Post Partum Psychosis for new mom - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Post Partum Psychosis for new mom

ELzawa profile image
14 Replies

my sister in law just was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis following the birth of her daughter, 2 weeks ago.

It was a very traumatic time for all family involved to watch this young mom struggle with all aspects of life.

Is there anyone out there that has been through this and has any advice as the family tries to move forward? Mom is now home with baby and husband but there is very obviously a lot of work that needs to be done.

she is not the same person, will she ever be?

14 Replies
Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello ELzawa

Welcome to the forum and thank you for reaching out to help your sister in law. Here you will find lots of support and shared experiences so you are not alone. I am so very sorry to hear that your sister in law suffered PP. It is a very stressful time for everyone.

I had PP twice, many years ago and can reassure you that although it is a traumatic experience, it is a temporary and very treatable illness. I think it’s very early days as the baby was born only two weeks ago. I’m not sure about maternity after care in Canada but wonder if there will be a nurse visiting on a regular basis?

I also wonder if you have heard of Postpartum Support International at postpartum.net for support locally? If you click on the link to International Support you will find Canada listed and details of co-ordinators for advice and support. We are all here to lean on too.

There are PP Insider Guides at app-network.org/what-is-pp/... one of which is “Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis” which might be helpful. There are also personal stories on the page which mums have shared.

When I was struck with PP it came completely out of the blue, as for many mums here, and was all very real and frightening. With good medical care and with time your sister in law will find her place again. We are all here to listen if it helps.

Thanks for writing ... congratulations on the birth of your niece 🌸. Take care.

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello again ELzawa

Just to confirm the link to Postpartum Support International is postpartum.net/.

With best wishes.

EmiMum profile image
EmiMumVolunteer

Hi ELzawa,

A warm welcome here. So kind of you to be seeking out help for your sister in law. I had pp back in 2018, it is traumatising as you say and escalates so quickly that you are forced to make decisions regarding care and treatment in such a short period of time, it is a complete whirlwind. I am sorry that your sister in law and her family have been through this.

At the same time it is a very treatable illness and with time your sister in law will be back to herself, the mums on this forum are living proof of it.

It is still very early days, does your sister in law and her husband have support at home at the moment? It can be quite overwhelming the first few weeks, as there is a lot to come to terms with and looking after a newborn on top of that. But be hopeful that things will start to settle a bit as time passes.

Please take good care of yourself as well as this illness takes a toll on the family. Will be thinking of you all

AlexandraJay profile image
AlexandraJayVolunteer

Morning,

I have experienced PP twice and believe me it was a hard battle but she will be back to herself with time and on a positive note, maybe come back even stronger and more aware of herself and her abilities. The love, understanding and support from family and friends is crucial to maintaining well-being and feeling better about what has happened and recovery. The process can be difficult, throughout the mania, I found life quite enjoyable, it was the aftermath and depression that followed when I got home that I found the hardest. Medication and the right help from professionals should be taken seriously. I foolishly disengaged with treatment and medication too early after coming home and regret the struggle I brought upon myself.

All will be well with the right support. Always here for support :)

Best wishes and prayers for your sister in law xxx

NanaJudith_APP_Vol profile image
NanaJudith_APP_VolVolunteer

Dear ELzawa,So very sorry that your sister in law and whole family are suffering with the trauma of Postpartum Psychosis at what should be the most joyous of times, it is such a shock isn’t it. My daughter, out of the blue, suffered the same five years ago and was admitted to a Mother and Baby Unit, she is well now. No two mums experiences are the same, recovery can take time and be up and down, it is early days for your sister in law but she can be well too. I am so glad that you have found APP, you have already had some good advice from the brilliant, brave Mums here, they were of such help and support to me and my daughter. I hope that there is a good community mental health team supporting. It is difficult to see a much loved family member suffer in such a way and you may feel helpless but you are doing a great job being there for your sister in law. Your support, love and care and that of all your family and understanding friends will mean more than you know.

A precious little girl to cuddle, congratulations all.

Take care of you too.

Best wishes

Judith x

Jenny_at_APP profile image
Jenny_at_APPPartner

Hello ELzawa,

I’m sorry to hear that your sister in law suffered from PP after the birth of your niece. It’s such a difficult and traumatic thing to go through for everyone involved. I had PP after my first son was born in 2012 – it was a real shock and a very frightening experience for me and my family.

I hope your sister in law and brother are receiving support at home – it’s very early days but hopefully you’ll start to see steady improvement as time passes. As others have said already, it’s a very treatable illness and with the right support women make a full recovery – everyone’s journey is different but your sister in law as you know her is still there.

I hope the links and resources already shared are helpful. Recovery can take some time and coming to terms with what’s happened can be quite a mountain to climb – lots of love, patience and reassurance from family helped me hugely and the fact you’ve reached out here suggests your sister in law will be lucky in that respect too.

Take good care and do write here whenever it helps.

Best wishes,

Jenny x

Shellshockedhubby profile image
Shellshockedhubby

Hi Elzawa

I’m going to try and give you a perspective from the other side of this terrible Illness. My wife suffered this 1 year ago last week, and what a year it’s been. Only now is she really starting to feel herself, though she now suffers through crippling anxiety that was never an issue before.

