Adevice on the menopause. - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Adevice on the menopause.

Anna_10 profile image
12 Replies

HI,

I've posted a few times on here, but not for a while. I had ppp in 2013 after the birth of my beautiful baby girl. I was 37 yrs at the time and she is my only baby.

I was sectioned 3 months after the birth & taken to a psychiatric hospital were I stayed for 4 weeks. Missing her 1st Christmas : ( I was put on antidepressants & antipsycotics. I also had 4 treatments of ECT. With a great deal of support I made a full recovery and went on to get a job and carry on a 'normal' life. With regular check ups with my mental health nurse & my G.p, I was able to come off all my meds 2 yrs later.

In 2018 I had a massive dip. I had terrible mood swings, hot sweats & no periods for 6 months. I was always regular, so I knew something funny was going on. I went to my G.p & she did a few tests & realised I may be going through the perimenopause. I was put on the marina coil & given hrt patches. The hrt was because I was only 42 & that is said to be early to start the beginning of menopause. In 2019 I suffered another set back. I felt massively overwhelmed, couldn't comprehend what was happening around me & felt hugely detached from reality. It was a scary time as my girl was 5/6 yrs old & I did NOT want her to see me like I was after her birth. I was SO scared I was going to end up in a psychiatric hospital again. I went back to my G.p & she put me back on sertraline. I had help from my local mental health team & with some time out & professional help, I got through it. The feelings I suffered, although they were scary, they werent as bad as in 2013. I also felt a massive wave of depression & anxiety. I got paranoid about going outside & had to cancel social events as was just totally overwhelmed & detached. I did however get over it in a couple of months. Had some time off work & tried to relax more. Ever since 2019 episode, I have had a couple more similar episodes. The last one was just 1 month ago. All similar feelings, detached from reality, really depressed & massively anxious. I'm still currently on 100mg sertraline, 75mg hrt patch & since spring this year, I'm also on 25mg quitapine (anti psychotic) to calm my brain down. I have just turned a corner over the last few days & feel like me again. Unfortunately during my last set back, my Mum passed away. She was ill for a while & although it's sad, it's a blessing really as she's not in pain anymore. It's her funeral on Friday so I'm sure after that I may start to feel some closure. I'm really sorry for the HUGE message, but I wanted to reach out to see if anyone one here suffered any sets backs during their menopause years? Thank you for listening & sorry it's so long, take care, love & wishes Anna xx

12 Replies
DoraDonig profile image
DoraDonig

Hi Anna

Thanks so much for sharing the above- My story is very similar to yours in terms of timings (2015- ppp, with relapse of mental health issues In 2021 and 2022).

in the last APP peer support meeting, there was quite a few ladies that spoke up about their issues that were linked to menopausal changes.

I am also currently working with a Psychotherapist and she has been honest to say that hormonal changes don't help long term recovery!

I am pleased to hear you are getting help and I hope you feel like 'yourself' again soon, I can relate so much in regards to a long way to recovery with some setbacks that bring you right back to that PPP state of mind.

Take care!

Dorota

Anna_10 profile image
Anna_10 in reply to DoraDonig

Thank you for your understanding. Us women have to go through ALOT!! Best wishes for the future

guinea1 profile image
guinea1

Hi Anna

Thank you for sharing your story. I had PPP in 1995, my daughter was just 11 days old, when I voluntary, (though really didn't have a choice) to a general psychiatric hospital, the treatment there was Victorian to say the least. Your story around menopause reflects my own experience. I had been told by my social worker at the time of just becoming well, off handedly that I would get PPP again at menopause, which I did think anything more of, until the years went by and the was like this Jaws like music playing in my head with the doom of becoming unwell once again as the years went by.. because of past experience, even thoughI have another baby other the first no problem. I unbeknown had a fear of mental health professionals, and just thought I would be treated the same shut away again in a psychiatric hospital.

I was at the time seeing my GP for tummy issues, he knew something wasn't right for some time long before I could even come to terms that things were going down hill. My Gp was there for me and helped me to open up and one day he just hit a nerve on me at an appointment, everything just gave way and I poured all my fears out and my experience. This was about years ago.. I had held everything in and locked it away. .( Probably the only way I could cope with it then) that I hadn't even begun to process the whole ordeal.. I was told it was rare so though I was the only one! I had a mental health assessment and in it they checked for psychosis which wasn't there. I have had counselling and EMDR as I have PTSD stemmed from the birth and psychiatric hospital treatment.. I have just finished a course of talking therapy which I have found most helpful as discovered alot about myself and have been able to release the guilt and locked in anger.. towards myself, family andthose who should havebeen more compassionateand understandto a new mum who was absolutely terrified of everything............ what I will say there is hope, I won't lie about it being an easy journey.. it will have ups and downs and it takes a while to find the right treatment that can help, as we are all on the same path, but the journey will be unique to each of us. If you can talk about you fears they I know it is hard but try, wish I had talked to someone years ago, but there was that guilt that I had been a bad mother for getting PPP I was somehow weak and deserved, plus who would believe my side of the story... I know now and my GP did believe me and was able to finally get the help I so badly needed... I never had any HRT, but had medication venlafaxine.. this took time to find the right antidepressantsthat I didn'thave reactions to.

