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natural mamas who choose meds? - Page 2

post #21 of 43
Could you share with me what you're taking?
post #22 of 43
I definitely struggled with this. I have had bouts of depression and anxiety at various points in my life, and last year it came to a major head. I had been trying a variety of natural remedies (including L-tryptophan, 5-HTP, magnesium, fish oils, and a couple of homeopathics) but things were getting worse, and not better. I wasn't doing these things on my own, but under the supervision of a naturopath. I think what happened was that my issues had been building up for years and by the time I embarked on the natural stuff, I was already in an acute state. All of these natural things are great and can be immensely helpful, but I needed help *fast*, and I simply didn't have the energy at this acute stage to do a lot of it. Natural is about slow and steady and building up the mind and body gradually, and I didn't have time or energy by this point. I just wanted to stay in a warm safe bed all day and not have to worry about any responsibilities.

I do truly believe that all of those lifestyle habits we know about (at least intellectually if not in practice) do make a huge difference. I finally made the decision to start with my family doctor. I was ready for meds because I just couldn't go on the way I was. We were all suffering.

I have to admit that at first I felt an odd sense of failure, but the bargain I made with myself was that this wasn't an all or nothing thing- by taking meds I was not giving up on everything else I believed it. But I needed the meds to be able to actually put all the more natural/lifestyle stuff into action. I am very careful to eat a balance diet, I practice good sleep hygiene and make rest and relaxation a priority, I practice mindfulness, I exercise (or *try* to ), I make time for fun, and I go to therapy.

A year later I can say that I'm in the place I belong. Life is GOOD. And for so long I hadn't realized how good life could and should be. Now I know and I don't regret the meds for a minute- I'm grateful for them.
post #23 of 43
I'm taking 20 mg/day of generic Prozac (fluoxetine).
post #24 of 43
Oh, I am so glad to have found this. Pharmaceuticals are so hard for me to accept. But I've had a huge amount of stress the past few years, not just because I became a mother either. I am not able to see a crunchy psych dr, but I told her my reservations about allopathic medicines, and so she started me on 5mg fluoxetine (aka Prozac) and up to 10mg after 2 weeks. It's been close to a month, or right at and I can already tell a difference. I'm being treated for PTSD, depression and PMDD. My triggers are less sensitive which is good cuz my anger/rage was making me feel so guilty with DD. I'm also in counseling; a group and a individual session. My hope is I will only need the med's for a year or so. I was also put on temazepam for insomnia, but it's not working so I'm going back to my valerian root.

I will admit that I am glad I am on it because I was in a crazy spiral and couldn't get control of my emotions, mostly anger stemming from recent and long ago abuse. It was a hard pill to swallow literally, but in the end my ability to parent my DD in line with my values and not have to fight myself every step of the way to get there won out. The last thing I needed to add to my list of problems was GMD (guilty mom syndrome ).
post #25 of 43
May I ask which meds you're taking?

Thank you!
post #26 of 43
Just bumping this thread.

I just started on 37.5 mg of Effexor. I will go up to 75 mg in 6 days, then 3 weeks after that up to 150 mg.

So far so good. Only side effect that I'm experiencing so far is night sweats.
post #27 of 43

me too

Hi.
It is nice hearing all the stories here. All of you are so brave and so strong.
I am taking 50 mg of Zoloft. I was on it once before, about 10 years ago. About 6 months ago, after my second son weaned, I started feeling just horrible. I am an acupucnturist, so you can imagine that I tried everything under the sun that is natural. I was having crippling anxiety, to the point that I was hardly able to drive.
I was diagnosed with PTSD about 15 years ago due to childhood abuse. I was doing well the last 10 years, but it all kind of kicked in again. But... the Zoloft is really helping. I am in such a brighter, happier place and I am not feeling anxious, which is a blessing. My anxiety was just so incredibly bad and it is a place that I just can not be. I can't tolerate it at all.
I could list all the things I did and tried- EMDR, bodywork, therapy, St Johns wort, Velerian, Kava Kava, acupuncture, watsu, etc. etc. They all helped, but the PTSD is strong and letting go and accepting that I needed more help was huge for me. I needed to let go and accept that I needed help, which is a difficult thing for me to do.
Anyway , I just wanted to offer support. I am here too.
post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fi'sMom View Post
May I ask which meds you're taking?

