Negative symptoms: Hi all, I am... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Negative symptoms

XxAnnaLouxX
XxAnnaLouxX
21 Replies

Hi all, I am currently in recovery from pp. I was hospitalised for 3months in a mbu. I have been out of hospital for almost 3months now. And I am really struggling with how I am feeling.

My consultant thinks it is negative symptoms of psychosis rather than depression. I don't enjoy anything at all and doing things like getting dressed and making tea are harder than they were before. I am a lot quieter and feel like my personality has been taken away. I do get up and dressed and have just started running a little to try and get my endorphins going. I am so sad for the person I was.

My consultant psyc has suggested we try a higher dose of aripiprozole, I am currently taking 15mg and we are going to gradually increase up to 30mg. To try and combat these negative symptoms with medication.

Has anyone else experienced these symptoms :lack of motivation, lack of enjoyment, a blank mind, delayed response when talking to people. And if so what helped has anyone had any success with medication for negative symptoms? Or will time be the greatest healer and of so how long will it take. I feel like I can't live like this. I am not going to do anything stupid, but the the thought of living like this for an extended period of time does make me feel like life isn't worth living for myself. I would always keep going as I have a 5yo and an 9mo not to mention amazing husband family and friends. But that doesn't change the fact that at the moment my life feels like a nightmare and a prison sentence that I can't escape no matter how hard I try.

Looking forward to hearing other people's experiences.

Thanks for reading

Anna

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Anna

Welcome to the forum where you will find lots of support and shared experiences.

PP is a very traumatic illness and it does take a while to come to terms with all that has happened. I had PP twice many years ago and was treated under mixed general psychiatric care. When I eventually went home I found it very difficult to cope so you are doing really well to be up and about. I had a very deep depression after PP, feeling helpless and hopeless.

I wonder if you have seen PP the Insider Guides "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" at app-network.org/what-is-pp/... which might be helpful to read. There is also a guide for partners too and personal experiences on the page.

Do you have the perinatal mental health team to talk things over with? I think they will support you until your baby is one. I'm sorry if you already know this as you have other treasured children.

I didn't take Aripiprazole during my recovery so I'm sorry I don't have any experience to share.

Be good to yourself and take your time to heal. We are all here to lean on.

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XxAnnaLouxX

Thanks for your reply.

Would you say that you have now fully recovered and how long did it take?

I will have a look at the insider guides.

And yes I am under the perinatal mental health team. I am also under community team ready to transition over when baby is one in March.

Looking forward to being a member of the forum.

xXxXx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer
in reply to XxAnnaLouxX

Hi Anna

I'm very happy to say I have now fully recovered but my PP episodes were many years ago. Thankfully recovery times have changed now for the better. with the specialist care in mother and baby units being key and also after-care.

With my first PP I was in hospital for the first six months after my son was born. I did have a few days at home but became very unwell and was sectioned for my own safety. I remember my depression and feeling that everything was such an effort. I found that my bed was a sanctuary for me so I found it very hard to cope with everyday routine.

Six years later our second son was born and I had PP again. I have to say that there are mums here for whom PP did not return. After coming out of hospital and depressed again I did have regular support from the Home Treatment Team which was very helpful, although I did at one stage comment that there were too many people in the house!

I'm so glad you're under the perinatal care team and will have community team support next year. I hope you will find the PP guides helpful.

A very warm welcome to this unique band of mothers of courage :) There will be other mums here to share their more recent experiences with you.

For now, wrap yourself in the comfort blanket of home .... PP mums are amazing!!

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XxAnnaLouxX

Thank you for sharing X

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Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator

Hi XxAnnaLouxX

I'm Ellie, I had postpartum psychosis in 2011 after the birth of my son. I too was in a mother and baby unit for a little over 3 months, and the feelings you are struggling with now are almost identical to how I felt too... I felt like a shadow of myself, I am a bubbly chatty person and like you say I was a lot quieter. I struggled so much being sociable, I didn't feel enjoyment in things. Everything you describe was how I felt too...

