I have recently watched the Lois Theroux programme and have been reading more about post partum psychosis. I had a dreadful experience after the birth of my daughter and am pretty sure it was PPP although I’m not sure what my diagnosis was as my memories are patchy.
When my daughter was about 8 weeks my mental health rapidly declined which culminated in me phoning 999 and saying I had shaken her. I hadn’t, I was delusional but had some awareness that I was ill and was crying for help.
Police and ambulance arrived and we were taken to our local a&e dept.
I remember thinking people were trying to kill me in the ambulance.
My daughter was taken away from me and because of the allegation I had made she had to have a series of tests to check for physical injuries. A CT scan showed ‘appearance suggestive of very shallow sub dural haematoma’ ie a bleed on the brain caused by a head injury.
At that point my family and I were called to a meeting with social services and told we all advised to get legal representation and I was no longer allowed to be alone with my daughter and she would likely be taken away.
An MRI (a more detailed brain scan) included the findings from the CT were due to a ‘prominent surface vein’.
I spent time ?a night maybe longer in a general psychiatric ward and slept with medication. My family were given the option of a MBU but they opted for the local psyche unit as it would be easier to visit. I had been exclusively breastfeeding feeding and had to hand express into a sink on the ward. The diagnosis on discharge I think was ‘adjustment disorder’ but I was seen by a crisis team consultant after discharge who told me I was psychotic.
I had to be supervised with my daughter by my father in law (a police officer) for many weeks and had to also go through the horrific experience of being interviewed by the police under caution when I was still very fragile, they took no further action.
Life improved, i returned to work (as a GP trainee) but suffered another psychotic episode where I was sectioned when my daughter was about 8 months old. I was again on a general ward but this time many miles away from my family. Being separated from my daughter was very damaging. I remember bits of it eg thinking I was being injected with potassium to kill me, I was being restrained and sedated.
My daughter is now nearly 5 and life is improving. Sadly my marriage broke down, I believe mostly due to the illness, my husbands frustration at my slowness to recover and ultimately him finding comfort elsewhere.
I have returned to work a few days a week and have a new partner who is very supportive. It’s been a long journey but I finally feel I am making sense of what happened. Have carried so much shame and guilt about what happened but am starting to realise it’s not my fault.
I feel compelled to share my story with you all in an attempt to reach out to others with similar experience.
Love to you all.x