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HCCh
HCCh
44 Replies

I had an episode of pp in July, it was short lived, but I have been suffering with depression since the end of August. I'm on a high dose of antidepressants and have just been referred for ECT. Just wondered if anyone had a similar story.

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello HCCh

Thank you for reaching out to the forum and congratulations on the birth of your baby :) It's a shame that the joy of a baby should be overshadowed by such a traumatic illness. In some way it's good that your episode was short lived but I'm sorry you have been suffering with depression.

I had PP twice many years ago and suffered with depression during my recovery. I was very low for a long time and actively suicidal so I was offered ECT. At the time I was unable to communicate so the decision to have ECT was made by my husband. Like many of us here who had this intervention it made such a difference and not to be too dramatic, probably saved my life. As the sessions progressed I was more aware of this treatment but apart from a 'fuzzy' head afterwards I had no ill effects. I also had ECT after my second PP episode as I was again very depressed.

Thankfully I made a full recovery, although separated from my sons for months in their early days, as there were no MBUs then and I was under general psychiatric care.

I'm sorry this might be too long as I remember how hard it was to concentrate. Just before I go, I wonder if you have seen the PP Insider Guide "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" at app-network.org/what-is-pp/... There is also a Guide for partners and personal experiences on the page which might be helpful.

This is a great place for support ... take good care of yourself and rest as much as you can.

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Sally_at_APP
Sally_at_APPAdministrator

Dear HCCh,

I’m so glad you have found the forum. I am sorry you have had such a difficult time since July.

I had Postpartum Psychosis in 2015 after the birth of my daughter. I then developed severe depression, along with some psychosis symptoms too. This lasted quite a long time (approximately 9 months), until I was referred for ECT.

It is a very personal and individual decision to undergo this treatment. For me, I had been poorly for quite some time, and I had tried a lot of different medication, so it was the right decision for us. After a few sessions of ECT, things shifted a bit and it started to give me hope that there was ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. I did suffer from some memory loss for a few months after the treatment, but again it can affect people in different ways and this got better over time.

I am now recovered and feel that it was the ECT that gave my brain the kick start it needed.

Have you had information about the treatment from your team, so you know what will happen?

Take care, thinking of you,

Sally x

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HCCh
HCCh
in reply to Sally_at_APP

Hi Sally

I’m due to start a course of ECT tomorrow. I’m terrified. Any advice?

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Sally_at_APP
Sally_at_APPAdministrator
in reply to HCCh

Hi HCCh,

Thank-you for your message. I am not surprised you are worried; it can be scary if you don’t really know what to expect.

I was scared too before my first session. Even though I was quite poorly, so I wasn’t really with it, I do remember being very anxious. Like Puntatstic, I was worried about having the general anaesthetic (I have never been a fan of them) and about not really knowing what to expect. I spoke to the lovely nurses and told them I was really scared (I probably cried on them too) and I remember one of them holding my hand and calming me down. The next thing I remember was being offered some toast in a recovery room.

After the session, I felt a bit fuzzy and a bit confused. So, I decided to write a few things down before each session, so that when I came around from the general anaesthetic, I could remind myself why I was there and who was there with me. I asked the nurses to remind me that’s what I had done, so I could read it afterwards. This confusion didn’t last long, it just took me a little while to realise, which is quite normal after a general anaesthetic and the treatment.

The other thing I would say, is that I needed a bit of rest on the day of the treatment. Then sometimes, I would try and get a bit of fresh air with my partner or family later in the day if I was feeling up to it, as it helped a bit with my fuzzy head.

I will be thinking of you tomorrow. You will get through this, as you have got through so much already.

Take care and I am here if you need anything,

Sally x

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HCCh

Thank you both for your replies. They help make me feel less alone.

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello HCCh

I'm so pleased you feel less alone, which is exactly how I felt when I came to the forum some years ago. At the time I felt that I was the only one who had experienced delusions and was so relieved to find so much support and shared experiences here. As you say, your PP in July was short lived but I think recovering takes a while, especially coping with depression since August and the effects of medication.

It might help to also have a look at "PP Soup" - a nourishing mix of all things Postpartum Psychosis, the link being ppsoup.com.wordpress.com/ with clips and info including a Radio 4 Woman's Hour documentary "Unravelling Eve" featuring experts and women with personal experiences talking openly together.

Take things slowly .... wrap yourself in the comfort blanket of home. We are all thinking of you. x

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HCCh

Hi

I start ECT on Tuesday and I’m really nervous. Any advice would be gratefully received.