I'm so glad you have found us. The first thing I want to say to you is that you absolutely are going to get better, and be yourself again. This is something I really struggled to believe, I thought my old self was gone forever, but I really am fully recovered. And more than that you may perhaps be even better, and find in time that even good things will come from the experience... I know that it is very hard to believe or see that when you're in the middle of it but that has been my experience.

Just to share some things that helped me, do take or leave anything I say. I'll be honest, there is no 'quick fix' I don't think - but for me these things helped:

Medication did help, it took the edge off. My experience was it wasn't a magic cure but it was an important part of getting well again.

Exercise (I went swimming, it's great you're trying to go running, I do think exercise can have a positive impact)

Trying to have a routine and setting small goals for myself, even very small ones like planning household tasks, or making myself go out even just for a short walk. I wouldn't get an immediate lift or a change of mood but I really believe that it was important to just keeping battling and make myself do things. Some days I didn't manage it, but the next day I would keep trying and trying.

I found support from a psychologist really helpful to identify and challenge negative thoughts I was having. I'm not sure if you've been offered psychologist support?

Writing one or two positive things at the end of each day. Some days all I could write was that my baby smiled, or the sun was shining, as I felt like I didn't feel anything positive, but I still think doing this did help slowly to build up positive thoughts, and to keep fighting it.

And it sounds very naff but time really is a great healer. My experience was that slowly I'd have good days, and these times would get longer and longer and the difficult times when I would struggle got shorter and shorter.

Do take care AnnaLou, know that you can write here whenever you want to, about anything.

Ellie XX

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XxAnnaLouxX

Thank you I am determined to get better.

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puntastic

Hello Anna,

After reading your post I can certainly relate to your current feelings.My first experience of Post Partum Psychosis was very nearly thirty years ago and I can still remember that feeling of emptiness and flatness.

You so look forward to returning home but a part of you misses the routine and companionship of the Mother and Baby Unit.There was for me a void where I felt disconnected from my former existence and my now.Days initially did feel endless and at times lonely.

Good to hear you have been for a run and you have a supportive husband.The suggestion of a small increase of your medication may help top your serotonin levels while you transition back into your world at home again and looking after your young family.

I was only thinking this morning about things that lift me up.Mine is definately music and I can sometimes forget how much it can help.One of my favourites in my recovery/recoveries was Labi Siffri,"something inside so strong"became a bit of an anthem.

It is good to reach out and lean into an unwritten understanding of that deep knowing.

Puntastic x

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XxAnnaLouxX

The days feeling endless is something I can really relate too. I do listen to music and it sort of helps .

Thanks for your reply X

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Mimimi1029

I can totally relate. I have to say I thankfully never had psychosis myself but I am suffering from severe Postnatal depression and anxiety and I had a few very bad experiences lately that added on to my depression. But like you I am determined to get better I am not the type of person who just accepts this awful emptiness and give up. I miss my former self and it hasn't even been very long my daughter is only 4 months old and I have exactly the same symptoms as you.

There is a post from a member here called "kaktus" and her posts really helped me because she experienced exactly what I am going through right now. So alongside all the other nice comments on here I would encourage you to give it a read especially her recovery story.

On top of that I am very active on here lately (almost annoyingly active lol) but it helps so so much.

You are definitely not alone with this even if it feels like it. And I can also relate to the emptiness and endless days.

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XxAnnaLouxX

Thank you for sharing and I will look up kaktus.

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puntastic

Glad music goes a little way to help.You are welcome and you will be well again xx

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Frankieb
FrankiebVolunteer

Hi there, so sorry to hear you are going through this. But really glad you have reached out. I had PP twice in 2004 and 2007, I made full recovery but unfortunately 4 years ago discovered I have developed bi-polar. The symptoms you describe are exactly how I have felt over my periods of depression. Thankfully I am well now and have been for two years but I remember those feelings too well. I also know its far harder when you have others to care for too.

It will pass, the medication will hopefully ease it. An active life certainly helps, I actually got a dog 3 years ago which has been kind of my saviour!

Mindfulness also helped me but you have to be in the right mindset for it to work. Unfortunately depression can have the effect of twisting your thoughts, making them negative, as you begin to come out of it they will go back to normal.

