not spoken to me yet. I expect she feels awkward but I feel awkward too. I haven't had much to do with her as I mainly worked with the perinatal team.

I spoke with the lady from the prenatal team after I self referred and spoke to the GP who agreed to up my anti-depressants. My care plan is for me to start other anti-psychotics that do not affect weight so much if needed. But apparently they can affect sleep which is my major trigger. I feel ok but my anxiety is really bad at the moment.

I think my anxiety is so bad as I have been there for 10 years and everyone knows me virtually so I am worried about who knows and who doesn't. It's a shame really as I am usually confident but as I have got older my confidence has subsided in some ways.

On a positive note my husband is working local now and I have loads of friends and family for support. Feeling overwhelmed in some ways at the moment so don't want to reach out too much as I think it will make it worse. I have had a number of friends and family members check in on me. I know now as I am writing this that I have a lot of people who care about me and this must mean I am a good person!

Also my daughter is settling into nursery OK. She gets upset when she is collected but that's because she has missed me and my husband and she is tired.

I have felt disorganised and overwhelmed as returning to work is obviously hard. I am hoping to have a one to one with my manger tomorrow as she has arranged a meeting to discuss cases. I will ask to see her one to one if not just to speak about the HOT POTATO :). I get on well with her but I feel bad as I don't want to burden her.

Long message I know. Hope it makes sense xxx

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Jas15
Jas15Volunteer
in reply to Gemma8888

Hi Gemma 8888

Well done on starting back at work, such a huge accomplishment ! I do hope you’re getting all the support you need.

It’s understandable that everything feels overwhelming, there is a lot for you to organise, childcare and just getting back into the routine of work.

I’m sure that things will settle down, it’s an upheaval and you’re obviously still recovering from PP.

Try to only do what you have to do, prioritise the main things and make sure you can factor in breaks at work and have things planned that you can look forward to; try not to put pressure on yourself, plan some form of rest and relaxation in the evenings, if possible.

I found all the above useful in my recovery, which I still practise now, as I believe ‘self care’ is an utmost essential part of my life, as I do not want to relapse again and find myself back as an inpatient.

Wishing you a good day Gemma, and hoping that you are coping with it all ok, sending love and very best wishes, Jas xx

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Teresa_K_S
Teresa_K_SVolunteer

Hi Gemma,

How brave of you starting back at work. Sorry your first week is giving you a lot of anxiety. I don't think you would be normal if it wasn't! That being said a short anxiety course helped me at a time when I had returned to work and my anxiety was through the roof. The breathing exercises alone helped with the physical side of anxiety. Or maybe if u dont fancy an anxiety course maybe a yoga or pilates class with a friend may help.

Certainly don't carry any guilt over your illness. I know its a natural reaction but remember to be kind to yourself as you are a strong amazing lady to have come through such an ordeal. However, you're not invincible so do look after yourself. If you think a particular medication affects your sleep definitley seek other alternatives. For me sleep is a major thing. If my sleep is distrupted I can cope for a short time but any longer and it really affects me in lots of ways. Being a mum to a little one means you have enough distrupted nights without any sides effects from a certain meds affecting things.

I hope you'll soon be in the swing of things with a routine that works for you as a family. I know it feels like being in a spin without time to beathe let alone make time for the yoga class!

Take Care and remember how far you have come

Teresa x

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Hidden
HiddenVolunteer

Such wonderful replies Gemma,

I just keep it short and just want to let you know that I am thinking of you, too.

Hope you can prioritise and identify your limitations at work and at home. Asking for help, but also saying no is part of my tool for keeping mostly balanced.

You are a very brave lady, but allow yourself time to slow down!

Bye for now and good night

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Gemma8888

Hi all,

Thank you for your support so glad I have this place to come and off load to people who understand 😊. I think I might make an appointment at the doctors tomorrow as I have started my period three weeks early which is unusual for me and I know it must be my body’s way of telling me to look after myself.

I wish I could be braver and just tell my team in a team meeting what happened so people know and i don’t have to hide it and pretend everything is fine. Not sure that the right thing to do but that’s how I feel sometimes.

I am also going to look into some anxiety course and/or yoga I did manage to find a yoga course before but didn’t go in the end as the baby wasn’t well.

I think I need to be stronger at work and learn to say no. I want to please everyone but I need to look after myself. I am lucky I have a really supportive boss. She will know what happened but we haven’t spoke about it yet as things have been to busy. We do have supervision booked in though which is good.

I do feel good I some ways that I have started back to work and I am proud I managed to get through my first week.

Thank you all so much for your support and guidance 😀 xxxxx

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Hannah_at_APP
Hannah_at_APPAdministrator

Hi Gemma8888, it’s good to hear you’ve find the replies and shared experiences here helpful. Making a Drs appt sounds like a good way forward. I know when I went back to work after pp I was hugely anxious and determined to carry on - with hindsight it was really hard but it was definitely the right thing for us as a family and something that needed to be done for various reasons.

