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Most current data on causes of PPD and anxiety?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am frustrated at the lack of information out there on the causes of ppd and anxiety. I gave birth to my son almost one year ago and experienced ppd and anxiety from 6 weeks pp until I became pregnant again this past summer. The change was so remarkable and immediate that I am convinced my symptoms had a hormonal bases, though when I said this to my therapist, he was not inclined to agree. My exploration of current research has not yielded much evidence to support my theory, with the exception of some very small studies of estrogen replacement therapy. Does anyone have any good links? I desperately want to nurse my new little one but I do not want to go back to that hole I was in.
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by olive&pimiento View Post
I desperately want to nurse my new little one but I do not want to go back to that hole I was in.
why is it an either/or? can't you nurse and take meds?
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
I tried Zoloft while nursing ds and I had a really horrible reaction to it. I had tried therapy, fish oil, exercise, daily walks outdoors, etc. I finally broke down and weaned to take Cymbalta (I have fibromyalgia as well). It was literally one of the most difficult decisions of my life and it definately made the depression worse for a short time. A couple of weeks later I found out I was pregnant (and of course had to stop the meds). I felt back to myself by the time I was 6 weeks. I am now trying to do as much research as possible before this next baby is born. I haven't read Thomas Hale's book yet, but I will.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by olive&pimiento View Post
The change was so remarkable and immediate that I am convinced my symptoms had a hormonal bases, though when I said this to my therapist, he was not inclined to agree.
I am thinking a female therapist might be the way to go for PPD concerns. In general, it is harder for men to "get" what a woman is going through postpartum. The symptoms can occur with miscarriage also, so it is hard to blame loss of sleep and claim no hormonal involvement.

The Hale website is here:
http://neonatal.ttuhsc.edu/lact/

Since you had side effects with zoloft, you could ask your doctor about lexapro (fewer side effects, generally considered breastfeeding safe). In 2006, Hale was suggesting venlafaxine (Effexor) instead of Cymbalta (a new drug at the time.) Someone on MDC probably has the Hale book, so no reason to buy it.
post #5 of 16
post #6 of 16
My ND was pretty convinced my ppd was from a hormonal cause. She ran my hormone levels and my progesterone levels (I think that's the one) were crazy low, like almost menopausal. She said I could take progesterone, but it could adversely effect my milk supply. When you are pregnant, it's much higher and you feel good, that's why it's such a big crash when it goes down postpartum. I eventually weaned my older child and that's helped a lot. I took 5 htp and that helped some too.
post #7 of 16
Progesterone is known as the "feel good" hormone, and when you are pregnant, you have tons of it. Then, when you have the baby, your progesterone level crashes, and yes, I am convinced that this is the cause of PPD.

That said, if you want to nurse but can not take zoloft, the other ssri's are also perfectly safe. You can take any of them and feel very confident that you are doing the right thing.

You can check Kellymom for more info, and Dr. Hale is a great source, too.

You can do a natural progesterone cream but it CAN affect nursing. You can also take synthetic progesterone (like the mini-pill) and it should/could help your mood.

But if you need meds, by all means, take them.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephenie View Post
I eventually weaned my older child and that's helped a lot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by readytobedone View Post
why is it an either/or? can't you nurse and take meds?
Maybe the concern is - one shared by myself and one difficult to bring up on this forum - that the breastfeeding hormones are what is causing PPD for a number of women.

I had PPD after my daughter was born. Peaked around 3-4mo PP. Got better after I got my first period. I still felt like I couldn't really like my daughter and like I'll never really experience joy or other real emotions again when dd was 2.5yo. Weaned her. Have been feeling like myself again ever since.

I'm sure mine was hormonal, and lactating does not make me feel good. I still intend to BF any future kids, but it's a concern.
post #9 of 16
nak. I would start researching placental ingestion. I dehydrated my placenta after DD#2 was born and I feel _so much better_ this time around. I dehydrated it and take a little each night and it stops the sudden hormone crash (since the placenta is full of all the pregnancy hormones). Try a chiropractor as well. Those 2 things for me have made a night and day difference.

Also, you may want to check out the traditional food forum on here - a significant change in diet can help too.

Just some idea based on what has worked for me...
post #10 of 16
Hi I have struggled with PPD also, and sometimes I wonder if it is related to breastfeeding as well. My dd is 6 months old and it is so much better than it was but I still get crazy times when I get so intensely frustrated and even angry and it is so irrational. It is hard for me to talk about and my husband has been soo soo supportive. I guess I don't really know what else to say but it is nice to hear that I am not the only one that thinks it is related to hormones/lactating. Just another thought, did anyone else have major problems with oversupply of milk? I still struggle with it at 6 months sometimes because I work part time and pump at work and it is different than her nursing so I get engorged after I have worked a few days (nightmare ).
post #11 of 16
Run to your best endocrinologist and have your tsh t3 and t4 levels checked. Are you losing hair, having headaches, brittle nails or hair, low temperature, or tingling in your hands or arms?
post #12 of 16
Hey there lady,
I think you should consider nursing even if you go on drugs. I have some smart friends who say it's ok.

How're you feeling now?
Love ya,
Jessi
post #13 of 16

Hormones play a part...

My PPD had many causes, my poor coping skills can't be discounted. BUT it definitely has a hormonal, biological component. The book "This Isn't What I Expected" suggests (based on evidence) that it is a withdrawal of hormones that causes it. The book "Spark" which is about exercise and the brain showed that women who got PPD were much more sensitive to hormone fluctuations (they didn't have bigger swings, they were just more sensitive to the shifts that occurred) the relevance in the book being that exercise helps A LOT. MY pdoc absolutely thought it was hormonal and related to lactation as well. He never asked or suggested that I stop pumping and was knowledgeable about safe meds for lactating moms, so I don't think it was anti-breastfeeding bias on his part. My hope is that next time I will know that it is hormonal and therefor "outside" my mind and I will just have to pull out my coping skills and ride it out. And exercise a lot...and take Zoloft if I need it
post #14 of 16
I'm taking cymbalta while pregnant and nursing.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by olive&pimiento View Post
I am frustrated at the lack of information out there on the causes of ppd and anxiety. I gave birth to my son almost one year ago and experienced ppd and anxiety from 6 weeks pp until I became pregnant again this past summer. The change was so remarkable and immediate that I am convinced my symptoms had a hormonal bases, though when I said this to my therapist, he was not inclined to agree. My exploration of current research has not yielded much evidence to support my theory, with the exception of some very small studies of estrogen replacement therapy. Does anyone have any good links? I desperately want to nurse my new little one but I do not want to go back to that hole I was in.

Sadly you might need a new therapist who is more up to date.
Google Scholar articles and research:
post #16 of 16
I would find a new therapist and make sure that she (I would find a female one) specializes in post partum mood disorders and understands the physical causes of depression and anxiety after childbirth. good luck.
Hugs.
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