Still Coping : Hi Everyone, It has been... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Still Coping

justamother
justamother

Hi Everyone,

It has been over two years (October 2017) since I last experienced severe postpartum psychosis, and in (December 2013). It also had almost been a year since I begun consistent treatment for my conditions (Bipolar Disorder, GAD, OCD, Social Phobia, PTSD, Panic Disorder, Phobias, and an eating disorder). Coping with the after effects has been super challenging, and all the anger/resentment that has built up. It's amazing how many little things can trigger flashbacks and strong overflowing emotions. I am trying to use coping strategies and wish that I could afford to go back to therapy to leave the past in the past but things just tend to become heavy. In October 2018 we got Mickey (Goldendoodle), during my search for medications and stabilization he did what I never thought a dog could do for someone with my conditions he grounded me (April or May 2019), alerted to severe akathisia and provided pressure therapy. It was that moment when my husband called my psychiatrist, while Mickey was blocking self injurious behavior due to the akathisia from Latuda that we knew my life was going to be forever changed. From there we research more on my disorders and Mickey became a service dog in training. With the help of a service dog company and my perfectionism desire Mickey quickly learned and became a successful task trained service dog mitigating my disabilities.

We have come a long way from the time signs of bipolar and these other disorders started in 2004 and now. Where I have finally been proud to identify myself and more self aware. It was with Mickey, my children being born, my second husband, my family, and love that I continue treatment. However, coping comes with constant struggles, and occasionally nightmares where I wake thinking its happening all over and Mickey checks for people and voices that are not my own, and alerts that it was just a flashback or a nightmare as sometimes I just sit and drift into the nightmare of my memories.

The psychosis was not debilitating I remember all of it asides from the second time at the ER getting to the psychiatric facility as It was as another facility. But the treatment team and their poor behavior towards me, and the delusions. When will I be able to move forward and not hyper focus on the anger that I can't give birth safely, and that my life somewhat feels controlled by these disorders. I try and try to not let them define me as a human because they don't, but having these disorders sometimes I still am wondering who I am, as these disorders consumed me for so many years of young adult hood, and becoming a mother, wife, and more. I still feel lost and well angry.

5 Replies
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Hi just a mother, thanks for sharing your story on the forum, I'm sure there are lots of people who can relate to how you're feeling. I had PP Psychosis in 2016, it was first time mental illness for me. I also experienced a brief episode 18 months ago. Until quite recently I had flashbacks and vivid nightmares about being ill again too. So I can relate to how scary it must be for you. Your support dog sounds brilliant, I have a cat but unfortunately she has no such skills!

You've come a long way though and obviously been very poorly. Is there someone close you can talk to about how you're feeling? And maybe something you enjoy doing/ are good at so you focus on that, it might help you feel that you are not so defined by your mh. As you said you are a mother and a wife too so it sounds like you have people who value and love you whatever your mh conditions you may have.

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello justamother

Welcome to the forum ..... I'm sorry to hear that you suffered PP twice and that coping with the after effects as well as your other health conditions has built up anger / resentment with constant struggles as you continue to cope.

Are you in the UK? I also had PP twice many years ago, six years apart, when mental health was more in the shadows than today. Unlike your psychosis, mine was debilitating and I was unable to communicate or function for a while. I also had very deep depression following each episode but thankfully fully recovered without the health conditions you are coping with.

As you say you have come a long way since 2004, so I think you are slowly moving forward, being proud to identify yourself and be self aware. I'm sure your support dog is a great comfort in those challenging moments and the love of family is priceless.

I think you are more than 'just a mother' ..... PP mums are unique and with your other health challenges you are amazing!! I hope there is someone in your care team who has time to listen. Have you been offered CBT therapy to release your thoughts and feelings? Perhaps yoga and meditation might also be an outlet for you? Take care.

Teresa_K_S
Teresa_K_SVolunteer

Hello Justamother,

I second Lilybeths comment that you are more than just a mother. How modest you are. You are certainly amazing.

How wonderful that your dog is a natural service dog. I'm glad he helps you so much. I also have a dog, she is 10 now, she is my constant shadow. She helps me as I dont particularly like to be alone. It took me a long time after my PP to understand how it had changed me. I also have bipolar but didnt know this until I was planning my second pregnancy. For some reason the psychiatrists never thought to mention it to me until I asked if my suspicions were right. It has been a long learning curve since then and is still something I have to try to manage. I have to try to keep my stress levels low and plan my week so that I dont have to much going on. I also walk the dog on long walks as I find exercise helps. I hope some of the suggestions from others on here are of help to you also

Take Care

Teresa x

Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Hello justamother,

thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

I, too felt so completely lost and riding some pretty heavy waves during the recovery of PPP (2010). MY experience of ill-treatment in mixed gender psychiatric unit had been extremely traumatising. Not just for me, but for my partner, too. The both of us suffered PTS.

After five years of loneliness and extreme emotional pain, Insomnia and mind racing I found APP in late 2015. I got some amazing support on a one to one, but also from many mums on the forum. Finally I could share my inner turmoil, which only was expressed through art and being silent most of the time.

One of the emotional attachment is anger. I could have challenged the unreasonable treatment I received (negligence, physical abuse and constant isolation when sectioned), but I could not waste my energy any further. I needed to recover, enjoy the moment and embrace life with my son and partner.

I also have been diagnosed with Bipolar1 and like Teresa my life had to be altered completely. My life style before Psychosis was 24/7. In order to look after body, mind and soul I have to make sure that stressors are avoided. Over the years I had to implement a toolkit and scaffold newly acquired skills. Meditation and Yoga help a lot.

Look after yourself, - it is so good to meet you on this site. APP has been very therapeutic as I could exchange experience, but also gain loads of useful information and seek further help.

Volunteering also has been extremely satisfying as it has boost up my confidence. I struggle with fear and anxiety, socio phobia and agora phobia, all part of my BP spec...

Take good care,

x

Thank you for sharing your story! My heart hurts for you! I’ve been through pp twice as well and it really does take a while to recover. Some things I’ve definitely found helpful are regular exercise and a predictable routine. I was diagnosed with bipolar after being hospitalized for pp. Like Pikorua, my life was 24/7 before psychosis and being diagnosed with bipolar axis 1. I’ve had to slow down a lot and focus on things I enjoy. If you have some friends you feel comfortable sharing with, tell them your story. It’s helped me a lot to do that. While they don’t take the place of a therapist, it’s definitely helpful.

Hoping for you to feel stronger! You’re a strong lady and don’t forget that! You’ve already overcome so much!!!!

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