Postpartum psychosis : Hi My daughter... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Postpartum psychosis

LisaJMatthews
LisaJMatthews

Hi

My daughter was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis 14 weeks ago & has been in a MBU with her 4 month old baby . She’s on lorazepam, sertraline & olazapine but also had 10 sessions of ECT treatment..... has anyone had this treatment & come through this illness at the other end ? My daughter keeps dipping , one week she’s almost back to normal & planning to be discharged from the MBU & the next week she’s really bad again & almost catatonic which she was like in the beginning. Is she ever going to be completely back to normal after this ?

16 Replies
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Recovery is not a linear process unfortunately, and can be really slow. My daughter is now 2.5 and it's still a for me struggle (although I have bipolar disorder so it's going to be lifelong for me).

Please also remember that when she is discharged from hospital, that doesn't mean she's all better. She will still have a lot of recovering to do.

Much love to you. Recovery from mental illness can be so frustrating, for everyone involved.

Dear LisaJMatthews,

I am so very sorry that your daughter is suffering from the awful illness of

Postpartum Psychosis, it is such a shock and trauma for her, for you and her whole family isn't it. My daughter also suffered from PP and was admitted to a Mother and Baby Unit almost four years ago, she is well now, your daughter can get better too. Sadly recovery is often up and down but your daughter is in the best place to get well.

Thank you for trusting us and Welcome to APP, the wonderful people on this site were of such help to me and to my daughter when she was ill. On this forum you will find lots of Mums, all different, who will empathise and bravely share their experience of recovery from this devastating condition. In the meantime, I wonder if you have been able to access the APP Insider Guides on the site which you may find helpful.

I know that I felt helpless in watching my daughter suffer in this way, your daugter is fortunate to have you supporting, I think it will mean a lot to her that you are there even if she is unable to articulate this at the moment. Your daughter can be restored to herself.

Though it can be difficult in the depths of this pain, my little mantra to myself was/is 'This too shall pass'. I hope some of this is helpful, write any time.

Take care of yourself too and congratulations on a precious new grandchild.

Sending a virtual hug from one mother/grandmother to another.

Love and best wishes

Judith xx

Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer in reply to NanaJudith_APP_Vol

Written with so much compassion, as always...x

Hello again LisaJMatthes,

just a Ps with the link to the Insider Guides I mentioned.

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

Judith xx

Thank you Judith for your kind words . This forum has really helped me a lot as I hadn’t even heard of PP before & hopefully I’ll never come across it again . It’s good to hear that your daughter got well again after suffering this awful illness . It’s difficult not knowing what to do to help but thankfully I’m not working due to myself having cancer a few years ago , so I can be there always for her & the baby . I keep saying to her onwards & upwards . It breaks my heart seeing her like this but I try not to let her see me upset .

Thank you again for your messages xx

NanaJudith_APP_Vol
NanaJudith_APP_VolVolunteer in reply to LisaJMatthews

Dear LisaJMatthews,

thank you for your reply. I do so understand, I too had never heard of PP it hit our family also out of the blue, it is so hard watching a much beloved daughter suffer in this way. It is hard work for these PP mums to work their way through this but they can and do. It was only afterwards that my daughter was able to say how much it helped that her family were there supporting. It is difficult to suggest what to do, being there is important, I don't know how easy that is in these covid times. Listening, talking, at the same time rest is so imperative. I remember we took in photographs, things to maybe remind her and help restore her to herself, a favourite cosy thing, also I gave my daughter a lavender eye pillow which seemed to help. I know that my daughter felt the benefit of being outside in the fresh air. As anyone on this forum will attest they all have had their own different path to recovery some longer than others. Do take all the help offered.

I am sorry that you have had your own serious illness and recovery to cope with and do hope that you have someone to support you too. Do take some time for yourself, your daughter is in the best place to get well, her light will come back. I hope that you will write anytime here if it helps. Incidentally, you could also write privately to me or another APP volunteer if you prefer.

Joy for now in your grandchild and hope for your daughter.

Thinking of you.

Best wishes with a hug

Judith xx

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Lisa

Thank you so much for reaching out to the forum. I’m so sorry that your daughter is struggling at the moment. It is such a shame that the gift of a baby should be tarnished by such a traumatic illness but as you will see from the PP Guides it is temporary and very treatable.

I had PP twice many years ago, 6 years apart, and was sectioned to general psychiatric care, without my sons as mother and baby units were not around at that time. I suffered delusions and hallucinations which were all very real and frightening at the time.

Medications were not working as I was actively suicidal and very low. At the time of my first PP episode and after discussion with the doctors, my husband agreed to ECT treatment as I wasn’t communicating. Initially I was given 6 sessions which made a difference and then went on to have more than 10.

I can honestly say that ECT was a lifesaver, during both recoveries. So please rest assured that your daughter will eventually recover and be able to lead a happy life, as I have. It might take a while as there is so much to come to terms with during recovery ....... looking back I felt as though I was a completely different person! I had never had a mental illness and like many here, PP hit me out of the blue the first time.

