Almost 2 years after PP: Hi, this is... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Almost 2 years after PP

Alba123 profile image

Hi, this is the first time I have wrote on this page. So feeling a bite nervous.

I had PP in 2019, I then was hit with the depression after. I now feel like I am in a better place but, I still do not feel like myself.

I stayed in an MBU for 10 weeks, when I was discharged I found myself having a glass of wine each evening once the children where in bed. It felt like my release, from a hard day battling with all the darkness.

That one glass of wine grew into 2,3 then a bottle a night, only went I felt that tipsy feeling, I could relax.

It grew again as soon I wasnt getting that tipsy feeling after a bottle of wine so I moved onto spirits. Drinking around a litre in 4-5 days.

I never drink whilst the children are around, and never want to drink during the day. But as soon as the kids are in bef the first thing i do is pour my first drink.

If I dont drink for an evening, I am really agitated, angry and normally have a nightmare relating to PP. So I have a drink each night to stop that. It feels like the only time I can be happy, and relaxed.

I still do not have a bond with my baby, and still, after all the therapy, I still blame the baby for all of this. To be completely honest if someone offered to take him for good, I wouldnt think twice about it.

I dont really know what I am looking to get from this, but just writing it feels like a little weight of my shoulders.

14 Replies
hgallo profile image
hgalloVolunteer

Hi Alba123, welcome to the forum. It takes courage to post for the first time and open up about things. I had PP in 2016 after the birth of my twin girls. I think feelings after being so unwell can be very complicated and clouded by the illness.

You might find some useful support here for the issues you've mentioned with drinking: nhs.uk/live-well/alcohol-su...

How is your support network at home? I definitely need an outlet for the stresses of lockdown and having small kids. Are you managing to get out during the day at all?

Please keep in touch, lots of lovely ladies on here who will offer an outlet for how you're feeling. Take good care of yourself x

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Alba123

Thank you for having the courage to write on the forum and share your experience. Here you will find lots of support as we all understand how difficult coping after PP can be.

It’s not easy but try not to put too much pressure on yourself ..... building a bond does take time but after PP can take even longer. I had PP many years ago before MBUs and it was a struggle to find my place again.

It’s hard to keep judging yourself. When other mums talk about what a strong bond they have and you’re not quite there yet but it will come eventually.

It’s not made any easier during lockdown to be isolated from friends and family who you perhaps might otherwise have invited round for a chat. I can understand how having a drink blocks out any possible nightmares you may have about your PP experience as it’s such a lot to come to terms with. I was a completely different person during my episodes (PP twice, six years apart). Try to remember it wasn’t your fault.

I think you are in control of how often you drink, as you say you don’t feel the need during the day and never when your children are around. I’m not sure what therapy you have had but I think perhaps talking therapy would help you as a release from how much you are feeling. Perhaps you could ask your GP to signpost you for the support you need?

You’re not alone .... please reach out here if it helps to see your thoughts written down. Take care, we are all here for each other.

Revans86 profile image
Revans86Volunteer

Hi Alba123,

Welcome to the forum, and it’s so so good to hear you’ve found courage to write and share how you’re feeling.

I’m so sorry you’re having such a tough time. Don’t be nervous sharing here, you’ll find there are lots of supportive people only too happy to listen and give words of support and encouragement.

I too had PP back in 2016, so I can relate to the PP and latterly depression that followed.

I don’t think it’s uncommon that people with a traumatic mental health experience might look to alcohol to help them. The charity MIND write about it here: mind.org.uk/information-sup...

There is help out there. Are you still receiving support from a mental health team locally following your discharge from the MBU. I wonder if you feel comfortable talking it through with them? If not, maybe a visit to your GP?

On bonding with your baby, I don’t think it’s uncommon to struggle to bond following PP. I myself reckon it took at least 9 months following my baby’s birth to feel like I’d bonded and that I “got” this beautiful thing called motherhood. For others I know it’s taken longer to bond, give yourself time and credit for how far you’ve come. Given the trauma of PP, it’s not surprising I don’t think that it can take a while. PP can rob you of so much. But you can get better.

