Feeling so low and sad : I am almost... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Feeling so low and sad

XxAnnaLouxX profile image

I am almost 5months out of PP, and I just feel so tearful and low. It feels never ending I want to look after myself better but I am struggling to do the basics all whilst having an almost 10m old to look after. Noone understands my mam says I need to 'fight back', but I feel so worn down. Posting for reassurance really more than anything else. I just want to be better.

27 Replies
Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello AnnaLou

Good to hear from you although I'm sorry you're feeling so tearful and low. I think almost five months on from PP isn't very long into your recovery and some days are better than others. As mums we think we can pick up where we left off before PP hit us ..... but we don't realise how much trauma we have been through and some family members don't understand.

You have battled your way to get this far and will recover in your own time. I struggled for ages to do the basics, even getting out of bed! I remember my sister pulling the covers off me and shouting .... but my bed was my safe place at the time! Try to do a little at a time, at your own pace.

Has your mam read the PP Guide "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" app-network.org/what-is-pp/... to give her insight into what a struggle recovering can be? On page 12 of the guide for partners there is a comment that:

" The experience of going through PP does not need to be 'done and dusted'. It may be difficult to accept but you won't be able to control how long your partner takes to get over her illness" Perhaps your mam could come round and sit with your baby so that you could have time out for a coffee with a friend?

Try not to worry ..... you're a great mum and you will feel much better in time. We are all here for each other. Hugs.

XxAnnaLouxX profile image
XxAnnaLouxX in reply to Lilybeth

Thank you x

Coga profile image
Coga in reply to Lilybeth

I feel for what you're going through. I had post partum psychosis 25 years ago. What helped me the most was taking an antidepressant. I fought against this too just couldn't anymore. Once I started on the antidepressant Paxil, I got my life back and finally could enjoy and love my baby girl. My prayers are with you and remember.... You are not alone. Your mom should read, It wasn't supposed to be like this. Most people can't understand this mysterious illness. But know that it is not your fault, it's the illness. God bless you. ♥️

Hi AnnaLou

It's great you've reached out. I'm so sorry you feel so tearful and low. I was unwell in 2011 after the birth of my son. I struggled very much with feeling low after the psychotic episode, very much how you describe. I remember very clearly feeling like it was never ending, and there was a lot of the time I felt like I would never get better, and I desperately just wanted to feel like myself and be better.

The main thing I want to say to you is that you really will get better, though I know it can be hard to believe it when you're in the middle of it, but you will. So many of us here are proof of that :) I still had days of really struggling when my son was 10 months old too.

On days I was feeling very low, I tried to plan my days a little, even hour by hour, so set little goals for myself, very simple ones like doing small household talks, or planning what play I would do with my baby. Some days I had to really force myself to do it, and I wouldn't have said at the time that it was making a difference, it was a way of just coping with the day. But I do think slowly it did make a difference, and helped me to feel that I could cope, and manage to do things.

I also found it helped to write something positive I had experienced at the end of each day. Sometimes it was hard to think of anything, and all I could write was about the sun being out or something, but I do think that helped me.

And the old saying, that time is a great healer, I also found to be true... I found as my son got older and starting to be able to 'give back' in terms of showing interaction and affection, helped me so much as well, because I thought I was a terrible mother and the fact that he was clearly OK, and that we had a really strong bond, was very healing.

I also wondered if you've been offered any therapy? I found CBT really helpful to challenge negative thoughts I would have, that would often bring my mood down.

But as I say, the main thing I wanted to say to you is you really are going to get better and come through this, and feel yourself again.

Take care, and please take or leave anything I've written :)

Ellie

Hi, so sorry to hear your feeling low. I had pp in 2013 and I still suffer every now and then. Last summer I felt particularly down and was off work for 6 weeks. Just take each day as it comes, take time for yourself and remember, it's a massive trauma what you've been through and it takes time to get over it. It's great that we can help each other on this forum, as like you said, anyone that hasn't been there, doesn't understand. Lots of walks helped me focus too and some mindfulness. I hope some of these tips help. Always here if u need a chat. Kind Regards, Anna x

Hi keep reminding yourself you are recovering from a major illness. Don't expect too much of yourself. My wife has been through this also. Just because there's no physical signs sometimes you think you should be normal, metal illness is the greatest challenge, give yourself a break.

Also.. (!).. Whoever says "just fight back" needs to research the illness a bit more. Its not helpful.

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello AnnaLou

Just wondering how you are and whether you have found support for how you are feeling? Do you have a support worker or perinatal health team to talk to until your baby is one year?

It probably doesn't feel like it at the moment but you will feel better eventually. For now, take good care of yourself and please write again if you feel like it.

