I am 13 months PP and my DH has finally agreed to let me look into meds. He wasn't for it before b/c he didn't want the side affects to affect me or our DS. So now I'm trying to get info on what meds are safe for co-sleeping and bf - I did read the other recent post that recommended Zoloft. My MW suggested Lexipro, has anyone on here had any experiences positive or negative with that one? We usually take a natural approach to most everything so this is really stepping out of our box but at this point I think it's necessary. I just can't get myself together - I'm overwhelmed by the smallest things, I cry at the drop of a hat, I have horrible thoughts that I can't even talk to my DH about and am considering everything from letting my DS cry it out to not having anymore kids, when before I wanted 4-5. I hope to bf at least until DS is 2 and we are still co-sleeping but it has taken a toll. DS is not the best sleeper and the lack of sleep alone is enough to push me off the edge. I also think I have a thyroid problem but I would like to treat that naturally. A MW friend recommended iodine or iodide to help regulate it, has anyone else tried this or heard of it? Well thanks for letting me vent and ask questions!
Seeking Meds, have some questions...
It's worrisome that your DH serves as the gatekeeper over your choice to consider meds. Once you start an antidepressant, it's important to not stop cold-turkey or start/stop multiple times at random. It takes about 8 weeks to see an effect, and a longer period of time to really gauge if it is working (ie. you should give it several months). So please make sure DH understands the commitment time needed, and doesn't decide to change his mind mid-course unless you truly exhibit major negative side-effects (ie. minor side-effects eventually disappear).
Hypothyroidism can only be diagnosed via a blood test, not by clinical symptoms alone.
About hypothyroidism and iodine:
Have you considered NOT cosleeping?
I'm a huge fan, and I love to fall asleep next to a baby. It's like magic. So I had a lot of trouble admitting that with my DS, it just was not working. We woke each other up all night long. The night I put him in the crib he slept through the night for the first time, and I did too. It made such a difference.
But yes, I take lexapro. I took it through both my pregnancies and while nursing because I have had serious bouts of depression prior to getting pregnant. I got some PPD with my first baby despite the lexapro, so who knows how bad it would have been without. I do feel like it helped.
So sorry, mama. You are not alone. I have taken Prozac (generic equivalent) for a number of years now with excellent results. I had clinical depression significant enough that I would have taken my own life without it. From what I understand (my dad is a shrink LOL), Prozac is considered one of the safest b/c it has been around for 20+ years now. Therefore, women who were preg/BF while taking it would have showed adverse effects by now in their babies if there were any to be had.
There is no shame in getting professional help. There is no shame in taking medication even if it is just temporarily. Many women have problems like this, and once you make it out onto the other side, you'll be so happy to have your life back. The longer you wait, the worse it will get. Please call a therapist ASAP.
I took Zoloft for 8 months for my PPD. My LO got Zoloft breast milk the whole time. Unless being a great sleeper, early talker and general easy-going sweetie-pie are side effects of Zoloft, I don't think he had any :) But seriously, I was so worried about the side effects...I wish I had gone on meds sooner. Are you taking supplements?
Thyroid issues can definitely cause depression. I know that the standard tests that drs do for thyroid aren't always the best...if I were you I would post about that in Health & Healing.
I wouldn't wait to try meds for depression though, they really help a lot of women.
I too am concerned that your dh seems to be making the decision on what kind of help you get. It's one thing to not be supportive or to be scared, but to actually have to wait for his permission is a bit disturbing.
If you think you have thyroid or other issues, it's best to get a blood test done and see what your levels are, and also your Vit B12 and iron levels. It's not a good idea to start taking supplements if you don't need them, esp. thyroid supplements.
And, if you think you need meds and your doctor thinks so too, it's okay. There is no shame in having too little of certain substances in your body. Depression is like any other illness, and sometimes all the positive thinking in the world will not add those neurotransmitters to your body that it needs. My advice is to start on a low dose, then if you need to go up to the standard dose. Do not attempt to stop them suddenly as it can be really bad.
My own story is that I started on an SSRI finally when my second daughter was over a year old. I don't remember when I finally decided to start the meds, but I had tried everything else and was just so tired of having my bad feelings and lack of energy affect the kind of mommy and wife I was being. Within 24 hours I started to feel better. That knot that was always in my stomach became untied. Now my daughter is 7 and I'm still on the meds. I tried to get off but I still need them. Depression runs in the family, and stress makes it worse (baby was very sick for years and now I'm in school). The meds really changed my life in a good way. I doubt I would have thought about nursing school or had the motivation to go for my dreams. I would have still been sitting there not answering the phone, sleeping a lot, and being too stressed out to listen to my daughters tell me about their days.
I hope you feel better soon.
My story is a lot of like USAmma's -- only I went on meds when my first was 6 weeks old. I was on Paxil for 12 of the 16 months I breastfed him. I had a relapse just before getting pg with dd. So, not only was dd breastfed for 4 years on Paxil, she was gestated on it too. I'm still on meds. Dd is 6. I don't see myself getting off them soon. Depression/anxiety runs in my family. My mom was majorly depressed when she was pg with me, and that probably predisposed me to depression. I'm on a very small maintenance dose of SSRI now, and that works for me.
I'm also a little concerned that your dh is determining whether or not you take meds. This really needs to be a decision between you and your doctor/midwife. Your dh may not have a good understanding of PPD. The one thing you both need to know is that there are risks to NOT treating depression as well. Depressed mothers do not interact with their children in the same way that non-depressed parents do -- that can affect a child's cognitive and emotional development if it goes on too long.
I hope that Lexapro works for you -- it's been around for a while and is one of the drugs of choice while breastfeeding. You might need to work with your midwife or a psychiatrist on your dose. If you're having intrusive thoughts (those horrible thoughts that you don't want to talk about, but can't control), you might well need a higher dose. I'd also highly recommend counseling or a support group. You'll find that you're not alone. Intrusive thoughts are really common, but very little talked about. Thankfully, I didn't have them. But I know many women who've had them. The fact that you recognize them as 'horrible thoughts' means that you've got a sense of reality vs. non-reality. But you might need a little cognitive behavioral therapy to learn to control them.