234: Super Sad Unicorn: A Memoir of Mania with Jessica Ekhoff

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By Katayune Kaeni, Psy.D., PMH-C and Katayune Kaeni. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

We learn many things from the stories of others. In our quest to spread information, education, and compassion about the many topics we cover on Mom & Mind, it is just as important to hear the lesser-known stories of what people have experienced. Today’s guest shares her story of postpartum-onset bipolar disorder that resulted in postpartum psychosis. Unfortunately, this occurs in more mothers than we are led to believe, and we need more understanding about it. Join us now for a look at this often misunderstood condition.

Jessica Ekhoff has written a memoir of her experience with postpartum-onset bipolar I disorder and psychosis. Super Sad Unicorn: A Memoir of Mania will be published in early 2023 by New Degree Press, and it’s available for preorder now. Jessica is a trademark advertising attorney who is a figure skating, board game, and fiction enthusiast. She is a peer facilitator for Postpartum Support International’s support group for pregnant and postpartum women with bipolar disorder. She lives in Chicago with her husband and their young son. Jessica shares her journey with mania and psychosis that began a few days after her son’s birth and landed her in a psychiatric ward.

Show Highlights:

  • How Jessica’s symptoms began after the birth of her son, Wells, in 2021, even though there is no history of bipolar disorder in herself or her family
  • How Jessica entered a manic phase that escalated quickly when her son was 2-4 days old
  • How Jessica’s husband knew she was acting very much out of character and urged her to call her parents to come help
  • How she had delusions that her husband had called DCFS to come to take away her son
  • What Jessica now notices in retrospect about her first four days postpartum
  • How she prepared to enter an outpatient therapy program, but Jessica’s condition required hospitalization before the first appointment
  • How she felt scattered, confused, and unstable mentally through days 4-10 postpartum until she went into the hospital
  • Why Jessica was floored when the doctor revealed to her that SHE was the one who needed help
  • How Jessica was convinced that the hospital ward was actually an escape room set up just for her, and later thought God had sent her on a mission there
  • Why Jessica began referring to herself as the “super sad unicorn” during her six-day hospital stay
  • How she improved with medication and was finally able to go home to start the intensive outpatient program, even though she was still experiencing mania
  • How Jessica felt frustrated by many things at home and her husband’s reactions to her plans
  • What things were like when Jessica returned to work and had to re-enter the intensive program
  • How therapy and resources from Postpartum Support International were pivotal in Jessica’s healing and recovery
  • Why Jessica decided to write her book, a memoir of her story that stemmed from her journaling practice

Resources:

Connect with Jessica: Instagram

Pre-order Jessica’s book: https://www.jessica-ekhoff.presale.manuscripts.com/

Visit www.postpartum.net for resources!

Visit my website, www.wellmindperinatal.com, for more information, resources, and courses you can take today!

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258 episodes