XxAnnaLouxX profile image
XxAnnaLouxX in reply to Lilybeth

I am still feeling rubbish. I do get out and about, but I just feel awful. And tearful. I have asked about antidepressants but the view is that I am not depressed. If this isn't depressed I dunno what is.

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer in reply to XxAnnaLouxX

Hello AnnaLou

So sorry to hear that you're still feeling rubbish. It is an awful feeling and I hope you can ask for a review. Do you think you might be referred for counselling, just to talk openly about how you feel?

There is also APP's second opinion service which some mums here have found very helpful. Prof Ian Jones offers second opinion or consultation to patients, with the aim of assisting clinicians and their patients in diagnosis and management. Prof Jones and his team are based in Cardiff but it is possible to have a consultation via Skype if necessary. The link is app-network.org/what-is-pp/.... Referrals need to be made by your care team, (Psychiatrist or GP) and there is no charge for this service either to you or referring NHS Trust. So it might be an option for you?

Perhaps it might be an idea to keep a diary of your moods, (emoji faces if you don't feel like making notes) until you see your GP so that he / she has an idea of how low you are feeling?

It hasn't been very long since you went through such a traumatic experience of PP and you shouldn't suffer in silence. You need help to find your way so please make sure to make your voice heard for the support you need. Thinking of you ... take care.

Hi Anna, I empathise a lot with how you are feeling. My son is 8 months and up until a few weeks ago I was feeling very worn down and struggling to get out of bed or play with him - I rarely went out to play groups or exercise classes. I've had a really good reaction to going on antidepressants and everything has seemed a lot easier since, the negative feelings and thoughts have receded. I've finally had some motivation to go out and do things although some days are better than others. I hope you have the chance to take a few minutes for yourself each day, you are a great mum for managing to look after your baby despite everything.

I am going to ask again about antidepressants.

Sounds like it's worth a try. They put me on Sertraline and it has been great, so far I've had no noticable side effects. Also I have found therapy with my psychologist very helpful (she convinced me to go on antidepressants) some perinatal mental health teams can provide psychology treatment. Good luck with everything.

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello AnnaLou

Just wondering how you are feeling now and whether you asked your care team about antidepressants again? It's not easy trying to cope with routine and the remnants of PP. I hope you have support around you. Take care.

I speak to them on Friday. I feel a bit better than I did last week. But still can't really be bothered to do anything.

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello AnnaLou

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'm sorry to hear you are finding recovery hard but feeling a bit better than last week. 5 months out of PP is still early days .... I was very low for a long time, struggling with routine and a baby, it's not easy coming through such a traumatic illness.

I hope your care team will be able to find something that works for you when you see them on Friday. There is a really good blog "PP Soup -a nourishing mix of all things Postpartum Psychosis" at ppsoupdotcom.wordpress.com with info and experiences which you might find helpful and interesting. Take care .... thinking of you.

Pikorua profile image
PikoruaVolunteer

Hello AnnaLoux,

love your name by the way :-)

You know Anna, this illness (PPP 2010) is not an easy one and has been very traumatising for me, because of no appropriate treatment in my acute time. 5 months into recovery...for me that was only a beginning of a long recovery journey, purely because of my undiagnosed BP for nearly 9 yrs after PPP.

I have been learning so much throughout my recovery, but definitely learnt to recharge and re-set the way how I "function"...in mind, boy and soul...because we are continuously changing and learning, even if we are not aware of it.

How can I help?! If you ever would like some advise about my experience with Professor Ian Jones, I am more than happy to help. I have had two consultations via skype together with my partner and it was very therapeutic for the both of us. A second opinion maybe useful!

Deep down I feel allowing yourself time and not striving for the recovery of the past does help tremendously. The momentum is vital for recovery, step by step and patience for healing, in my opinion. I did access different kind of therapy through my former care coordinator...and I was fortunate enough to participate in a support group for 30 hrs. I believe doing something, which may help to improve confidence again can be quite healing. I found that in my Yoga sessions, which I started again 2 yrs again,-only now do I feel comfortable enough to speak up in the group as I struggle with agora and social phobia, because of BP.

Take good care,

x

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello AnnaLou

Just wondering how you have been since speaking to your care team last Friday? I hope you are slowly beginning to feel a bit better although it does take time. Thinking of you .... take care.

Thank you Lilybeth, it's nice to know there are people out there who understand. Just dragging myself through baths and bedtime routine. I have been in tears again today just so sick of not enjoying anything. Care team have mixed opinions but psychiatrist still thinks antidepressants won't help me as I am not depressed. I am keeping a mood diary to show how many bad and marginally better days I am having. We go to Disneyland Paris in 2 weeks and I am dreading everything about it. It's like Christmas all over again going to have to pack and prepare to fake having a good time, so sick of feeling like this. Really don't like my life at the moment..

