I am just at the point of trying to reach out for help. DD is 20-months and I am 4 months pregnant. I felt down or 'the blues' before but never this bad. Life is out of control. I've had bad thoughts but they always pass quickly to return to feelings of tears/overwhelmed. I am scared that if I tell anyone about the thoughts of self harm, or dare I say even momentary images of abandoning DD, then they'll take her away or not let me see her. How does it work? I don't want to go on meds and want to get better naturally.
thoughts or images of harm
Intrusive thoughts are a symptoms of PPD or PP anxiety disorder. They are frequently about harm to the baby or yourself. If you can find a therapist who deals with these issues, they are going to know that it is not an indication that you are likely to hurt yourself or your baby, but that you need help dealing with the PPD. I had the same issues with my first and was scared out of my mind that someone would take my baby away if I told anyone. I waited until he was 10 months old and I was having panic attacks to seek help. I KNEW I didn't want to hurt my baby, but the thoughts kept coming anyway, and the more I tried to push them down, the worse they were. It's a cycle. But it's okay and the fact that you are stressing about them makes it even less likely that you would actually hurt yourself or your baby. Women who hurt their babies have postpartum psychosis, which is very different from PPD or PP anxiety disorder. But you do need help, because I know this is not a fun thing to be going through. Call your OB office or your midwife and ask for a referral to a counselor who deals with postpartum issues. They will be able to help. Best of luck to you.
I would certainly speak with your family physician about this. Postpartum depression is not only right after giving birth...untreated it could go on for a long time. I do crisis work and place people in the psychiatriac unit when they are in crisis and your not to the point that I would put you inpatient. You do need to work through this though with someone who is in your area.
Another thought to think about is seasonal affective disorder...
Perhaps try using a sun lamp and see if it will help, but do go see someone...otherwise you will just keep having these thoughts.
They will not take your child away...you have done nothing wrong. Your child is not in harms way and you are seeking help.
I felt down or 'the blues' before but never this bad. Life is out of control. I've had bad thoughts but they always pass quickly to return to feelings of tears/overwhelmed. I am scared that if I tell anyone about the thoughts of self harm, or dare I say even momentary images of abandoning DD, then they'll take her away or not let me see her.
Oh, mama! I am sorry that you are having such a rough time. And, it seems, you feel bad for feeling bad! I hope you are able to surround yourself with loving and supportive family/friends. I agree with the PP who recommended you visit your family physician. There are a number of issues that could be causing you to feel this way: thyroid, depression, hormones, pituitary, etc. I was once on injections for my pituitary system that caused me to feel the way you are feeling. It was a terrible, scary, lonely feeling-- that stopped when I stopped the treatments. All this to say... your family doctor can help you find the cause. (Because if you have not always felt this way, something is causing you to feel so different.) Good luck! You deserve to feel better and enjoy your time with baby!
I have struggled with depression and self-harm for nearly 15 years, half my life. It took me a long time to figure out how to deal with it. I went on Zoloft for a while, but that made me want to crawl out of my skin I could not sit still. My depression was caused by a number of things.
If you are in the north it could be seasonal affective disorder. I get it nearly every year. Except the two years I worked as an educational assistant and had to supervise recesses and regular phys ed participation. This year I've been exercising indoors on the days I can't walk my daughter to school. I've had bad days, but mostly it keeps it away.
If you have a partner, let him/her know what is going on and you need extra help. Asking for help is the scariest fricking thing when you are in the middle of depression. You know that you should be able to handle everything, but every damn thing upsets you. And your partner may not understand if you don't tell them what is happening in your head. They can't read your mind. Being partner to someone depressed is difficult as well.
If you are really struggling there is great benefit to using medication for the short term, while you work on natural cures. (I looked up St John's wort, but it is not recommended during pregnancy). When you are really feeling bad, the last thing you want to do is go for a walk or make a salad.
Natural things that help are exercise. A daily walk (with a friend) for 30-60 minutes is great, this is what really helps me the most. Yoga is very soothing.
Omega 3 supplements are supposed to have some benefits. Eating as much whole foods as you can.
Talking to people. Coming on the forums, phone calls.
Writing down your thoughts. It can help to get them out of your head. Thoughts are just thoughts. They cannot take your child for having bad thoughts. And eventually bad thoughts do pass, if you let them. (It's one of those things people who are not depressed say and you want to rip their heads off, because they don't!)
Self-soothing. Warm baths, foot/hand massages with a nice lotion/oil, music you love.
Repetitive motions. Colouring was incredibly soothing for my inner child (and something I could do with my daughter). Crocheting, knitting, rocking, dancing. It is distracting and brings you into your body.
Follow up with the thread, so we know you are keeping yourself safe.
Much warm thoughts.
I tried and tried to shake the ppd after my 2nd, and after 6 months finally asked for medication. I started weaning off of it after 2 months, but it took 4 months for me to wean off of it. I've been fine now for 4 yrs. Good luck to you
I'm sorry you are going through this. Looking back I realize I had PPD, but didn't do anything about it. Even at 10 months post partum, I was on the verge of tears all the time. I never had thoughts like that, but I was definitely depressed. My friend who had a baby the same time as me just had her second and immediately went on progesterone cream, about 5 days PP. She said it helped her tremendously. She realized she had it with the first kid too, but never did anything to treat it. Progesterone cream is considered a natural approach, if you're wanting to avoid drugs, but I will say that it seems you are at the point that it would be beneficial for you to talk to someone about it. Please don't be afraid to seek help. Women go through this all the time!
I can't tell you how reassuring it is to know other people go through this. I had DH at my last MW appointment. They've got me on extra Vit D (my bloodwork showed super low) and also 50mg of B6 twice a day.
I started to feel better for a few days but another cold hit me and things started spiraling again. DH wrote to the MW yesterday asking if she could get me a referral to someone. Not sure how I feel about that.
I like the idea of crotcheting or knitting though... I have found myself burying my head in sodoku puzzles in the middle of the night when I have insomnia because it distracts my brain. Maybe something like crotchet would help during the day.