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Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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TRIGGERING EMOTIONS/FEELINGS & INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS

KeiraMarie profile image

Evening ladies me again..

Thankyou to all those who replied to my last post a few weeks back I do appreciate it honestly 💕

I feel for the majority I’m doing okay.. & this week has been very hard & hands on as my youngest who is now 17months (I had boaderline PP after he’s birth Feb 2020) came down with an awful sickness viral late Saturday afternoon, & deteriorated very quickly, he wasn’t eating or keeping any fluids down & was very lathargic & slept ALOT also had zero interest in playing with he’s toys etc, so our doctor advised us to take him to AnE on the children’s CAT ward for observation & to see if there was anything else underlying..

I was happy to take him as seeing him so unwell was heartbreaking & all I wanted to do was take the illness away for him & make him better ASAP,

As soon as we arrived at the hospital & was walking up to the ward I could feel my anxiety rising & at this point I begin to fight back the tears & continue to get my child up on the ward, it brought so many flashbacks of trauma from my experience 17months ago & once I had arrived on the ward I was in tears & a lovely nurse came over to give me a cuddle & was so understanding to my background, she asked me to leave him with he’s daddy & me & my eldest lad go downstairs to the cafeteria area & go get ourselves a cool drink & wait for them, I was happy & relieved to do this so that’s what we did, me & my 6 yr old had a few hrs together sat outside in the sunshine (it was 29oc) having a little picnic together, my boyfriend kept me informed on the updates with Luke & thankfully he was cleared okay & allowed home with a diagnosis of a severe viral with symptoms made much more severe due to the heatwave we are currently having (uk)

I was absolutely fine during this time & very happy to see my baby looking a little better £ glad to be going home,

& as we was waking out the hospital grounds an intrusive thought popped in my mind of ‘what if they have fitted him with a device to check on us all at home & how we are doing’

Again completely & utter nonsense as I knew it was, I KNEW & KNOW it’s not reality & it’s my mind due to going back to a place where my illness began & there is deep trauma still there hidden deep within me

This thought was very unsettling & anxiety provoking & I did confide in my family as to how I was feeling & the thought I was having..

They reassured me it was just all due to the deep trauma I haven’t yet dealt with & worker on (I’m due to see a private counsellor next week for my first session)

I’ve been fine in myself, getting on with the days, bossing motherhood & there is no signs or symptoms of me relapsing at all.. I know this isn’t a relapse as I am perfectly able to function day to day & remain mummy to my two beautiful babies,

It’s just all very upsetting & triggering isn’t it when you find yourself in these places that caused you so much trauma & illness

I guess the point of this post is just getting my feelings out there & looking for reassurance that I’m not alone in how I feel when we go back to somewhere that triggers how we felt during our PP episodes..

any advice/support or you’re stories would be greatly appreciated ☺️

Hope we are all okay xx

7 Replies

Hi Keira

Triggers can be really hard when unexpected things happen but even in day to day life they can take us by surprise. My boy is 2 and 1/2 years old now and it can still be hard. Like you some days I fell like the worlds best mum and wife; other days not so much. Just know you arent alone. And all the best with your counselling sessions

Take care

Ailania (aka Laney aka Irishgirl1710)

Rachel_at_APP profile image
Rachel_at_APPAdministrator

Evening KeiraMarie,

Gosh I’m so sorry your littlest one has been poorly and that you’ve had a hard time of it. Glad it’s nothing too serious and you’re back home with your little boy. That must be a huge relief. I hope he’s feeling much better.

Your post is similar to mine in that I just knew going to hospital after having had PP was going to be triggering. I had to take my (silly) husband to A&E three years after I’d had PP as he unfortunately injured his eye. I was so very worried about going with him, I took all the things with me, a book, magazines, HEADPHONES to block out all the triggering noises. Sunglasses and an eye mask to block out the hospital lights. Goodness I was worried.

I think that’s a normal reaction after being so poorly and suffering such trauma like we both have though.

Taking your child to hospital is such a horrible and stressful thing to do too isn’t it. My little boy had to go to hospital by ambulance last February, again I was a mess! I think that’s completely normal. You’re their Mummy and it’s so very normal and natural to worry. It’s massively unsettling. I’m glad you found the nurse understanding and helpful.

Well done for confiding and being honest with your family about the intrusive thoughts you had. Acknowledging them, is such a positive thing to do. Do also pop to your GP or other health professional too if you need to. They are there to support you.

