PPP symptoms : I have been reading my... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

3,286 members2,301 posts

PPP symptoms

guinea1 profile image
13 Replies

I have been reading my records and one of the points that I don't understand is that one psychiatrist had written when he assessed me before I got really unwell with PPP.. is that I didn't have delusion or hallucinations... but had insight to my illness... I am not sure if this is a typical symptom PPP or what it quite means.. but doesgive me an understanding into why I was so anxious about not wanting to look after my daughter incase I hurt her.

did anyone else have insight?

13 Replies
x_Amy profile image

Hi guinea1,

I am sorry to hear that you experienced PP. My understanding of insight in context to what your psychiatrist has stated, is that it’s having an awareness of having a mental illness or condition. At the time of your assessment, he recognised that you were aware of having high levels of anxiety and it’s symptoms. I experienced similar thoughts to yours after the birth of my son, so what you’ve described really resonates with me.

I hope that is helpful to you, and that reading your notes has been a beneficial experience in your recovery journey ☺️ x

guinea1 profile image
guinea1 in reply to x_Amy

Thank you for you reply, yes this is helpful, I am trying to understand what was going on at the time I became unwell, I have an understanding that there was definitely, birth trauma and shock after the birth.. in my notes it says an uncomplicated birth.. but it wasn't... I had a kind of silent panic attack whilst they were struggling inserting an epidural, afraid to move and they saying don't move you could become paralysed... plus a doctor who was inhuman whilst they vontouse baby out.. so am thinking on the lines that with the breast abscess and trauma I may have had birth PTSD , which led to the psychosis.. I feel it important to understand the things that went on back in 1995, maybe will never have real answers, but to make something of it seems important.. my therapist asked why I needed to understand.. I said because it feels important... whether this is healthy for me or not I am not sure, but have my mental health co-ordinator work and GP so not so worried at the moment.. there just feels a need to seek information to get a greater understanding into me. I think I need to look at my birth notes next.

x_Amy profile image
x_AmyVolunteer in reply to guinea1

My heart goes out to you. I also had PTSD due to birth trauma and a similar experience with regards to the epidural. Have you received any information from your therapist in regards to trauma counselling? There are different approaches available that may not have been offered to you at the time that you experienced PP. 

I found reading all of my records to be very cathartic and it gave me closure in a lot of ways. Do take care and speak with your professional team if you find anything distressing to read, or if you come across anything that you’re unsure of. They will support you x

guinea1 profile image
guinea1 in reply to x_Amy

At the time I was unwell with PPP, there was nothing and no real support.. treatment was harse it was 1995😥, nothing like today.. so birth trauma probably wasn't recognized. It has only been in the last 9 years that I have been able to trust anyone in the mental health profession, because I had been so traumatised in the psychiatric hospital though lack of are or understanding to a new mothers needs. My gp has played a very important part in my journey looking after me and protecting me from psychiatric people until I was ready to trust.

My therapist is an analytical psychotherapist or something like that, so treated me in a holistic manner, which is what I found very beneficial, I had tried CBT but again was a bad experience as once size fits all approach and I couldn't deal with them, or I was too complex for them as my gp said. Getting into secondary care was the best thing, but you have to struggle though all the basic help first.. maybe why people give up.. luckily I had my gp, to keep with me and to assure me I wouldn't be sent back to the hospital as would do more harm .

It is a long journey but I am getting there.

x_Amy profile image

I am so sorry to hear of your traumatic experiences with professionals. I can only imagine how difficult that would have been, especially because as you say, there was very little awareness of the condition then. It is so good to hear that you are regaining trust with your current mental health professionals who will support you at this stage in your recovery. It’s especially fantastic to hear that you have a very supportive, and by the sounds of things, a wonderfully empathetic GP too ☺️I do understand with regards to your experience with CBT and what you’ve said about secondary care also resonates with me and my experience. I am so pleased to hear that things are going in the right direction for you x

Zebunisa_at_APP profile image

Hi guinea1 ,

When I was ill last year, it was written that I had insight into my illness too. For me that meant I was aware I was unwell.

Referencing Google: insight = awareness by a mentally ill person that their mental experiences are not based in external reality.

I hope this helps 😊

guinea1 profile image

Thank you for your reply, I remember knowing something was very wrong but not knowing how what to do to get help, back then PPP so felt I wasn't taken seriously , my mum knew I wasn't right but though post natal depression. I am going to talk to my care coordinator today. 😊

Zebunisa_at_APP profile image
Zebunisa_at_APPAPP in reply to guinea1

I was the same when I was unwell I knew I was unwell but didn’t realise what was wrong and/or what I had. So I was marked down as has insight.

