Wife in Battle with pp : Currently my... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Wife in Battle with pp

Currently my wife is in battle with this PP and ina mental healthcare facility she is struggling speaking and isolating herself from everyone including drs and nurses she is very confused about the ability to to any certain task and delusional . They have just started her on a treatment of resperidol she has refused meds once but is taking it again now . I guess I'm just trying to figure out what else if anything to suggest or do for my wife while going thru this process out side of prayer and waiting and anything I can currently do for my kids and self in this whole situation . My wife has never been treated for any depression and had our 1st 2 children with no problem mental or physical at all. We are both believers in Christ and ive never expected to battle anything like this at all . our newest child Is perfectly healthy and no complication in pregnancy at all. More then anything I guess I'm just venting and needed to write this out to any other husband who may be going thru this also.

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Hello Wifeinbattle

I’m sorry to hear your wife is currently suffering from PP. I’m glad you’ve found the forum where you’ll find support and shared experience.

I had PP after the birth of my first child in 2012, no history of any mental illness prior to that. It’s a shock to say the least, and feels so unfair I know.

Are you in the UK? Is your wife able to have your baby with her or are you looking after all three children? I hope you have support around you? I was in a Mother and Baby Unit with our son and my husband travelled every day to visit us. I know it was so hard for him and he didn’t have other children to look after and worry about. Are the children able to visit your wife too or is she too poorly at the moment?

I don’t know if you’ve seen APP’s insider guide for partners - app-network.org/what-is-pp/... - I’m sure you’ll find helpful information in there when you have the headspace to have a look through.

For me, when I was acutely psychotic I wouldn’t even look at my husband - I didn’t believe he was real. He then became the one person I trusted and I’d wait for his visits every day and barely speak to anyone else. I’m sure he was terrified and confused but to me he was calm and constant and represented love and reassurance. Just being there for your wife is enough for now, reassure her that she’ll be ok. Hopefully her care team are keeping you well informed too, and making sure you understand what’s going on.

Your wife will get better with the right care and treatment, and hopefully once she starts responding to medication you’ll see progress. Maybe take her some familiar things from home, photos and anything she might find a comfort, her own pillow or blanket perhaps?

Look after yourself too, I’m sure it’s a huge strain and worry and I do hope you have support - mum and baby tend to be the focus but partners need support too!

Take care and I hope your wife starts to get better soon, it can be a long process but she will get better.

Best wishes,

Jenny

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I actually live in Texas USA she is not allowed to see the children yet as she was a danger to herself amd the new baby. My Mom and sister have been tremendous help with the kids so I can still get some work done as I am self Employed . She has been in the mental hospital for 5 days now and only taken her med 2 times. I only get to visit 3 days a week as of today will be the first visit. I will bring something from home to see if it may help spark a memory and keep her motivated to continue to take her medicine. Thank you for your response I will keep posted on her update. I'm keeping the Faith that she will be healed by Gods Mercy !

Jimmy

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Hi Wifeinbattle Jimmy

I'm so sorry your wife is very unwell at the moment. For many of us PP strikes out of the blue, so it is such a shock and very hard to understand at first. I had PP many years ago and was sectioned to general psychiatric care for my own safety, without my sons.

I hope your visit goes well today and your wife will be encouraged to take her medication to keep her stable. I think perhaps at this early stage she will be very confused and worried about what has happened. Hopefully the link given by Jenny to the Insider Guides might help you to reassure your wife that she will eventually recover but at the moment it must be a lot to come to terms with.

I wonder, did you find the forum via Postpartum Support International at postpartum.net/? On their page it is possible to find support local to you, if needed. Under 'Getting Help' you can click on "Postpartum Psychosis Help" go to "Find Local Support and Help" and there is a map of the US and Texas is in the menu. Just a thought for you but you are always very welcome here. It's very good that you have family support at such a worrying time. Please be reassured that with good medical care and support your wife will be well again. Take good care of yourself too.

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Hi Jimmy

Thank you for the update. That’s hard, only being able to visit 3 days a week and your wife being apart from the children, but it’s good that she’s safe and being cared for, one step at a time.

My sister lives in the US and also spent some time in a psychiatric hospital after their third child (no issues after the first two), I know the set up is much different there to the UK. She too made a full recovery, and there was no damage to any of her relationships with her children if that’s a concern.

I’m glad to hear you have good support from your mum and sister, that’s great and I’m sure keeping some semblance of routine at home will be good for everyone.