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puntastic
puntasticVolunteer
in reply to HCCh

Hello HCCh,I remember feeling nervous before my first ECT just over 29 years ago.My fear was a lot to do with never having had a general anaesthetic before.For the first one of the junior doctors came and held my hand which was amazing and I will never forget his kindness.I can remember it being over very quickly.The next thing I was being offered a cup of tea and a biscuit.My head felt strange and I was left to sleep for a couple of hours on the mother and baby unit while my daughter was cared for.My advise therefore is to let the staff know your fears and have a hand to hold if that will help you like it did for me.Also knowing that it can be a turning point in your recovery it was for me and I am glad it was available.You are in our thoughts xx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello HCCh

Good to hear from you. I'm sorry that you're really nervous but it's very understandable. I think if you can maybe talk through your worries about the session perhaps before Tuesday or on the day, the doctor and nurses will be supportive and reassuring? My sessions were years ago when I wasn't communicating so didn't know what I was having until I'd had ECT a few times. I can remember waking up with a 'fuzzy' head though but I think it really was the turning point in my recovery as medication alone didn't work for me.

I know it's a big step for you but you will be asleep throughout and in time will feel the benefit as I did. Thinking of you and sending a hug. Take care.

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello HCCh

I hope you have a restful sleep tonight .... we will all be thinking of you tomorrow.

Take care. x

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Sally_at_APP
Sally_at_APPAdministrator

Hello HCCh,

I am thinking about you today.

Try to think about later this evening and maybe treating yourself to a little something, you deserve it.

We are here if you need anything,

Sally x

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Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Wishing you well dearest HCCh, I am thinking of you today.

Always here to listen and I am sure that there are quite a few mums, who will share their experiences.

I did not have that particular treatment in 2010.

x

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Sally_at_APP
Sally_at_APPAdministrator

Dear HCCh,

Just a short message to say I have been thinking about you and I hope you get a good nights rest after today.

Take care,

Sally x

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HCCh

Hi Sally

Thanks for the message it’s so kind. I had my first treatment and it went well. Going home today and overnight. Next treatment is on Friday. X

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Sally_at_APP
Sally_at_APPAdministrator

Hi HCCh,

It is so good to hear from you. I am so pleased to hear you had the treatment and it went well.

Do try and take it easy if possible. We are here is you need anything,

Sally x

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi HCCh

It's so good to hear your first treatment went well .... what a star you are! I hope you have had a restful day at home today. We are all thinking of you. x

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello HCCh

Thinking of you and hope your treatment goes well again tomorrow. We are all here for you. xx

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Sally_at_APP
Sally_at_APPAdministrator

Hi HCCh,

I hope the last few days have been ok for you.

I am just letting you know I’m thinking about you today and hope it all goes well,

Take care,

Sally x

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HCCh

Hi Sally

Thanks for the continued messages I appreciate it. I had a treatment yesterday but don’t feel any better than I was. I hear that’s how it goes though. Rarely linear.

Have you had ECT?

Helen

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Sally_at_APP
Sally_at_APPAdministrator
in reply to HCCh

Hi HCCh,

I’m glad you had the treatment yesterday. I am sorry you do not feel any better.

I had ECT in December of 2015. I had 10 sessions over 5 weeks as an out patient. For me, something started to feel a bit different by about the 4th/5th session. I just felt something lifted slightly and when that started to happen it gave me hope that things might change.

I didn’t believe I was ever going to get better and when things started to shift abit, I couldn’t quite believe it.

You are right that it is not a linear process, it still took some time after the treatment for me to recover, but for me it was about seeing glimpses of those times.

As Lilybeth has already said, you have come so far already. Try to stay strong and hold on to any glimpses of light. And if you can, try to keep talking to people about how you feel and you will get through this.

Take care and thinking of you,

Sally xx

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HCCh
HCCh
in reply to Sally_at_APP

Thank you Sally. I’m really struggling with the feeling that I’ll never get better.

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Sally_at_APP
Sally_at_APPAdministrator
in reply to HCCh

Hi HCCh,

I am sorry you are struggling. It is such as horrible feeling.

I was poorly for about 10 months before I accessed ECT and I remember feeling complete hopelessness and that I would never get better. I had lots of people telling me that I would get better; health professionals, family, friends, and even the amazing ladies on this forum, but I just didn't believe them at the time.

I am telling you this in the hope that it will give you some comfort, that I, and others on the forum understand a little bit how you might be feeling. But also to try to give you some hope that things will get better.

However, I understand that at the moment it might just be a struggle to get through each day. It is hard for me to remember exactly what helped me at the time, but I do feel that the actual process of the ECT helped. It felt like we were actually 'doing' something to try to get me better, so I tried to focus on that and get through each treatment one at a time. I also used to write down any glimpses, however small, of things feeling slightly different, or a bit brighter. This helped, especially when I looked back and I could see some change in my thoughts and feelings. It may be too much to think about at the moment, but something you might want to think about doing, when you feel up to it.

