Postpartum psychosis devastation - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Postpartum psychosis devastation

Mamma6
Mamma6

Hello all,

I just want to advise all young mothers with new symptoms of postpartum psychosis to get help as soon as they start to feel unwell.

I had postpartum psychosis in 1990.

Yes, that was a long time ago, but the devastation it causes was the same.

At the time, there were no Mother and Baby units to gain help and support, so I was admitted to an awful place in the middle of nowhere.

I was so I’ll, I was sectioned for 6 weeks, in an old fashioned psychiatric hospital.

I didn’t know I was ill, and was married to an abuser unfortunately.

I was given no end of antipsychotic drugs but nothing worked, so ECT was mentioned. My husband said no it’s not happening to my psychiatrist.

Over the years my psychosis turned into a severe mental illness, so I have never really recovered from the initial postpartum psychosis. It has been a devastating, horrendous journey.

I was sterilised, as I was told I can never have anymore children, because it would be catastrophic for me and baby.

My daughter, who is now 29, has witnessed my relapses over the years, and my guilt is overwhelming.

Thankfully they found a medication that manages my condition, so I am able to cope with life.

I urge all young mothers to ask for help as soon as they feel unwell.

I didn’t, because I thought I would worry everybody.

I’m a grandma now, but the memories of that time are still very much with me.

Get the help you need. Don’t hesitate.

You won’t be letting anyone down.

Take it his advice from someone who didn’t ask for the help when I needed it.

X

10 Replies
oldestnewest

Hello Mamma6,

I read your post and thought how thoughtful you are to still want to reach out to others despite your own experience.

I can relate in the fact that we have daughters of the same age.I was lucky in that there was a Mother and Baby unit relatively nearby and I did have ECT.Things have definitely moved on since we were diagnosed and Action On Postpartum Psychosis is such a valuable resource.Stigma and raised awareness are still present but so much less than in our time and definitely here in the UK and previous generations.

So pleased to read about your continued progress and wish you many more happy days enjoying your grandchild.I know your daughter must feel as proud of you as you are her.

Poulson
Poulson
in reply to puntastic

Hi puntastic.

I am going through the change. I was initially misdiagnosed as having paranoid schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder and all sorts of things. I am not sure if I suffered PPP, but was hearing voices after my daughter was born, which was due to narcissistic abuse from parents and sexual and financial abuse by brothers and two ex-partners. I also have a son and granddaughter. I am now remarried to a lovely man. My mother will not recognise my new husband. She has been the bane of my life, along with the rest of my family.

It was a really stressful time in my life and the memories are still raw. I have been in and out of hospital for the last 30 years and sent to prison twice. I have sued the health authority for misdiagnosis and won my case and was awarded £25,000.00 in restitution.

I have now decided to press charges against my family and brothers and have involved the police. I have been involved with the Open University for the last few years and have received my Certificate of Higher Education in Mental Health Awareness/Health and Social Care and Psychology. I am going on to get my Diploma and Degree next year and the year after. Then I am going on to get my Masters.

Today I have put a deposit down on a website to promote my own business for Counselling and Psychotherapy, I would like to assist other ladies who have had symptoms of PPP.

I believe that mental health problems are stigmatised against and people who suffer from them are made to feel like lepers who actually suffer.

I hope you can find some inner peace some day as I now have. I definitely believe in God and what goes around comes around. My ex-husband made my life a misery. He died of swine flu in 2009, I was on one floor in hospital having cancerous cells removed from my cervix whilst he was on the next floor up dying. I have now got the all clear. What a coincidence!

Best Wishes X

Mamma6
Mamma6
in reply to Poulson

Hi Poulson,

My heart goes out to you.

Oh my, what a determined woman you are, learning so much and getting your qualifications as you have. Congratulations.

Please let me know when your website is up and running. I think it would be so invaluable to mothers with PP. Absolutely well done!

I too am studying psychology with the Open University.

I was diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder in 1996. Because I was left with no treatment for PP, it turned into this severe mental illness.

I feel so strongly for you that you get the justice you so deserve from your very traumatic past.

I hope life is treating you so much kinder now.

You must feel so proud of yourself. That is quite an achievement to overcome so much and to help yourself through all the learning you have acquired.

King Regards

Big hug

Xx

Poulson
Poulson
in reply to Mamma6

Dear Mamma6.

My website should be up and running in 48 hours.

If you would like to look at it you are more than welcome to.

I have got an appointment with my psychiatrist on the 20th of September and I have asked him for a second opinion, as he has diagnosed me with Bipolar now, which is a load of rubbish. I now suffer from Complex PTSD as a result of all the trauma I have suffered. I have read that many books on mental illness over the last few weeks it is unreal.

