Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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My story of ppp

Hi, I thought I'd share my story.

I'm a single mum, My son was born on the 13th of march 2011. It was a straight forward delivery, apart from having to end up having a forceps delivery.

The first week we spent in hospital as my son developed a infection and had to have IV antibiotics. The following 2 weeks went relatvily well apart from my lb suffering with colic.

I then began to get very low in mood and couldn't get to sleep. My anxiety grew and I would get paranoid about my son being unwell, he would scream from dawn to dusk, I took him to gps and a and e departments, where they would tell me everything with fine, its just colic.

By the forth week my health visitor did the edinburgh depression scale on me, and told me I had pnd. She didn't suggest seeing my gp or anything.

I took myself to the gp and they prescribed my anti deprssants.

By week 5 is was going out of my mind, I was paranoid about everything, I wouldn't let my son out of my sight even when I mother (who I was living with) offered to watch him for a hour while I had a nap.

On may the 6th, I started getting thoughts of harming myself and my son, I took myself to the gp and begged her to take my son away as I couldn't cope!. All she did was call the social services on me and sent me on my way. That evening I completly broke down, I was crying uncontrollably, my anxiety levels were at max, so bad to the point I gave myself a migraine. My mother called the out of hours doc out at 11pm, the doc gave me a shot of morphine for the pain.

In the morning, my mum made lots of phone calls and managed to get the crisis team to come and visit me. When they visited they decided to admit me to a mother and baby unit. Once in the unit, they uped my dose of meds and gave me sleeping tablets. Still I didn't sleep.

After about a week in the unit, I started getting audiable and visual haluncinations, these would be of my sons father who had been mentally abusive in our relationship. They would tell me to hatm myself and harm my baby. I shut myself away in my bedroom and refused to be near my son for fear of what I might do. I started to self harm and attempted to hang myself on a couple of occasions. I couldn't shut of the voices, they seemed so real. The hospital changed my meds and put me on anti psychotics. I started to make some improvements and they took me of level 3 obs (this is when a nurse is with u 24/7). I started to look after my baby but stuggled, all I could see was his father in him and I kept thinking he was the devil. Then one night I managed to escape the unit and the police found me on my way to the train tracks, I was determind to end my life.

After 12 weeks in the unit, I did gradually did get better, but in the end the decision by myself and social services that my son would be taken into care so that I could concentrate on getting myself better. I was then transfered to a adult mental health unit. I stayed there for a week then they discharged me into the care of my mother. Over time with a few twecks of the medication I was nearly back to my old self. But then in october, the voices returned and I took a overdose. I was readmitted to the ward. They again changed my meds and after 2 weeks I was discharged. By this time I had been offered a house from the housing association, so I focused myself on setting up my home for me and my son.

I saw my son for 2 hrs a day 3 days a week supervised in our own home. Gradually our bond grew and I no longer saw his father in him, I saw him as his own individual person.

Since october, I have manged to get my house together and the contact I have with my son has increased lots and I see him unsupervised. I miss my son every second that I'm away from him. And it breaks my heart everytime he leaves to go back to his foster family.

Now after the support of my friend, family, mental health team I have managed to beat the ppp. I still take medication and will for a long time. And my son should be coming home in the next week! I'm so happy!.

I look back at the last year and feel bad that my son has missed out on prisous time with his mummy, aslo I feel awful about the thoughts I had towards him. I have missed out on a lot of his milestones etc.

I telling my story so that other mums will know they are not alone, and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I have come out of it a more strong confident woman. And I'm happy to talk to anyone who wants to talk to someone about ppp or pnd.

5 Replies

I too went through the same thing following mental and physical abuse from my ex. I had pnd which developed into ppp when my daughter was 5 months old. I got well and went back to work only to have another breakdown when she was 18 months old. This time I was sectioned and she was taken into care. That was my lowest point. I have since had further periods of psychosis and have been diagnosed with depression and schizoaffective disorder.

