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When Psychosis Said My Son Wasn't Real

If you have ever experienced psychosis, you are probably aware that what you KNOW and what you BELIEVE are two very different things.

All throughout my pregnancy, from beginning to now (he was about about four weeks old at the time of writing) I have had trouble bonding, connecting, and otherwise believing in my son’s existence.

Which, truly, is worrisome and slightly terrifying.

Is this just some elaborate hallucination? That’s what my brain tells me.

From the first visit at the birthing center where I shared my concerns with the midwives that this pregnancy wasn’t “real” – it was one of those pregnancies where I went through the whole process physically, but with no baby at the end – to during labor when he finally emerged and I kept asking “is he real?”, this whole experience has yet to connect properly in my brain.

The trauma after birth didn’t help matters – between a huge blood clot, hemorrhaging, and postpartum preeclampsia – but recovery is a work in progress.

How I Cope with the Psychosis:

-I’ve surrounded myself with support, for one. There is rarely a time when no one is available to help

-Breastfeeding, cuddling my son, and skin to skin contact don’t make my son feel any more real, but they do seem to help keep my psychosis from getting worse.

-Honesty with my care team (midwives, psychiatrist, and probably a therapist soon) about what is happening so I can be properly cared for and medicated as needed

-Walking away (with my son left in good hands) when needed is invaluable. Although I have not in any way felt aggression or anger towards my son, sometimes a meltdown happens, and it’s easier to recover from a meltdown when you AREN’T holding a crying infant.

Next Steps:

As hard as it is to gather the motivation to breastfeed and otherwise care for an infant that my brain tells me doesn’t truly exist, I rely on my support system (primarily the people I live with) to help encourage and push me to do what needs to be done. When I simply cannot function, communication with my support people is key.

If you are going through something similar, please, surround yourself with as many supportive people that you can be fully open and honest with as you can. Their help can make or break your pregnancy and later your ability to function when caring for your newborn.

Have you gone through a pregnancy or birth while experiencing psychosis? Were you able to properly bond with your child later? Please let me know in the comments. I’m still holding out hope that this mental state isn’t forever.

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How did you come about your neurological disorders? Genetics, your mom had preeclampsia (premature baby) you got bpd from being emotionally abused

Group Leader Speaking: My mom had Toxemia or now called Preeclampsia, and this is where my learning disability comes from along with my ADHD and Autism...and the fact that my motor skills have been negatively impacted. But not to the point of not being able to live a semi-normal life. My mom also would zone out a lot when I was younger epilepsy runs high on her side of the family. So as a child growing up you feel invalidated when a parent ignores you continuously and seems to feel that nothing you do is right. Feels useless in life at an early age.. The emotional stability is never properly established. My mom forced my sister to raise me, and my sister was only a few years older than me. My sister is really emotionally out there but has never seek any type of mental health assistance. I haven't seen my sister in 18 years. I spoke to her for 30 minutes last year but that's about it. I speak to my niece occasionally by phone she is the spitting image of me, meaning we have similar facial features, and her mental health is similar to mine. But I don't overstep my boundaries when it comes to her an try to teach her ways to overcome mental health issues she has. I will wait till she gets out of high school and graduates then I will assist her if she wants to be assisted. I can't wait for her to graduate I will be there at her graduation. With a huge present. What's your storyline: What mental illness do you have and how did you get them? #ADHD #Autism #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #MentalHealth #Mania #Cancer #Depression #Anxiety #PTSD #AnorexiaNervosa

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anniversary of my fear

do anniversaries of your trauma make you spiral? I knew it was coming up but subconsciously I wasnt thinking about blood pressure has been slowly rising for the past week. today is was higher. 7 years ago I started feeling my symptoms of postpartum preeclampsia. it was scary and traumatic, being a new mom and being in the ICU 4 days after having a baby. fighting postpartum preeclampsia the 4 days before that. so today, i finally gave in and took a low dosage of blood pressure medication. but my mind keeps telling me :
its only a matter of time
damage has been done
and no one can help you.
I'm exhausted from feeling like I have to survive my thoughts and the physical symptoms it causes almost every single day.
I'm afraid of everything, and angry that I can't heal.

