How long can post partum psychosis la... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

3,024 members2,132 posts

How long can post partum psychosis last for?

Fairylou profile image

I was diagnosed when I gave birth 19 months ago but recently have another episode of psychosis. How long will this illness last for?

9 Replies

Dear FairlyLou, was it induced by stress? What happened in the run up to the episode? sleep deprivation ? menstrual cycle? potential miscarriage? How was it same/different from before? My wife has had similar mostly linked to her menstrual cycle. Yes, it can last a fairly long time, with bursts like this. All the best!

Ellie_at_APP profile image

Hi Fairylou

My name is Ellie, I had postpartum psychosis after the birth of my son in 2011.

I’m so sorry that you’ve had a second episode of psychosis.

Do you have some good support around you, and do you feel you’re getting the right treatment / medication, and are starting to recover?

I am sure others will reply who have experienced similar. It is hard to say how long recovery will be as it is different for each person.

You will definitely get better and come through this. And through this experience perhaps you’ll feel more knowledgeable about your triggers and what helps you to stay well?

Take care and do know you can write here at anytime


Hi Fairylou,

My daughter had very severe episodes at 18 months after birth of both her sons. She may have been undiagnosed bipolar depressive. She also had stopped taking olanzapine to continue to breastfeed. She was also not sleeping normal cycles.

Take good care of yourself, get your rest, stay in touch with your support team and get all the help you need! Stay on your meds. Keep healthy! You will get better!

Lots of hugs!

Peter and Rosa


hgallo profile image

Hi fairylou, sorry to hear you've had a second episode. I had pp in 2016 and then a further brief episode of psychosis in 2018. The psychiatrist thought my second episode was induced by stress as my daughter had been admitted to hospital. I restarted my meds and a cpn came each week for 3 months.

I was frustrated when I had the second episode as I had been well for a while. But unlike the first time I recognised I was getting unwell and didn't have to go into hospital.

Like the other ladies said, good support and knowing your triggers helps. I know it's frustrating but you will get through it, as you did the first time. Try and be kind to yourself and take any support offered. Keep in touch, x

AlexandraJay profile image

Hello there,

I hope you're well as can be!

I had PP in 2014 when I have birth to my daughter and in 2016 when I gave birth to my son. I was diagnosed with bi polar disorder but believed I wasn't so discontinued medication.

It was this summer I had a manic episode unrelated to childbirth and I realised that I do have bipolar disorder. I take olanzipine to stop me going high and sertraline to stop me going low and the medication is working.

I hope you find the right balance of medication and the right therapist if that is what you require. It is still a big shock when you relapse and can be really confusing if you've been well for a while. Sending you love and best wishes ❤️ xxx

Jcollins profile image

Hi there,

I had PP in 2015 and after stopping antipsychotics abruptly when my daughter was 1, I spiralled into an episode of psychosis which ended up lasting about 4 months so I was in hospital for all of that time. I ended up having paliperidone monthly injections along with lithium and other meds. This seemed to work eventually but I had lots of side effects.

I now just take lithium and this is going fine for me.

It’s so hard to say how long episodes can last. It seems to vary so much but I hope you’re getting the right help and find the right medication/ talking therapy for you x

Pikorua profile image

Hi Fairylou,

thank you for your message. It is such an eye-opener that even though we recover from PPP our body, mind and souls have not only been through the mill, but we've become quite vulnerable to stressors whilst on the road of recovery. Thus, one of the reasons why we always highlight to take things steady, all in stepping stones etc.

For those who continuously struggle with their mental health long term (more than 2 yrs) after PPP it maybe an indicator that one has an additional mental health condition. My traumatising experience caused PTS and in addition I finally was diagnosed more than eight years later by Professor Ian Jones with BP1. A second opinion can be of great value to life quality. Finally I tackled my Insomnia. Life is much easier, especially for my family.

Take good care and it maybe worthwhile to explore new avenues with your health professionals and get a second opinion.

Lilly53 profile image

Hi FairyLou. Welcome.

Everyones experience is different so it’s hard to say how long PP will last. But as others have said, are you perhaps aware what might have triggered this recent episode and what might help you to get well?

I had PP 10 years ago with the birth of my first son. Then I experienced it again after the birth of my second son 6 years ago. I am better now but I have experienced some return of PP symptoms in the last 2 years which was very scary in the moment it happened. I was surprised it came but in hindsight I can see that increased stress and lack of sleep were triggers for me. For example, one repeat episode was in the first lock down when I was trying to juggle home schooling my boys while working and getting very little sleep too. But I spoke to my boss about my workload and we made some changes. I also tried to make sure I made more time for things I enjoy like yoga, music and calling friends/family (all of which further help me manage my stress).

I really hope you’re getting the support that you need. It’s great you got in touch with the forum and there’s always someone here if you want to talk more about how you’re feeling.

Best wishes

Lilybeth profile image

Hello Fairylou

I hope you found the replies here helpful. Experiencing psychosis again recently must have been very hard for you and I hope your GP and care team are looking after you.

Like many here, I had my first PP out of the blue, many years ago. Then six years later I experienced another episode after the birth of my second son. I think medication was helpful in reducing my delusions but it did take me a while to recover as I also had depression.

Take good care of yourself, ... it’s very hard being isolated due to restrictions but hopefully it might be easier for you when we are allowed to socialise again. For now, we are always here to listen. Stay safe.

You may also like...