I read in the news today; there would be 26 NHS mental health hubs to be set up for those who suffer mental health problems following the birth or bereavement of their baby.
According to Sky News, they will be for those during pregnancy and twenty-four months afterwards. Offering vital support.
This rung true to me as when my son was born, I suffered from Postpartum Depression and Puerplar Psychosis, the latter being delusions.
I had previously suffered from depression, and the actual event of the birth was fraught with problems. Combining these two things and my adverse reaction to an anti-depressant led to my hospitalisation back in 2002.
Unfortunately, there was no mental health hub available for me where I could go with my son. Was this good or bad? I’m not sure I was very sick; I don’t think I could have looked after a baby even in a hospital.
I believed my newborn baby, who I had delivered by caesarean section because of an error with inducement, was my mothers. I’ve no idea why I thought my son was, in fact, my brother, but there we go, delusion on a grand scale.
I lived with my delusion for six weeks before my partner realised there was something seriously wrong with me, and he then told the rest of my close family, and they called the doctor in. I was then sent to the hospital.
I wish I would have been placed in a hub with my child as I would have had a closer bond in the early days. Although now I have a close bond, I felt even worse because I was not allowed to have him with me.
Not because of safety, but because there was no room. The local unit for mothers and babies could only hold four patients. All the beds were taken.
At the time, I felt like the worst person in the world. I didn’t feel like the worst mother as I thought he was my mum’s, but I did understand they were telling me he was my son, but it was like they were talking to me through a filter. My mind would not hear anything different.
I was in the mental health unit for about four months, and my family and my son did visit. I can’t remember very much of my time there, and I wrote a post about mental health units on my blog and how you shouldn’t be scared of these places.
They are there to help.
I feel these new units, which will be made available to women, are much needed. Although I don’t think it was suitable for me, I do think it is imperative others have the opportunity to bond with their child in a special space.
And on the opposite side of the equation, support for those who have lost a child. Allowing them to grieve with the provision of specialist carers and medical staff.
What is Postpartum Psychosis?
How do you know if you have postpartum depression. I’ve put a symptom list together, and if you think you have it, please seek help from your doctor.
- You may feel excited or elated; I did have a mixture of feelings.
- I became severely depressed, even contemplating my suicide.
- I had rapid mood changes, and they would fluctuate hourly.
- Some people become confused or disorientated.
- Lack of sleep was an issue, not because I had a newborn. I couldn’t sleep even when I had the opportunity.
- I couldn’t concentrate, everything was too much, or I was easily distracted.
- I suffered delusions, but you can also suffer from hallucinations or both.
- You can also feel paranoid to the extent of feeling like you are being followed; this is part of the delusion aspect.
- Acting out of character, your family or partner may notice you are acting strangely.
My aim of this article is to help those who are suffering from Postpartum Psychosis. However, I doubt you will be reading it. My main aim is for those who know their partner or family member is acting out of character, and if they have just given birth, there may be a reason for this.
Hopefully, treatment will be forthcoming quickly, and they will be able to get into a mental health unit with their child.
If not, please be supportive and do everything you can; they will get better, it takes times, but they will.
Peace & Blessings x