I wondered if you have an occupational health service? I was referred by my manager (who knew what had happened but wasn’t hugely understanding sadly) and I founding talking to them as a specialist dept was very helpful. They were able to write a plan about my return, including phasing back to my usual hours and having additional support in place if I’d needed it (which I didn’t take up, although perhaps I should have). Going back to work for me was such a massive thing and with my confidence being so completely shot it was tough. But I’m glad I did it and I think you should be proud of yourself too. Take care, and please continue to write here if it’s helpful for you. Xx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Gemma8888

So pleased that this is your go-to place to offload your thoughts as we are all here to listen. I can understand how difficult it is to say 'no' at work, trying to please everyone, but you need to find the strength to say it so that you are not overwhelmed. Perhaps you could mention this to your manager in the supervision meeting as I think it's her responsibility to monitor your workload. It's not a case of not wanting to do your share but sometimes others might impose on your good nature?

You should be so proud that you managed to cope with your first week back at work, as well as your family routine. Take care and believe in yourself .... you're amazing! :)

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Gemma8888

Thankyou sooo much for support and encouragement I think I would have really struggled without this group xxxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

We are all very privileged, Gemma, that you have shared your experience. When I found the forum it was such a relief to know that I wasn't on my own in what I had experienced. I could talk openly for the first time in a long time. xxxx

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Becciandbump

Hi Gemma I’m just reading your post. I have bipolar and have had many episodes of psychosis over the years and can relate to your feelings when you said ‘who knows’ if you were indeed referring to finding it being almost odd or awkward being back at work after what is undoubtedly a really hard time a time where you are not yourself when poorly- I found this a strange step going back into the workplace where I had to act like the old me and have a professional face on all day. I am in absolute ore of women who recover from psychosis with a newborn and think you are pretty amazing to even be back at work so soon! I also work in healthcare and after hiding my illness in my early twenties I am totally open at work these days- try to speak up about mental health in the workplace. Do you have a good occupational health department I would imagine that if you did feel like you were struggling then they could look at some sort of phased return for you which is what has always happened with me after a psychotic episode. Mental health struggles aside however I think much of what you describe- anxiety fears etc on return to work are infact an entirely normal stage of motherhood I found my first few weeks after maternity leave back at work really daunting I felt like my area of work had changed so much in a year and felt lost and out of touch- what helped me was monthly supervision sessions with my manager we did some ‘live supervision’s discussing cases together etc which massively boosted my confidence. By the time I had been back at work 3 months I was in a good routine and loved every aspect of working I loved the nursery drop off and pick ups seeing her smiling face running towards me at the end of my working day, I loved the social interaction, adult conversation and feeling like I had a sense of self worth. All of these things can come with time and I hope that with each day you can grow in confidence. Keep in touch with your gp for support too, my surgery are great and have been very helpful to me xxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Gemma888

How are you? I hope you feel more settled at work and you managed to have a chat with your boss during the supervision you mentioned. As you say, you can't please everyone and you must put yourself first so that you are not overwhelmed.

We are all here for you. Take care. xx

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Gemma8888
Gemma8888
in reply to Lilybeth

Hi Lilybeth,

Thankyou for checking in it really means a lot. Things are getting better. I have new medication from the doctor for the days my anxiety gets bad and my boss now knows after I told her in supervision. She has been really supportive and understanding.

On reflection I think my first week back to work was just a bad week at work in general. I am feeling more confident everyday and I am glad to be using my brain again 😂

I do have bad days and nights tho. I had an awful nightmare last night which felt so real and scary that I had to get out of bed for bit. Overall I am starting to feel stronger in myself which is good as being g back at work has reminded me of my qualities especially when others remind you or tell you your great :)

I still need to commit to making sine time out each week for mindfulness, yoga or dance tho. My baby has separation anxiety but I am reassured this is normal.

How are you doing Lilybeth? Xxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Gemma

I hope you had a good Christmas and New Year. Are your days and nights getting any easier? Hopefully you have been able to sleep without experiencing nightmares? Have you managed any time out for yourself to try mindfulness or yoga which you might find relaxing?

I hope you are taking regular breaks at work and your baby has settled. Take good care of yourself and remember what a star you are :) xx

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Gemma8888

Hi Lilybeth,

I had a good Christmas and new year did you? Except I had to do some extra hours at work. I find it hard to say no sometimes. Usually as I feel pressured or like I have to do it. Even though I come across as confident I am not inside.

Glad that my last post gave you a good memory ♥️

Had an disagreement with someone who is noturusily (don’t know how to spell it) hard work and have had bother with in the past.

Overall feeling overwhelmed by thoughts but glad I can realise when I am struggling. It’s a rut I seem to get myself in every now and again and then I worry about how my overwhelming thoughts affect others. Like that my stress makes me a bad patent, wife worker etc...

After this week at work and other things that are happening I feel like I don’t know what to do with myself as I have too much going round in my head. Only this week I have been struggling with my sleep alothough I did run out of tabs because I didn’t get my prescription on time.

I know it will pass but after what happened I feel scared by this. I just want to isolate myself but I know it will not help I need to talk about it to the forum or family/friends

I guess.

I have actually brought a yoga mat now 😀 I am planning on doing it at home and if I can afford it and have the time I might go to a class.

Xxx

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Hazello
HazelloVolunteer

Hi Gemma,

Somehow have missed your thread until now and noticed mention of supervision and have read back and realised you're in social work. Just a wee message of solidarity as I was previously a children's social worker and I had PP in 2016. I tried to go back to work but have ended up deciding to stay at home.

To be fair I always found it really stressful before PP so had loads of things in place to help me cope. The thing that always worked the best wad getting regular aerobic exercise (I used to go swimming at least 2x per week) and I use exercise to this day to manage my anxiety post PP. I have a really good CD of relaxation tracks I listen to before bed. I tried mindfulness at one point and I plan to try it again.