I hope the counselling goes well when you start next week.

Take great care of yourself whilst you wrap your little one in cotton wool too.

Thinking of you.

Rachel x

Thankyou so much for the reply, I do feel a relief knowing that I ain’t alone in these intrusive thoughts when they do pop up unexpectedly at times, & the thought I had after taking my little boy to AnE did sit with me for a few days & each time it did/does I’m able to take my mind off it by focusing on something else (fave tv show,engaging with my boys etc) so it’s comforting to know this isn’t a relapse or a step backwards just a little upset triggered by trauma xx

Hey dear KeiraMarie! Thank you for raising this topic! I believe PP is very unique experience in terms of triggers- it’s as if memories and sensations don’t fade away as quickly as other unpleasant memories. I guess it may be so because our brain worked too fast and too intense during PP, i imagine as if there is a “scar” on my memory tissue.

The hospital where i gave birth and where my PP started is the nearest health centre to me and my kid’s medical services also located in the same building… It’s still very bitter and controversial. Actually almost every time i pass by the building, it makes me reminisce… As if i want some kind of replay, with successful outcome of my labour. My kid is 1,8 but my emotions are still pretty strong and talking therapy didn’t help me much, to be honest. Sometimes i think i need to have second child to substitute this memory with another one.

And i have to visit my psychiatric hospital once in a while, like every 1-2 months, as my mental health team don’t do home visits. but i was lucky and they were so nice to me in psychiatric hospital , so despite the place is still spooky i somehow love it. But it doesn’t help overcome those memories either- it’s like a constant reminder that i went mad once and that i’m not a part of mentally healthy community anymore .

xx

EmiMum profile image
EmiMumVolunteer

Hi KeiraMarie,

I am so sorry to hear that your boy was poorly and you had to go to A&E. Glad he is back home and he did not have to stay in the hospital.

Yes, I very much sympathise with you in terms of intrusive thoughts popping in at sometimes unexpected times. The one I get every now and again is that I am in fact living in a simulation. Like you say, as you are having that thought you know it is not true and just an intrusive thought that has bubbled up to the surface triggerred by something.

My way to deal with them is to try to rationalise them, when my thought pops into my head I just think, well do I have a way to prove I live in a simulation, not really, and neither does anyone else, so then it doesn't really matter, does it? It seems like a bit of a "mad" coping mechanism, as you "entertain" the intrusive thought for a moment, but for me if I am feeling vulnerable or tired at the time it feels more effective. A moment later I'll look back and name the thought for what it was, rationalising it. If I were for example to think that they are spying on me, I would try to then realise, well but if they are spying on me they would see a mum that is coping really well on most days, some days happier and some days more tired and sad, like every other person, and that her child is quite well adapted, resilient and happy.

I am really glad you have got the great support from your partner and that you will start to get some counselling very soon, I hope your therapist is a good match with you and that your sessions will prove productive.

Take good care, thanks for raising such a common topic to us all mums who have been through this experience.

Thankyou everyone for you’re replies & for sharing that intrusive thoughts after PP are & still can be very much present, I do feel a sense of relief knowing that you ladies too do experience them at times & like me are able to rationalise them, which is a good sign, been able to rationalise the thoughts & focus are mind elsewhere 😊 Today tho has been a much more positive day for me mentally & I’ve made I’ve taken my sertraline so I’m overall feeling more content & not allowing myself to over think this too much

I do hope we are all okay, & just to let us ladies all know it’s okay to have intrusive thoughts at times after a episode of PP & to not fear them as it’s a common symptom from dealing with the trauma of all we have gone through, it doesn’t mean we are relapsing or that psychosis is returning ☺️Xx

Naomi_at_app profile image
Naomi_at_appAdministrator

Hi KeiraMarie

I’m so glad it’s been reassuring to hear from others that at times of stress and exhaustion it’s really common for an occasional intrusive thought to crop up. It’s so great to have this APP community where we can openly express our concerns and experiences.

Similarly to EmiMum, I definitely noticed when I was particularly tired or overwhelmed that a thought would come in about whether my delusion of the end of the world was true. But like both you and EmiMum describe, being able to rationalise and reassure ourselves that it is just a thought is really helpful.

Really glad to hear you have had a better few days, well done for getting through such a stressful time and I hope your son has made a good recovery.

Warm wishes

Naomi

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