Thank you!
250mg Wellbutrin/day plus 15 mg Prozac/day.

ETA -- they work on different pathways. The depression is helped by the wellbutrin (it's energizing and I can get up and do what needs to get done generally) but too much of it makes me jumpy, anxious and angry. So the 250 mg dose is just right. The Prozac helps with anxiety control and mellows me out in important ways.
post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Coltrane View Post
Hi.
It is nice hearing all the stories here. All of you are so brave and so strong.
I am taking 50 mg of Zoloft. I was on it once before, about 10 years ago. About 6 months ago, after my second son weaned, I started feeling just horrible. I am an acupucnturist, so you can imagine that I tried everything under the sun that is natural. I was having crippling anxiety, to the point that I was hardly able to drive.
I was diagnosed with PTSD about 15 years ago due to childhood abuse. I was doing well the last 10 years, but it all kind of kicked in again. But... the Zoloft is really helping. I am in such a brighter, happier place and I am not feeling anxious, which is a blessing. My anxiety was just so incredibly bad and it is a place that I just can not be. I can't tolerate it at all.
I could list all the things I did and tried- EMDR, bodywork, therapy, St Johns wort, Velerian, Kava Kava, acupuncture, watsu, etc. etc. They all helped, but the PTSD is strong and letting go and accepting that I needed more help was huge for me. I needed to let go and accept that I needed help, which is a difficult thing for me to do.
Anyway , I just wanted to offer support. I am here too.
I have chronic PTSD. I'm still on a low dose of Prozac, 10mg daily (first thing in the morning). What is really bothering me though is that I am also on 15mg of temazepam for insomnia/inability to fall and stay asleep. It's not working at all, well, I do stay asleep with it, but falling asleep is horrible! I take it and lay there awake for at least a good hour or more. I know it's a long time, but I can't look at the clock without creating huge frustration So anyway, the prozac has smoothed the PTSD and PMDD out considerably in the 2 months I've been on it. The PMDD is very secondary to the PTSD and anxiety. I am going to see my p-doc Friday to review my meds. I know the temazepam will be replaced, maybe by lorazepam, 2mg. While my anxiety is much lower than it was right before I started the prozac, I don't know if she is going to change my dosing of that or not. My counselor would say that my level of anxiety is still pretty high.

I keep seeing ppl mentioning using valerian. I used to use it only for sleep before I went on the meds mentioned above. It worked fine for that. I tried to use only valerian at night when I traveled over the holidays for 2 weeks last month and it was no longer working to put me to sleep. Arghhh..... this insomnia thing is driving me nuts! I've been a serious insomniac full time for a little over a year now (not infant related ) and I just want to be able to lay in bed and fall asleep relatively quickly, not an hour or more later.
post #30 of 43
hugs everyone,

For insomnia, of which I have suffered most of my life on & off,
some non-med suggestions, which can be used in either situation:

Right before bed, get very cooled off and be in the light for about ten minutes. Then make sure you're nice & warm in bed, and total total darkness. Also, if you aren't asleep in 15 minutes, get up for ten, in dim light, make your body take drowsy form, loose mouth, and either just get up & sit, read the instructions to your blender, something very non-stimulating. Then go back to bed. No matter how tired you are, don't lay in bed awake for more than 15 minutes. Keep trying.

Try repeating 'the' over & over, it's very effective in keeping the running thoughts at bay.

Get up at the same time of day, no matter what, even if you need a nap later, and then try to only nap for 20 minutes at a time.