I suppose the difficulty is having time to do all the self care when you're working in a busy job, got a wee one and got a house to run too! However I'm sure it will get easier with time. Might be worth contacting occ health as it might be that they can help you work out if there is anything work could do to help the situation. I wished I'd done that when I went back after mat leave as I don't think my line manager understood mental health and didn't really believe me when I told her I was stressed (i've got a very good facade apparently!)

Best wishes

Hazello

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Gemma8888
Gemma8888
in reply to Hazello

Hi Hazello,

So glad someone else has experienced it and in similar circumstances Re the job. Did you live and work in the same area when it happened? Ie did a referral go into work?

I think being in that job makes me worry more than I need to at times? I had severe SPD when pregnant which got worse towards the end so I was very isolated at the end of my pregnancy. Once I gave birth I felt so much better physically and think I tried to talk on more than I should have as I went from hardly being able to move to feeling free 😂

Some of my colleagues know about what happened as there was a referral sent in. But my line manager didn’t know till I told her. I have known her for a long time, since I started really and I get on well with her or at least I think I do....

Just think I will have times I will struggle and I will have to try and get through it at the time. This forum has been my saving grace and I can not thank anyone enough for advice and support x

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Hazello
HazelloVolunteer
in reply to Gemma8888

Hi Gemma,

It must have been really difficult knowing that some of your colleagues know about what happened and it's out of your control.

I had moved to the fostering team (in a different area too) not long before having my son so work didn't need to know at all. Although I did realise after I got better that I'd sent text messages with more info than necessary to my line manager...

Things will get better with time, I'm sure. It's still such early days since you returned to work really and a lot of people who have not been ill say how hard it is to adapt to life as a working mum and try to get your brain back in to gear after time off. But sw is particularly tough due to the pressures of the job and having to deal with other people's difficulties whilst managing your own!

Really glad to hear you felt you were confident and comfortable in your abilities in work beforehand as sure one day you will feel back in that place. it will probably make you better at your job as you have first hand experience of parenting through life's challenges!

Hope you've had a nice weekend and that this week goes well.

Hazello

X

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HiddenThis reply has been deleted
Gemma8888
Gemma8888
in reply to Hidden

Hi lilybeth,

Thanks for your reply. This forum is really my saving grace. I have been sleeping better since I posted. I have also had supervision with my manager and told her how I feel. I asked for an occ health referral although she seemed worried about this as she said the last time she did that the employee left. She is really supportive tho.

I have contacted the perinatal team because after the last time the lady called me and as I was doing ok she closed it again and said I can called again till my baby is one. She turned one at the begginibg of the month.

I am going to ring the pharmacy too and see if I can get my prescription delivered, didn’t think of that. Been to the doctors a few times and had my escitalpram increased and given propanalol. I have asked for the anti-psychotics which were on my care plan if I needed them.

I have also started talking to my friends a bit about how I am feeling which has made me feel better. My friend said that it’s not weak my asking for occ health referral and seeking support but it is a strength of character which made me feel better xxxxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer
in reply to Gemma8888

Hi Gemma

Good to hear that you are sleeping better and have told your manager how you feel. The occ health referral will be good for you as it will give you a chance to record how much pressure you are under and how you can be helped. Your manager should want what's best for you regardless of what happened with other employees.

I hope the perinatal team will be in touch with you and I'm pleased you are having regular reviews with your doctor. It's good that you are opening up to your friends and feel a bit better for it. Your friend is so right that it it's not weak to ask for the occ health referral ....... it's a very good strength of character that you know you need support around you and have had the courage to reach out to find it.

You're such a star Gemma :) Take good care of yourself and make sure to have your breaks at work. We are all here to listen. xxxx

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Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Hello Gemma,

I spoke to you before, but just recently changed my forum name. You see I constantly get those insecurity feelings, especially when I do not catch enough sleep.

I am so impressed by your willpower and fighting spirit. You are dealing with so much and yet being able to work.

I agree with Lilybeth, it is important to seek help and in a way get your, shall we say, "protection weapons out" (this is my son's influence of nerf guns :-)

It is OK to ask for support and help...I sometimes have to go back to the Community Mental Health Team and ask for my Care Coordinator...I am sometimes on the books and off the books... but when it is too overbearing I distribute and access my support network evenly, so that my partner does not always get the full blow, bless him (in a spiritual sense :-)

Maybe my list below will help you:

- GP and care coordinator for professional mental health support

- focus on nurturing and Education for my son to make sure he is emotionally and socially balanced despite my mental health condition (Bi-polar)

- volunteering and being involved in projects-a bit like your job/ but this takes finetuned juggling, sometimes it can be overbearing when struggling with Insomnia and mind racing

(in your case I would highlight to be aware of your needs and rights within your employment, especially when feeling poorly/ occupational health and Union very useful)

- my therapeutic avenues of yoga and meditation including reiki nowadays are very important for my mental health well being

- and obviously my ever so important relationship with my partner and son...love/kindness is such a great healer...

