Need some hope please: MESSAGE FROM APP... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Need some hope please

Family20
Family20

MESSAGE FROM APP ADMINS: This post contains distressing information. If you are feeling vulnerable, do take care if reading this post.

My sister has been baby mad all her life. .finaly at 35 she has had a baby july 2020. . Things were going ok,ish for 1st 8 weeks . . She has ocd and a checking disorder for years . . So slight mental health. Lead a pretty much normal life. 8 wks went by she started struggling with lack of sleep.kept checking baby over and over again.it just got to much.she started being negative and struggling.then things turned real bad.she had to go and stay with my mum, my mum is her saftey net and left baby with dad.she got depressd and was behaving weird. Suicidal thougths. Doubting everything .completely lost confidence with everything. Baby was big pressure to her by then as was normal daily tasks . She refused help . Phychitrist etc .was on anti depressants .has been on n off for years.her anxiety went through the roof. . Then it went bad to worseg the suicidal thougts started taking over. She attempd to jump from a bridge luckily didnt went back to my mums .we calld the police.crisis team came they were useless.tried for weeks to get her sectiond. Then they told her they,l be back in the morning to section her (this was her worst fear) my mum was watching her constantly. Next morning mum went to toilet my sister ran downstairs out the the garden. Mum went quick as she could when she heard the door go. There was my sister pouring with blood stabb herself in the neck and knife sticking out stomach.mum saved her .luckily emergency service came quick.she got airliftd to a london hosp. Kept there for 2wks . Recoverd from wounds now been sectiond and put in mother and baby unit. . She rejecting baby. And is going thru hell.wnt eat ,get up .do anything just wants to end it. . She getting worse again. . We are devestated and has had a masive impact on family. My poor mum what she saw and had to do. Theyve diagnosd her with P.P and severe depresion with phychotic features and ocd. . She on anti depresants .only been in unit 4days . . Just cant see a way forward and want her to start seeing forward. Its the worst time of our lives . . Will she recover ? And how long til she sees the light? This is killing me. . Tia x

25 Replies
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Hi

I'm so sorry you've gone through this, and that your family and sister are going through this too. It sounds so traumatic, especially for your poor mum. I'm still in recovery but I came on here asking the same question "is recovery possible", and everyone answered yes. Some people who even made it out to the other side replied! Some had recovered 8, or ever 10 years ago! Many health professionals have also assured me that recovery is possible. It is so so hard, but it slowly gets better. Hopefully more experienced people can give you more useful replies.

Sending lots of love

Xxx

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Family20

Welcome to the forum where you will find lots of hope from shared experiences. I am so sorry that your family has been through so much trying to access help for your sister who has been so unwell. It is so sad that the joy of a baby should be tarnished by such a traumatic illness.

It’s good to hear that your sister is now safe in a mother and baby unit. It really is the place for your sister to receive specialist care.

I had PP twice many years ago and can relate to some of the actions of your sister. I had intrusive, unthinkable thoughts as I was hearing a voice which said such awful things to me so I just wanted everything to stop.

I did recover from PP but was then hit with severe depression. It is an awful time for everyone and must be so distressing to watch your sister going through such a difficult time.

There are PP Insider Guides, one being “Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis” which might be helpful and reassuring, although I know your sister is in the very early frightening stages. The link being app-network.org/what-is-pp/.... There are also personal experiences on the page with other information too.

Please take care of yourself at such a distressing time for your family. With the specialist care in the mother and baby unit your sister will slowly recover and be well again. There will be other mums here to share their experiences ..... you are not alone. x

Hi Nad8m, it sounds like you’ve been having such a hard time :( my sister also had a baby in September 2019 and then developed postpartum psychosis and severe depression. We too as a family have been through very similar things to you, and still are now. I also completely understand your frustration with the crisis team not wanting to help. We have fought with them for months! It took a suicide attempt for her to get sectioned too. Just know that you are doing the absolute best you can, and your mum and sister will be so grateful for your support. We have had to swap meds around a lot, but after a good 9 months we seem to have found the right medication balance and my sister is no longer having suicidal thoughts. She still has down days, but she is definitely better than she has been for months and is starting to rebuild her relationship with her child. Please feel free to message me if you want to talk further. Stay strong, you’ve got this! Xxx

Hi thank you for reply. . The not being able to help is the hardest part and wanted to take it away from her .just want my sister back.x

I completely understand how you feel, it is horrible to feel so helpless. My sister relies on my mum so much and so I just feel like an outsider looking in. Trying to support wherever I can but it is hard. My sister also went into a mother and baby unit. They were absolutely brilliant and the staff were so lovely and supportive to us as a family too x

Hi Nad8m,

I am so sorry to hear what your sister and you and your family are going through at the moment. Rest assured she is in the right place now, where they will take good care of her.