It’s very early days for your wife and yes encouragement to take her medication is really important. Hopefully as she becomes more responsive it’ll start to get easier - I was incredibly paranoid and confused, and remember being so suspicious of the pills I kept being told it was so important I take...

Take good care and thank you for updating.

Jenny

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Jimmy

I had my first postpartum psychosis with my first born son. It the scariest time in my whole entire existence. I dealt with paranoia, insomnia and so much anxiety of being a first-time mother. I felt so overwhelmed that I could not even breathe. When I saw my husband I could not really recognize him emotionally. When I saw him I almost felt like a false version of my husband. Like an imposter that looked like my husband. He was also stressed with having a newborn child. I saw a lot of anger and frustration that I had never really seen before have our son. I started going inward thinking that I was in a false reality and this was not really my life. I could not trust anyone that was close to me. I had to just protect my baby. I thought I had to do everything in my power to protect him from my husband from my mom from sister the paranoia set strong. I was hospitalized for about 10 days unable to visit with my son. Once I actually had full night's rest my mind became more clear. I am here to tell you that even in the midst of the chaos of your wife's health. Hold on to the hope of Jesus Christ. I am here standing three years later still trying process what exactly happened to me in those first few month of my sons life. But this experience has made me stronger. I cling on to the verse 2 Corinthians 12:9 ““My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. I don't have to have all the answers. All I needed during that time was Christ was with me through it all. He got me through the worst time of my life. Your wife right now she may feel shame guilt and isolation because of her mental state. Just continue to pray that she feels the love of her Father in the mist of her pain. After I got check out of the hospital I spoke with many counselors but the only Counselor that could truly help me was Jesus he completely Set Me FREE. He has continued to set me free from all of the shame, Anger, Frustration and lies that enemy has placed over my life. I know he will do the same for your wife. It takes time to get to this point. I refuse to take any medication after leaving that hospital I did not want to be on medication for the rest of my life. I ran to Jesus for my healing and he healed me completely.

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So we are 4 days into consistant medication and she still has a blank faced stare. She is having trouble remembering things she told me on the phone and has a hard time just talking in person and on the phone. I know that with paitence we will see some more progress. My kids are doing we'll amd baby is growing like crazy. I am trusting in the Lord on this, knowing his timing that all will be well . It is hard but I know we will get thru this

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In the future when your wife is wanting to process all that happened to her a great resource is counseling with betterbeginningsfl.com/

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Hey there, I completely understand what your going through it's horrendous, and I'm not a husband or in your shoes but I was in your wife's situation and can explain what it's kind of like for her. I was also the same I had two healthy boys absolutely fine and when I had my 3rd which was my daughter 3 years ago I became very unwell and got sectioned.. For an attempted suicide because I had horrible thoughts and heard voices and was seeing things I was dilouaional paranoid and didn't trust no body. I was scared. It was the worst experience of my life you get completely lost, after a week they decided it was pregnancy related and called postpartum psycosis so I got moved to a mother and baby unit with my daughter and closely monitored I was there about 8 weeks until I could come home xx

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Hi Jimmy,

Sorry to hear your wife and yourself are having to go through pp, it is a terrifying illness.

My wife had pp with our first child, she'd not had any previous mental health illnesses, so was completely out of the blue. She also refused to take medication, in fact, at some points actively chucked it away! It was the steepest learning curve I've ever had. She spent a total of 12 weeks in an MBU but she did get better, it took time, especially to build her confidence after those initial weeks in the MBU.

I used to visit my wife in a mother and baby unit, just listening to her, when she wanted to talk, initially that wasn't that often but she did tell me, once she'd recovered, that she would wait for me to return, as I (plus her brother) were the only ones that she trusted; just being there to reassure her. It can be hugely frustrating at times and I found myself screaming to myself in the car on one of the days.

Hopefully, you have good family support around you, who can look after your children and give you some time as well.

With care and best wishes

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When she was in the early stages was she ok for about the first 10 to 20 minutes and then go into a stare like mode and just nod yes or no to questions ? It is very hard to watch her not talk or be able to do anything for herself like just brush her teeth and take showers while in the care of the mental ward.

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Many different stages I would say from our experience, ghost like staring at the wall, not looking at me or any sign of interaction, my wife wouldn't acknowledge anything.

The MBU was our life saver, allowing time for her to get treatment and support but also having our baby near to her, but there were days that she just couldn't care for him at all.

I'd visit and there were times when very little was said at all, other times when she couldn't remember that we were married.

Eventually though and once the meds were sorted and starting to work, we slowly saw better days mixed in with the bad ones, a very up and down path to recovery though.

