PPP and the menopause: Dear Ladies. I... - Action on Postpar...

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PPP and the menopause

Poulson
Poulson
8 Replies

Dear Ladies.

I have read somewhere that the symptoms of PPP can come back to haunt you during the menopause. Is that correct?

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Anna_10

Hi , there is research to say this is true as PPP can return at high levels of hormone change, like the menopause. I had PPP in Dec 2013 and this summer suffered a very odd time. Depressed and bad anxiety which got in the way of my daily life. I gelt detached from reality but luckily no haulictions or delusions like last time. I was signed off work for 5 wks and was so low I thought about ending it all. But with the help of my Partner and my GP I managed to escape any psychosis. I'm back on sertraline which I think saved me. My GP said I'm going through the menopause and am also.on HRT patches. I feel so much better now, still have "off' days. Ask your GP for a hormone level test. They can see if it's raised, it could be start of the change Seeking help early, rest and lots of support are the things I use to help me. King Regards, Anna x ;0)

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Poulson

On the personal experiences page at app-network.org/what-is-pp/... you will find "Val's story : menopausal psychosis, the final piece of the jigsaw" which might be helpful for you to read. Take care.

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Jenny_at_APP
Jenny_at_APPAdministrator

Hi Poulson

There’s also a bit of information on APP’s website under the FAQs ‘Am I likely to have an episode of psychiatric illness at other times?’

app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

Best wishes

Jenny

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Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Hello Poulson,

in my opinion I can not comment on research outcomes as there is still such a huge research gap in exploring the affects of mental health conditions after PPP, such as in my case with Bipolar one.

The influx of hormones and its continuous changes certainly does not help females once they enter peri and menopausal stages, especially when having suffered PPP.

The affect of stress levels, but also the biological clock and choice of life style may will have an influential factor on our mental health.

My well being with my cycle bi-polar in my opinion is affected by the moon cycle and hormones. I am sure there are plenty of women out there who have been diagnosed bipolar before family planning, but did not no the possible consequences namely that there is a greater chance of getting PPP.

Wishing you well.

x

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guinea1

When I had come home from the MBU at Eastborne, my social worker told me I would get PP back when I reached menopause, this had haunted me over the years and escalated when things started going wrong as I was terrified of getting ill, drs and hospitals .... anyway one particular appointment he was just chatting and the as I called he pulled some off the kuplunk sticks out of my most hidden secret parts of me, letting the marbles down...so to speak.... I went away feeling terrified and went straight for another appointment when I broke down and let out about the trauma I suffered ..... with time it has come out to be PTSD... they did check me for psychosis....

I feel it wasn't a good idea the social worker telling me when I was still vulnerable that it could come out and without the support I desperately needed.... though I am sure things are a lot better now.... about support on how to approach this subject.... I can't thank my gp enough as if it wasn't for his support through the last few year and the support inbetween therapy, giving me the strength even to consider seeing psychologists amongst other things... not sure where I would be now.... I haven't really had any menopausal symptoms as such yet... but due to the relationship I have with my gp know I have that support what ever we face...

I know we need to be told about things that could happen in the future but feel there should be more information, support when you reach that time or before in your life, as I was absolutely terrified with the build up.... which I didn't need to be so afraid once my gp had gained my trust and assured me he wasn't going to send me to a psychiatric hospital and I had control of what happens to me... I also found support here and am beginning to heal, slow progress but had been held in for 20 odd years, but it had to come out sometime and we are moving forwards all the time.

I think if you are ever worried about things coming back at menopause, is just go and have a chat with a trusted GP, friend partner etc, as bottling up the worry just doesn't help , but I know how hard it is to trust, but glad I did find a doctor I can talk about any of my worries, I even get to smuggle one of my Guinea pigs in to my appointments for support. Take care x

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Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator

Hi Guinea1

Thanks so much for sharing your experience... So many of us do have in the back of our minds worry about menopause, and our increased risk of relapse. It's awful to hear that you had the experience of a social worker saying that to you, without really discussing it fully in a helpful, supportive and reassuring way, and when you were feeling really vulnerable and probably hugely scared of becoming unwell again as it was.

It's so wonderful that you have such a good GP who has been helping you deal with all the trauma from your experience of not getting the best support, I know you are going through such a journey with it all... I do believe things are changing, and that things are better now, professionals are a lot more knowledgeable about PP and there are specialist perinatal teams all over England.

As others have said above, there is some evidence that there is a higher risk of relapse during menopause, but more research needs to be done about the link between PP and an episode during menopause. I know for myself I just see myself as vulnerable generally, and that I must take care of myself - especially in times of stress, ensuring that I try to sleep well etc.

As I know others have mentioned on this thread, there is a second opinion psychiatry service at Cardiff University, with a team that are specialised in PP, bipolar, and also menopausal psychosis (they are a team of clinical psychiatrists who are also doing research into all these areas). I know a couple of people who have got some advice around the menopause etc and found it helpful. It's a free service and people can ask their GP or mental health team to refer to them. It's not really a 'second opinion' but more a 'specialist' opinion: app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

Do take care Guinea1, I do hope that you are doing OK,

Ellie X

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guinea1

Thanks Ellie,

Thank you, I am doing ok.... my GP is amazing and has been my rock in an ocean, he gives me the time I need, assured me that I am never wasting his time.... this is just what I needed to regain my trust in doctors and start my journey to recovery, knowing that I can safely say how things really are without fear of everything going wrong and ending up in a psychiatric hospital, we made plans so I could keep myself safe... if things go bad, until I can talk to him.

I wish everyone could have a GP /patient relationship like mine as it really helps towards recovery, as when you are in that between time in counselling or therapy you need that gp to support you especially when I waited a year for my EMDT though it is half that time now as things have improved thankfully.

Thank you for the information about Cardiff I will keep this in mind for future if things don't get better.

Thank you

Esther

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Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Dear Poulson,

thank you for your reply above. I am so happy that you have found trust in your GP and that you are doing fine at the moment.

Ellie mentioned about Cardiff University, and I just can confirm that I have received great support from the Psychiatrist team.

After diagnosis of BP my recovery process is not such a great hurdle anymore. It is important to have a support network in place, especially when one still struggles with mental health challenges.

Do take care of yourself,

wishing you well, Esther.

x

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