My advice would be to reach out to a loved one, and a health person like a health visitor, mental health team or your GP. People won’t want you struggling alone in this.

Im glad writing here has felt like a weight has been lifted. That’s what we’re here for. I remember my first post which I wrote from under my duvet some time ago now. You’re not on your own in how you’re feeling. Thinking of you. Take care xxx

rml93 profile image
rml93Volunteer

Hi Alba123

It’s takes a lot of courage to reach out so it’s very understandable why you are nervous, I hope the responses you get will give you some comfort in knowing you’re not alone. I also experienced PP in 2019.

I’m glad to hear you’re in a better place but sorry you’re still not feeling yourself. I hope either your GP on the resources shared on other responses can help with the issues you have faced with drinking.

I’m also sorry to hear you still feel like you don’t have a bond with your baby, I felt like that for quite a while after having my daughter so can somewhat understand how you’re feeling. I also had thoughts that if she was taken away it would be a weight off my shoulders and I could get on with my life as before or have a fresh start. Its very easy to compare yourself to others (which I found myself doing a lot) and hold high expectations of how you should be feeling towards your child too . Having support services, mum and baby/toddler classes and friends and family around helped but they were taken away with the lockdown.

My community nurse from the perinatal mental health team actually put me in touch with the children’s centre and I had a lady visit and call me from there with support, I also enrolled on a course about bonding with and understanding your baby (aimed for younger babies but maybe something similar and they have support for them being up to aged 5), perhaps it would be worth getting in touch with your local children’s centre to see if there is any support you can get through them. I know these services differ from area to area but my local one have been in touch about virtual courses they are doing at the moment so could be worth a try and you can register yourself.

I hope you find the support you’re looking for and feel you can reach out here whenever you need. Take care x

Being a mum is 95% drudgery, 5% joy. That’s what my sister, who has no mental health problems told me when I was recovering from my first PP. 🙂

You don’t have to love being a mom. You just have to do the best you can, and you are doing that. (For me, it gets easier and more fun as they get older.)

What you are doing is often described as ‘self-medicating’ with alcohol, which indicates you could do with some help and support.

You’ve made a start by posting on here. Several people have posted information sites which might help you decide what your next step is going to be.

Definitely ask for help. That’s what I’d love to tell my younger self. 🙂 Hope you are feeling ok tonight. 🤗 Take care.

EmiMum profile image
EmiMumVolunteer

Hello Alba123,

Welcomed to the forum, you will find plenty of support from everyone here, we have after all gone through a similar experience. I am glad that just writing here has lifted some weight off your shoulders, that's how it started for me too and I found the forum so helpful in my recovery.

You have already had some lovely replies from other ladies, signposting to places were you could get some help from. I know that asking for help for oneself can be very hard. Do you have someone close that could support you if you decide to contact your GP or any other form of help to chat about the drinking?

Regarding bonding with the baby, that also took me a while. I had pp in 2018, and I think it was well after her first birthday that I started to feel love towards her. Pp is such an upheaval, that it is quite understandable for that bond with your baby to take longer to develop, and as you mention children, I imagine your hands must be quite full at the moment.

Try not to be hard on yourself, please. Sometimes we tell ourselves that we should do this and should be at this stage now, when it is not a matter of meeting a deadline, every relationship between mother and child is so unique that it is an impossible task to fit them to a roadmap.

I hope you had a good night last night, take care, we are all here to listen when you need us

Pikorua profile image
PikoruaVolunteer

How are you Alba123? Lots has been said and suggested by those amazing mums above...Take your time, digest!I hope you can connect and talk with somebody you can trust. Like a spring board, in order to gain more confidence or trust within yourself.