I hope you are ok over the next few days and the next treatment goes well. Thinking about you,

Sally xx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi HCCh

I think I have written earlier on your thread about my ECT experiences years ago. I'm sorry that you don't feel any better than you were. I think this is how it was for me as I have read from my notes that I had six treatments to start with before I was 'back in the room'. It is a challenge but I think if you can be reassured by your care team, you will feel a difference as your treatment continues. Take good care of yourself and try not to worry .... your courage has carried you so far.

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello HCCh

I'm so sorry to hear in your reply to Sally that you are really struggling with the feeling that you will never get better. I think when I was feeling so low and depressed I never imagined I could be well again.

I was recovering from PP and then what seemed like an endless depression hit me and I was in such distress. As my first son was six at the time (although I had treatment after my first PP) I was treated by the Home Treatment Team and visited and monitored every day. I wonder if you could ask for more visits at home from a support worker or someone to sit and talk about your worries?

In times of crisis I spent weeks as an inpatient in a local psychiatric unit but after being discharged I was still actively suicidal. Having ECT, sometimes as an outpatient, really made a difference but I needed a fair number of treatments to help me.

I understand how you must feel and have shared my experience in the hope that it gives you hope. This treatment really was a game changer for me and also the support of the many brave women on the forum reminded me many years later that I wasn't alone. As Sally has said, please keep talking to people to express how you feel. I'm sorry you're struggling as it's a hard place to be but you really can and will feel better, just take things slowly in your own time.

I hope some of this has helped. Just believe in yourself and how strong you have been .... take one step at a time for now. We are all thinking of you.

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Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Sending you my love, too. How are you at the moment HCCh?

I want to give you also some encouragement.

PPP is such a traumatising experience and of course very unique in each case.

I am so sorry that you struggle, but I know from reading books and the exchange of experience on this site that ECT has helped many women.

I was on very traditional meds and hospitalised in a psychiatric mixed gender unit.

Despite my negative experience in the hospital, eventually my recovery was on its path once I was back in my own sanctuary with my partner and baby.

Wishing you well from the bottom of my heart and you will recover in time. Women on this forum are amazing mums and survivors.

Your body, mind and soul needs time to heal, all in stepping stones.

Take good care and remember we are on the other end & listen

x

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello HCCh

Thinking of you and hope you are ok. Take care .... we are all here for you.

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HCCh
HCCh
in reply to Lilybeth

Thanks Lilybeth. I had another treatment today and I did nothing but cry for hours afterwards.

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello HCCh

Good to hear from you. I think you're amazing going for treatment as you are far more aware of what's happening than I was.

I think crying is a way of letting your feelings out, so in a way it's a stress release. It's very hard being depressed and I did wonder whether I would ever be well again but the treatment sessions eventually made such a difference to my whole outlook.

As well as 'talking' here I hope you have a support worker or someone you can open up to about any worries you might have. Take care .... I hope you sleep well tonight and have a good rest tomorrow. We are all here for you. ❤️️

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello HCCh

I'm sorry you were so upset yesterday and hope you have a good rest today. Take care .... we are all thinking of you.

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Sally_at_APP
Sally_at_APPAdministrator

Hi HCCh,

I am sorry you were so upset yesterday. I hope you are feeling a bit better today.

What you are going through is just so so hard and so heart breaking some days. But I agree with Lilybeth that sometimes it can be a kind of release of emotions, although sad ones I know. I also think the treatment is a really big thing to go through, so it is not surprising you are feeling emotional.

I remember a specific day when I just totally broke down and sobbed my heart out for a few hours. It was when I finally realised everything I had been through. I look back to that day now and think about how far I have come.

I know this may not help you at this moment in time, but I say it to give you some hope, that things will get better.

I hope you are ok today. Stay strong, you’ve come through so much already,

Sally x

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HCCh
HCCh
in reply to Sally_at_APP

Thank you Sally. All I have really is this forum for understanding. I feel very alone.

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Sally_at_APP
Sally_at_APPAdministrator
in reply to HCCh

Hi HCCh,

I am sorry you feel alone, we are here for you.

Is there anyone you can talk to about how you are feeling? One thing that I think helped me through everything, was that I tried to keep talking to people about how I was feeling. Although they couldn't totally understand what I was going through, it did help me to get things off my chest, and also helped me to make sense of things a bit.

I hope you have a restful day.

Take care and I am thinking of you,

Sally x

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello HCCh

I'm sorry you feel very alone.

