My postpartum story: I was diagnosed... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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My postpartum story


I was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis after the birth of my first daughter in June 2016

I was very unwell, not sleeping, talking jibbrish, suspicious beliefs and life was out of control. I was taken into a mother and baby unit in Essex which was brilliant and just what I needed. I was kept with my daughter and I was looked after well. I was put on onlazapine and had supervision most of the time.

We had routine and group activities in the unit which I responded well to. I particularly enjoyed the creative activities and mindfulness.

I was on the ward for 7 weeks and then returned home with my two month old daughter.

I had some help at home from the local psychiatric team and family and friends. After afew months I gradually came off onlazapine and went onto aripiprazole which works better for me. Luckily I have not relapsed and made a full and healthy recovery.

My daughter is now 3 years old and we both lead very full and happy lives.

I am new to this forum but if I can be of any help to anyone, I’m here.

Interestingly it was my sister who signposted me here as she suffered with postpartum psychosis afew years before me.

I hope my story helps someone, thanks for reading.

10 Replies

Hello ArtyLady

Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing your story. It good to hear you had such brilliant care in the mother and baby unit which enabled you to find your way back from such a traumatic illness. I'm sure your positive post and full recovery will give hope to mums and families who are in the midst of such a rollercoaster of emotions.

I had PP twice many years ago and was under mixed general psychiatric care after being sectioned. I admire your courage and that of all the other brave mums here. In the words of Elton John, thankfully, we are 'still standing' :)

Take care .... wishing you the best of times with your daughter and family.


Hi ArtyLady

Thank you for sharing your story here :) I had PP in 2012 and was fortunate to also have good care, respond and recover well, with good support. I went on to have a second son without recurrence of PP in 2016 so also have the joy of a 3 year old, such a lovely age!

Thank you for offering your support here, sharing experiences is so hugely important.

Best wishes,

Jenny x


Hi arty lady it's good to see your message on here. I too had PP in 2016, and found that it had a massive effect on my self esteem and sense of self however that has now started to recover a bit so decided to do it all again... eek! Optimistic that things will be better this time but have emotional wobbles occasionally.

That's a shame your sister had PP too, did that at least mean you were identified as high risk before and supported accordingly?

My 3 year old is pretty full on at the moment but also hilarious. He's very cheeky and loves to push boundaries especially by throwing things. Yesterday he threw his cup into the pond! So he's hard work but it's also exciting seeing what he learns every single day.

Best wishes



ArtyLady in reply to Hazello

I was high risk before she was born but didn’t get get support in the lead up to her birth. It all hit me afew weeks after she was born.

3 yrs is a lovely age- I get lots of why questions!! She questions everything but I love it. I’ve come some far from three years ago but just want to support other women in whatever way I can.

Thanks for your reply

Best wishes


Hi Arty Lady,

Looks like a few of us had PP in 2016. I myself in Dec 2016. Thank you for sharing here on the forum, I’m sure your words of your recovery can bring comfort and reassurance to other mums.

Particularly interesting having a familial link with your sister and PP too. Sometimes as I understand it these things can be genetic. Just sorry you didn’t get support in the build up, but good you found the therapy and MBU to be beneficial.

Lovely to “meet” you here anyway. And belated congrats on your now three year old! R xx


Hello ArtyLady,

so happy to meet you on this forum. I am especially curious about your name as I use my art not only as a hobby, but for therapeutic reasons. How do you enjoy your creativity? What do you like? I am painting with acrylics and any mixed media...I also run a workshop for this moment a pilot scheme.

My rejuvenation after PPP in 2010 from being a lecturer to volunteering and being an artist has changed my mind-set quite drastically.

It is so lovely to hear that you would like to support and help with your lived experience. It has been an incredible journey through creativity on a personal note.

I felt so lost and lonely, but when finding APP I somehow gained all the strengths I needed to make my voice heard again, whether it was through raising awareness with my exhibitions, or contributing to the development of the Jasmin Lodge MBU in Exeter, and obviously being actively involved on this forum.

With this special group of amazing mums I have learnt to come out of my shell again and trust.

Look after yourself,


ArtyLady in reply to Pikorua

Hi Pikorua

Lovely to hear from you

Yes I love anything arty, I particularly like drawing and painting as well and definitely use it for therapeutic reasons.

I am very interested in the field of art therapy as I believe it can be very powerful.

When I was on the Mother and Baby unit in Essex I did something creative everyday. I believe it totally helped me to get back on track and have kept some of the things I have made.

I have framed a painting I made with my daughter afew days before I left the unit as it really means a lot to me.

I would be interested in hearing more about your workshops for mums....

Lovely to hear from you and thanks for replying

Hello, I’m glad you had a good experience at the mother & baby unit . I did too when I got admitted back in 2014 after having my baby and being diagnosed with post PP.

Do you know if you will be on aripirizole for the rest of your life , do you plan to have another baby. I’m stuck in a limbo I’m currently taking aripirizole 5 mg one a day however I would love to try for another baby without it

ArtyLady in reply to Butterfly93

Hi Ramsgetfit25

I too understand your concerns regarding trying for another child and being on medication and I definitely think it is worth getting some professional advice on the matter. Maybe start with your GP and discuss your worries. Regarding trying for another child, that is completely a personal decision to make between you and your partner and maybe other health professionals. I have been advised to stay on medication in the long run

Butterfly93 in reply to ArtyLady

Thanks hun ! I have definitely spoken to my Gp and they going to refer me to a psychiatrist For 2 nd opinion

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