No meds : Hi ladies I’m trying to get... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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No meds

Dancedance2020 profile image

Hi ladies I’m trying to get through this without medication I tried it it and didn’t like how it made me fill did anyone get through this without medication I know it’s hard but I would love to hear the stories ☺️

7 Replies
Rachel_at_APP profile image

Hello Dancedance2020,

Firstly I'm really sorry you've been poorly with Postpartum Psychosis. How long ago did you get a diagnoses? I hope your little one is doing well, how old are they?

I had PP back in 2016 after the birth of my first baby. It happened very quickly, and was a complete shock to me and my whole family. I had to be taken to hospital for support and eventually had a stay in a mother and baby unit with my baby, before being able to return home about a month later. Are you currently at home receiving help and support?

As soon as I was diagnosed with PP, I was put onto medication. To begin with I was much too poorly to know what was happening, but the medication was definitely far and away the biggest thing to help be get better.

When I did start to come around, I didn't feel great at all on the medication to be honest, so I can kind of relate to what you're saying. My medication was an antipsychotic sedative ultimately, so whilst it absolutely stopped my psychotic symptoms, I was left feeling drowsy and "dulled". HOWEVER, it's important to say that I stayed on the medication with the support of my mental health team at the time. I knew just how important it was, having got better, to listen to their advice and accept their support.

I am so sorry to hear that you have struggled with medication, do you think that perhaps you haven't found the right one yet? I know that some women, with the support of the mental health team, try several different medications until they find one that works for them. Sometimes it is trial and error.

I noticed that you're in America, so I wondered if you have heard of Postpartum Support International? I wondered if they might also be able to offer support. You can read more about them here:

I know health care is a bit different to the UK in the US. Do you have support from a mental health team at all? If you're able to speak with them, please do if you can. Explain how you're feeling about the medication and hopefully they can support you through this.

Write here anytime if it helps. Take care, and I really hope you start to feel better soon.

Rachel x

Lilybeth profile image

Hello Dancedance2020

Welcome to the forum where you will find lots of support. I’m sorry you’re having a hard time finding your way through your illness.

I had PP many years ago and remember that I also didn’t like how the medications made me feel. So, without supervision, I decided to reduce my daily dose. This was such a big mistake as I went almost back to square one in my recovery! I hadn’t realised that the medications kept me stable and from my notes at the time I promised my psychiatrist that I would never do that again.

PP is described as a temporary illness but it seems never ending in the early days. How long has it been since your diagnosis? I think finding the right balance of medication helped with my delusions as they eventually faded, although I had other interventions too as medications alone did not work.

I hope you might find support locally at Postpartum Support International with the link given earlier. I also noticed in your reply on the forum that you thought it was encouraging to hear good stories as you feel you only hear the bad. So I wonder if you might find the PP Guides at helpful. There are personal stories on the page although the links in the Guides are in the UK. Also, if you can see the forum page with your post, there are also Related Posts at the side, which might be of interest about medication.

It’s not easy finding your way through such a traumatic illness. So take good care of yourself and please pop in again if you feel like it .... we are all here for each other.

Lilly53 profile image

Hi Dancedance2020

Glad you found the forum. I’m sorry to hear things are hard for you at the moment and the medication didn’t work out. I hope you will find the stories shared here useful.

I first experienced PP in 2011 and I didn’t take any medication. But that was because no-one realised I had PP. So my PP never got diagnosed. My family had not even heard of the illness!

Awareness of PP is thankfully much greater in the UK now. But I see you’re in the US. As others have said, what type of other care/support are you receiving instead of your meds? Do you have quick access to help/support should your symptoms suddenly worsen?

When I’ve since spoken to other PP mums about my symptoms back then (e.g halluncations, extreme paranoia/delusions and anxiety) they’ve said I probably should have been on antipsychotic medication. Luckily my symptoms passed on their own. But that took around 6 months!! I look back and can sometimes feel very sad about how long I suffered probably unnecessarily. But I can’t change the past. There were of course some harrowing/dark times. But in reality my son was always surrounded by love. Even though I despised him at times, feared being near him and thought others wanted to kill him. Everyone adored him! And the maternal instinct/ to protect him from harm and his continual need to be fed/cuddle/cared for just kept us routinely moving forward while I was ill which became our routine for life when I became well:) How is your relationship with your son/daughter at the moment? I found things like listening to music and just spending quality time together really helped us bond. Plus we had lots of short walks in the pram as we both loved the fresh air.

When I got PP with my second son in 2014. Everyone knew! After an assessment by a psychiatrist I went on to receive home visits from a-psychiatric nurse for 6 months. She helped me to recognise when/if my mental health might be deteriorating again. We then made a plan about how I could stay well (e.g. making time for things I enjoy - like the listening to music with my sons, getting enough sleep, keeping talking to people, trust my instincts, use positive mantras etc). Again I didn’t have medications but it was good to know it was there if my symptoms did get worse.