Hope this helps a bit, wishing you well and please take it steady, when your body, mind and soul needs time out!!! (family, friends and professional help incl. your meds can contribute to your well being)

x

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Gemma8888

Thanks you for your support xxx

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Hannah_at_APP
Hannah_at_APPAdministrator

Hi Gemma8888, good to hear your update and that you are accessing further support with both healthcare professionals with the mental health team and also through work. I just wanted to share my experience of an occupational health referral and input with you. My situation was slightly different in that I saw someone before going back after maternity leave. So it was part of my plan in terms of returning and I too was worried about what they might say. However, the lady I saw was so supportive; a former midwife who I felt really understood pp and firstly congratulated me on getting through it and being there talking to her. This really boosted my confidence which was massively hit in terms of not only my capabilities at work but pretty much in all areas. She helped me put together a plan for a phased return and I knew there was further input that could be offered if I’d needed it. I felt more supported and understood by them than some colleagues and it really helped me through the following weeks and months.

Going back to work, at whatever level/ hours/ working pattern is a challenge when you have a baby. Doing so after pp felt like an extra “layer” and challenge and it was one that was really hard, looking back. But I’m glad I persevered with it. I hope you can find a good balance that works for you, and the right support too.

It sounds like a meds’ review has been helpful and having additional things on your care plan etc as needed as well. I found meds really helpful in my recovery, no matter how much I hated taking them at the time.

Talking to friends is something I found hard too at first. But it got easier over time and when you are feeling stronger in yourself, perhaps this will come too? I think I found it too challenging to try and explain, when I didn’t fully know how to explain it myself. I think looking back I was scared of reactions and that they might also feel upset somehow. But as my recovery progressed and I felt stronger, I think it helped them to see that and feel that they could talk about my illness without fear of upsetting me too.

I hope some of this is helpful in terms of sharing my experience. Please do keep talking to us here if it helps and I hope things continue to get better for you too. Take care, xx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Gemma888

I hope your week at work has been less stressful. Have you heard from occ health since your manager referred you and also the perinatal team? Did you see your GP for a review as you asked for antipsychotics which were in your care plan? Sorry for all the questions.

As I've said before Gemma, I think you're such a star and I hope your manager has made sure that others in the office don't take advantage of your good nature .... and you are learning to say 'no' in the nicest possible way :) Take very good care of yourself, thinking of you. xxxx

1 like
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Gemma8888

Hi lilybeth,

It’s still hard a work but I feel a bit more like I am coping. My boss hasn’t referred me to occ health yet but she gave me a form to look at which I intend to do this weekend. She has also raised it with her manager too as she was still pilling on the pressure and giving me too much work. I am hoping things start to ease off now that my team manager knows too.

I feel as though I need to be more confident with sticking up for myself in the right way. I always doubt myself.

I haven’t seen the doctor again since they increased my propanol last time. I have thought about asking for the anti-psychotics to help with break through symptoms but I was worried I wouldn’t be able to work which the doctor said would be the case. We spoke about trying the anti-psychotics which were suggested in my care plan but as I was suffering from intense anxiety atm I visited her she suggested propanol as the anti-psychosis on my care plan can increase anxiety and lack of sleep. As lack of sleep is a big trigger for me I didn’t get them.

I think I will arrange for another appointment with her to review how things are going now. Hoping I can see her and not another GP.

I haven’t called the perinatal team as they said they only work with mums till the baby is one and my daughter turned one in January.

Please don’t apologise for asking questions. I like being able to talk on her and get advice and support from people like you who understand. I really appreciate that everyone is taking the time to offer support and I am so glad I found this place ♥️ Xxxxx

Ps I have stated yoga in my front room and I am loving it 😊

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Gemma8888

Thankyou lilybeth, I am going to try and be strong a look after myself better. I know I need to take it seriously otherwise I will make myself ill again.

I will definitely see the GP again and I will ring the perinatal team too to see if they can offer anything. I don’t suppose you have heard of hypnotherapy? I heard it can be good. I bet it’s expensive tho. The truth is I had a traumatic childhood myself and I worked through some of this when o was a teenager but it seemed when my mother died in 2016 everything I had overcome had resurfaced. I think therapy might help whenever I find the time lol.

How are you doing? Xxx

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Gemma8888

Hi lilybeth,

I don’t think you were too over the top at all. I do struggle with reaching out for support and admitting when I need it 😂. I have always been the one trying to make sure everyone and everything else is ok. I now realise the importance of looking after myself after PP. if it wasn’t for this forum I don’t know I would have managed though.

Thank you for sharing with me too. I had counselling when I was a teenager which really helped. It was a counsellor run by a charity. I have tried it since but not found it as helpful. Not sure if I didn’t get on with the counsellor or if it was because the counselling was time limited (NHS).

I will ask again about the occ health referral I think my boss is worried about me leaving. Do you know if having occ health will affect my chances of jobs in the future? Not sure if I can refer myself but can’t see why I wouldn’t be able to.

Yea finding the yoga really good bit it’s hard to always make the time. I might even start planning it. At the moment I have been doing it twice a week but I have had to really make the time for it with the kids, work and life getting in the way.

How old are you lilybeth if you don’t mind me asking? 😊 I am 32 xxxx

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HiddenThis reply has been deleted
Gemma8888
Gemma8888
in reply to Hidden

Just wanted to say sorry if I offended you when I asked you age xxx

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Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Hello Gemma,

in my opinion age is of no relevance! I believe we all have gained such a depths of experience after a traumatic illness - I believe lived experience creates wisdom and I have met some wonderful women, who have been either suffering mentally and/or physically; perspective is just changing, because life is being treasured.

