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Midwife prescribed Zoloft, DH is not sure

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I am not sure what to do. I spoke with my midwife today about my struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety. She recommended zoloft and suggested counseling and other community resources. My husand is really wary of me going on Zoloft, however. He's read a little about the worst case scenarios. He seems to want me to do more "natural" things, but I feel like I've done everything I can and I need help.

I don't know what to do.

Anyone have good experiences with zoloft helping treat PPD?

In my gut, I think it's the right thing to do. I hope that it will help me think more clearly, figure out my life a little, have enough energy that I can sort out the rest of the mess we're in. I'm just really hurt and frustrated that my husband is not being supportive.
post #2 of 24
Anti-depressants ARE scary. But I did get to a place where my symptoms were worse than the risks and so I took some. They helped me feel better right away. I had some awful side affects and reduced my dose and within a week my side effects were small and I had my life back, way, way better than before the Zoloft.

Seeing my improvements after the drugs helped my dh understand a lot better that I didn't have control over what was happening, I wasn't choosing these behaviors. I think that my dh would tell other dads that the scary drugs are worth it.

That said, have you read The Mood Cure? The program in there is supposed to work in just days or weeks. Tell dh that he can read the book and cook the meals and shop for the supplements and take care of the baby while you get extra sleep and exercise and go to all your appointments....See if he's still interested. If he is, I would try it.

post #3 of 24
What dose? would he be happier if you started at a lower dose?

I would definitely try a counsellor, a know of a Christian one near Evergreen hospital if that intrests you.

Good Luck
post #4 of 24
you are in charge of your healthcare, not your husband. If you and your midwife feel you need it, you should take it. People with no experience with it frequently don't understand how bad PPD and anxiety can be, but that doesn't make it less severe. If you feel you've tried everything else, take the Zoloft.
post #5 of 24
Studies have shown that any potential negative impacts of zoloft on a nursing or even pregnant mother are hugely, hugely outweighed by the negative impacts of depression on a mother and her baby's health. In other words, not taking the medicine that you and your midwife feel is necessary would be WORSE for you and your baby.

Sertraline saved my life, no doubt. I struggled for 15 years before I broke down and considered medication, and my only regret is that I didn't try it sooner.
post #6 of 24
Zoloft or another prescription may or may not be a short-term option for you to manage your depression but the primary question is, do you have a good source of counseling/therapy? Is your midwife on the same wavelength as you? Can you afford therapy? I went to a midwife/counselor after my first was born for depression. She definitely was not on the same wavelength as me even though she was very crunchy. She first prescribed Zoloft and then switched me to Paxil (after I had a suicidal episode with Zoloft). Through the doctor that she works with at the counseling center and she had wanted to up my dosage after a few weeks before I told her it wasn't for me. That said, that was just my experience. I just feel it's important to get to the root of the anxiety, and it takes someone with the right modality to reach that inner source for you.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post
Studies have shown that any potential negative impacts of zoloft on a nursing or even pregnant mother are hugely, hugely outweighed by the negative impacts of depression on a mother and her baby's health. In other words, not taking the medicine that you and your midwife feel is necessary would be WORSE for you and your baby.
post #8 of 24

Zoloft saved me

I had post partum anxiety and depression w/ both my DSs. Zoloft has been a major blessing for me. I tried to wean myself off of it when my second DS was 1 and I was miserable again. It has saved my saniety, my patience and has made me feel much better.
post #9 of 24
I haven't taken Zoloft for PPD (though with my history I might for this pregnancy) but I did take it in High School.
Sometimes you need help to be able to help yourself. Sometimes all the change you can manage is one pill and that allows you to do those other things your husband is talking about.

I hope it works out peacefully for you and that you get the help that you need.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post
Studies have shown that any potential negative impacts of zoloft on a nursing or even pregnant mother are hugely, hugely outweighed by the negative impacts of depression on a mother and her baby's health. In other words, not taking the medicine that you and your midwife feel is necessary would be WORSE for you and your baby.
Yes and more yes. it's not like you're comparing "taking Zoloft" vs. "no effect". It's taking Zoloft vs. known effects on the cognitive and emotional development of your child.

