Trusting oneself: Hey everyone, I was... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Trusting oneself

DM_110 profile image

Hey everyone,

I was wondering if anyone went through emotions of mistrust in yourself during your recovery period. I'm 5 months from my PP episode and notice that I haven't been able to gain back trust in myself. I question myself often and don't trust my own decisions and thoughts as I normally would. Any suggestions for overcoming these emotions?

11 Replies
Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello DM_10

Good to hear from you. I think in the early months into recovery I had a lot of self doubt. I don’t think I realised how much I had been through and expected to pick up where I left off before PP. I remember thinking that my husband was much better with our baby and I would always question my decisions.

Have you talked to your family about how you feel? I’m sure they would be able to reassure you that you are doing great. Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves and compare ourselves to other mums. I think as you recover and build your confidence you will begin to trust yourself and feel that “I can do this”.

Are you still on the waiting list for PSI support? Be kind to yourself and lean on the support of family and friends.

We are here for you .... take care.

DM_110 profile image
DM_110 in reply to Lilybeth

Yes, my family in particular my mom has been a great help in my recovery. I agree about comparing with other mums, I find myself doing that often.

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer in reply to DM_110

Hello DM_110

Good to hear that your mom has been a great help in your recovery. Talking is a great way of hearing your thoughts out loud, rather than keeping a lid on things that might be worrying you. I’m sure finding time to sit down with your mom has been very comforting.

I found it difficult to see other mums looking so confident, even my sister. Thankfully she didn’t suffer PP but couldn’t understand why some days I couldn’t get out of bed 😞

I have since realised that as PP mums we are unique ..... we have fought so hard to be well. You might take a bit longer to make decisions but that’s because you are trying your best and I think, at times, medication made me slower.

Only months on you should be very proud. Be kind to yourself and stay safe.

EmiMum profile image
EmiMumVolunteer

Hi DM_110,

How are you doing? So good to hear from you and thanks for raising a very important point. I can so much relate to your experience early into my recovery from pp. Pp is such an incredibly traumatic experience that I think many moms on this forum will also find your experience at this point to be very relatable.

However, it does get better. I had a bad depression after my pp episode in 2018 and that naturally knock my confidence back even more. Certain things were helpful to me when I was in the aftermath of it, I am writing some down here.

- getting a bit of a routine in place, does not have to be extensive or too rigid, certainly not an hour by hour, I started planning one or 2 things in the mornings and same for the afternoons, and I tried to add a thing to do on my own with some frequency during the week, a 20 min yoga session or a coffee with a friend while baby naps, or any hobby you might enjoy

- I tried as much as possible to not ask a lot from myself to begin with, as Lilybeth says as mums we have and put ourselves really high targets and we expect to pick up where we left. It is interesting because anyone early into their revovery from a serious car accident does not expect to walk a mile at the drop of a hat, so why after the upheaval that pp is do we give ourselves such a hard time?

- I took medication for my depression and while it took some time to have an effect, I think that was helpful for me in the sense that it allowed me to break my low moods and start doing things that I gradually enjoyed a bit more

- support from family and friends was invaluable, I can't thank them enough for everything, their time, care, patience

- journalling, was also a good tool at the beginning, specially when I started to look back into older entries and realised how the good days were becoming more frequent

-the passing of time, sounds a total cliche, but the farther in the past my episode of pp was the more of myself I recovered, I think it has to do with making newer memories after what you go through. Its a going back to yourself, that will come to you in time

Pp is really recoverable the strong brave mums in this forum can testify to that, they go on to lead full lives as mums, professionals, and they tirelessly help others who have gone through a similar experience.

Take good care of yourself and write here whenever you feel like it, we are all here listening and looking out for each other

DM_110 profile image
DM_110 in reply to EmiMum

Thank you for the detailed response. It’s always reassuring to hear that this illness is recoverable!

I can relate to this so much. I still have a hard time trusting my own mind but it’s gotten better. I’m just so afraid of it happening again. I don’t have any advice for how to get through it, just that you aren’t alone and time certainly helps. It took me a year to feel like myself again.

Hi, i can complete relate with what you are saying. It is just part of the healing process. Give yourself time and it will get better :-)

Hi DM_100! So sorry to hear that you went through PP and still struggle with the consequences of mistrust in yourself.

What kind of actions and emotions and thoughts make you question yourself?

Every PP is unique but still many features are in common.

My PP was very full of aggression and arguing with my parents, many of my delusions were about them being evil and manipulative people, serving the will of Devil.

And after psychiatric hospital it was very difficult for me (and for them) to understand, which part of my anger and aggression towards them is the echo of PP and which part of it is just natural and is a part of reality and our routine communication.

I spent a year doing talking therapy to finally sort it out and it helped me buit trust in me a lot.

I guess asking my mental health doctors and reading and educating myself about psychiatric condition of psychosis also helped a lot to understand what is mania and what turns a thought into delusion to be clear that i don’t suffer from it anymore.