Whatever you do, it has to sit well with your inner self...whether it is within the work environment, in your family life or with circle of friends and/or family members.

Sometimes people just even do not share empathy...Management is breeding management and it is often all about personal gain, greed and profit making...it is important to outweigh the situation and talk to somebody you can trust.

I have been involved with some disastrous situations in the way how human resources and management have been treating employees. I also have been continuously listening to my partners union work...the crisis gets worse...where equal opps and human rights issues are just swept under the carpet....

Your health and your rights at work are vital. Work over load is not the answer to re-integrating nor allowing for recovery. You are doing incredibly well, reconsidering that there appears to be a lack of understanding by your employer in how serious your illness has been.

With regards to managing your mental health challenges; I suffer from severe anxiety, because of Bi-Polar...I could not go back into higher education as a lecturer, but tuned into the way how I want to proceed and prioritise. Looking after my mental health and being with my son and partner is the key to my happiness.

I have had Hypnosis and understand the principles of the fight and flight strategy when in difficult situations...However, Hypnosis and Acupuncture was of no help in my case. In the last 8 years I have had a lot of trial and arrows in order to identify what is suitable for me, so that I can cope with daily challenges... alternative therapy:

I believe that the combination of Meditation, Yoga and Reiki is helping my inner balance, as I have to cope with constant mood swings...

Wishing you well and please look after yourself...

x

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Gemma8888

How have you been today? I'm really sorry you worried you had offended me. I think we are all virtual friends here, chatting and sharing experiences and I wouldn't want you to worry. I hope work hasn't been too stressful so far this week. Take good care of yourself. xx

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Gemma8888

Hi lilybeth,

I have a GP appointment on 23rd of the month. It was my year anniversary since having PP on 14th. I haven’t had a chance to talk to my manager yet about the occ health referral. I have been getting lots of praise tho from managers and other colleagues which has made me feel better about how amazing it is that I have managed to cope. My husband is currently out of work atm and we are struggling for money so thinking of going agency so I can earn more money. I am planning on staying part-time but at least I might feel better about the work load if I am earning more for the amount of work I do.

How’s your week been? Xxxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Gemma8888

Lovely to hear from you ....it's good that you have an appointment with your GP on 23rd for a review. Did you have time to ring the perinatal team for any support? How did you feel one year on from PP? You should be very proud that you have come through so much and returned to work. It makes such a difference when you feel appreciated at work doesn't it?

I'm sorry to hear your husband is out of work atm. It might be worthwhile going to an agency if you think you could earn more money for the same hours. When I was ready to return to work, much later than you, I did agency work which gave me a good idea of my options and I managed to find a job which was less stressful. Hopefully you might also find a better work life balance, or perhaps stay where you are and ask for a salary review in light of being recognised for all that you have coped with at work?

I've had a good week, thank you .... it's been cold but lovely to see the sun at times!

I hope your time out for yoga is a good stress buster :) Take good care of yourself. Xxxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Gemma

I hope your week so far is ok. Just wondering about the date of your GP appointment as the 23rd is on Saturday unless perhaps there are weekend slots? Thinking of you .... take care. Xxxx

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Gemma8888
Gemma8888
in reply to Lilybeth

Hi lilybeth,

Yes the appointment is on Saturday which is different. This is my second attempt at replying as the baby has had me up tonight. I wrote loads the first time but lost it all.

I said something like.... I rang the perinatal team again as I did before and asked to speak to my worker but they said I had to re-refer myself again when I explain my daughter is one they said they couldn’t help anyway and I said not to worry as I had appointment with the GP. Tbh I am not happy with the service but understand that there are pressures and cut backs. I re-referred myself in the past but it ended up being just a quick phone call. Don’t see why they just would let me talk to her or anyone else on duty that day.... I think that it takes a lot to ask for help especially with PP as if your delusional you can’t see you need help and for me I was scared to ask for help in the first place. Maybe because I asked for help they thought I was coping by reaching out. Who knows.

I haven’t had the time to look after myself lately got a cold now which I think is probably because I have not taken good care of myself. Finished loads of really stressful stuff at work and then get ill. Looking forward to the appointment Saturday even though i am not sure what I will say. The GP seems really nice and easy to talk to.

Haven’t had time for yoga this week and have felt up to it anyway with having a cold and feeling so tired. I am thinking I will make time for it this weekend tho even if I don’t initially feel like doing it.

Spoke to a colleague at work today about have post natal issues, I didn’t say PP and it was assumed it was depression but glad I spoke to him as I knew he had mental health problems in the past. It was nice to share with someone at work. I am feeling really down at the mo but know it just feeling ill with the cold etc. After talking to about to my colleague I feel even more comfortable and a bit more confident with who I am. I used to have a moto when I was a teenager if you don’t love yourself no one else will.....

Got an interview Monday for a possible agency job which I am looking forward to xxxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer
in reply to Gemma8888

Hi Gemma,

Sorry you lost your first reply but thanks for persevering :) That's disappointing that the perinatal team couldn't stretch their boundaries a little, especially as it takes a lot of courage to ask for help. I was the same at times, wondering what people would think of me and my delusional thoughts. In my notes when I was in hospital the psychiatrist commented that it took me a long time to get to the point!

It's very tiring if you have a cold so I hope you can find time to rest and build up your energy. I hope your GP appointment goes well tomorrow. I think It makes a difference when someone takes time to listen and is easy to talk to, much like your colleague at work. Sometimes it's a relief to let your feelings out which you have been trying to keep a lid on isn't it?

