Hypnagogic hallucinations - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-27-2009, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am looking for information for a friend who isn't able to access the internet right now.

Does anyone here have any information on - or experience with - PPD (or Postpartum Anxiety, or Postpartum Traumatic Stress) and sleep issues like hypnagogic hallucinations (hallucinations when falling asleep or upon waking), nighttime panic attacks, etc. These issues were present for years before the birth, but have become more frequent and more troublesome since her baby was born several months ago. During the day she has the usual symptoms of mild to moderate postpartum mood disorder - no hallucinations, or thoughts of harming herself or her baby.

If you have any knowledge of this, please share anything that may be useful for her to know or try. She does want to talk to a professional, and is considering going to a postpartum support group, and has a list of things to try nutritionally, etc. She has insurance and has access to care. She feels it would be useful just to have a bit more info on the hypnagogic hallucinations, either alone or with depression, before she talkes to someone.

Thanks!

~ Colleen ~ Joyful Unschooling Pagan mama to hearts.gifenergy.gifsuperhero.gifjog.gif and babyf.gif
"When I'm sad, I stop being sad and be AWESOME instead."
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#2 of 9 Old 09-10-2009, 07:13 PM
 
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I don't have any info/experience, but I would recommend that she get in touch with PostPartum Support International: http://postpartum.net/

They have people in each state that you can call and talk to -- that might be a good first step for her.

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#3 of 9 Old 09-10-2009, 08:43 PM
 
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Hi, I'm not an expert, but I do have personal experience with PPD and PPA (anxiety).

What I would advise to any woman experiencing either condition is to see an expert. I was prescribed medication by both my OBGYN and my family doctor that actually agitated my condition and earned me 2 trips to the local psychiatric ward. Not every woman need medication, but on the other hand, if after being assessed by a psychologist/psychiatrist and medication is recommended, there's no shame in it either.

Also, a therapist who specializes in postpartum mental health would probably provide a lot of relief. I just chose a counselor who was close to my home and was an addictions specialist and it was like speaking Japanese to a Scandinavian; there was no connect at all and she wasn't equipped to deal with my situation. I found another therapist who was experienced in treating depression/anxiety with cognitive-behavioral training techniques and it was one of the biggest steps forward for me.

Good luck and well wishes to your friend.
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#4 of 9 Old 09-11-2009, 12:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for your responses! I believe that she is going to be talking to someone soon, and she seems to have a good handle on things now as far as where to go from here.

~ Colleen ~ Joyful Unschooling Pagan mama to hearts.gifenergy.gifsuperhero.gifjog.gif and babyf.gif
"When I'm sad, I stop being sad and be AWESOME instead."
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#5 of 9 Old 09-11-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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I was diagnosed with them at about 5 months pp after DD was born. I'd had them very rarely (like maybe once every six months or so) since 2006, but at about 4 months pp they were every night, sometimes several times a night. I also had terrible depression and could barely make it through each day. Turns out my thyroid had started to fail (now diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis). Now that I am on a replacement hormone and DD is sleeping a little better and I am getting more sleep, I rarely get them. I think (at least for me) they are exacerbated by being over-fatigued and over-stressed (DH was deployed when they were at their worst). I think it's my brain's way of trying to "turn itself off" more or less and force itself into a deeper sleep cycle than it's ready for, if that makes sense.

If your friend has any symptoms of being hyper or hypothyroid I would have her get her thyroid checked. Hypo especially can cause pretty bad depression, and many of the other symptoms coincide with what we go through in post-partum, especially if BFing (hair loss, fatigue, constipation). I never would have guessed mine was failing, I just thought I had some bad pp symptoms and that I wasn't handling DH being gone very well.

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#6 of 9 Old 09-13-2009, 02:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Mrs.Oz View Post
If your friend has any symptoms of being hyper or hypothyroid I would have her get her thyroid checked. Hypo especially can cause pretty bad depression, and many of the other symptoms coincide with what we go through in post-partum, especially if BFing (hair loss, fatigue, constipation). I never would have guessed mine was failing, I just thought I had some bad pp symptoms and that I wasn't handling DH being gone very well.
Thanks, I will mention this to her! to you.

~ Colleen ~ Joyful Unschooling Pagan mama to hearts.gifenergy.gifsuperhero.gifjog.gif and babyf.gif
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#7 of 9 Old 09-13-2009, 03:02 AM
 
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I have had hypnopompic hallucinations since I was young.I get it when I'm super tired.Its at its worst the first few months after I have had my babies.It is the opposite of hypnagogic hallucinations though but still related.
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#8 of 9 Old 10-06-2009, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ~RememberToForget~ View Post
I have had hypnopompic hallucinations since I was young.I get it when I'm super tired.Its at its worst the first few months after I have had my babies.It is the opposite of hypnagogic hallucinations though but still related.
They do seem to be related to her fatigue levels, and to her menstrual cycle as well - she also has hypnopompic hallucinations. I will share what you've said with her! I think that just hearing that what happens to her has a name and is experienced by others has been really helpful.

~ Colleen ~ Joyful Unschooling Pagan mama to hearts.gifenergy.gifsuperhero.gifjog.gif and babyf.gif
"When I'm sad, I stop being sad and be AWESOME instead."
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#9 of 9 Old 10-06-2009, 01:38 PM
 
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Completely agreed, I've had them on and off for years and it's always seemed to tie in to a day where I've been completely exhausted. Being a new-ish mom with ever growing demands will totally wear her out and could cause them to come more frequently. So sorry that they are troubling her so much

Proud mama to DD#1 (11) DS (4) and DD#2 ( 2 )
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