If you have any questions or worries please do speak to your care coordinator or whoever is looking after your recovery. Speak and raise your concern or question, so you feel informed and reassured.

Bumblebeeee profile image

I was told I didn’t have ppp as I had insight. I think it was because I become so unwell and had no help I spent a lot of time trying to find out what was going on. And it went against me. Same thing happening right now. I’m I’ll again but not as bad but today was told I have insight so prob not psychosis. It’s crazy how one psychiatrist opinion can really fuck you over. Glad you managed to get help in the end x

Pikorua profile image

Hello guinea1,

lovely to hear from you again and what an interesting read about "insight".

We've been conversing before, and I mentioned that I read my MF, too. I am happy that I have done it. I hope it will help and support you for clarification and just making sense.

Healing is a process and takes time. At this moment my File is in a cupboard, but there is plenty of material to write creatively, about a very poor lady - very surreal and of course quite chocking. Reports/docs are evidence for my suffering for many years afterwards...

including the PTS for my partner and I...

However, I have inner peace knowing that since my acute illness MBU's are now available in my area. :-)

Look after yourself brave lady.


guinea1 profile image
guinea1 in reply to Pikorua

Hi Pikorua,Yes, it is that need to understand, though the file doesn't show how they were treating me, one part I had said I was in a hell hole.. I think the thought I was talking about my illness, what I was trying to say was the hell hole was the environment I was kept in, how they treated me, the fear from the shouty other patients and that feeling of being so afraid.. it does bring back terrible memories, of the psychiatric hospital, but also the bit before and inbetween the time at home before finally going to the clinic with my daughter.. it should never have been like that, they were just holding me there and made things so much worse, plus angers me that the help wasn't there back then, which has led to PTSD now , I am sure I had birth trauma, but in the file it says no problems in the birth if anyone had bothered to ask then I may have told them differently.. it was as if I was just patched up and sent on my way.. just to fulfil motherhood, all the trauma was locked away until I couldn't hold on to it any longer.

The thing is my doctors surgery have put there letters on my digital file where I found them and just read them, without my doctor and it has triggered some upsetting memories, which I am trying cope with now, I don't know where to tell them how this has effected me or not.

I am going to read up on birth PTSD as I am sure i had it before i went into the psychosis but not sure if that would have triggered it or not. I just felt in shock after baby was born.

Pikorua profile image

Dearest guinea1,

I did let go of the past and the terrible treatment I received. The only time I go back to those moments is when I am trying to support. Volunteering is quite a healing process within itself.

It has been a long journey of recovery with lots of learning curves, but particularly choosing those remedies, modalities and professional support, which I was and am in tune with. I am recovering and healing, - I am in acceptance with this.

- it is always good to research for coping strategies in order to improve life qualities. Being ready for changes means identifying how to rebuild from trauma! My partner and I had different types of therapy and of course adapted to our needs. I enjoyed 30 hrs of group therapy and eventually volunteered for the group. I continued asking for help and developed my own practices such as art therapy

- I have a self-help strategy, which I acquired over the years, as I live with bipolar. Thus, a routine is very important

- focusing on therapeutic modalities, hobbies and studying has been very useful as I struggle with mind racing

- meditation, yoga and walking is a must for me/nature is a healer

- being together with those, who appreciate you. I am striving for a non-judgmental environment and over the years have been spending time with those, who do not suck the energy out of me

- I live with the Reiki Gokai (5 principles), and thus focusing on the here and now. Reiki is not religious; but helps me tremendously for self-healing and supporting friends and families.

just for today, do not anger

just for today, do not worry

just for today, I will be grateful

just for today, I will be honest

just for today, I will be compassionate towards others (and myself)

... and then the next morning I can start fresh again and just work towards those simple guidance...

Be kind and gentle to yourself. You cannot change the past but strive towards inner peace!

Wishing you well. x

guinea1 profile image

Thank you. yes, I am still finding my path right now, helping other people here does help, though can stir up pain as you say. I need to process the past and find comfort with self soothing and grounding.. these are my goals now as quite wobbly with them as just learning to find comfort within myself.. inside wasn't a safe place in my head.. sounds mad but it has been hard.. writing has really helped.

Reiki sounds interesting, I am a little worried about natrual therapy as was having reflexology when my psychosis started.. not sure if it did have anything to do with it, but am always a little wary. Xx

You may also like...