The analogy I like to use is one of the need for heart/cholesterol medicine. Obviously, if your doctor tells you that you've got high cholesterol, you're first going to try diet and exercise to get your cholesterol under control. However, if after trying that, your cholesterol is still not under control, it's time to go on meds. It's not a personal failure, it's just that your body, for whatever reason, needs help. I've got a colleague who runs marathons and eats incredibly healthy food all the time. He's on 3 different heart/cholesterol meds because his genetics are working against him.

So, if you've tried diet and exercise and are still suffering, it's time for meds. You need help for your brain to heal. You also should do counseling, as studies have shown that the combination of meds+counseling is the most effective treatment.
post #11 of 24
The thing about medications for depression for me are that if I had diabeties, I'd take the medication to reset my body's levels, so when the chemistry in my brain is off and I'm offered medication for that it's no more an issue than if I would take it for any other medical imbalance in my body. Take the medication - your gut says you should and the risks of PPD to you and your child are not worth the risk.
post #12 of 24
I am thankful that my OB put me on Zoloft when my 2nd child was 3 months old. I shouldn't have waited that long but I didn't feel I needed it... I went in to the OB on the advice of a family counselor I was seeing to help me deal with anxiety and panic attacks.

Honestly, before starting on the Zoloft I was so stressed out and having so many postpartum anxiety problems that I wasn't parenting my older DD (3 yrs old at the time) in a gentle way. More like crazy mood swing mommy that yelled a LOT. I'm glad that I got help and strongly agree with the recommendation of meds + counseling.

Hugs to you,
Beth
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbrinton View Post
I am not sure what to do. I spoke with my midwife today about my struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety. She recommended zoloft and suggested counseling and other community resources. My husand is really wary of me going on Zoloft, however. He's read a little about the worst case scenarios. He seems to want me to do more "natural" things, but I feel like I've done everything I can and I need help.

I don't know what to do.

Anyone have good experiences with zoloft helping treat PPD?

In my gut, I think it's the right thing to do. I hope that it will help me think more clearly, figure out my life a little, have enough energy that I can sort out the rest of the mess we're in. I'm just really hurt and frustrated that my husband is not being supportive.
PPD is a PHYSICAL illness. There is a chemical imbalance in your brain. It's not just "in your head". Counsiling can only help so much if you don't fix the chemical imbalance. It is the safest antidepressant for nursing mums too.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by moondiapers View Post
PPD is a PHYSICAL illness. There is a chemical imbalance in your brain. It's not just "in your head". Counsiling can only help so much if you don't fix the chemical imbalance. It is the safest antidepressant for nursing mums too.


counseling alone is nowhere near as effective as medication + counseling or even just medication. For some forms of depression, counseling alone can be effective, but for most, especially like PPD, medication is the most effective single treatment.
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
I think I am going to try it. DH and I have talked a little more and while I understand his concerns, I think it's the right thing to do.

I am not sure about therapy. I've been through years and years of counseling and honestly don't want to go back. I had an eating disorder in high school and college so I feel like I've pretty fully explored the "roots" of whatever issues I have.

I do think I need to be more honest with a few people IRL about what I'm facing. Even with my closest friends, I am really scared to say the word "depression". Maybe I should start with a few friends who have been where I am, who will not be judgmental.

I guess I'm curious if the medication will help. Maybe it will, maybe it won't, but if it does I hope it will sort of turn the lights on so I can find my way around the room that is my life. Our situation is honestly pretty great. We are very blessed. There are a few stressful things, but I don't have a lot to complain about. But I feel miserable. This is what makes me think it is something in my brain and not just circumstances.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbrinton View Post
I think I am going to try it. DH and I have talked a little more and while I understand his concerns, I think it's the right thing to do.

I am not sure about therapy. I've been through years and years of counseling and honestly don't want to go back. I had an eating disorder in high school and college so I feel like I've pretty fully explored the "roots" of whatever issues I have.

I do think I need to be more honest with a few people IRL about what I'm facing. Even with my closest friends, I am really scared to say the word "depression". Maybe I should start with a few friends who have been where I am, who will not be judgmental.

I guess I'm curious if the medication will help. Maybe it will, maybe it won't, but if it does I hope it will sort of turn the lights on so I can find my way around the room that is my life. Our situation is honestly pretty great. We are very blessed. There are a few stressful things, but I don't have a lot to complain about. But I feel miserable. This is what makes me think it is something in my brain and not just circumstances.
The first med you try doesn't always work. Sometimes you need a different dose or a different med. Zoloft didn't work for me as well as Paxil did....so please don't give up if the first thing you try doesn't work.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by moondiapers View Post
The first med you try doesn't always work. Sometimes you need a different dose or a different med. Zoloft didn't work for me as well as Paxil did....so please don't give up if the first thing you try doesn't work.
So true. But just keep trying if the first one (or second, etc) doesn't work.

