At 2 months after my baby was born i started having bizzare nights where I would stay up all night, talk a lot, see scary images in my house, cut myself, think my husband was a serial killer, and wander around the house. During the day I would be fine, sleepy, but fine. Every night something strange like this would happen. I found myself getting more and more confused, anxious, scared and paranoid. I thought my husband was in cahoots with the doctors to get rid of me, that my house had microphones in it so they could hear what I was saying. I was sure I would be abducted so kept the windows closed whenever I saw people outside. I had to lock the doors on the car whenever we stopped anywhere because I thought someone would take my children. I became hypervigilant and watched my back all the time. I could hardly sleep and when I did I slept so hard I could hardly wake up. I was recovering from a c section and the baby nursed every two hours at first.
One bizzare night where I had stayed up, cut myself and cut my pjamas apart it was around 4am and I took the baby and left my husband and other child sleeping at home and went to the ER. They were very nice to me, helped me sleep and someone from mental health wrote up a safety plan and sent me home. That day I couldn't stop crying and it felt like my heart was broken. I was sent back to the hospital and while I was there they put me under the mental health act. I didn't know this and left the hospital only to get a phone call saying that if I didn't come back the police would come and get me! I was put in a secure room for 36 hours while they found a spot for me in the hospital. I was heartbroken to be treated so harshly and denied my clothes and i was trying to still nurse my baby. I cried and cried. Finally I was sent to the psych ward and spent one night and was discharged the next day. I came home mentally exhausted from my ordeal and very sick. It took several weeks to get better. I still had my scared thoughts and disorganized behaviour. One day I thought my toothpaste was handsoap! It became harder and harder to get things done around the house. I started having sucicidal thoughts and went driving to a warf in the middle of the night thinking seriously about jumping off. My huband sent the police to look for me but they didnt' find me. In the morning he drove me back to the psych ward and I spent a week in hospital. While there I was put on a couple different medications and than sent home. Some time later we had company in our house and it was stressful for me. My huband took us walking and I thought he was trying to kill us. I jumped out of the car at a stop sign and wandered around town until he found me. We went home but I became more agigated and quite confused and angry. I demolished the back room and was throwing things. My husband called the ambulance and they sent the police as well. They broke down the door to get to me and put me in handcuffs. I thought the voices I was hearing weren't real and that I was being kidnapped. I fought and kicked and screamed. They took me to the hospital with my hands behind my back lying on the cuffs which was extremely painful. They tied me to a bed and injected me with Haldol. I don't remember much of what went on except that I spent the night in the secure room and was sent back to the hospital psych ward where I spent 12 days. They put me on risperidone and when I went home I was feeling much better. The strange thoughts and behaviours went away but I was left with severe depression. I was in the hospital 3 more times for depression and sucicidal thoughts. I was refusing to eat and trying to die.
During one hospital stay someone called the ministry of children and families and they said I couldn't be alone with the children. We ran out of money and had to hire someone to come stay with me while my husband worked. We lived like this for 4 months until the doctor wrote a letter to the ministry saying I could take care of the children on my own.
In total I was hospitalized 8 times and it's been a whole year now since this started and I"m finally feeling better. I still have to take medication-I tried to be off the medicaton but the symptoms came back quickly. As long as I stay the course I should be ok.
I'm really interested to hear other women's stories who have suffered the same with postpartum psychosis.
Good luck and I hope my story can help someone.