I reallyhope you find help and support in the mental health team. Remember you are not alone and we are here to support you

Take care

Esther

Anna_10 profile image
Anna_10 in reply to guinea1

Hi Guinea1,Thank you for your heartfelt reply. I hope you're doing ok? You mentioned you had EMDR. How did you find that? I've had CBT & various talking therapies. Which have helped a bit but it's so hard to put all the tools you learn into practice in everyday life.

Thank you once again.

Kind regards

Anna xx

guinea1 profile image
guinea1

Emdr was ok, but because I had things so lock away.. found it hard to focus on the people without names or faces... though it did open a lot of things up, that I struggled with, once the session had stopped, that is when my gp referred to secondary care and this is helping, plus having a 1 to 1mental care coordinator who visits every 3 weeks, to support me.I have an Esther Box that I have the 5 things for grounding.. the tools are hard as when panicky tools just fly out the window, though one small thing I have found is just carrying a small object in my pocket, I have a pine cone.. nice and feely and smell of the forest ..so grab this , also have some ear calmers to help with when noise gets too much. And try to breath when I remember lol

I t is a matter of small steps and every now and then, look back to see how far you have come.

Anna_10 profile image
Anna_10 in reply to guinea1

Thank you, some great advice. Take care x

JEN69 profile image
JEN69

Hi

Glad you are getting help and feeling better.

I had PP after both of my children and had several episodes of depression since. Currently peri menopausal and am back on anti depressants and have started HRT.

Due to change in hormones not being as rapid it is unlikely to develop in to PP that was what I was told.

Anna_10 profile image
Anna_10 in reply to JEN69

Hi JEN69 Thank you for you reply. That is good to know. Just scares me!! Yeah, I get terrible bouts of depression & extreme anxiety. Thanks again, take care xx

Zebunisa_at_APP profile image
Zebunisa_at_APPAPP

Hi Anna_10 ,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I think you are a very brave woman and you have gone through so much. I had PP last year and the I have to admit it does affect you more than you realise and I’m sorry to hear the years after and until now you are still feeling the repercussions.

I would say keep speaking with your GP and updating them about your circumstance, maybe even ask for that extra support. They might refer you to an organisation/service that can help you in different ways. When I was unwell I noticed that asking for help from different avenues really helped me speedily recover. I know with time you will feel better and that you will get through this ❤️

Chesterjackson profile image
Chesterjackson

Hello. I have just joined the group as I have the same issues and have been trying to find women like me that I can relate to. I had psychosis when I gave birth to my 2 sons. It was identical both times. I hit the menopause when I was 50 and have had 4 further episodes. The doctor put me back on olanzapine but I had an episode while taking them. The last time I went to see him I talked about 'it is obviously my hormones' and we decided to come off the medication and try HRT. At this moment in time I feel like my old self again and have lost 2 stone (weight gained while taking the medication). I am hoping this will keep me on the straight and narrow for the future. I'm so pleased to be able to find women who understand just how scary this illness is.

Pikorua profile image
PikoruaVolunteer

Hello Anna,

pleased to meet you and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

I cannot advise on medical issues. However, I can explain about therapeutic modalities. May I highlight that traditional meds such as Lorazepam, Haloperidol, Risperidone and others have saved my life, thus, I am not against chemical, if it can cure an illness or relief symptoms.

Our footprint is totally unique, despite having suffered PPP.

There is a huge research gap in connecting lived experience of PPP with peri-meno or menopause or bipolar. Both are of relevance to my acute illness of PPP; hospital stay and after care.

I have had my son in my 40s, and struggled for a long time, because of complex factors i.e. peri and menopausal after my son was born, accumulation of traumatising experiences due to unreasonable treatment and delayed diagnoses and lack of appropriate care and meds plan. In addition, I lost my dad and mum in law whilst recovering, and the late diagnosis of BP.

Therefore, I am so sorry for the loss of your mum. You've been doing so well working through your recovery and often being hit like a whirlwind with new life events and of course hormonal changes.

Trauma such as illness and grief require gentle approaches. I've been working exceptionally intensely on my healing process, trying to focus on generational trauma, cellular healing and of course present effects of my chronical mental health condition.

We have choices and need to identify what is working for us and tailor made without being judged, at the end it is your body, and you will be able to tune in, in order to care for your needs.

Here are some coping mechanisms out of my toolkit:

- I recovered from Insomnia in 2018 (suffered since PPP/2010), starting to use CBD.

- in order to balance my anxiety and mood swings I have established a daily routine of Yoga and meditating/set times and walking neighbour's dog every day

- in my case I have had group therapy for self-managing and coping with grief, after 3x 10 week sessions, I started volunteering for support groups with the NHS

- pursuing an interest helps tremendously, I love studying and my skills help me therapeutically such as art and reiki

- I like volunteering and supporting my son with school

- being with like-minded people helps, peer supporting

etc...

I feel you have been doing all the right things including asking for help. I had to ask for a second opinion via APP years later.

Wishing you well.

x

Anna_10 profile image
Anna_10 in reply to Pikorua

Hi Pikorua,Thank you for your reply. Being a woman is tough! Thanks for all the tips, they all sound great. Hope you take care and always here if you need a chat xx

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