Healing takes time...sending you much love and a big virtual hug!x

Thank you for sharing your story! I too had an episode of post partum psychosis after my third baby in 2020... several months later I couldn’t sleep, was consumed by the trauma/fear of relapse ...and then totally overwhelmed and anxious during the day. I started taking medication for sleep and it has helped. It may be worth looking into?? Thinking of you.

Fitel profile image
FitelVolunteer

Hi Alba123

Like so many of the other responders have said, welcome to the forum.

You are so brave and courageous for putting down in words what you are feeling right now, it says so much about the strong person that you are. I had PP in 2016 after the birth of my daughter and I too was in an MBU for 10 weeks, it felt like a lifetime. Even after discharge it took me a very long time to come to terms with how I fell ill, my recovery and all the feeling of guilt and sadness associated with an illness like PP. You are not alone in your thoughts. Someone once said to me that time is a very good healer and, the sun will always rise the next day and so I used to focus on this a lot when things got very tough…always knowing that I was one day closer to them getting easier. What has really helped me over the last 4.5 years is talking therapy, just the initial offload and listening ear of a skilled professional who is non-judgemental and just there for me has been so important for my recovery.

I hope your home support networks give you what you need and perhaps going to the GP for a referral for talking therapy to really help too.

Keep sharing on this forum as you need to and we’ll all be here to support when you do.

Take care x

sash-anonymum profile image
sash-anonymumVolunteer

I'm so sorry you are going through such a difficult time. I see there are lots of helpful replies on this already and all I would add is to encourage you to reach out for help from your GP, or another health professional you trust. Also, parenting is damn hard and frustrating and relationships between mothers and their children are ever changing and evolving. Don't feel bad for not being overwhelmed with loving thoughts. You have been through a traumatic time with PP and you deserve to focus on helping yourself get better and then the love for your little one will start to come naturally. Best wishes.

Thank you all for your lovely replies and advice.

I am so greatful.

However, I relly do not feel like I am going through a difficult time.

I feel like I had pp I had depression and now I am good.

But, my anxiety is through the roof, I cannot cope without a drink in the evening, but in day to day im doing okay.

Am I not doing okay? Am I stull struggling?

I just don't know where I am or whatto do?

I have been discharged to all mental health teams now, I dont see a health visitor. Maybe this is because I always say "yeah i am doing okay,"

Thanks again, I really appreciate your support xx

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Alba123

It’s good that you don’t feel like you are going through a difficult time but your anxiety is through the roof. As you said earlier, you feel the need to have a drink at night so that you don’t have a nightmare about PP, so I think you are still not well.

I think it would be a good idea to have a chat to your GP and talk openly about how you really feel and the coping strategy you have at the moment. It’s not easy in these short conversations over the phone at the moment. I always used to say I was ‘fine’ but I wasn’t coping, until I began to trust that professionals were really there for me and sourced the right treatment.

Anxiety can be crippling and all consuming so for your own peace of mind I think you need to confide in your GP or family. A few years on from PP and depression is not long although we are all unique and recovery can be short or long. Trying to cope with children and routine isn’t easy when you’re not feeling your best, especially in these strange days, so please ask for the support you need. For now, the BBC has launched “Headroom” a toolkit for mental health at bbc.co.uk/headroom where you might find something helpful, be it mindfulness, podcasts, or relaxing music.

Wrap yourself in the comfort blanket of home and please be kind to yourself. We are all here to lean on.

Hi Alba,It sounds like you've come so far in your recovery journey. That's great to hear.

Sorry to hear you are continuing to experience nightmares and intense anxiety, which you're using alcohol to cope with. It sounds like trauma related symptoms remain for you.

I found venting to my family and GP, talk therapy and eye movement desensitisation reprocessing (EMDR) helpful in managing this. As well a occasional lorazapam for intense anxiety symptoms. It has gotten a lot easier for me. I'm almost 2 years on from PP too.

Take care of yourself x

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello Alba123

I wonder if you have been able to talk openly to your GP about struggling with anxiety? I hope you have managed to find support for yourself. Stay safe.

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