It's a very difficult treatment to go through and we understand how much courage it takes, as well as coping with depression and the effects of medication. I found it very hard to cope at home but having the treatment as well as antidepressants did eventually help me find my place again.

Is it possible to ask your GP or care team if you could have talking therapy too? Or can someone from the perinatal mental health team step in to visit on a regular basis, just for company and reassurance?

Also I think some mums have been helped via Home-Start if you would consider this at home-start.org.uk/

It's not easy when you're weighed down with depression but there is hope if you can stay strong. As another distraction I found music helped .... one day in a shoe shop I heard a song which I later found was "I'm going all the Way" by Sounds of Blackness and the words were so much about the way I felt at the time, the intro being

"Whatever it take to make it I'm going all the way

I may be down sometimes

But I won't be down always ....... "

(Still available on YouTube and helps me even to this day ...)

I hope some of this is helpful. We are all here .... you're not on your own but part of this unique band of brave mothers! Take care.

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Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

How are you today dearest HCCh?

Some lovely replies above with some great links.

When I need encouragement I use literature and poetry, too as Lilybeth suggested.

Maybe you would like to look up the poem below, - it has helped me tremendously in times of struggles.

After a while you learn… by Veronica A. Shoffstall (1971)

Sending you love and kindness. x

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HCCh
HCCh
in reply to Pikorua

I am struggling Pikorua. Nothing seems to be working. Everything makes me feel the same or worse.

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EmiMum
EmiMum
in reply to HCCh

Hi HCCh,

I am very sorry you are feeling so low at the moment. I was also very depressed after my episode of ppp a year ago. Everything seemed insurmountable at the time, just making a very small list of things to do in a day was impossible.

I didn't have ECT at the time, I was only on medication to overcome depression, so I can't offer insight on it I am afraid.

One thing that def helped in my recovery was to do some physical activity, I would do 20 minutes of yoga a day. And slowly I started to see an improvement on my mood. It took me a very long time.

Of course this varies from person to person. But I feel a huge sympathy for you, because it is a very tough time. I am so sorry HCCh. But you will be able to overcome this, there will be a time when you will be able to look back on this and say, I am through it.

Sending my love, take good care. Thinking of you

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Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Hello HCCh,

I am so sorry that you are struggling.

I find my lows particularly difficult, but my partner says he can approach me better than being on my manic journeys. We are both on a different path of recovery, but I have great compassion for the way how you feel at the moment, even though your treatment is of a different kind.

As Lilybeth and other mums mentioned above, you will recover in time. I recovered from PPP, at the time I was extremely poorly...I could not look after myself and my partner was my full time carer for one year.

What do I do when I am pestered by my low moods (Bipolar 1):

- I paint more

- I can help others on the APP forum

- I work a lot in order to distract and give myself a focus, including reading, research, creative writing/journalising etc.

(and that is for each mum different, depending on situation and circumstances)

- I focus a lot on my son anyway, but I find playing with my son and laughing helps

- house work and moaning to myself :-)

- I keep my therapeutic routine and exercise (nature is a great healer for me)

maybe this sounds all too ambitious...sometimes I can not do some of the above things as I need to slow down and practise self-love, listening to my body and allow myself to rest...(sleep, listening to meditation music, read...)

I only can spread love, if I look after myself first.

Sending you much love...

x

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello HCCh

Sorry to see you were struggling today. I hope the replies have helped in some way.

You are going through so much that it's hard to imagine you will one day be well but you honestly will ..... and have so much to look forward to with your baby.

We are all here to lean on and 'talk'. Thinking of you .....

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello HCCh

Thinking of you and hope you are ok. Take care. x

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello HCCh

I hope you are having a restful weekend after coping with so much last week. We are all thinking of you. x

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Sally_at_APP
Sally_at_APPAdministrator

Hi HCCh,

I am just letting you know we are thinking of you and I hope your treatment went ok last week.

I hope you are having a restful weekend.

Take care,

Sally x

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello HCCh

Thinking of you and hope you have been ok this week.

Take care ..... we are all here for you.

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Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Thinking of you, too HCCh… wishing you well.

Take care.

x

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Mimimi1029

I see where you are coming from.. I didn't have PP but I struggle with severe Postpartum depression after unsuccessful treatment with an SSRI Antidepressant. It made me significantly worse and that made me very hopeless.. before the treatment I had hope things will improve but now I feel like I am stuck and treatment has no effect on me or makes it even worse.. I know you are here for positivity but at least you are not alone feeling like that..

And hey, eventually we will get better.. I know it's hard but remind yourself our children and families love us and we will find our way back to happiness.

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