You're such a star Gemma only one year on from PP, working and coping under stress .... always believe in yourself :) I hope the interview goes well on Monday, perhaps for a less stressful job? Take care ... thinking of you. xxxx

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Gemma8888
Gemma8888
in reply to Lilybeth

♥️♥️♥️ Thanyou lilybeth really appreciate your support. I was wondering about any group fund raising for the APP. At some point I would like to contribute and wondered if you knew about it xxx

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Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator

Hi Gemma

I’m glad you have managed to get a GP appointment on Saturday, I do hope that is helpful. I’m sorry the perinatal team wasn’t helpful, yes at the moment they only support up to a year, but it’s been announced that in the future they will be supporting for 2 years but this isn’t in place yet. But it’s really needed as I definitely wasn’t fully recovered after a year.

It’s great that you have had some good feedback at work and that you talked to a colleague. I was often amazed when I opened up to people how supportive they were and also how many had had some experience of mental health struggles themselves.

I hope your cold gets better. Take care

Ellie x

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Gemma8888

Thankyou Ellie xxxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Gemma,

❤️❤️❤️ That's a very kind thought for some point in the future. I think Ellie, who replied to you earlier and is one of the Administrators, would be able to share how to go about this when you are ready. Take care. xxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Gemma

I hope your GP appointment was helpful and the interview today is a good experience for you. Take good care of yourself :) xxx

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Gemma8888

Hi lilybeth,

Hope your week is going ok. I saw the GP and told her how I was really struggling after Christmas and that I had asked work to refer me to occ health but since I asked for the referral I was feeling a bit better. Like talking about the stress and the impacts of work load and lack of sleep with work seemed to help in its self. She was very nice and understanding as I thought she would be. She said that in future I can ring the surgery when I am struggling and have a telephone call with her if needed rather than wait for an appointment. That has made me feel much better as I know I have more support if I need it.

As for the interview, that went really well and I was offered the job part-time like I am now. It’s a bit of an extra commute but the money will be better and it’s just a three month contract so I do have to stay longer if I don’t enjoy it. The extra money will be good as my husband has only just gone back to work and is earning less now.

I was and am a little nervous about moving on from my job as I have been there for ten years. But I know this is the right decision for me now. I handed in my notice today so it’s all official.

I also managed to squeeze in yoga this weekend and I am getting over my cold. I am feeling more positive about things, which I have not felt for a while and I am learning to handle the bad days better as I know feelings/thoughts will pass and ease.

I love coming on here to update when things are good and when they are bad. Even tho it does sometimes feel weird and self indulgent 😊. I really can’t put into words how much it has helped me get through these past few months. Xxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Gemma

Lovely to hear your update. My week is going ok, thank you. I'm glad your GP listened about how you were struggling after Christmas and is going to support you by offering telephone contact with her if you need it. It must be reassuring that she is in the background if you need her.

Congratulations on your new job :) It's so good that your confidence is building and you are beginning to believe in yourself. I can understand how you must feel nervous but I think it is a step worth taking as it's all good experience. Years ago I left a job I had been in for eight years, due to work related stress and was apprehensive about starting over. I worked for an agency for a while, on short term contracts, which gave me an idea of the work available and helped with regaining confidence.

I'm so glad you're feeling more positive Gemma and have found a way to handle your bad days ...... I imagine yoga is a good calming focus too. Ruby Wax has a paperback "A mindfulness guide for the frazzled" which I found to be a good read. She gives a metaphor to help understand thoughts, "Picture your mind as a bottle of clear water with sand at the bottom. When it's agitated by thoughts or feelings, it's as if you've shaken the bottle; the sand disperses and the water is now murky. When you hold the bottle still, the sand settles, just as your mind settles when you watch your thoughts rather than reacting to them ......." Hard to do 'in the moment' but a good comparison I think.

I think everyone on the forum enjoys hearing your updates and having conversations with you. I know I've said it here before but you should be so proud of yourself just over a year on from such a traumatic illness, coping with recovery and finding a work life balance to suit your family ...... a real star!! :) Take care and have a relaxing weekend which is not too far away now. Xxx

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Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator

Hi Gemma

It was lovely to read your update, congratulations on your new job! that's brilliant, and such a huge achievement considering you have been struggling a bit..

Also great to hear that your GP was supportive. I know it just helped me to know there was someone there I could talk to, it can make all the difference can't it?

And I'm so glad this forum has been helpful for you - it was so important for me in my own recovery. I'd come here and waffle away too, but it's just so great isn't it, to know that you're among people who just get it.

Take care,

Ellie X

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Hazello
HazelloVolunteer

Hi Gemma, well done getting a new job! You really sound like you've got loads of helpful coping strategies. Hope that it goes well.

Hazello

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Gemma

I hope working your notice is going well and you are not too stressed. Take good care of yourself. Xxx

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Gemma8888

Hi lilybeth,

I hope your well and was able to enjoy the sunshine today. Just thought I would come on and give you an update.

My last day is 4th April and then starting my new job the 10th. Been ok just been busy with work. I do have some bad days like everyone else but not had any trouble sleeping or had any racing thoughts. Touch wood I am doing well 😊.

