My 3 year recovery journey compressed down to just over 3 minutes.
(Video via: Action on Postpartum Psychosis)
PP INFORMATION & SUPPORT
You’ll find lots of quality info here: Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) with links to a great online Peer Support forum where you can ‘chat’ with others who’ve recovered. There’s a section for Partners & check out the Early Symptoms, Useful Links, Pregnancy & Bipolar, & Personal Experiences pages.
If you’re unsure in parts or are baffled by what Postpartum Psychosis (PP) is or isn’t, you’re certainly not alone. There are so many misconceptions & conflicting messages about it online, offline, in the media, in archives, in communities, in families…just everywhere! Continue reading “11 nuggets I want the world to know about Postpartum Psychosis”
I was inspired to write this after a twitter conversation where I mentioned a small thing I needed to hear in the midst of Postpartum Psychosis. It was a simple thing but it would’ve made a massive difference to my recovery. My tweet was, “I wish midwives had given me ‘permission’ not to breastfeed & said it’s OK to stop, battling on slowed my recovery big time”.
I started thinking of other things that would have been invaluable to hear. I can think of many helpful things that could’ve been said & actually, they’re really simple, easy to say words. So why are they so hard to say at that time? Over the years of peer supporting, many partners & family members have asked how they should talk to their partner / daughter / sister, what should they say & how can they help their loved one. Continue reading “What to say to someone with Postpartum Psychosis”
As someone who’s experienced Postpartum Psychosis who works closely with mums recovered from it & those going through it right now, I’ve been following the Eastenders story line closely. Here are a few thoughts on comments tweeted after the episode shown on 11th Jan. Continue reading “Twitter snapshot: Eastenders Postpartum Psychosis storyline”
…no longer referred to as ‘a phenomenon’; an extraordinary, unexplained event that defies explanation?
…understood? It’s not rare, it can happen to anyone, from any background, any educational level, often out of the blue. We fully recover & go on to live regular family lives.
…free from destructive myths & stigma? It doesn’t turn us into monsters. It doesn’t make us bad mothers. Women with postpartum psychosis rarely harm themselves or their babies. Continue reading “When will Postpartum Psychosis be…”
In the midst of dealing with the shock of being struck by a devastating illness out of the blue, recovering from childbirth, learning how to be a mum for the first time & fighting day to day for my recovery, I had yet another fierce obstacle to overcome…stigma. Continue reading “I had Postpartum Psychosis – I’m a Great Mum!”
“Just the one or are there more?”
“Oh it’s not fair just to have one, when are you having your next?”
“Go on, have another baby now! A sibling is the greatest gift you can give your child.” Continue reading “One and (L)only child?”
Yes, I gave birth then my brain broke, catastrophically so. But the amazing thing about the human body is that it tries to repair itself the best it can, including the brain.
“Breaking News!* Very proud & thrilled to announce……we’re going to have a baby!!!”
“Congratulations! Best thing ever!”
“Wow, exciting times ahead for you all. x x”
“Wonderful news, the best thing that will ever happen in your life!” Continue reading “Having a Baby Broke my Brain”
Family secrets: My Grandmother’s unrecognised & untreated Bipolar Disorder
I only met my estranged Grandmother twice, once when I was 4 & once when I was 14. She died when I was 24. I remember visiting & her turning white & reeling in shock as she opened the door to a vision of her teenage self in front of her. We were the spitting image apparently & she genuinely thought I was the ghost of Christmas past come to visit. Strange though it was, it made me smile, I liked her, I liked her sense of fun, her independence & slight rebellious streak…I guess that could’ve been the drink though. Continue reading “Bipolar, Postpartum Psychosis; Bonding & 3 Generations of Mothers”
“It’s a really important issue in psychiatry…there’s a much greater focus in mental health research on people’s experiences & their story….it’s really important that clinicians & scientists engage with the public out there that share their rational for what they do & their ideas, their desires, their aims…It’s not really about communicating particular results or advances…in mental health it’s about having that discussion, having that debate..hearing the individual story.”
(Via: NCMH (National Centre for Mental Health), MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University)
After a whirlwind 2 days attending 2 significant London Perinatal Mental Health meetings, here are a few non-scientific, non-clinical, sometimes rambling thoughts covering both meetings from a service user / lived experience / patient voice perspective.
Continue reading “2 Perinatal Mental Health Meetings, 2 Days…2 more gold stars!”
“…there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
This report seeks – for the first time in the published literature – to provide comprehensive estimates of the costs of perinatal mental health problems, including the adverse effects of maternal mental illness on the child as well as the mother.
You can read the full economic report here
A great blog piece by A Mummy Recovered. “The perception of ‘bravery’ in telling my story, and others’ fear of telling their own, really reinforced the importance of challenging mental health stigma. I hope that one day, in the not too distant future, sharing experiences of mental ill health won’t be seen as a risky thing to do..”
I wish this book about overcoming postpartum psychosis was available towards the end of my recovery, I’d have loved to read it to help me clarify & understand PP. It’s an insightful, inspiring & honest account which I recommend health professionals, mental health students & anyone who wants a deeper knowledge of PP read it for valuable insight into the PP experience.
“Timeline” by a mum recovered – A picture of hope, showing the complete Postpartum Psychosis journey from before birth to after recovery & everything in between. Note the sunshine on the left before birth, the rapid descent & vivid colours of psychosis, the grey nothingness of depression then the steady but bumpy incline & the slightly higher, brighter sunshine on the right-hand side.