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yesterday and today

yesterday I was anxious that my heart rate was too low.
I was sitting on the couch having a lazy day and it was 58 BPM never rose over 107.
I kept thinking something was wrong.
wasn't I trying to lower my heart rate for months now?
and I did it....but now a new worry appears.

today my heart rate is barely in the low 80s at resting. sitting down coloring with my daughter is was 92.
I've been anxious all day, it was busy at work. the plumbing in the bathroom is leaking through the wall a bit and I can't get a hold of our manager. my brain keeps saying Im sick.
almost 7 years ago I had postpartum preeclampsia. it's rare, maybe 600 women a year get it. When I first had it I could barely find any info on it, now if I google it there is more.
In a week it will be 7 years that I suffered for 4 days and doctors sending me home each time I went for help. unknowingly fighting for my life, my brain has since told me it's only a matter of time until the damage it caused catches up with me. doctors say I am fine, but that's what they said before and I almost died.
how can I heal when I can barely trust their assurance?
This must be why I feel this way.
I think I triggered it last night.
I was reading articles last night and found a story about a woman in 2015 who had a similar experience, but she actually went through a stroke, and didn't survive. she didnt get to know her baby, doctors sent her home. she went to them more than once for help probably pleading each time like I was.
I feel sick to my stomach, ashamed that I am damaged and scared everyday. because I have had 7 years with my child, and she didn't even have a month. I feel like I should be more positive about this second chance, but I live in fear. today is one of the days where it has gotten the best of me.
#PanicAttacks #PTSD #Anxiety


New Here

I'm new on The Mighty. I've read many articles before deciding I should just make an account. I haven't seen much yet. I'm struggling with many mental and physical illnesses. I've been physically disabled since I was 9 years old. I developed a bone disease and after 6+ Surgeries just on my left hip, it was ultimately ruined and needed to be replaced. 2010 at 18, I had a total hip replacement. I don't remember a lot of my teen years and childhood, I just know I had multiple surgeries and a ton of physical therapy. My mother passed at 39 in 2013. I signed up for disability and was denied all the way through court. In 2014 I was diagnosed with Bipolar, Anxiety, PTSD, Adjustment Disorder, Myofascial Syndrome, Lupus, Pre-Diabetes, Inflammatory Arthritis, and Bilateral ddeafness. I tried to work and was heavily medicated. I decided to try and get pregnant. My husband and I were doing well. I ended up doing CSection due to Preeclampsia. My baby girl is healthy and happy. I got very lucky. I started working again. Doing alright. Then my health started declining fast. My doctor advised me to quit and sign up for disability again. We lost everything. Literally. Our car, home, dignity. You name it. I felt so much guilt and I still do. I still haven't heard about disability. I was diagnosed with PCOS. I had my appendix taken out. I had a colonoscopy and was diagnosed with Ulcers Colitis. Every day has been a struggle. We're staying with my Mother-in-law and its making my health decline more. I'm on so many meds I can't keep up. My calendar is filled with reminders of appointments, refills, bills, and anything I have to remember because I just can't keep up. I'm so overwhelmed and my husbands family has been awful to us. I have thought of giving up so many times. But I have a baby who needs me. I have been battling this guilt. I'm the reason we're struggling. I'm the reason we lost everything. It's been the hardest year since my mom passed. And right now all I want is for her to be here and take me in her arms. Christmas was her favorite holiday. She was so young..she battled with some of the same conditions so I fear I'm going to die young as well. There's so much more I could say..but I'm already overwhelmed. I pray 2020 will be a good year with less struggle. #Lupus #PTSD #BipolarDepression #Anxiety #Strugglelife


has anybody ever had postpartum preeclampsia? it's been 7 yrs since I had it and Im still afraid of dying

i cant stop thinking that I am going to have an heart problem or blood pressure issue. and have constant panic attacks.