Revans86 profile image
Revans86Volunteer in reply to XxAnnaLouxX

Oh AnnaLou, sorry to hear how you’re feeling. It’s awful, the recovery from PP can feel like a never ending road.

I physically felt in pain some days from complete exhaustion and with hindsight depression. Some days would be better but then I’d have a bad patch and repeat.

I and so many other mummy’s understand. We really really do.

I know that doesn’t take away your feelings right now. But I am willing you on and thinking of you.

Keep talking with your health professionals as you are already by the sound of it. Sorry they’re debating how best to help by the sound of it. You’ll get there with them.

Take care and write here when it helps.

I hope you can be honest with your family too, urgh Disney when you’re feeling so poorly is hard but a break from the home routine might help, I really hope you can forge out some time for you while you’re there. Take care, sending hugs Xxx

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello AnnaLou

Thanks for taking the time to reply. We do all understand and I'm so sorry you have been in tears again today. It's an awful feeling of wanting to feel happier but being held back and not knowing why, although I think just over 5 months on from PP is a little early to expect so much of yourself.

It's good that you have the support team to be open with. Do you have any other therapy input, such as talking therapy? I think it might help to get all your feelings out to a therapist who can support and reassure you. A mood diary is a good idea but hearing your thoughts 'out loud'might be more helpful? Do you have a friend to meet and chat with?

Do you think your psychiatrist might be open to referring your to Prof Ian Jones of APP's second opinion service, the link given earlier is app-network.org/what-is-pp/...?

It's a shame that you're dreading everything about the family break. Perhaps being in such a place might lift your mood, especially the the company and excitement of children.? As a famiIy we went to Disneyland Paris when my children were younger .... there was a feeling of enjoying the moment and making memories. I hope your mam is a little more understanding and supportive now.

Thinking of you and hope things become a little easier each day. It might not seem like it at the moment but you will eventually feel much better. We are all here and I thought you might like to read the contents of a post sent recently ..........

"A woman is walking down the street one day when she falls into a hole. It’s deep and the sides are steep so she can’t climb out. A priest walks by and she shouts “hey there, can you help me out of this hole?”. The priest writes a prayer on a piece of paper, throws it down into the hole and walks on. Then a doctor walks past and she shouts “hey there, can you help me out of this hole?” The doctor writes out a prescription, throws it down into the hole and walks on. Then a friend walks by and the woman shouts “hey there, can you help me out of this hole?” So the friend jumps down into the hole. The woman says “what are you crazy? Now we’re both stuck in here”. And the friend says “yes, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out”.

Take care. ❤️️

XxAnnaLouxX profile image
XxAnnaLouxX in reply to Lilybeth

Thank you so much for your replies and for keeping an eye on me. I really appreciate it and am going to bed feeling a little lighter knowing that I am not alone in this recovery.

Coga profile image
Coga in reply to Lilybeth

Lilybeth, thank you for sharing this! Although I went through PPD 25 years ago, this brought tears to my eyes because it's so true and the hole describes how it feels. Thank you. ♥️

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer in reply to Coga

Thank you Coga. It struck a chord with me too as I well remember being in the hole and that feeling. There are some inspiring verses around .... another one I saw recently in a book is "Friends are like angels who lift our feet when our own wings have forgotten how to fly." Thankfully we have many virtual friends here. Take care ♥️

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Thank you AnnaLou, we are always here to talk and privileged that you can share how you feel with us. I hope you can find time for a break today. You're definitely not alone :) Take care.

Hello XxAnnaLouxX, hope you are feeling a bit better? I went through PPP too and experienced what you describe after my episode. Try not to be too hard on yourself, you have been through something really traumatic and it takes some time for your mind to heal. Can your mam help out with childcare so you can take a break? If she can't, there is a brilliant organisation called homestart who can offer support in terms of friendship and can watch your children while you take a shower or just need to get the dishes done. I found it really helpful when I was going through a hard time. xxx

Pikorua profile image
PikoruaVolunteer

Hello Anna Lou,

Yes, falling into that hole, - we all have been there and it is so reassuring when you just know that empathy or compassion is like a protective aura.

Initially all the love and kindness I received from my big and little man helped me to walk again and take each step as it comes, but recovery was definitively improving more when

I found those mums here on this forum. Finally not alone anymore!

The outings always have been difficult for me, but since my diagnosis of bipolar I now understand why my fear and anxiety never has disappeared completely.

Recovery after PPP is so unique and I believe it helps to communicate and share your inner fears. A second opinion was essential to make some rejuvenating life choices for our family.

You are not on your own and we share our experiences whenever you need to talk.

Take good care and try to be kind to yourself. PPP recovery has its obstacles, but you will recover. I have recovered from PPP, too.

x

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