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Hi Wifeinbattle,

I just wanted to say I am so sorry you and your family are going through this at the moment, it must be a very worrying and scary time for you, but it sounds like you are doing the right things and reaching out to people. You have had some lovely replies on here and I do hope they will bring you some comfort at this time.

I too had postpartum psychosis in 2015. It was a complete shock, with no history of previous mental illness. Our world was turned upside down and it was a very scary and traumatic time. However, with the right treatment and support, I have recovered. I say this to give you hope and to keep it in mind through all the hard times, that your wife will get better with the right treatment and support.

It must be so hard for you to see your wife like this at the moment. I remember my husband found it very upsetting to see his once confident and happy wife in a psychiatric hospital, so poorly and barely functioning and communicating. I think it would have helped him if someone had told him that I was going to get better.

I think you are doing an amazing thing already by being there for her, looking after your children and reaching out. Just being there and listening to your wife will help her, but keep in mind that some days it will be hard for her to concentrate, or function. For me, it felt like the brain had completely stopped working, probably due to the illness, but also the medication. I found it so difficult to think, talk, concentrate, and think about self-care. It was like my brain and body had slowed down and nothing made sense. I also had real problems with my memory and there would be whole conversations and things that I just couldn't remember. Even things like who the prime minister was. This was really scary at the time and I would spend hours with my husband trying to work things out. This got better with time though.

I also remember not trusting anyone who tried to give me medication. This was all part of the illness and I just thought everyone was conspiring to poison me. I used to wait for my husband too and tell him all the things I thought the nurses and staff had been trying to do to me. It must have been so hard for him, but it was because I trusted him. Sometimes I found it hard and I thought he looked quite stranger like and sometimes I thought he was 'in' on the conspiracy too, but deep down I knew that he wanted me to get better and that he was trying to help me.

I am thinking of you at this time and hoping you can take some comfort in the posts.

Take care of yourself,

Sally

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So an update on my wife she is still in mental hospital and is now being givin fluphenizine oral and by injection she seem to be more active like actually going to lunch and dinner in the ward . Iahe trued to reach her for 3 days now on the phone and she has said no to my calls until this evening. She kept saying something about she was tired of seeing all the colors and wish I would stop forcing her to see colors . She seemed very irrated and did not really want to talk all she kept saying is she doesnt want to come home becauee we are changing on her to much and forcing her to see colors . I hope this is part of the healing process . I dont get this at all . I am glad I get to vist tomorrow I hope she will be doing better . This is a very hard thing to endure fortunately my kids are being really good thru this and my mom and sistrr are helping a ton with the new baby so I can still work to keep the lights on. I know that God is in the this and that his healing is taking place .

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Dear Wifeinbattle,

I am so sorry that your wife and whole family are suffering with the devastating illness of Postpartum Psychosis. I am glad that in some respects, you think that there is some improvement and hope that when next you see her that there will be even more. Recovery can be so up and down but with the medics and your support she will get better, as did my daughter.

Your wife is fortunate to have such a supportive husband and family.

Best wishes

Judith

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Hello WifeinBattle

I'm so sorry this is hard for you and must be heartbreaking. Please know that your wife must be very confused trying to make sense of what has happened and at times will say things which might be hurtful and out of character. It is very difficult when everything seems so real and frightening at the time.

I think your wife feels secure in the hospital and probably doesn't feel strong enough yet to leave. This is how it was for me ....... it was a safe place although I didn't have my son with me as there were no facilities in the psychiatric hospital years ago. Over time I was allowed home at first for an afternoon, then one night, progressing to a weekend and soon realised that I would rather be home than in hospital.

I hope your wife will be doing better when you visit. It's good that she is more active in the ward and mobile. I know it must seem that PP is far from a temporary illness at the moment but it is very treatable and your wife will eventually recover. I'm glad you have the support of family as it is very hard to come to terms with what's happening in these early stages. Take good care ..... we are all here to listen.

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Hello Wifeinbattle

Thank you for the update, it’s good to hear your wife is showing some improvements and being a bit more active.

At this stage I think all you can do is take things day by day, it may take some time but your wife will get better.

I hope your visit tomorrow goes ok. I remember my husband’s visits meaning so much to me, but at the same time being so very confused and not really able to communicate, my mind was so muddled. It must be so hard being on the other side of that confusion, but things will start falling back into place eventually.

I had a thing about colours too - I thought I ‘was’ colour at one stage, all very abstract. I think some people also find their senses really heightened, to the point it’s almost too much...

