Postpartum psychosis: Hi, just thought... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Postpartum psychosis

J42018
J42018

Hi, just thought I would introduce myself as it says lol. I’m a mother of 4 and after the birth of my son in 2018 I was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis. I’m am still on the road to recovery from this illness and it’s great to know there is a group of people who can relate to some of what I’ve went through as despite being under the care of a psychiatrist during pregnancy and at high risk I had never heard of this illness. I am still on medication to this day and can’t see that changing anytime soon as with the help of my psychiatrist I’ve tried to wean down my medication but it’s only resulted in symptoms coming back. Would just like to say I’m here for anyone that needs to talk and talking about it really helps. X

36 Replies
oldestnewest

Hi J42018,

Welcome to the forum and thank you for introducing yourself.

Wow four children! :) congruatultions. I have one son who will be two in January. How old are your other three?

I'm sorry to hear you suffered pp after the birth of your son only a couple of years ago, the fact you are reaching out and willing to offer your support to other women is simply amazing, you should be very proud. Unfortunately revovery can be a long process but please find comfort in knowing you're not alone.

Having bipolar I too was at high of becoming unwell yet was not told of the risk of having pp which was a scary thing to for me and my family to face as I'm sure you know. I became unwell a few days after the birth of my son in 2019 and was admitted to a mother and baby unit in Derby where I was a patient for 8 weeks. I am also still on medication and likely to be for the foreseeable but I'm ok with that , it helps me.

Thank you again for offering your support, you're right it is good to talk :)

Take Care

Jenni

Hi, lovely to hear from you. I have 3 older girls age 18, 14 and 10. My baby son was a complete surprise I found out I was having him when I was 20 weeks pregnant. Couldn’t make it up lol.

So glad to hear you are recovering and hope life is going well for you and your family. Postpartum psychosis really seems to be an extremely scary experience for the mothers and their family that are affected by it however so many people don’t even know it exists. I am still haunted by some of my behaviour to this day and I could sadly write a very long list of failures by my local mental health services however my family is all back together now and we are doing well.

You should also be so proud of yourself, and thank you for your comment that your still on medication and ok with that. It took me a while to accept that there is nothing wrong with needing medication and I’ll be on mine for as long as it takes.

Thanks

Jeannie x

EmiMum
EmiMumVolunteer

Hi J42018,

So nice of you to introduce yourself and offer support to others. Yes, I agree, talking is very healing. I am sorry to hear that pp was not discussed with you during your pregnancy despite being at high risk. I had pp in 2018 after the birth of my daughter and I also had no previous knowledge of it before being diagnosed. I wish it would be something more openly discussed, but the word psychosis has still such negative connotations.

Take care and a warm welcome to the forum

J42018
J42018 in reply to EmiMum

Hi,

Lovely to hear from you. So sorry you have also experienced postpartum psychosis. Hope you and your family are keeping well now.

As you say it’s a shame it’s not more openly discussed as it can affect anyone and is a serious illness. I was really lucky to get a place at a specialist mother and baby unit not too far from my home however it scares me to think what some poor mothers have to go through with lack of specialist mother and baby units. Hopefully if we can all speak up it might help to change the stigma and raise awareness of this illness. It’s only after recently following Eve Canavan on Instagram I’ve been a bit kinder to myself and realised there is no shame in what I’ve experienced.

Thanks

Jeannie x

EmiMum
EmiMumVolunteer in reply to J42018

Hi J42018,

MBU's are really incredible. I experienced both a general psych ward and an MBU and despite being under a perinatal psychiatrist while in general pysch, having my daughter in the MBU made an amazing difference to my recovery.

I am checking out Eve Canavan as I write, thank you for the reference. Yes, talking more about it and raising awareness is a great tool on prevention.

Take care

J42018
J42018 in reply to EmiMum

Hope you managed to find Eve Canavans page. She is refreshingly honest and is constantly working to raise awareness of postpartum psychosis.

Hello, to all three who have posted here. I notice that your children were born in 2018, and I just want to give encouragement. Mine were born in 2006 and 2009. I had PP with both but they're both fine, and I'm fine too.

My "words of wisdom" are: keep going, you're doing a great job.

Accept the support offered. (I regret not doing this as therapist/CPN has perspective and can see how ill/well you actually are.)