It’s also important to find an elegant way to educate your family members, especially those who were the witnesses (and maybe be a part of your delusional ideas) during your PP as they also may be confused how to tell your well from your poorly and they can “gaslight” unintentionally. It might be very difficult unless your family really want to understand more about your condition as they usually want to leave it in the past ASAP. For example, my family thought that pretending that nothing happened and never mentioning anything about my PP or psychiatric hospital was a good and polite strategy of giving me my confidence back , but i felt trapped and very confused because i felt like i stuck alone on the ruins of my old personality. Sometimes they switched to the mode of analysing my every action through the prism of PP or manifesting their care through the question “Did you remember to take your meds??” which was also very annoying, to be honest. With all of this i felt “sick” much longer than i actually was... I don’t blame them because they were never trained how to support a woman after PP and this skill my not be so intuitive. Maybe you remember a wonderful movie “Silver Linings Playbook” with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence? I think this movie pictures very precisely the confusion every family faces after their precious family member is being discharged from mental health facility. Anyway, i hope your experience is different from mine and you enjoy the way your family supports you.

i think it’s a long way of building yourself back and even re-inventing yourself. but after you sort it all out you will be much stronger! i believe it’s a unique experience, in many ways very liberating as it teaches us to accept ourselves and learn more about the peculiarities of how we process emotional side of life.

Most of the studies say that PP is mainly happening due to hormonal and genetic and random factors, so there’s is no immediate connection between how happy you felt before PP and how unhappy you became after it.

Despite being a traumatic experience itself, for me PP was also an eye-opener and the key to many psychological problems which i never realised i had until my brain went into agitated super-fast PP mode. After i worked through all the ideas of my delusions with my therapist it became very clear to me where my healthy ended and wear my unwell began, and which trates of my character aggravated my PP.

Good luck on your journey

xxX

Twobabies profile image
TwobabiesVolunteer

Hi DM_110, very common to feel this way. I had Postpartum psychosis in 2018 and definitely struggled for a while after to trust my decisions. I’ve got much better over time. It’s good you’ve identified yourself feeling this, I’m not sure I had the insight in the early days of recovery, but identifying it is important step as you could then recognise it as something related to recovering from this illness, and maybe say to yourself ah mistrusting thoughts and in a sense distance yourself from the thought. I found talking therapy helped me lots. Other than that I guess chatting to friend / family for second opinion might help you get some reassurance. Maybe also try writing down what you think, journal as was suggested by another person on the forum. I also find lying back and breathing deeply helps me think more clear (shavasna in yoga). Confidence will come back in time. Sending lots of love and best wishes. 🌻❤️

Morning,

I can totally remember feeling this I think it's all part of PP. I had PP Dec 2016 remember it like it was yesterday. It taken me about 3 and a half years to make a full recovery, I kept saying to myself I'm recovered now trying to rush the process until more recovery came. I had no trust in myself constantly asking my partner at the time, friends and family about decisions I was making sometime even simple things I felt so anxious. It's interesting my parents made a comment to me yesterday that I looked very relaxed like the old Esther they know such a great compliment to receive after being through so many difficulties.

What helped I work as an Occupational Therapist and started by building up my own treatment plan for activities that made me feel good about myself and to aid healing examples I spent one year really going for it - weekly psychotherapy, movement therapy, expression through voice, nutritional therapy, coaching, dancing therapeutically, Sound healing, getting a hot tub, open water swimming.............and of course medication to work along side these. This may sound excessive but for me I knew this would help finding meaning and purpose to my self and build on my confidence where key. Stepping aside from my roles as a mother, sister, daughter, partner etc and just be me Esther. There is no one size fits all here your have to find your own path through the recovery process. And I often have more layers coming off its actually challenging to know when to say your fully recovered and actually do you ever fully recover because these experiences can change you for a life time not always for the worse, I feel more balanced and grounded than I have ever before. I have learnt to rest when I want to, say no if I don't want to do something and fully honour myself with what ever comes up.

This is a lot longer than I thought I would response it's been a while since writing this stuff.

Sending you much love on your journey, you are not alone we have all been through PP here and can hear where you are at. KEEP GOING there is light and hope x

HelenMW profile image
HelenMWVolunteer

Hello DM

I think I just felt very delicate after my episode of PP. it was over 30 years ago and back then I was discharged on Lithium and Amitryptelline for one year. I just gave myself space and tried to keep things calm. Friends and family stepped in where they could. I was just so relieved to be well and home but there were moments of little wobbles. I did feel better once my periods started 6 months later and then over the next 6 months a gradual feeling of being stronger and having more confidence. I was a bit anxious coming off the medication but it all happened gradually and I was fine.

Hoping you can take one day at a time, look after yourself and family and I also hope you are able to share your feelings. I am a great believer in talking therapies and getting other perspectives on what we think and feel.

Sending very best wishes. Helen

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