I have got some more qualifications in GCSE English with a distinction, GCSE Mathematics with a merit, and also Advanced Health and Social Care Level 4 with a Higher Distinction. It would be my dream job to work with ladies who have suffered with PPP, and now after all these years it is coming to fruition.

Best Wishes X

Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator

Hi mamma6

Welcome to the forum. It’s so great you’ve found us and shared some of your story.

I’m so sorry you’ve struggled so much, and didn’t get the right support when you had pp, it sounds like you’ve been through so much.

I really hope treatment and support is better now, and improving all the time. You’re so right, seeking support early is so important, people shouldn’t be afraid to.

I had pp eight years ago now and I realise I was so lucky with the support I got, a mother and baby unit, a quick diagnosis, and therapy when I was at home and it was still so traumatic and recovery did take time.

I’m so glad you are more stable now and have found medication that works for you.

Take care, and welcome to the APP community 😊

Ellie x

Revans86
Revans86Volunteer

Hi Mumma6, so sorry to hear your story. You’ve been very brave to share it with us here.

Gosh, a Granny now, how amazing!

You are right about accessing help early, I think it makes all the difference. As you’ve alluded to, PP impacts the whole family. I’m sorry you’ve had this happen to you too. I had it in 2016, I was lucky to have early treatment including an MBU admission. I can’t imagine how much worse your experience was in 1990 and over the years since not accessing appropriate care.

I’m really glad to hear your medication is well managed now, and you’ve been able to access suitable professional support in recent times. Just sorry it wasn’t there at the onset.

I’ve had counselling for my own experience which I felt was helpful. This was accessed through a registered, fully trained and suitable provider. If you do consider accessing support in future yourself or linking with others, I’d always suggest going through professionalstandards.org.uk . Well worth doing research on provision and support. APP is a wonderful charity and offers insight guides online, and peer support too alongside much more.

Have a restful weekend. Lovely to meet you here, and sending my best from a fellow PP mummy.

R x

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Mamma6

Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing your experience which in a way is very much like my own, although too graphic to share here. I had PP twice, years before your own awful experience. With my first PP I was sectioned to an asylum under mixed general psychiatric care and without my baby for his first six months as there were no facilities for him. I was very ill and medication alone didn't work so my husband agreed I should be given ECT. I'm sorry to hear that you were denied this treatment as quite honestly it saved my life as I was actively suicidal at home before being sectioned and also during my recovery. My second PP followed a similar pattern, although I was treated by the Home Treatment Service, except in times of crisis when I was hospitalised for my own safety.

I'm so sorry that you have feelings of guilt. For many years I also carried unfounded guilt and shame due to the stigma of mental illness in those days when my PP was a hidden secret and never spoken about. Since finding APP and the forum I now realise that what happened was not my fault and was out of my control. I was never told by my family the cause of my illness and at the time my husband was told not to tell me or anyone, for fear I would be judged. It wasn't until I met with Prof Jones of APP, when my sons were young men, that from my medical notes he was able to confirm I had suffered PP twice. I will always be grateful for his diagnosis as a weight I had carried for years was suddenly lifted.

I'm sorry that your psychosis, left untreated, turned into a severe mental illness but it's good that a medication has now been found to help you cope. I think it's very important to be aware of triggers which can take me back to such challenging times.

With more awareness of mental health today, especially with PP being highlighted, I hope that young mothers will be more prepared than we were to know when something's not quite right and reach out for help. There is no shame ..... it's okay not to be okay these days! We are all mothers of courage :) Thanks again and take good care of yourself. x

Dear Mamma6.

I have been under the care of psychiatric services since my daughter was born 30 years ago. I too had PPP and was married to an abuser. I have nightmares and flashbacks to this day because my family never recognised I was mentally ill. I, like yourself have never gotten over the initial PPP. I was sexually abused by two brothers and a cousin since the age of 7-12. I also suffered emotional and narcissistic abuse from my parents and financial abuse by another brother.

I am now finding it difficult to hold down a job as I have paranoid ideation that everybody knows my business. I am trying my best to come to terms with my mental illness but with each day I get up the memories are still there.

I have been in and out of hospital over the years and sent to prison twice.

I have been looking at my baby photo's again and trying to recall the good times with my children.

I 100% agree with you that anyone who feels like they are experiencing PPD, PPP, or any kind of postpartum issue should seek help immediately. I know better than anyone as my psychotic episode earlier this year landed me in legal trouble that I am still dealing with. Unfortunately I cannot go into detail about it, but it has been incredibly traumatic for me and my entire family. Because of it I am also not currently allowed to see my children. Being separated from children is something no mother should have to endure. I have been trying for many months to get better despite being away from my children and it is one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. If only I had gotten help sooner, this wouldn't have happened. Just as Mamma6 says, do not wait to seek help. Use my situation as a warning as to what can happen if you wait.

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