On the other hand, you are unique, and uniquely placed to know what will help you, in your situation. And that can change - certain meds can be less useful over time.

Take care of yourselves, and your beautiful toddlers. You will continue to recover. Wishing you all the best.

J42018
J42018 in reply to Well-read

Hi,

Thank you for your encouraging kind words. Thankfully me and my family are recovering well now however I’m well aware it’s a long process and I have regular contact with my psychiatrist and CPN.

It’s lovely to be able to talk to people who have had similar experiences.

Hope you and your family are well.

Thanks

Jeannie x

HI I noticed on your profile all your tags were anti psychotic meds but no mention of progesterone Progesterone is a hormone that dramatically drops after giving birth , giving rise to estrogen dominance which is excititory and can cause psychosis my sister had ppp and then developed bi polar disorder and was on loads of medication all her life , but her illness was hormonal and I think she would have benefitted from natural progesterone , I suggest you do some research bc your condition may be hormonal too

Hi, thank you for your reply. What you have mentioned is not something I have heard of and I will do some research into this. Thanks x

It is hardly mentioned on the Internet but it is incredibly important you can buy progesterone cream on ebay the Biovea one is good - not all have the real progesterone in but that does, as I said my sister had ppp then bipolar disorder she had every drug going but none were really any good I believe progesterone would've helped her because her pp and bpd were hormonal progesterone calms you down just like antipsychotic drugs but in a nice way

Thanks, definitely worth looking into for me as one of the things I really hated when I was on a higher dose of Olanzapine was how numb I felt.

I tend to find I become very angry and aggressive if I forget the oestrogen gel.

Oestrogen is excititory too much oestrogen can.cause bipolar, ppp also allergies

Progesterone is the opposite and calms everything down

When my sister went on hrt - after not having a manic episode for a few years - she went really high /manic

Yes. It’s an area that needs a lot more research I think. Because if it can just be treated by hormones, that feels a lot safer than some of these drugs. I do feel that because it’s a women’s health issue, it hasn’t been properly researched. Treatment just goes straight for the anti psychotic drugs.

Absolutely agree with you

J42018
J42018 in reply to Well-read

The one thing I hated when I was in the mother and baby unit was how often they tried to make me take medication from the diazepam family, I was terrified I would become dependant on them. I completely refused and was warned on more than one occasion that I would be sectioned. Thankfully that didn’t happen and even though I was hyper manic I was still able to care for my son. Mindfulness really helped me and I got all the mums going on daily mindfulness Mile walks. Thank you for sharing your experiences

Well-read
Well-read in reply to J42018

I understand that. 🙂

I totally get that. I now have minera coil and oestrogen and I have never been so well. I think I may have a hormone disorder and not bipolar at all.

J42018
J42018 in reply to Well-read

Thank you. So glad to hear you are well. I hadn’t even though of exploring other avenues and it’s great to hear about other people’s experiences

Bipolar disorder can be hormonal

I assume you are on medication for bipolar disorder as well as the Minera coil ?

Yes I’m on lamotragine but only 5mg. It’s a maintenance dose, in case I need to increase it at some point as you can’t really stop and start with this type of meds, as you know. I started with the coil and the hormones Sept 2019. And my moods were in the normal range - before lockdown. I’m noticing , looking back, that I’ve gone ballistic regularly every month since lockdown, but only for a few days - extreme low mood, every time.

So overall you say your mood has lifted since being on the Minera coil / gel?

Absolutely. Instead of getting the extreme low mood, and some elevated mood in the springtime, my moods really calmed down. My mood chart looked like that of a normal person and I wasn’t spending all my energy on trying to control my behaviour and deal with my low mood. The mental health team discharged me. I don’t think I need the lamotragine - but of course all psych patients say they don’t need the drugs! I will give it at least another year then approach mental health services to see if I can come off it.

I have just read that the Minera coil is all progesterone - and you have the estrogen gel , that's the one to watch that you don't overdo it on - the estrogen Estrogen is ok as long as you have the progesterone to moderate it

But that's really interesting

That’s right. I have the gel so I can control the dose. From what you’re saying I might be better to hold back on the oestrogen at certain times. I’ll keep tracking it.

Definately, it's good you keep a mood chart

Hi, I was unwell in 2018 as well after having my daughter. I'm still not well at all and finding recovery really slow (and frustrating).