Feeling more stable now mentally than I have for a while. How have you been? Xxxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Gemma8888

Good to hear from you. I'm well thank you and did enjoy the sunshine today :) Thanks for your update. I think this year is going so quickly and it won't be long until April! I'm really glad you haven't had any trouble sleeping or any racing thoughts. That must be such a relief. ....do you think it might be because you are more settled about leaving work? I'm sorry you still have a few bad days though and hope they are manageable.

You have done really well to be working in such a short time and I'm glad you are feeling more stable now than you have for a while. I'm good, thank you and I think the sunshine makes all the difference. I'm touching wood too for you to continue to do well :) Take care Xxxx

1 like
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Gemma8888
Gemma8888
in reply to Lilybeth

Hi lilybeth,

I think since handing my notice in I do feel more settled because I have not been given as much work maybe. It is daunting leaving as I been there 10 years but I have to do what’s right for the family. Simply can’t afford to stay there and will earn more money in my new job.

It’s nice that I am starting to feel normal whatever normal means 😂 xxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer
in reply to Gemma8888

Hi Gemma

Lovely to hear from you. I think it does make a difference if you haven't been given such a heavy workload. Ten years is a long time but as you said earlier, the new job is part-time again, more money and hopefully less stress!

You are amazing Gemma, feeling more positive to move on. It is nice when you realise that you are starting to feel 'normal' isn't it ..... emerging like a spring flower into the sunshine :) Take care. xxx

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Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Hi Gemma, pleased you are making a fresh start with your career. Hope you will be settling in all right.

Health and happiness x

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Teresa_K_S
Teresa_K_SVolunteer

Hi Gemma8888,

It's been great to read your update. I'm glad that you have found suitable work elsewhere and as daunting as it is I'm sure that you will soon settle in. I think you are very brave to make changes and it shows how much your confidence is growing.

I hope you will be happy in your new post and quickly make some friendships amongst your new colleagues

Good luck

Teresa x

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Walking45

Hi, well done for coming so far. I too have suffered from this illness out of the blue. Can you keep olanzapine or whatever medication you had on standby so if you start losing sleep you can take one as a once off. Could you take up yoga or mindfulness? I use a sleepy cream from lush for sleep its lovely and relaxing. I am also half terrified of a relapse too.

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Gemma8888
Gemma8888
in reply to Walking45

Hi Walking45

Thanks for your kind words. I am not sure if you can use olazapine like that. I do have a couple left from before but not used them just come here and gone to gp for support. I had my antidepressants increased and was give propanal for anxiety. Coming off the olazapine was really hard work mentally and I struggled at times and thought I couldn’t do it. But time is a healer and the support from the group has helped me beyond belief.

I still worry about getting ill again but I am learning to look after myself now which I have not been good at previously. I have been doing yoga too to make sure I take time for myself.

How long ago did you suffer with pp? Xxx

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Walking45
Walking45
in reply to Gemma8888

I got it in October. It can be difficult some days but getting there

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Gemma8888
Gemma8888
in reply to Walking45

That’s really not long ago. Well done for getting through the worst of it. It really is a horrendous thing to happen to anyone.

It took me ages to have the confidence to come on here and post as i was still very paranoid for ages.

It does get easier you just have to learn your own warning signs of when your feeling unwell and have the confidence to seek support when needed xxxx

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Walking45

Thanks Gemma. Yes I feel its good to be very mindful & conscious going forward.

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Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Hello Gemma

I am so happy to see mums communicating with each other...Peer Support is vital. I am convinced that it helped me a lot throughout my recovery.

Look after yourself and take it all in stepping stones.

I am enjoying fresh air now and do some gardening. Spring at last!

Wishing you well and a happy day...

:-)

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Gemma8888

Thinking of you as you start the last week of your very stressful job ..... and onto new beginnings on the 10th :) I hope you are still feeling positive .... lately I have found Calvin Harris, Rag 'n' Bone Man's song "Giant" in my head if I need a 'lift' to my day!! You are a giant Gemma for all you have been through ... so believe in yourself and stay strong. Take care. xxx

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Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Hello Gemma,

sending you my love and support, too.

Changes are good for your soul. :-)

It has helped me on many levels and I always walked forward,

never looked back.

Take care,

x

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Gemma8888

Thinking of you and hope your last day went well. At least you will have a short break now before beginning your new job :) Take good care of yourself. xx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Gemma8888

I hope you are feeling ok and able to start your new job tomorrow. Thinking of you ...... take care. xx

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Gemma8888
Gemma8888
in reply to Lilybeth

Hi Lilybeth,

I am still waiting for my dbs to come back so have not started my new job yet. Been off work for two weeks now and I am feeling down as worried that what happened will affect my dbs. I know it can’t because it would be discriminatory but I can help worrying.

I have enjoyed the time off with my little girl and I have been able to get some things done around the house.

I just hate waiting for things like this. I have not been doing my weekly yoga as I was before because I had a cold and haven’t had the enthusiasm to start it again but gonna make myself do it this week.

I have also started having bad dreams lately again but still managing to sleep well despite it. I had a nightmare recently that I got unwell again not to the point I did before but it still upset me. It’s only a dream I know but I think I need to start taking better care of myself and making myself do the yoga as I know it helps.

I hope you had a nice Easter. The weather has been great here and our family did lots of nice things together for the Easter break xxx

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Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator
in reply to Gemma8888

Hi Gemma

I'm sorry you're feeling a bit low, and worrying about the DBS... it's not surprising as I imagine it is hard not having your usual work routine.