Your brother has just watched his wife vanish before his eyes, at a time when they were hyped up to be in celebration mode. It’s a shock, which explains my user name. Remind him often that she will recover as he will struggle to see it at the start. In her psychosis my own wife said some scary things and it’s possible your brother heard something scarring, remind him that it was the illness talking, and not the woman he married. Ensure you take photos of them together as a family, my wife treasures these, even though she can’t remember taking them. They are a real reminder that she was involved with the baby , and in the long run I believe the bond between my wife and daughter is as strong as it is now because of those moments.

Recovery is not speedy with PP, and if your sister in law has any of the issues my wife had then expect her to have nightmares, irrational fears due to misremembering scary moments or thoughts during her psychosis. And memory issues that mean she can’t remember conversations from a few mins to a few hours ago. Not everyone has these issues but they are things to look out for. After the mania, lethargy hits hard and it’s not uncommon for a deep depression to add its weight to an already difficult situation, and in those times there will be tears, a hug can go a long way to helping here, but meds are equally important.

An early diagnosis is a blessing, and getting the right medication is key, but it can be a real mix of stuff that makes her sleep a lot more than before, so your family should be ready for that.

I had my mum staying with me during the early days of my wife’s illness and her help was invaluable, but so too was the information provided by Simon and Ellie on the APP network and our health visitor. So don’t be afraid to ask questions and reach out for help when required.

Take care, remind your brother to do the same, and I wish your sister in law a speedy recovery

Chris

Mummy1986 profile image
Mummy1986

Hi there,Thank you for reaching out. Post partum psychosis is a cruel and crushing condition but she will return and she will get better. I had psychosis after the birth of my son in Jan 2020 and I never believed I've ever get better. It will take time and patience but she will get there. From my personal experience, I needed rest and time for my mind to recover. Encourage her to seek help from friends and family but also support her with bonding with the baby. I stepped back and honestly believed I was the worst mum in the world.

It took around a year for me to recover as I then sank into a deep depression and was admitted to a Mother and Baby Unit. Appropriate medication and regular therapy helped me.

I wish you all the best, take good care of each other xx

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello ELzawa

I hope you found the replies and links here helpful. I wonder if you found any local support from Postpartum Support International in Canada?

Recovery from PP is not easy and I hope your sister in law is making steady progress. I’m sure your support means a lot in these early days. We are all here to listen if it helps. Thinking of you .... take care.

The_Wes_Anderson_Fan profile image
The_Wes_Anderson_FanVolunteer

Hi ELzawa,I have also made a full recovery from postpartum psychosis.

As my confidence slowly returned, so did my personality.

The family can help by providing care for the new baby as much as possible so that the new parents can get as much sleep as possible.

This will mean that they will be in a better place to try and cope.

Good luck x

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello ELzawa

A few months on since you posted and I hope you are well. Also hoping that your sister-in-law is recovering well at home and has all the professional support she needs, as well as loving family care. Thinking of you .... take care.

Lilybeth profile image
LilybethVolunteer

Hello ELzawa

Thinking of you. I hope your sister in law is recovering in her own time from such a traumatic experience. Please take care of yourself too ... we are here to listen if it helps.

Xmasbaby81 profile image
Xmasbaby81

No, she will not unfortunately I am the only person in this state that has suffered like this. Well, there's a lot of trauma for me. Due to a naglectful family. When I went in to a hospital. Everyone thought I was depressed about just my father killing himself. I have way more trauma than that. If course I was depressed over my father's passing. I love him. I inherited both of my parents mental health diagnosis. I hope that is not the case for your sister. Please look into a medication called Austedo. So she can have some quality of life. Severe brain damage and receptors blocked, Tardive dyskinesia, and continuous thought of suicide. Plus, a whole lot of irregular patterns. Yes, there are thing to help her like DBT and CBT and Ketamin therapy sessions. Counseling, trauma therapy, and Peer Support specialist. Be there for your sister as much as you can. I have tried to get off meds and go into dilussions for months and try killing myself. I have been legally dead two times. Please don't judge her she does not understand what is wrong. Don't isolate her for she is scared . Unfortunately, myself know now I have to take the medicine. For my family. I have learned how to do all of this because I knew eventually would get better than I was, not perfect, just better. I e 40 and I am nearing the end of my life soon, because they couldn't get a side effect medication. Just love her while you have ger

Jenny_at_APP profile image
Jenny_at_APPPartner in reply to Xmasbaby81

Hello Xmasbaby81,

Welcome to the forum, my name’s Jenny and I’m one of the national peer support coordinators at Action on Postpartum Psychosis.

I’m sorry to read your post, it sounds like you’ve been through a really awful time. Have you experienced postpartum psychosis (PP)? The medication you mention isn’t one I’m familiar with. With the right treatment, women with PP can make a full recovery. I’m really sorry if you’ve not had that experience.

I do hope you have support around you. I notice you are in the USA. If you have experienced PP, you can also access local support and information from the organisation Postpartum Support International (PSI) - postpartum.net/ including a National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: 1-833-943-5746.

Take good care.

Best wishes,

Jenny

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