I could really identify with your story and found it very moving. The thing to remember is that you have your son and his love is the most precious of all. Try not to dwell onthe past, which is something I always do. My daughter is 6 now and she is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I felt the same that I did not bond with her because she looked like her father. But I realise now that was my fear and anger of him that did that. Now I see me in her and I like it when people say she takes after me. She is the best of both of us.


Hiya! Its lovely to hear your stories as when you are going through it ,it was only us that new what was happening at the time but couldn't understand what it was! I only had thoughts to harm myself as i couldn't understand what was happenig to me! It was 16 years ago that i had pp after the bith of my 2nd baby. I had just moved into what was supposed to have been a house that had been all renovated etc! There was leaks etc and i was running around trying to fix everything myself as my boyfriend worked long hours and wouldn't even know how to have meant anything. Its funny when i look back but it was awfl at the time but i can now laugh at how hyper i had become. I was flying as high as a kite after a really quick birth and thought i would sleep etc when i got home from the hospital. I realise now that i needed looking after ,after just 3 wks of doing everything and trying to look after my family!! Looking back now i think if i had a supportive partner i dont think i would have had it and more support off the physchiatrist that was in charge of me. He told me that i should have my baby adopted as i didnt want him. This has stayed in my mind ever since as i loved my baby then and adore him now too I just needed someone to help me fulltime look after him to get well ,not be told to give him up! It took me 10months to get well and i had to have a child minder to takecare of him and family members until my tablets eventually kicked in which was lithium, as nothing else worked on me. I returned to my full self and was able to cope again! I recently had an operation not a baby this time but my symptoms had returned once again and i had a complete breakdown infront of all my family. I am getting well after having to go on the sick from work for 6 wks. I am now on my 2nd wk back at work and its hard but im once again coping! This time i have chosen to put lavender oil on my pillow and a hankerchief etc to get me over the extreme anxiety attacks that i was getting and taking the odd diazapam now and then! I am also taking herbal menopausal tablets as i have hit the big 50 too! :) Hope to hear from you soon to be able to support each other . And Dads are welcome to chat about it too as i know it was hard for my partner at the time too! Kind regards Lavender123. x


Hi Juliet1981, Isabel27 & Lavender123 & a big welcome! :-). Thank you all for the comments & sharing your stories & well done if you're new to posting!. I think these stories will really help people going through it feel like they're not alone & what they're feeling is normal in PP. They also show that no matter how dire your situation is now, you will get better & everything will work out right in the end. Juliet1981, It's really wonderful that your son is coming home in the next week, well done! It's so sad that we miss out on those precious times, but I guess we've got lots of time once we've recovered to make lots of lovely, new memories! The stories really show just how important a supportive partner or a strong support network around you is around the time of the birth (before becoming ill) & afterwards too. They also show the importance of awareness & accurate information - if it's difficult now, I can only imagine how difficult it was 16years ago! By talking about it though, I think we're helping to reduce that & giving hope to others that they WILL get better :-)

Thanks for posting & take care all x


All of your stories have touched my heart. I too have overcome PPP. It happened 16 years ago before the internet was so developed so I went for long time feeling isolated and depressed that an illness that I had no idea existed caused such havoc in what was a beautiful experience prior to the onset. Living in the USA, there were no mother baby units available. Rather I was forcibly separated from my son on numerous occasions. This wrecked my confidence and bonding experience. But what has been a long and painful journey, has become one of the best things in my life because I have my son. I would do it all over again for him. Education and support are so important in prevention and recovery, Thank you for sharing. It will help others along the way.


Juliet1981 you have done brilliantly, so proud of you. Well done for being so honest about your experience i'm sure it'll be a great help to others. I too feel stronger having come through pp & am very grateful to those of you that helped me along the way. To anyone that's still struggling you WILL get there & u'll probably end up a happier & stronger personat the end of it :-)


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