Blue skies are coming: reflecting on faith and Postpartum Psychosis

This blog was written specifically for a Christian website on mental health, but I hope it resonates with people of different faiths and questions about spirituality. It's about what our communities can do to support us. And how maybe they sometimes let us down.

mindandsoul.info/Articles/3...

Naomi

8 Replies

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  • Hi Naomi,

    I'd really love to read that blog post - I've clicked on the link but it takes me to another question on our PPTalk forum "What are the positives that have come out of PP?"

    Is the link just not working for me?

    N x

  • Hello there, also not able to read this blog. Helen

  • Sorry Hope & Helen - I have too many bit.ly links!

    Here's the blog

    mindandsoul.info/Articles/3...

    Naomi

  • Really nice article Naomi x

  • Thanks... it was a tricky one to write as we had a pretty terrible church experience during recovery and left the church (!) but so glad to have done something positive so many years later. x

  • Yes, thank you very much for this article Naomi.

    I find that the impact PP has on faith, positive or negative, is a subject that isn't often approached so I lapped up your blog on this topic!

    Sadly our faith communities, can and do let us down because mental health is again a topic that can be full of shame and stigma in faith circles. How we are helped in our time of crisis and beyond can also depend on how deep our relationships are within that community. I soon realised that many of mine were not very deep at all.

    I found that in the crisis situation we had some help (a few gems), but then in the long drawn out months of recovery, we were very isolated. It was made worse by the fact that there were a lot of new mums with babies born at the same time, so feeling isolated from the church circle of new mums because of the devastation of the PP and the depression that followed, was very hard. I had one friend, who reached out and arranged a few play dates and that was so important to me. Otherwise I think it is easier for everyone to forget about the mum left struggling at home, and concentrate efforts on those that do come to the groups or the church services.

    Interestingly, I have had prolonged periods away from the church due to my physical chronic illness, and the lack of support is just the same. Any illness, not easy to fix or see improvements in, seems to be hard for the church to support. But it's not just hard for the churches (who after all are just full of normal people), but for society in general. I think society finds it hard to know what to say to people who are ill for long periods of time. Reminds me of the Time to Change adverts!

    Thanks again Naomi,

    N x

  • Hi Naomi,

    Not quite sure how to message you directly on this site, so hope you don't mind me communicating in this way.

    We exchanged some messages a couple of weeks ago when I asked whether my feelings of shock and some sorrow were perhaps self indulgent.

    As I pointed out then, I am not married and so have no plans to have children at this time. In fact until last week, I wasn't even in a relationship. Now that I am in a relationship with a lovely Christian guy, I have another question, if that 's OK.

    I met the guy I am now seeing on a Christian dating site. The dating profile asks you to fill out if you want children and if so how many. He has put one or two, as did I. I put that I want children, because I do, and although I suspected at the time that it might be complicated by bi-polar, I didn't have too much info on what that might mean for me.

    The guy I am seeing doesn't yet know that I have Bi-polar type 2( the milder one). I personally think he needs to know that quite soon, perhaps even when I see him tomorrow. We have been in touch since the end of November and we have met 3 times( as friends) since the start of Feb, so I think it is time.

    I am just wondering when do I tell him about the whole possibility of PP?

    We are meeting tomorrow for the first time since he made it clear that he would like our friendship to take a romantic turn:) Therefore we are nowhere near the 'let's talk about the possibility of getting married and having children together stage'.

    However in the Christian circles we are from, the point of a romantic relationship is to find out if we could see ourselves being married and having children together. I just don't want him to get too attached to me and then find out about the risk of PP and then decide that he could never face that.

    Do you think it might be best to include at least some info on PP when I tell him that I have BP type2?

    When do other women usually tell potential partners in your experience?

    Any ideas very welcome.

    Thank you for all your help so far.

    K

  • Hi Naomi

    It was good to read your blog. Your tips on how to support a family going through the experience of PP is accurate I think, it is the kind of support I would have wanted. There was one friend, who is a spiritual guide, who visited me fairly regularly while I was recovering, and would bring an evening meal for us so we didn't need to cook. That small gesture was so helpful and meant so much.

    I am part of a christian community, that I also work for. I was also part of an NCT group. After having PP I was in a mother and baby unit for nearly 3 months. While recovering from depression etc I did feel quite isolated, it was difficult to meet up with people, it was hard being around other mums who had had such a 'normal' experience, and seemed so happy and healthy, breastfeeding, enjoying life...

    Through the christian community I belong to there was a mums group that used to meet every 2 or 3 weeks, we'd have prayers and sharing, this was really important to me. Other than that I didn't get much other support, and felt quite isolated, but I think I did isolate myself as well. I just couldn't bear to go to events and see people for a long time. I notice other people had other similar experiences.

    Before I got PP I was going to the Quakers, I went a few times after coming out of the mother and baby unit but found it difficult, being silent for an hour mulling over thoughts which wasn't always helpful. I also felt bad about the noise my baby made during the silence, that it would disturb others though they were always so welcoming and brought out toys for him etc.

    When I was ill in the mother and baby unit I had a strong desire to go to mass at the catholic church (which I was brought up in) and the last few months I have started going back, I really enjoy the community there, there is a children's liturgy for my son, and lots of families with kids etc. I disagree with many things in the catholic church but I am going on my gut instinct that I had when I was ill - that it was the place I wanted to go to for support and nourishment - that in some way it is home that no other faith community will ever be.

    It would be interesting to hear about other people's faith journeys, and if their experience of PP affected their faith journey.

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