I've since been diagnosed with bipolar and am trying to find the right medication combination.

Welcome to the forum.

J42018
J42018 in reply to AstroSue

Hi,

Thanks for your reply. So sorry to hear you are finding recover slow however I can relate. I was really disappointed and annoyed that when Covid hit earlier this year all my symptoms returned with a vengeance.

One thing that’s not in my nature to do however has helped me a lot recently is to be kinder to myself. The way I think of it is if I had a problem with say my heart I wouldn’t think twice about following doctors advice so why is my mind any different. Be proud of yourself what you have came through. Only a message away if you need to talk.

Take care

Jeannie x

Well-read
Well-read in reply to J42018

Exactly. It’s a health problem, like diabetes. I don’t know if or how they can test for hormone imbalance as it varies during the month anyway. But if you need contraception, you may find the pill helps. I was prescribed it for monthly pain (long story) but I found it really calmed mood swings down. It is so clear in my mood chart - I wish I had known that hormones could cause such extreme mood swings. 🙂

Jenny_at_APP
Jenny_at_APPAdministrator

Hi J42018Welcome to the forum :) Thank you for posting and introducing yourself, it’s so valuable having this space where we can all share our experiences and support each other.

I had PP after my first son was born in 2012. It was completely out of the blue and so scary not knowing what was happening, we definitely need to keep trying to raise awareness and talking about it. I’m sorry it sounds like you’ve had some bad experiences with your local mental health services, and despite being high risk weren’t aware of PP, but really glad you’ve got good support now. Being kind to ourselves is definitely a really important thing :)

I think the discussion around hormones and hormonal treatments is a really interesting one, more research into this would definitely be very helpful. I just wanted to add for everyone reading this thread that at present, there is not enough evidence that treatment with progesterone or oestrogen is beneficial in PP or for maintenance of mood stability after PP. The key clinical guidelines in the UK and around the world (e.g. NICE, SIGN) do not recommend progesterone or oestrogen in the treatment or prevention of PP. APP’s experts say although hormonal changes may well play a role in PP we need more research to understand this better. Obviously we’re all different and different approaches and treatments will work well for one individual and not another.

I hope you’re doing well at the moment and are looking forward to Christmas. Thank you again for posting and sharing your experience, it’s lovely to ‘meet’ you here :)

Best wishes,

Jenny x

I'm so sorry you've been suffering. I was diagnosed with post partum psychosis with my first child, 3 days after givin birth. I'm still suffering with post natal depression and on medication. I was admitted to an MBU for nearly three months and everyone kept saying I would get better. I didn't believe a single one of them! But you will get there. Xxx

J42018
J42018 in reply to Mummy1986

Thank you. Having suffered from major depressive disorder most of my adult life I am well aware of how hard depressive episodes are. Really hope you are ok. Only a message away if you need to talk xxx

Mummy1986
Mummy1986 in reply to J42018

Thank you xxx it's so reassuring to know we're not on our own xxx

Hazello
HazelloVolunteer

Hi J42018, Just a wee message to say hi and wow, I feel tired just imagining life with 4 children! I had PP in 2016 and was in a MBU for a few weeks then. I have had my second son last year and have been well this time. I just wanted to say I can totally relate to Covid rocking the boat. I've been much more wobbly since that all started.

I noticed on your profile that you're in Scotland, me too! Hope you are getting the support you need. Lockdown and restrictions certainly make it harder for us to get the support from professionals, friends, families and organisations that we would have relied on before. Hopefully in the coming months all these avenues will open back up again. but in the meantime it's fab you've discovered us. I've really appreciated feeling that I'm not alone through this forum.

Best wishes

Hazello

J42018
J42018 in reply to Hazello

Hi,

Thanks for your response lovely to hear from you. The kids are aged between 18 and 2, I had my oldest at 18 so basically all I’ve ever known is looking after kids lol. They keep me going and there is never a dull moment In my house. Lol.

Glad to hear you are keeping well, Covid has been tough on us all and as you say hopefully things will be able to get back to full service soon. I’ve been lucky to have video calls with my CPN and psychiatrist. Mine and my sons picture has been on the APP cover photo for a while but I’m so happy I finally took the leap to join the peer support group. Everyone has been so kind and helpful.

Jeannie xxx

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