I hope you are staying well. Do post here again if that helps. Sending you lots of best wishes from here in England.

Twobabies profile image

Hello, sorry you’ve been diagnosed with Postpartum psychosis. I had it too after the birth of my girls in 2018. Im not be sure how possible recovery without medication would be I suspect if it was at all it would make it both more severe and a much longer recovery. For minor illnesses I might be more for trying different alternative treatments but ppp is one of the most severe mental illnesses and medication form such a critical part of recovery in all the amazing women I’ve every met that have had Ppp. I was sectioned and put on meds without me really knowing what was going on. It does sound like you have good awareness, are you in recovery from acute stage ? Once I started to recover and was back home after being hospitalised I did hate how drowsy the meds made me feel especially as I felt it was unfair I to be trying to look after twins while sedated. But I appreciated that they had saved me and I was putting my life back together so didn’t want to go backwards. I spoke with my nurses and in turn psychiatrist and they were good at helping me reduce dose slowly so I felt more alert. Could you speak with your medical team? If you maybe write down the things you don’t like about it they might be able to offer alternative medication? And or work with you to slowly reduce dose if they think it’s safe. It’s such a horrible illness and sounds like you’ve perhaps been through worse? But your body needs a break and meds can help with that. It’s frustrating I do get that as I felt it too but it takes time to fully recover. And being a well mum and woman more important that anything. Take care you. Glad you reaching out. Lots of amazing women on here. Xx

I understand I’m sorry that you are going through this I had my baby boy in October 2019 and got off my medicine six months ago depending on how you are feeling And working with a psychiatrist and a therapist and doing whatever self-care you need what helped me was prayer, patience ,nutrition , Exercise , a Schedule,Journaling , Meditation every day, therapy twice a month asking for help I need it even if it was uncomfortable for me because I’m never wanted to depend on anybody but it is important to have a community surrounding you , self-awareness making sure that you’re sleeping When I was on my medicine I definitely felt not myself but I believe it did help me sleep which is it very much need it but once I knew I wasn’t having delusions and I could fall asleep without the medicine once my psychiatrist went on maternity leave I was on such a low-dose I stopped which they were scared them when I told them ! but it made such a difference for me I did have to listen to myself And also tell my family and friends to watch out for me if there’s anything that is strange or they may see that I may need to go back on medicine please let me know but fortunately I was right by doing all all the things listed above It was a lot of work and I was willing to do it because I want it to feel myself again! Now I’m happy to say that I am living beautiful life with my Family and I thank this Network for allowing us to all share our stories I Do you believe that also helps to know that you’re not alone and this is not your fault and be gentle On yourself . Now the only medicine I take is maybe for anxiety once or twice in a month only when I need it . Do you believe Everyone situation is different please seek the help that you need ! I hope this helps Take Good Care

Hi dear Dancedance2020. Im so sorry you had PP. The problem with meds is that they all make you feel quite weird in terms of emotions and side-effects and so it’s very rare to be happy with your treatment while you are suffering PP acutely.

But you will be so grateful to them meds in retrospect, believe me!

Actually i remember how much i hated my meds and i thought they were killing my personality. But i still was delusional! And i thought i would be better off without them which was also a delusion.

It took about 2 or 3 months being on meds for me to be getting back to normal, and only then i realised how dangerous PP was in comparison to side-effects of my meds.

After you are past acute phase of PP , you usually have to stay on antipsychotics at least for 6-8 months.

I hated taking meds so much so i questioned many doctors, why is it so important to cure PP with meds, and why couldn’t i just wait till it’s gone by itself.

The answer was that the thing with not curing PP is that you have a higher risk of getting stuck with your delusions forever, so it’s not guaranteed that delusions will be gone on their own.

and another common risk is that PP , if not cured, will be followed by another manic or depressive episode and then a patient will be diagnosed with bipolar as a complication of non-cured PP. And the severity of this potential manic/depressive relapse is also a big threat to a patient.

So my point is that the key priority for doctors is to stop psychotic symptoms and to stop delusions and to make sure that you are back to normal and stable, and it’s going to take some time. And when we are suffering with PP, we are not very critical of how poorly we are.

I feel for you as i still find those antipsychotic drugs very tricky to handle. Still from my experience it was worth it, tolerating life with the meds as now i feel very confident and stable. And i am so happy that nobody listened to me back then, when i was still ill with PP and was so confident that i would be better if i stopped my treatment. I was wrong as i was ill and delusional.

I hope there is someone in your family who can guide you through and help you with finding best treatment possible.

Which drug are you on?

Lots of love and compassion

Lilybeth profile image

Hello Dancedance2020

Just wondering how you are and whether you found the shared experiences helpful.

I understand about how the medication makes you feel. I hope you might find some relief and support from your care team to help you through what is an awful experience, although treatable and temporary. Take very good care of yourself. We are all here to listen if it helps.

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