How I feel 4 years after Postpartum psychosis – Am I really Recovered?

My baby is now a boy…the sweetest most loving little boy you could meet. Four years ago I had already been in labour for over 24 hours, I was excited and nervous about meeting my first child.

I had a diagnosis of Bipolar disorder so was on a consultant led unit at the UHW (university hospital of Wales) I had been in labour so long that if nothing had happened by the following day I would be induced.

I was sent home to wait, I started to get audio hallucinations (hearing things) at home but thought this was due to lack of sleep.

We went back to the hospital the following day and I was induced. Things started to get scary and before I knew it I was seeing things that were not real…My experience of Postpartum psychosis was scary, real and life changing.

Four years on my bond with my first child is amazing, he is such a loving child. We spend lots of time together and have mummy and E days quite often. I felt a guilt for being ill for so long that I often wonder if I spend so much time with him because I am trying to fill a gap. Then I think to myself…’will you stop’ I’m his mum, I spend time with him because I love him!

Silly thoughts like these are something I still deal with from time to time. I can be perfectly happy and then bang!! Stupid little intrusive thoughts pop into my mind. I mean they are better than before but I often wonder if I will ever completely get rid of them.

Another thing that still hangs around is anxiety and panic. Yes you wouldn’t believe it as I seem quite confident but I have to deal with awful anxiety daily. I have certain triggers and I know what they are, I do try to avoid these certain situations but that is why I am still living with panic.

The mind is a mysterious thing and when I experienced postpartum psychosis I stored the things I hallucinated and the  feelings I felt when scared as real memories. I now have to have help to make new memories of those horrid occasions.

I had my first appointment for panic treatment yesterday (long wait) and it was great. I am feeling really positive that I can get better and hopefully I will be able to battle my panic disorder. One thing I really want to get better with is to be in a room alone…yes you heard right, I can’t at the moment sit alone in a room as it starts off my panic.

I think others who have experienced any form of Perinatal mental health problems will relate to me when I say,  I don’t think I will ever be 100% recovered.

There are things I do to help sustain my recovery of mental health problems but when a day is to0 stressful or when I feel like I am not in control I do get a reminder that I must continue to look after myself.

Recovery Mummy groups are a great way to keep me focused. Even if I am having a down day, I just look at the ladies I am helping,  I see them smiling and its all worth it.

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