This stuff is called sleep hygiene and it can help train your body to sleep.

post #31 of 43
subbing. I am very anti-medication, but I'm almost 2 years into this latest depression and I find lately that I don't have the energy to remember to take supplements, exercise, take care of myself, etc. I'm even having a really hard time getting motivated to get an appointment with my GP for a referral to counselling or a prescription...and I echo all the others about it affecting my ability to parent.
post #32 of 43
I lasted about 3 months on prozac. Parts of it were really wonderful. I had tons of energy--I got LOTS done and tackled a huge project. I also lost my social anxiety and felt like having people over and doing more things with people. There was a bit of a feeling of being wound up--but it was refreshing.

Unfortunately, it seemed to have some weird effects on muscle tension in my body. Neck pain and stuff. When I would see my chiro (who does network) my body wouldn't drop the tension like it normally does.

I had no problems getting off of it. Felt great for the next three weeks. Then got my period and saw MAJOR shifts in mood and energy. A week later, I feel decent but not as project oriented as I was on it. But I'm not all teary and sad over little stuff.

Not sure what I want to do...
post #33 of 43
LOVE this post -- don't have time to write much but to keep it brief:

I too, am not super duper crunchy but I still consider myself a "natural" momma most days. I've been having issues with anxiety as long as I can remember, and as a teenager went through a slew of medications that left me with really awful side effects [weight gain, horrible withdrawl, etc..] for awhile I was off all medications and was miserable, just couldn't deal with life.

I found a great doctor when DD was born and now I take Zoloft [200mg] and it's like a miracle. I can function, deal with most anything, and love my life 90% of the time. So yes, I'm going to keep taking it because it's what makes me a better mother/wife/friend/daughter.
post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oh the Irony View Post
Unfortunately, it seemed to have some weird effects on muscle tension in my body. Neck pain and stuff. When I would see my chiro (who does network) my body wouldn't drop the tension like it normally does.
I had this too. But after awhile it went away. I notice it returns for a few days when I change my dosage. Most recently it really helped to go get a massage, and place warm rice socks on my neck.

Best wishes figuring it out for yourself.
post #35 of 43
This describes me, but I think I would have done well off medication with therapy and more support in my case. Unforunately I don't know when, if ever, I will get off these things. I hate them. I don't do poorly on them, but I did well for a long time without them.
post #36 of 43
I have had depression off and on since I was a teenager, possibly even since childhood, though since I had a fairly rough time with my physically and emotionally abusive parents, it's hard to say if I would've been chemically depressed as a child in a "normal" loving family.

I've tried Prozac (which made me extremely violent and full of rage, which is totally not me!!!), Paxil (worked pretty well, but with terrible sexual side effects), and Wellbutrin (didn't work too well for me), along with a few other things here and there that didn't work.

I have been resistant to taking meds since my son was born, especially since I developed some anxiety and the med that worked best for me before (Paxil) made me feel even more anxious, to the point where I thought I needed to go to the hospital! I was afraid to take the anti-anxiety meds they prescribed because they are addictive, and that's the LAST thing I need going on in my life!

I also tried a lot of different herbal treatments, like 5HTP, high EPA Omega 3s, GABA, and the like, but nothing seemed to offer dramatic improvement.

In desperation, I tried acupuncture. I didn't even really believe in it, but I had read some studies online that it was as effective as standard anti-depressants in treating depression. It completely helped! I've been going off and on for the last two years, and though I've definitely had my down days or weeks, it hasn't been the crushing depression I've had in years past. I really believe the acupuncture has been a MAJOR help for my depression. My anxiety (which was something I'd never had in the past, but cropped up after a serious surgery I had to have) disappeared completely. Thank GOD. I found the anxiety a hundred times worse than the depression, and that's saying something!

I also had dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) several years before I became a mom and found that very helpful. DBT was originally developed for borderline personality disorder, but then they modified it to treat other mental health conditions, like depression and anxiety. I found it extremely helpful as it teaches you to deal with your emotions and accept them without wallowing in them. Prior to trying acupuncture, DBT was my favorite thing I had tried for depression.

Now I am a huge fan of acupuncture and really recommend that everyone try it! Unless you are in a small town, most places have clinics that offer sliding scale treatment. I go to a college that offers treatments for $22 for an hour, which is fairly affordable. That's the full rate and they do sliding scale treatments at an even lower rate.