I’m sure your daughter is comforted that you are there for her. I think she will need your reassurance that she will get better. NanaJudith has already mentioned the PP Insider Guides which are very helpful and there are also personal experiences there. Another good resource is “PP Soup - a nourishing mix of all things Postpartum Psychosis“ written by a mum who had PP, with other mums and professionals giving their input at ppsoupdotcom.wordpress.com/.

Easier said than done but try not to worry although it is difficult in this early stage of recovery. For now your daughter is in the best place and will be well again in her own time. I hope some of this is helpful ... there will be other mums here to share their more recent experiences.

I’m not sure about visiting during the Covid restrictions but hope you will be able to have precious time with your daughter and grandchild. Please take care of yourself too as this can be a very distressing time for everyone.

Hi Lisa,

I hope that the words of hope above are helpful. It is so true that this is not a linear illness but your daughter will get better. I know my family and even I couldn’t even fathom recovery at the point you are facing but it will come. I had PP 4 years ago as was in an mbu with my daughter 2 weeks after she was born, discharged and readmitted then had a further episode when she was 18 months old. It’s been a long journey of medication and talking therapy and us all learning how to positively look after our mental health but I am back at work and fully functional and that person in the MBU well I don’t really recognise her. Good luck to you all and take time to look after yourself too.

Hi lisa

My daughter went through this last year. All I was told was she will get better. I couldn't see how. As like your daughter she was up and down. But believe them. My daughter is 99% herself again. We took everything they offered. She was in a MBU for 9 weeks and another short stay another time.

I push her into crafts to keep her busy. Which was a life saver for her.

My daughter share her story on her page

"soap and Hope" on fb. We both did a live last week about how as a grandmother I cope with everything. We have had alot of great comments on it. We want to make this not something we can't talk about.

I wish your daughter and yourself all the best. Believe the doctors and ask for all the help u can get

Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Pleased to meet you on this forum dearest Lisa,

Yes, we are all on a different path, but suffered the same traumatising illness. All of us on this forum have recovered from PPP, but quite a few mums had a prolonged recovery journey due to various circumstances.

In my view point the MBU's are the best places for mums and babies, thus, your daughter will receive the best care. I was involved in contributing to the development of Exeter MBU via a family stakeholder group making sure the interior and exterior design facilitates to the needs and appropriate care of mums and their babies.

Gosh - I wish I could have been there for my recovery as I was sectioned to a mixed gender Psychiatric Unit, which was traumatising in itself and without the contact of my loved ones.

I agree with the other forum members that once your daughter is released from the MBU recovery time at home is of vital importance. My condition improved once I was in my own sanctuary again, yet, I was still very poorly and I have to thank my partner for his full time care in trying to teach me the basics again and helping me to learn to look after our baby.

Take good care of yourself, too,

x

Hi wow my heart goes out to you and your daughter. Its such a challenging time. I had PPS in 2016 4 weeks after giving birth i was so unwell i had 2 members of staff with me the whole time when admitted to an inpatient unit then transferred to mother and baby unit reunited with my little girl. I hated the weight gain from olazinepine so stopped it and had a major relapse even worse than the first time. 2months in intensive care without my little girl. U dont get much sicker than that! I was drugged up to the eye balls couldnt speak, dribbling shocking behaviour needed to be pinned down to take meds. Rocovery has been slow and frustrating but this year i made a full recovery. I feel amazing but still tread carefully. Along the way i kept thinking ive recovered then there was more to come.

Im now working full time in the NHS and love being a mummy.

Hope this helps keep going your daughter really needs you. Xxx

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello LisaJMatthews

I hope your daughter has had a good week. Please take care of yourself too as it must be very overwhelming at times. Thinking of you xx

Hi LisaJMatthews,

I am sorry to hear that your daughter is suffering from ppp, its such a trauma. Recovery from it is not linear, and it can be very disheartening for you to see the daughter that you love so much battling so hard visibly improving only to go back to the beginning a few days later. I feel for you.

I had ppp a couple of years ago and when we were nearing the end of my 28 days section there were plans about discharge from the mbu as I appeared very much improved. My discharge didn't happened then as I started showing more erratic behaviour and having strange beliefs all over again, followed by a deep depression. I stayed for 6 weeks more at the end, and even though it was not home I was in the right place at the time.

There is no fixed time frame for any recovery, everyone's is a bit different, but it does happen. Your daughter will come back to herself, it takes time, but she will.

Take care of yourself as well, this illness doesn't forgive your family and loved ones either, so try to get some small joys for you, spend some time with your gorgeous grandchild, allow yourself moments of lightness and look at the glimpses of your daughter's old self to remind you she is there and she will come through this.

Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Hello LisaJMatthews,

just to let you know, we are thinking of you and your daughter.

Take good care of yourself, too.

x

Hi Pikorua

Thank you for your kind words x

She need time. It take me 5 years to feel normal again. It's long time but it's happend eventuali. Just be with her da hole time.

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