Your analogy of turning the lights on in the room is a good one. When I was on antidepressants for ppd, and the one that worked finally kicked in, I remember the moment exactly when I noticed. I was driving down a road that I drove down several times a day, and it was like the scene in the Wizard of Oz when it goes from black and white to color. It was such a revelation, I actually pulled off to the side of the road and wept happy tears.
post #18 of 24
I had severe PPD with my fourth child! I was finally dragged to the doctor by a friend and was glad she did. I started a low dose of Zoloft and couldn't believe the difference it made in my life and that of my family. I realized it one day while I was taking a walk and felt the JOY of the breeze on my face. I had forgotten the feeling. It was exhilarating! I was six months PP before I got help. I will definitely start Zoloft again with the birth of my fifth first thing. PPD has gotten progressively worse with each child. I do not want to even chance missing the first six months of my baby's life. I was a little disturbed, after I returned to normal, that my husband let it get that bad.?? I guess we were both in denial.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post
Studies have shown that any potential negative impacts of zoloft on a nursing or even pregnant mother are hugely, hugely outweighed by the negative impacts of depression on a mother and her baby's health. In other words, not taking the medicine that you and your midwife feel is necessary would be WORSE for you and your baby.
I would have to say the above is the number one reason why I finally (and thank God that I didn't wait any longer) decided to take the medication. My whole family (my mom, especially) were against me starting on Zoloft... and when I did start, they were constantly telling me I should quit...

And I was afraid of the meds, too. I didn't want to be statistic (another stay-at-home-mom on anti-depressants...). And I'd studied alternative medicine and worked with a Naturpath on other health issues... So, when I first realized I wasn't getting over the "baby blues" I did spend about 4 months trying all sorts of natural remedies (acupuncture, homeopathics, herbs - St. John's Wort, various dietary changes recommended by my Naturopath). And things were simply "too far gone". I was having suicidal ideations and intrusive thoughts about hurting my baby, I was crying constantly, having anxiety about being alone with baby... etc., etc..

The fact is that I only got better when I took the medication... I was normal again and actually enjoying my baby and my life as a new mom!!!

I guess, if I were in your situation, I would really search my heart about the state of your well-being... and whether you feel strong enough to try different methods of getting better.

I know I was beyond the point of being able to try any more alternative methods or even simply things like working out when I finally decided to take medication: I hadn't seen any effects with the alternative methods I had tried and was afraid for my life and my baby's life... and as time passed I was keenly aware that my baby and I were not bonding and that precious time of baby's life was passing irreversibly... I couldn't think straight enough to do figure out what I needed or what would have helped me anymore... I was a mess!!!

The other thing I would consider as well is that there is no guarantee that Zoloft will work for you - you may need to try it for a while to see if it has its intended effect... if it does not, you may need to try other medications. So, it's not a sure thing... For me, it took a few weeks and I actually needed an additional medication for anxiety in the interim, while Zoloft took its time to start working...

But, you can't go wrong with listening to your heart. And maybe your husband would benefit from chatting with other men whose wives have struggled with PPD? Maybe there is a resource for parents in your community where he could talk to someone? Or, on here even?? I could ask my dh if he would be willing to email with your husband, if you would like...

Anyway, I hope sharing my story is helpful in some way...
post #20 of 24
I wanted to chime in and say, as a sufferer of severe PPD please DON'T listen to anyone's opinion that hasn't either experienced PPD or has been heavily educated about it.

I know you love your husband, and family and friends- we all do, but they don't get it.

You have to have experienced PPD to understand just how scary it is. You don't control the switch on it. You can choose help- but you can't will yourself to just knock it off or counsel your way out of it. It's chemical.

Chances are you'll only be on the Zoloft for a short time.

This is a huge deal to me- we need to make sure that PPD NEVER gets poo-pooed or dumbed down into something we can control.

I almost lost my life to it. It's important to take it seriously.

I've been where you are, and I chose to take the meds. I also continued breastfeeding my children. They have very high IQ's and are healthy.
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