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Question
Posted by: Worried Mum | 2010/10/25

Post Partum Depression

Good afternoon CS

My daughter has recently given birth to a beautiful healthy baby, but has sadly been diagnosed with Post Partum Depression/?Psychosis (she is/was entertaining thoughts of harming her infant). Thank heavens she reached out for help.

Fortunately her pshyciatrist admited her immediately (it's been about 2 weeks now), and so far, so good. (Sorry, but I do not know what medication is beind administered, and I don't want to ask her) It would seem that her psychiatrist has not got the " right mix"  of medication, as the change is quite dramatic in the last 2 days or so, and she has recently started spending a little time bonding with her baby. Although she is still not 100% there is an incredible change. She is however more than likely going to be discharged this week some time.

I am scared! I don't know how to cope/manage this when she comes out, as she is raising concerns that "people"  are going to look at her as a bad mother for"  abandoning"  her child because of her hospitalisation, and also that she is afraid that "people"  are going to be watching her and setting expectations which is making her scared she is going to fail before she has even started.

I have offered all the positive comments I can, and I want to help her when she gets back home, however I don't want her to feel like I'm taking over or being neurotic about them and her ability to be a good, caring mother (which I know she is). What should I, or should I not be doing?

I did suggest a family session with her psychologist so I could discuss this, but her therapist has warned that she is not in the right frame of mind for a family session , and has declined the session for now.

I have offered to be there with her when she is discharged, which she is happy about, but I'm not sure exactly what I should be doing, other than just being by her side to make sure that she does not become anxious and afraid?

Please offer me some guidance on how I should handle the transition back to " the real world" . Should I have a session with her therapist alone, and without her knowing? Having said that, I'm afraid that she might think I'm going behind her back and doubting her ability should she find out.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Good to hear that you have begun to see significant changes for the better, in your daughter. It is essential that her psychiatrist should not discharge her until he has had a good sit-down session with you, her spouse, and anyone else who will be involved in caring for her, so you can all understand what she may need, and the best ways to be effective in caring for her.

This is not the same as a "family session" with a family group as a whole, and including her, to work on other, broader issues - it's about the urgent practicalities of how best to be helpful to her, and understanding what may help and what may not.

I don't think it necessary to "go behind her back", and this is one of the reasons why it's best for the therapist to make it chear that this is a routine session he recommends to advise you on how to help and on what wouldn't be helpful, and though she would probably not need to be present, she could tell him what she would find useful advice to give you and others.

And as Purple says, emphasize to her how sensible people would admire her for showing the strength and wisdom to get the help she needed.

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: just a thought | 2010/10/26

congrats on the grand child - you are obviously a great mother as your daughter is comuncating her fears with you - dont go behind her back...let her know you are there for her every step of the way - good luck

Reply to just a thought
Posted by: Purple | 2010/10/25

Perhaps you need to point out to her that " people"  will think she is strong for getting the help she needed when she needed it and not suffering in silence and then possibly just snapping one day.

Ask her who these people are and why she feels they will judge her so much. Remind her that most people are too wrapped up in their own lives to notice what goes on in anyone elses life, and unless she wants to share what happened with someone, they aren''t likely to even know about it.

I had a mild touch of post natal depression compared to what your daughter is going through, and that was pretty rough for me and resulted in me waiting 7 years before being brave enough to fall pregnant with a second baby. Perhaps point out to her that there are many people who go through what she is going through, even if she doesn''t know about them.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/10/25

Good to hear that you have begun to see significant changes for the better, in your daughter. It is essential that her psychiatrist should not discharge her until he has had a good sit-down session with you, her spouse, and anyone else who will be involved in caring for her, so you can all understand what she may need, and the best ways to be effective in caring for her.

This is not the same as a "family session" with a family group as a whole, and including her, to work on other, broader issues - it's about the urgent practicalities of how best to be helpful to her, and understanding what may help and what may not.

I don't think it necessary to "go behind her back", and this is one of the reasons why it's best for the therapist to make it chear that this is a routine session he recommends to advise you on how to help and on what wouldn't be helpful, and though she would probably not need to be present, she could tell him what she would find useful advice to give you and others.

And as Purple says, emphasize to her how sensible people would admire her for showing the strength and wisdom to get the help she needed.

Reply to cybershrink

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