All that said, I know some people really need medication and do well on it. I personally hate being on medication because for me it's always had lots of side effects, and I also always feel like I am weak, even though intellectually, I think that's dumb and I don't feel like that about other people taking meds! We are always the hardest on ourselves.

On another note, my son has had serious behavioral problems since he was very young, and he has been prescribed Risperdal. I am very reluctant to give this to him. It was scary enough for me to take medications and feel some of the bizarre and troubling side effects (shaking, teeth chattering, "zaps," feeling "out of it"), but I am an adult and I can articulate what's going on, whereas he can't do that as well. I wish I could take my son for acupuncture, but I know he'd find it painful and scary. (I even think it hurts, but it's worth it!) I wish there were some better alternative options for kids.
post #37 of 43
I REALLY struggled with this topic for a long, long time (while trying every "natural" remedy under the sun) before I was finally so miserable that I gave up and took them. It was only out of pure misery and fear for the worst that I was able to do it. But after that... I realised that there is NO reason why I have to be miserable, and it is perfectly okay to accept help. I would have done myself and my family a huge disservice by stubbornly ignoring my need for further help.

That said, they are not a magical cure-all ignore button, but I think if we are caring for ourselves to the best of our ability and that is not enough, then that's what they are there for. I am a healthier person for it in so many ways.

Part of me just hates talking about it with people, because it's literally impossible for someone to understand unless they've been in those shoes, but at the same time I am very open about it anyway. It's so important for people to know that they are not alone, that it's okay to accept help; or for the person that doesn't know this pain first hand, that it's not their place to judge. Yes, all of us on this board have an interest in being natural and making educated decisions, etc, but just like everything else, there is a balance. We all also deserve peace.
post #38 of 43
I read some more of the responses, and I gotta say, I love this thread. This stuff is important. Thanks to all that shared.

One component that I forgot to mention that was also an important factor to me...
I have some rather extreme mental illnesses in my family, and there's no denying the genetic predisposition. I figure if it takes one pill a day to keep me functional and fairly well-adjusted, then I'm still pretty lucky. Again, we all gotta do what we gotta do. We can't control the hand we're dealt, but we can do our best with who we are inside, and what we have to work with.
post #39 of 43
I was dx'd with severe complex PTSD with panic/anxiety and self mutilation issues about a year ago. I had known for a long time that I had "issues" in my life but I had been able to handle them for the most part up until last yr. I am a survivor of childhood physical/emotional and suspected sexual abuse as well as married for 14yrs to a chronic abuser. (working towards freedom in that aspect of my life).

I am very anti medication and taking anything scares me, even a Tylenol. Im the type of person who would suffer a migraine rather than take something for it, but that goes along with my anxiety... I have 6 children and am due with my 7th on 5/16/10 and dont want my kids to have to see their mama doped up and "out of it", but nor do I feel that they should have to see me all strung out and having "episodes".

To make a long story short my Psychiatrist put me on several different meds and most have helped. Lorazepam, klonopin, zoloft, prazsosin(for insomnia) and he reccomended seroquel and paxil but I declined on those 2. I took myself off of everything when I discovered I was expecting #7. I am really surprised at how well I am doing. Some women's hormones seem to go wacky when they are preg, but for me I fell completely normal. I am not sure how things will be after the birth (I am sooo afraid of PPD hitting me) and I know 100% that I will be nursing so I plan on just taking it easy and seeing how things go.

I felt really bad about having to turn to meds to deal with my issues, it made me feel like a failure that I couldnt handle it on my own but I am at peace with it now. I will do whatever I need to do to to be the best motherI can, and hopefully in time, I will no longer need them.

Blessings to All. I know what a hard road this is to travel.
post #40 of 43
still mulling this over. Things are getting worse for me, not better and I'm still having a lot of trouble reaching out. I have identified what it is that is bringing me down. My job, at least I'm pretty sure. But since I really can't fix that and it is affecting my ability to cope on many levels, I think medication might help temporarily...not sure what to try though...and scared of talking to my GP
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