I had pp in the autumn of 2018 and like your sister I was sectioned and stayed first in a general psych unit for a few days and then in a mother and baby unit. The psychotic episodes I had were also very extreme and I went for days of not eating or sleeping. Slowly, as the medication worked, the small things started to come back, and little by little I went on to rebuild myself.

This is a very brief list of things that helped me in my recovery:

- Taking the medication, as your sister has been there for a few days only and it will take time for the anti-depressants to work as intended, she may even feel worse than before in the first few days, but once the right dose is found there will be marked improvements

- Things that remind her of home, a family photo, her slippers or robe, a keepsake, specially now that visiting could be restricted

- Phoning her and maybe just listening sometimes, it is a very scary time for your sister at the moment and being a reassuring pressence sometimes is just what you need

- Therapy, when she starts feeling more herself it is good to encourage her towards activities in the mbu, group sessions or one to one CBT were very beneficial to me

- Time, I can imagine that it feels like this will be forever, but that's not the case, mums can recover from pp and go back to living full lives with their children, if the mums on this forum are an example they are amongst the most compasionate and dedicated ones

Bear in mind that nothing that could have been done differently by your sister or your family would have prevented this from happening, pp is not hers or anyone else's fault, it can strike out of the blue in apparently as many as half the cases.

Take good care of yourself and of your mum who experienced such a traumatic thing, try to find a bit of time for yourselves too whenever that is possible.

We are thinking of you and write here when you feel like it

Thank you so much for yor replies .shes been on few different meds for a while now and each time they change she gets lower and lower .still dont think shes on the right ones as on anti depresants not anti phychotics she was on anti phychotics but stopped taking a few weeks back as she just wantd to end it and gave up . Did any body have checking o.c.d before pregnancy ? ? Shes had for years and its got out of control since baby. She has had previous c.b.t therapy and phycholigist and meds but didnt have luck so now she thinks she is beyond help because of her o.c.d. and now is going through this horendous cruel illness . . We.re So glad she in the unit although is at her worse again. She is very up and down and now refusing to see any 1 . She wont get up on of bed or have much to do with the baby. She keeps saying no1 is as bad as her and that shes the worst one and others are interacting with their babies. . My mum has been so brave and strong and has been through hell the past months as have we all. We are a strong family unit we did as much as we could but feel we got failed by the system and it took a stabbing where she was minutes away from bleeding to death for her to get to hospital and now Mbu, what a teribldd time. Just want my sister to feel a glimmer of relief.i had a baby march 2020 then she had hers 4 months later . . Im loving every second and she has been stripped of her soul .she adores babies and now wishes hadnt had him. Thank you for ur time, kindness and replies. . The crazi thing is she was a carer for over a decade and the past year was mental health care assistant doing a great job and now shes on the receiving end. . Its jus so sad

EmiMum
EmiMum in reply to Family20

Hi Family20,

Her situation and your family's is so heartbreaking. We are thinking of you. I know it feels hopeless at the moment, but your sister will get better and she will go on to become an amazing mum. Take care

hgallo
hgalloVolunteer

Hi family 20, it sounds like you're all going through a really tough time. I had PP back in 2016 and was also on an MBU. The illness is severe and during that time I was very disconnected from reality. The nurses were heavily involved in caring for my babies, yes twins, as I was just too poorly. But things got better gradually. I got closer with some of the women in the MBU, went for walks with them etc. The nursery nurses helped me regain confidence in being a mum too. Your sister is still there underneath I promise but during acute psychosis it can be difficult to see. She's still there in the MBU with her baby and that counts for a lot even if she can't fully care for them at the moment. I found time a great healer with pp. Take care of yourself it's great that you're there for your sister during this time x

Hello.

It’s a traumatic time for your whole family. The only time I ever saw my dad cry was when he came to see me in the MBU.

Your sister is on the MBU, not a general psych ward with a lot of other very ill people. And the people on the MBU know a lot about PP. So there is hope there.

I had mild to severe depression from my teenage years until out of nowhere I had PP at age 32. So even if you have mental health problems before PP you can recover.