I used to work in care, supporting people with learning disabilities, before working for APP, and I used to have to apply for DBS's for people. Being ill doesn't affect the DBS at all, the DBS is checking whether you are on the protecting vulnerable adults list, or children's list, which you would know about if you were, and it's to do with people being banned from working with people, so nothing to do with your illness. And the other part of the DBS is to do with a criminal record, so if you have ever been arrested etc. DBS' can take a long time to come back sometimes, it gets stuck with certain police authorities I think. I do hope you hear soon.

I hope you can get into your routine of weekly yoga again, yoga has helped me too.

The dream you had sounds horrible, I suppose it is all part of yourself coming to terms with the trauma you went through, your brain is probably trying to process everything and it's not surprising I imagine that it comes up when you are less busy. I hope that you have people you can talk to about it as well as write here of course.

Take care Gemma, and I hope you hear soon about your start date

Ellie

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Gemma8888

Thank you Ellie, it good to know how the dbs works. I just worry to much sometimes xxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer
in reply to Gemma8888

Hi Gemma8888

Lovely to hear from you although I'm sorry to hear you are feeling down. I hope you won't have too much longer to wait for your dbs to come back. Try not to worry as you were in a very sensitive role for ten years so that must be in your favour.

I think it's understandable that we let things slide when we're not feeling well and haven't the motivation to exercise as much as usual. Take it slowly and try your yoga in stages, building up to where you were before you felt low.

I'm sorry you're having bad dreams but it's good that these are not affecting your sleep. Bad dreams are unsettling but at least it has prompted you to realise that you need to be kind to yourself and try not to worry.

I'm glad to hear you had a nice Easter break with your family .... I think the sunshine made all the difference :) I had a good time too, thank you.

I hope you will hear soon about your dbs check so you will be able to start your new job soon. For now, try to make the most of relaxing at home before your new work schedule begins. We are all here for you ..... please believe in yourself and stay positive :) xxx

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Gemma8888
Gemma8888
in reply to Lilybeth

Thank you Lilybeth ♥️ Xxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer
in reply to Gemma8888

Thinking of you Gemma ... take care 🌻🌻 Xxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Gemma8888

Just wondering if you have now had the dbs check and any idea of when you will be able to start your new job? I hope you are feeling a bit better. Don't worry about replying ... only if and when you feel like it :) Xxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Gemma8888

I hope you are feeling stronger and things are ok with you. Take care. Xxx

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Gemma8888
Gemma8888
in reply to Lilybeth

Hi Lilybeth,

I am two weeks into my new job. Once I chased up the dbs it soon came through. The job is going well. Still finding my feet but I think I am doing well there.

It’s quite funny as there is mental health awareness campaign going on at the moment so there are lots of things to do on lunch breaks. I took a full lunch break today to look into the mindfulness group they have going on. I met a Budda! He didn’t have a big belly but he seemed very nice and I have already done lots of mindfulness via apps on my phone. But seeing him and hearing about meditation/mindfulness was great. So I am going to try and go to the group when I get a chance every Thursday.

I had a nightmare again last night that I got ill again but I started my period too so I am blaming my hormones plus my husband was a bit restless which I think may not of helped.

How are you? Thanks for checking in on me ♥️ Xxxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer
in reply to Gemma8888

Hi Gemma8888

Just wondering if you are now feeling more settled in your new job.? I hope your new employer might continue with mindfulness and meditation during lunch breaks, every Thursday, now the mental health awareness campaign week has finished.

Hopefully you are finding time to relax at home too and can take a minute to see what a star you are! I hope you are managing to have a more relaxed sleep. Take good care. xxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Gemma

Good to hear that your new job is going well. There is a lot going on in this mental health awareness week isn't there? I think it's good that it's more out in the open and people are encouraged to talk about it now. It sounds a good place to work with the focus on the health and well-being of staff. That's a good idea to go to the mindfulness/meditation group, so I hope you can find the time as you settle in and find your feet.

I'm so pleased Gemma that leaving your job seems to have been a good decision and your new start is going well. I hope you have a better sleep tonight.

I'm fine thanks ... enjoying the sunny weather at the moment :) Take good care of yourself, lovely to hear from you. Xxx

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Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator

Hi Gemma

Really glad your new job is going well. Wow it sounds good with the mindfulness / meditation session in the middle of the day 😊 I really like meditation / mindfulness too and find it really helps me. I hope your job continues to go well.

Take care Gemma x

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Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Hi Gemma,

so pleased your job is going well and there is some mindfulness in-put in your working environment.

Yes, I have been busy with the mental health awareness week, meaning watching a lot of those programmes on offer. I am so pleased about continues awareness raising...

I put a lot of effort into parent voice at governors meeting at my son's primary school using my educational expertise and lived experience. I am pleased to say that this term they have been implementing meditation programmes, Yoga Monday afternoons, and teacher training will be happening on mindfulness, mental health and in particular learning about approaches with children and their particular and special needs such as sensory processing...

No matter what age we need to nourish our mental health on many levels, but intervention has to happen at an early age, so we learn how to recognise triggers and learn about coping mechanisms.

Communicating and journalising I find so terribly important. Giving people, who are recovering a voice is vital, so that needs are reconsidered, especially when re-integrating back into work.

You are doing exceptionally well...please continue to look after yourself...

Sending you positive vibes,

:-)

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