Hi: I suffered from puerperal... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Hi

I suffered from puerperal psychosis in 1995, where I ended up in a psychiatric hospital seperated from my 10 day old baby for a month..where I suffered lack understanding, mental abuse, neglect to a new mothers needs and my mental health really became much worse, my husband was able to get me a weekend home visit and refused to take me back..a month later when to a private clinic funded by NHS with baby and recovered.. but 2 years ago I started having tummy problems and had hospital procedures and appointment and one particular consultant was very unkind and said there was nothing wrong with me...I went home in tears..since then my state of mind has got worse and started getting nightmares and then all about the psychois came out and my fear that i was coming back...I seem to have trauma from the hospital stay, that I have never really come to terms with or I think being ill.....I see my gp every few week and have had counselling, but still am struggling..I don't know if anyone has had an experience like this, but feel pretty alone and have been reliving the past this past year..have a fantastic Doctor who has gradually gain my trust and help me to overcome the fear of going to see the pychopeople...

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Hello guinea1

Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing your experience of PP 23 years ago. I'm sorry that you have been struggling since your stay in hospital. I had PP many years ago and probably like you I was not encouraged to talk about it. So we carry on until something happens to trigger a memory of such a traumatic time in our lives and we are overwhelmed.

Did you have talking therapy, such as CBT? This has been helpful to other mums here just to be able to talk openly about their thoughts and feelings. I think this is perhaps what you might need as you have probably been keeping a lid on everything as the memories are so painful to recall. It's good that you have a doctor you feel you can trust. Perhaps he can refer you to a Psychologist who might be able to offer support so that you can come to terms with the past and move forward.

It's a big step to reach out but you are not alone now. We all have unique experiences to share and are here to support each other. Take care.

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Thank you lilybeth, I did start Cbt but they wouldn't let me talk about the past and was trying to get me to do things but I was already wa doing that and was many had this deep sadness..I am on the waiting list for trauma CBT and hopefully go on to EMDR 9 month wait, this has been recommended by the Psychologist. yes my doctor is great and has always been there for me and is saddened and angry at how I was treated in the psychiatric hospital..I struggle to come to terms with the whole ordeal and manly accepting why I was even consider that this was ok as they wanted me to lock my self in a room with my baby,(husband refused to let her follow me) which I was afraid of and couldn't care for myself..because you are treated like you are just another psychiatric patient and not as an individual, with needs of a new..I really think no mother should be separated from their baby or be sent to normal psychiatric hospital with patients who are violent etc. it is good to know there are others out there who I can share my story and hopefully with time be able to help towards change..but one step at a time...

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Hi guinea1

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I hope you won't have too long to wait for trauma CBT and can have regular reviews with the Psychologist for now.

I had PP twice. When I was sectioned the first time I was 23, taken to an asylum and treated under mixed general psychiatric care. There were no facilities for babies so I missed my son's first Christmas but I was very ill, so it was all for the best. I wasn't communicating in the unit and it took me a while with treatment to realise where I was. From there I went to other psychiatric units and eventually went home after six months. Reading my notes I was far from a model patient myself, argumentative and challenging and very aware of another lady who would sit on you if you sat in 'her' chair. It does take a long time to come to terms with all that happened but as PP is a temporary illness, I was so grateful to eventually recover. I felt sad for the patients I left behind still dealing with their own mental health issues.

It is sad that even today some mothers are separated from their newborns due to lack of MBUs but there are many brave women fighting for change .... one step at a time. Take good care of yourself and be proud of all that you have come through over the years.

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sorry to hear you had a bad time also..I did full recover after my daughter, but there was always this dark place which I have pushed away out of sight/mind as the unit private clinic looked after all my needs so came out well... and went on to have a 2nd child with no problems at all. At the moment just have my GP which is working and if we need support he ask the psychiatrist..the psychotherapist only deal with the the worst cases as funds are limited though cut backs..I am just starting to be able to speak about the ordeal at the hospital, I was just terrified the whole time there and it made me much worse that there was probably a good chance of me rejecting my baby....when I went to the clinic I had 1 to 1 support and did everything in my time and when I was ready. The main reason I couldn't talk before is it was so painful and shame and fear of hurting the ones who talked me in to going to the hospital on advice on the psycho?doctor/social worker who came out that night...Counselling has helped but only opened things up and then ended and am back on the waiting list..but my GP is always there for me and we have a good relationship though was rock at first he has gain my trust..I just thought it was all happening again and was terrified at any mention of maybe be mentally unwell. I know this GP is very important to my recovery and he believes and encourages me and tell me when I am too hard on myself........it is so good to know there are others who have been though the same as me and it is never too later to deal with it even if it is years later, though harder to remember.

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Hello guinea1

I can understand how you felt about opening up about your PP experience. I carried unfounded shame and guilt for years until I had the good fortune to find APP and talk on the forum to mums with similar experiences. There was such a stigma to mental health when I had my sons in the mid-70's / early 80's and my episodes were a secret.

I think when we have, or have had a mental illness it is very important to take care of our wellbeing. Even after all these years we can be vulnerable and prone to triggers. Peace of mind is priceless and I hope you find it as you begin to heal and have regular reviews with your GP until therapy begins. Welcome to this band of brave, brilliant and unique mothers :) Take care.

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Thank you I am so glad I have found APP and will keep my appointments with my doctor. I will also share this site with my GP as think it important to raise awareness, so mums and all concerned, have the support and don't feel so alone

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Hello guinea1

I was so relieved when I found APP too as everyone was very supportive. It's good to raise awareness by sharing the site with your GP as there might be mums and families suffering in silence. It's also a way of accepting all you have been through and moving forward to help others.

Take care .... we are here to talk if it helps.

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Thank you

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Hello Guinea1,

I am so pleased you found this forum. Welcome! I will keep it brief today as it is getting late. I feel great compassion as I've experienced a dreadful time in a Psychiatric Unit for 39 days.

I felt so terribly lonely, sort of stripped naked of my identity. I did not have anybody to talk to in a more delve deep way as there was nobody with PPP around me...I was lost in my own labyrinth.

But there is a bright side to all of this...my partner saved me and my son is my purpose, a beautiful family, despite my ups and downs.

I have had to wait for 5 years till I discovered APP at the end of 2015. I have connected with quite a few wonderful and amazing mums, despite my anxiety issues.

I experienced therapeutic diverse healing methods and I am still on that path of recovery...but also learning how to manage my newly discovered chronical illness Bipolar...

Deep down in my heart I know you will be fine, you are really trying to be self reflective and ask for help...

...it is a new journey...keep journalising, talking to the ones you can trust, allow yourself me-time and all in stepping stones...be kind to yourself...Yoga and meditation...all options of preventing or reducing triggers...

Hoops, my message got longer...I need to try and catch some sleep, hopefully soon!

Good night!

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Thank you for the welcome and sharing your experience with me, it is helping to know others have experienced the same experience though it makes me sad to think others are suffering and many will probably suffer without help..I am glad to hear that the help and understanding seems a little better than when I became unwell...but there is a very long way to go...I am seeing my GP next week and have sent this site ahead so can have a chat to him about how I can benefit.....as obviously thing are upsetting and trigger provoking so am just taking in little bits at a time, hopefully one day these stories wont be so upsetting to me...I hope that some how I will have the strength to be able to help other to heal...I think at the moment the most important medical person is my GP as he is patient understanding and knows how far I can go and waits til I am ready to take steps forward..I think this is a very important to anyone suffering.

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