Your caring sister will come back and be a great mom. She is not beyond hope, but I totally know how she feels. I felt like a total failure as a mom and a person and someone who might be in a psychiatric hospital for the rest of her life. I was in the MBU for 12 weeks. Then I felt very low for 12 months and was on meds for 9 months.

I feel sad that I can’t remember much about my oldest child’s early months. But he’s nearly 14 now and he is very happy and we have a great relationship.

And it turns out that the ‘depression’ I had was actually bipolar. So I have a serious mental health disorder, two episodes of PP. (I have two children.) And I am fine. I am living a normal life.

She’ll be back 🙂

Hi Family

My daughter had Postpartum phychosis in 2016. She has just been diagnosed with OCD. She has suffered a relapse in 2018 and severe depression on both occassions and has very bad anxiety. To add to the mix our daughter had pneumonia in January and our grandaughter had meningitis in February of this year. I spend lots of time supporting our daughter and grandaughter although we live a couple of hours from each other.

My daughter has just started NHS therapy for her OCD which we feel is a very positive step forward. This should also help her anxiety. May be when things settle this may be something to consider.

Its a very tough time and I felt similar feelings as you are now. Every ones lives are out of control. Although very hard now, your sister is safe and she will get better. I never thought it would happen with my daughter but it did.

We waited weeks for tablets to work after the 2 nd relapse but in the end my daughter had ECT which moved things forward. She is still on medication now but it helps so thats all that matters.

My granddaughter is a delight and a happy child and has spent a lot of time being looked after by me, but she has a great bond with her mum now. My daughter is a great mum and managing well and has been back at work for a year. I couldnt even see that would have been in any way possible two years ago.

In most cases recovery is much quicker so do not be worried by the fact my daughter has taken so long. Every case is different. What I am hoping that you will see is that despite all the problems along the way it will and does get better. I personally just try to take one day at a time.

Thank u everybody for your reassuring posts keep them coming . . We know its going to be a long rocky road and cant wait for her to get just a tad better .

At the moment everything is no, negative.nobody is as bad as her . I just want to end it .lifes crap.im going to be in a mental place forever . .

Not only are we dealing with this . Mum and i are struggling the most . That friday 30th oct was the worst day of our lives and my poor mum shouldnt have had to go througt seeing he daugthter stab her self and hold the wounds and stop the blood until ambulance came .my sister was pushing her way didnt want to be saved. She was very lucky to seen her in garden straight away as she was minutes away from death.then to have her airlifted and was critical then the police every where, forensics the lot as was treated as a crime scene. . Was horendous but we lucky she was ok . Even then the hospital was useless was going to send her home after 2wks when the wounds were healed. It was only when i put a massive complaint in 3 phychologist went to her bed saw she had no remorse and no emotion they finaly sectioned her .jesus what else did she have to do . The system is shocking. Her partner is incredible he,sso positive. He made the hardest decision let baby go in unit as he has been looking after him full time for a few months whilst my sister went to my mums to escape. . .hes a great dad. Luckily he aloud to visit everyday. . . Yesterday he went to the unit,my sister didnt even see him didnt want to but at least he saw their baby and spent time with him . . She said the Ocd is the biggest thing .she cant even get up at mo. . We talking of a woman that travelled the world , was out going, loud, caring . . Its so debilitating. X

Oh bless you, I hope this doesn’t sound weird, but you have been in my thoughts today. We have both been through very similar situations and so I can really appreciate how hard things are for your mum, sister and yourself. Talking to people has helped me so much, if you’d be interested in talking more, just drop me a message, no pressure at all though :) x

Have messaged you

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Family20

I’m glad you found the reassuring messages helpful here. I know it doesn’t feel like it when you are at the start of recovery from such a horrific experience but PP is a temporary and very treatable illness. I’m sorry that you and your mum are struggling the most, it must be awful.

I had difficulty when I was in crisis as I was staying with my parents at the time. My GP wouldn’t visit as I was out of the area and my parents’ GP wouldn’t visit as I was not his patient. I was having delusions which no one else understood so I stayed in the bedroom. Apparently I was waiting for a psychiatrist to visit when it all became too much for me. I was eventually sectioned and admitted to a general psychiatric hospital via A&E.

I’m sorry I don’t have experience of OCD to share. Another APP resource which might be reassuring is a blog “PP Soup” (a nourishing mix of all things Postpartum Psychosis) written by a lovely mum who had PP, with input from other mums and professionals at ppsoupdotcom.wordpress.com/. Also included is a radio interview where some mums talk of their experiences but please take care listening.

We are all here for you and your family .... take care.

Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator

Hi Family20

Welcome to the forum. I'm so glad you've found us and reached out for support. I had PP in 2011 after the birth of my son.

I'm so so sorry to hear about your sister. It sounds like you have all been going through such a horrendous traumatic time. I'm sorry too that it took so long for your sister to get the help she needed too, from what you wrote.

I just wanted to reply too, and say similar to what everyone else is saying. It is a really positive thing that she is in the mother and baby unit. This is absolutely the best place for her. They will have seen many women very poorly who couldn't and didn't want to look after their babies, and were in a very dark place. I know it seems impossible now, how she might get better, but she really really will come through this.

I wondered whether you had also found Maternal OCD charity? I'm not sure what support they offer, but there's a lot of information on the website. It's just because you mentioned about your sister has a diagnosis of OCD as well: maternalocd.org/

There is also OCD Action: ocdaction.org.uk/

I thought they may be organisations you can signpost her to (as well as ourselves) when she's in a space she can access the support and information.

I really hope too that you can get support for yourselves as a family too. You have been through so much, especially your mum as you say. Thinking of you all, and she really will come through this.

Ellie X

Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer in reply to Ellie_at_APP

thoughtful and eloquently as always dearest Ellie :-)

Thank u sweet heart. Will look into this x

Dear Family20,

I am so sorry that your sister is suffering from the tramatic illness of PP. What a terrible shock for you, your mother and whole family too. You have had some brilliant, hopeful, helpful replies from the brave mums on the wonderful APP forum. I have little to add except to say that my daughter

was in an MBU, she got well from this terrible illness, your sister can too. I know the hopeless, helpless feeling you have, wishing there was more you can do, but being there for your sister, daughter, partner, means more than you know, that's a good job you are doing.

Sending best wishes to you and family and a virtual hug.

Judith x

Thank you .learnt so much about it from this site and everyone has helped alot.many thanks .x

The mbu have been great so far. Just waiting for meds to have an impact.at the mo shes refusing everything. Wont even get out of bed, wont wash, barely eating, she realy is at rock bottom 😪

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Family20

I think most of us can relate to self care being an after thought when we were fighting to be well, just like your sister. I also found it hard to get out of bed as it was my safe space for a long time.

It is an awful feeling being at rock bottom and it will take a lot of convincing for your sister to think otherwise at the moment. With all the good care from the mbu and your loving support she will find her place again in her own time. For now, remember to take care of yourself too.

Hi Family20,I am pleased to hear that the mbu has been a good experience. They are really incredible places.

Like Lilybeth said, yes, self care goes out the window as we feel so worthless, but with time, medication and good support, your sister will start coming back.

How are you feeling? It can't be easy seeing your sister now, while you also have a new little one to look after. Take care of yourself, and hope that your sister starts regaining herself soon

Thank u for your lovely replies .have got my head around it a bit more now. Find reading up on things defo helps . . We saw a tiny pinch yesterday of her coming back as was actualy ringing/texting the family and asking questions a bit but we know that she can come crashing down. . The mbu let dad bring baby home for the weekend which was lovely me all saw him. My sister managed to brush her teeth.we think the pressure of baby not being there with her may help .as at the moment shes not doing anything with him just a cuddle here and there. . I defo think its a case of getting her better before pushing baby on today her whilst she is in the way . . As hard as that it x

I'm so sorry to hear what your sister and family are going through. I also had pp after birth of my son, nearly 6 years ago now. Started only few weeks after my son was born and took weeks before i got the help I needed and admitted into mother and baby unit. She is in the best place and she will recover from this. She just needs the help to recover from you and your family and the staff at the unit.

I was on my own as my boys father and me had split up and like your sister I went to stay with my mum for the help. I was slowly getting more and more anxious and not sleeping and when I tried to eat I felt sick.

Then the negative thinking kicked in and was thinking horrible thoughts and couldn't turn it off was so frightening.

I tried to get help going to the doctors and actually took myself to a and e a couple of times but just got send home again. Cannot tell you how horrific this time was. Trying to look after a baby at a time like that is so excruciatingly hard.

I got in the MBU eventually after my sister managed to help. I went into the unit around mid January and was there best part of 6 months and I didn't believe I was ever going to recover and the journey was so tough but the medication helps you get there and of course family and being in unit. Try and reassure your sister that from someone thats been there to depths of despair got there and she can do the same. It did take a while after being discharged from hospital before I fully recovered but it did happen and my son and me are a great wee team now.

Take care and I hope your sister is on the road to recovery now ❤.

Xxx

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