I’m glad you’ve got good support and the kids are doing well.

Take good care and good luck tomorrow.

Jenny

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Hi Wifeinbattle

I know I haven't written on this thread to you yet, but I have been following it, and I know you have had such good support here.

I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through such an awful time, and that your wife has postpartum psychosis. I had pp in 2011 after the birth of my son.

How did your visit go yesterday, or perhaps it was the day before now? it will take time for your wife to respond to the medication (sometimes it can take a while to find the right combination of medication), and for the psychotic and unusual thoughts (such as her thoughts about colours) to go.

My partner had to travel to see me in hospital too, and would visit every weekend. I remember a time where I refused to speak with him on the phone too, he must have been so worried. I just want to reassure you that this really is all part of the illness and she will come through this. It is the illness talking, and not really her.

My son is nearly 8 years old now, I am recovered, and now work for APP. Your wife really is going to come through it, and even perhaps good things will come of it, for all of you. That has certainly been my experience, though it was so awful and traumatic at the time.

Take care, I hope you have all the support you need too, Ellie

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Update on my wife is that she is being diagnosed as catatonic and the dr is wanting to pursue electroshock therapy . I am blown away that im even having to say this I dont know what other treatments if any could be done for my wife . her memory has returned somewhat but she is extremely sluggish and very slow to respond to anything . lots of blank staring again after a weekend of what looked to be great progress in her ability to communicate and just really weak muscle wise unable to stand or doing any phyical activity for a given amount of time . I am worried that it is the medicine she is on is causing some of this Idk . I'm so lost right now on what to do . but really at the mercy of practicing Drs that have really a small clue of whats going on with my wife. I apologize for venting on here its just I'm so frustrated and I'm trying to get that peace from God about this but finding it extremely difficult.

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Hello Wifeinbattle

Good to hear from you .... this is the place to come to vent as we are all here to listen and know how difficult it must be for you. The prospect of ECT is a lot to process but perhaps I can reassure you. When I had PP I was unresponsive to medication alone and not communicating. I wasn't able to agree to ECT treatment myself so my husband was left to decide for me.

From my notes, after the first course of ECT in tandem with medication I began to communicate and was back in the room. I am so grateful that I received this treatment as it really saved me from a rapid decline. I'm sorry this is such a weight on your shoulders and your wife is struggling to be well but with good medical care she will recover. We are all here to lean on ... take care.

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Hi Wifeinbattle

I'm really sorry to hear that your wife isn't responding too well to just medication, and the doctors are suggesting ECT. As Lilybeth says I imagine that is such a lot to process. I think a lot of us have a perception of ECT as a very extreme treatment.

I didn't have ECT myself, but I have heard many stories of women who had postpartum psychosis, who had ECT treatment (either because they weren't responding well enough / recovering quick enough with just medication, and/or like your wife they were in quite a catatonic state) and they swear that the ECT saved their life and made a big difference to their recovery, and they began to really turn a corner after they had it, as Lilybeth says herself. I hope some more people can write to you about their experience of ECT.

You are coping with so much though Wifeinbattle. Stay strong, it may seem that your wife will never get better, but she really will - she is going to come through this, this really is temporary, and you will have the family life you hoped for.

Thinking of you, take care,

Ellie X

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Hi Wifeinbattle,

Your recent update could have been written by my husband as it so well describes what happened when I had PP, so I did have a course of ECT too. I know it's a scary thought but I believe that it in fact was very helpful for me. Medication wasn't working, or at least quickly enough, and I was becoming dangerously ill (physically as well as mentally). The ECT did really help and after the initial sessions whilst I was under a section, I agreed to continue the rest of the course of about 12, as I was so scared of what had happened and that I had "lost" a few weeks completely that I didn't want to go back there. Continuing medication alongside treatment (and also after it) was then the key to my ongoing treatment and eventual recovery.

I hope this gives you some reassurance; whilst some of my memory loss of those early days may be due to the ECT, I think it's also linked to the trauma of the PP itself and to be honest, there not being anything that I need to remember from those awful days and weeks. Of course, my husband does remember it and I will be forever grateful for all the love and support he gave me, as I am sure you are doing for your wife. It might not feel like it, but you are doing an amazing thing, and venting your feelings here, or however is helpful to you, is really important for you too.

Here are a couple of links about ECT, if helpful for you and others reading here (I remember being given a leaflet, which hopefully you have had from the Drs if they are considering this for your wife too):

app-network.org/wp-content/... (p7 of the APP Partners Guide talks about ECT)

The Royal College of Psychiatrists page is currently being updated but is here: rcpsych.ac.uk/mental-health...

rethink.org/advice-and-info...