Its also really common to have feelings of loss and grief but with time these too will pass.

I look at my children now 15 and 12, they have no lasting effects from me being ill, other than compassion because they understand.

You will recover, you will get your life back, and in some ways it may feel even more enriched, I know I feel very privileged to be able to help people now and give back. I appreciate my health and do not take life for granted.

Wishing you well and happy to chat at any time

xx

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Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Hello AnnaLoux,

lovely to meet you here on this forum. You have had already such great responses from a lot of amazing mums. We all have a story to tell, unique and because of PPP.

My son is 9 and my experience when sectioned and early recovery was a bit of a roller coaster as I did not receive professional support via the MBU, but sectioned to a psychiatric hospital, which only a few moths later needed to be "refurbished".

When released, I was extremely poorly as my partner looked after baby and I full time. Drugs were making me very drowsy. The first 6 months affected me greatly as the side effects of Haloperidol and Lorazepam were horrendous. Nevertheless, my partner and I got through our traumatising experience and I weaned off after one year with the help of a professional support network.

However, nowadays I can relate to "lows", but usually because of lack of sleep, low concentration level, poor listening skills, sensory processing issues etc, because of my cycling bipolar. Routine, exercising, meditation, Yoga, volunteering and looking after my family fills my time table.

Despite my chronical condition I feel extremely fortunate to be alive and happy...art keeps me going , too :-)

Look after yourself, do not be to harsh on yourself...you need to allow yourself time to heal...luckily your support is in place, because external influences in my opinion such as a safe home sanctuary and kind people including health professionals you can trust are all part of improving your quality of life.

x

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Anigineco

The time will change evrithing. Dont worry. The time chenge everything for me. Now i have succsesful bussines a beatiful doughter and happy family 4 yaers later my ppp episode. A wish you all the best.

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Bluelady-sing

How many children do you have what was the midwifery care like?

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XxAnnaLouxX

I have two children 9months and a 5yr old. My care was good.

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Florence83

Hi, it's such a hard struggle when your feeling like that and have people depending on you, I found it really pressurising being around other mums who just seemed to breeze through it, luckily I had a great friend who was going through the same thing and we could just be really honest with eachother about how hard things were sometimes, think that's so important for mums even when your healthy and well, nevermind someone struggling with their mental health, I've been in that place where everything just feels too hard, my biggest regret looking back is feeling pressured by today's society and social media etc to be some sort of supermum, MOST important thing for baby is your relaxed and happy so try not to be too hard on yourself for days when you feel like you haven't accomplished much or it seems like other mums have their shit together more than you as it's very unlikely that they do and just get as much help and support from family and friends as you can xxx

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello XxAnnaLouxX

Just wondering how you are and hope you have been able to enjoy the festivities, although I know when I was depressed I had very little interest.

I wonder if the Mind charity page on depression might be helpful to read at mind.org. Also perhaps PANDAS (pre and post-natal depression advice and support) which has a helpline? Thinking of you ..... take care. xx

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XxAnnaLouxX

Hello thank you for thinking of me, the things we have done have been nice, but I feel rubbish and am not enjoying anything. I am really fed up. I will have a look on the pages you mentioned. Thanks in advance.

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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello XxAnnaLouxxX

So nice of you to reply as I know having had depression how everything is such an effort. I hope the links will helpful and the perinatal team are a good support for you.

Music played a part in my recovery years ago. I heard a song in a shoe shop which I later found was "I'm going all the way" by Sounds of Blackness ..... with a chorus of "Whatever it takes to make it I'm going all the way, I may be down sometimes but I won't be down always".

My shout out now to PP and depression is Elton John's "I'm still standing" .... especially watching the YouTube clip as it's filmed in Cannes in much better weather than in the UK at the moment!

Take good care of yourself .... it takes time to get back on your feet after being knocked sideways by PP but you will get better eventually. ❤️️ We are all here for you.

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Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Wishing you well dearest AnnaLoux. We are always here for you in the background and happy to listen. Wishing you well and health and happiness for 2020. Recovery is happening, allow yourself time to heal.

Bye for now,

x

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