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Post partum psychosis - any experience?

(11 Posts)
insanelycheerful Fri 06-Nov-15 21:51:07

A very close friend of mine has recently had DS2 and is now suffering from post partum psychosis and is very poorly. She is in a specialist unit and seems to be getting excellent professional help, but I know it's a very serious condition. Obviously I have googled the condition to understand more, but I cannot imagine what she is going through. Does anyone have any experience, first or second hand, of it that they can share with me please? Also any tips for how best to support my friend and her husband through this.

Wirralmumof2 Fri 06-Nov-15 21:57:49

My mother had it.
Tbh she never was really right afterwards but this was the 1970's.
She hid her residual symptoms for years because she hated the drugs. My childhood was shit as a result.
I hope things have changed since then.

insan1tyscartching Fri 06-Nov-15 22:12:32

I've had it and survived. I've no memory of the worst of it but it took a long time to get better once the crisis was over. I am changed as a result I think, there's something very unsettling about losing your grip on reality. I'm not on any medication and have needed no mental health support in a long time so no long term effects for me although the psych believed I would always need medication.
I have had another child since and had no recurrence but was supported by a psych throughout and was on medication as soon as I had delivered dd.
It will be a very scary time for your friend and her family. Let them know you are there for them. Cards, letters and little treats sent through her family to your friend will be appreciated, if not immediately, once she is feeling a little better.

insanelycheerful Fri 06-Nov-15 22:33:09

Oh wirralmumof2 that is so sad. I feel for you and for her. I have cried for my friend but at least I know she's in a great place, and being well looked after, and it was picked up really quickly. So I hope she will make a good recovery in time. But I know so little. I am sorry that you and your mum suffered.

Boredofthinkingofnewnames Fri 06-Nov-15 22:39:42

I have no experience but have read about it, it sound awful. At least your friend has professional help. I hope she is ok.

insanelycheerful Fri 06-Nov-15 22:39:43

Thank you insan1tys. I am glad you made such a good recovery from what seems to be a very frightening and traumatic illness. I have offered to look after their DS1 for them (not yet accepted but will keep offering). I did send flowers after the baby was born but to home and before my friend was taken in. I think I will send some flowers or a little package to her in the hospital. I also wondered about writing her a letter, not sure if I'll ever give it to her and certainly won't send it now. But just saying some of the things I have been thinking about in the past week since she was taken in. She doesn't know I know the extent of her condition and it sounds as if she doesn't accept it herself yet, so I can't speak openly to her. So I have a million things I want to say and I just feel so helpless that perhaps writing her this letter might help me a bit and also might be a nice thing for her in the future when she is in a better place. I will of course be very careful about whether and when to share it with her. Because I am not really meant to know what she is suffering from it is very hard to support my friend directly at the moment, so for now I will do my best to be there as she needs me to be, and to let her husband know I am happy to help with anything when he is ready. Just feel so useless.

insanelycheerful Fri 06-Nov-15 22:40:57

Thank you bored xx

insan1tyscartching Sat 07-Nov-15 08:29:36

Hospital food is drab,I do remember the people who visited bringing nice snacks and food more than those who sent flowers tbh. One person who visited always brought me a lovely sandwich which I really appreciated. The medication and the illness really floors your appetite so something tempting helped.
Perhaps you could offer to do their laundry or give the house a clean before your friend gets home. Prepare a couple of dishes for the freezer because she's unlikely to come home feeling able to pick up where she left off and don't underestimate that it will be a long time before she has properly recovered so be prepared to help out further down the line too.
Be ready to listen, be prepared for the tears and the fear and most likely anger because it steals your baby's first days, weeks, months from you and be patient because it might be a while before she's ready for visitors.

Ifiwasabadger Sat 07-Nov-15 08:54:31

A good friend of mine had this. She rang the doctors begging for help when she was ironing one day and wanted to smack the iron in the baby's face. She was never hospitalised but went onto a lot of medication and is fine now. She says she can't face having another baby and I can't blame her.

insanelycheerful Sat 07-Nov-15 10:51:49

Thank you for your wise advice insan1tys, I will take it all on board. I will look into putting together a nice food parcel for her perhaps. We live quite far away, so it will probably need to be something I can have delivered to her. I will be patient and in the meantime I will keep in contact with her husband and keep open the offer of practical help for him.

insanelycheerful Sat 07-Nov-15 10:53:22

Gosh how scary ifiwasabadger. I don't know yet what happened in the lead up to my friend being hospitalised. I am sure she will tell me about it in due course, what she can recall anyway. I will just have to take my lead from her on it though.

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