I hope that things are improving for your wife. Of course it is a really personal choice, as with a lot of treatments, but I hope it's reassuring to know that although it sounds so scary, the Drs will have tried lots of other things before considering it, and also that it can be helpful for people too. Thinking of you and wishing you all the very best, xx

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So update on my wife is she is almost all back mentally and without the use of ect they used cojentin to bring her out of the catatonic state she has been moved to a different ward . more relaxed environment to recover the rest of the week. She is only on one drug right now and that is the cojentin that they will be stepping her down off of The Dr is hopeful to be able to release her by Friday to come home . I had a really great talk with my wife on the phone last night and she sounds great . Only thing is she has a horrible rash all over body and blister in her mouth some reaction to one of the drugs she was on. I pray that the Benadryl will get rid of the rash today . I can barley contain myself has this has been so exciting to speak with MY Wife again and know her voice. God is Good and he is worthy to be Praised . Thank you Jesus !!

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Hello Wifeinbattle

So good to hear that your wife is battling her way through the awful time she has been going through. It must have been a relief to talk to her on the phone and hear the voice you have missed so much. I hope the rash and ulcer clears up and she will be home with you and your family soon to continue her recovery. Take care.

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Hello Wifeinbattle,

I am so chuffed for you, quite the breakthrough, your wife is coming through bit by bit, she is a very brave woman. I had ppp back in October last year and it was extremely hard on my husband to see me sink so low, at some point he couldn't see how I could go back to my old self - but that I did, as did the other mothers on this forum. Hope that the rash has cleared up and that all is set in place for going home tomorrow - how exciting. I wish you all the best in your recovery journey, it is a long one, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. And congratulations on the birth of your baby, too!

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Hello Wifeinbattle

I hope the doctor felt your wife was well enough to return home to your care on Friday. It took me a while to settle when I went home for good, so your wife may or may not need time to adjust. Take care ..... thinking of you and your family.

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We are home she is having trouble getting comfortable with all the soreness in her body . From the sideaffects of the meds that made her sleep so much and also the pschy meds causing her cataonia . I'm hopeful that within a month of the meds getting out of her system she will be back to her normal self Thank you for the continued support. I havent even gotten to share this forum with her yet as her attention is kind of short .

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Hi wifeinbattle,

I've not spoken to you on this thread yet but just wanted to say how glad i am to hear that there has been some improvement in your wife and she's come home.

I had PP in 2016 and was in hospital for a month.

I'm a believer too and i have to say there were times i felt so lost and confused but i had one song that really spoke to me by a Scottish Christian singer called Steph Macleod "my father". The lyrics really comforted me.

I personally wouldn't have managed on to this forum when i first got home from hospital as i still felt like i needed to focus on the day to day but when i started to recover a bit more i started to question what had happened and feel quite shaken in my identity. It was really helpful to me to "meet" other women who'd had a similar experience as i felt quite alone meeting other mums at times.

Hazello

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Hello Wifeinbattle

I'm sure you're over the moon that your wife is home. I'm sorry she has soreness in her body due to medication side effects. I think with your good care and support she will slowly recover as she needs time to come to terms with all that has happened. She has shown a lot of courage to come this far. I think I had a short attention span when I first came home and my husband and family took things slowly so that I wouldn't feel overwhelmed. We are all here if you need us ...... take care.

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Hello Wifeinbattle

I hope your wife is settling in at home and the soreness in her body is fading. Hopefully her recovery is being monitored and she is doing well with all your good care and support. Thinking of you and your family.

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We are in a routine for the most part . she is sufferring from akathisia (an inability to remain still) . which is a direct side affect of the fluphenozine antipsychotic . so its been rough on her she cant stay comfortable but she is improving . from my research it takes a month or longer to clear out of her system when given 1 injection and she was given 2 in 1 week. I really think that she was over medicated but with Gods help we are getting though this! My mom and sister have been fantastic support through all this helping with her and baby and My other 2 kids so I may still work and make the bills . Thank you for all the continued support!

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Hello Wifeinbattle

It's good that you are in a routine most of the time but I'm so sorry to hear that your wife is suffering from such an awful side effect of the antipsychotic. It must be so tiring for her and upsetting for you to watch but I hope she continues to improve. I'm glad you are able to have family support as it is a lot to come to terms with at home and considering work to make ends meet. You are more than welcome to our support ... we are all here for you. Take care.

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