or Connect
Mothering › Groups › August 2012 Birth Club › Discussions › Depression?


post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I'm in a clinical trial for weight gain during pregnancy and the online portion asked a bunch of questions about various pregnancy related topics.  I opened the mail today to find a letter saying that the symptoms I described online were compatible with depression and that I should follow up with my doctor.  I showed the letter to DH (mostly because I thought it was funny) and he looked at me weird and said, "To be honest, I've been a little worried about this too, mostly because of how much time you spend in bed." 


So, to be honest, now I'm trying to honestly assess my mental state, and I still don't really see it. 


First, I spend a lot of time doing work in bed because I'm on sabbatical and I'm freezing all the time, so it's just more comfortable to do work under the covers.  I got into this habit in grad school when I had no money for heat and no room for a desk.  This is not a new phenomenon.  Our bedroom is also the only room in the house that gets sunlight. 


Second, I really feel like the majority of depression symptoms also happen to coincide with first trimester pregnancy symptoms.  I mean, aren't most of us exhausted, moody, and sleeping a lot?  Haven't we all had moments where we asked ourselves whether this was a good idea and then moments of elation?  I don't know.  I guess I just feel like this is normal preggo stuff.


Third, it is winter and disgusting here.  It is cold and rainy/sleeting all the time, I have no incentive to get outdoors, and so I've been spending most of my time inside.


Finally, I do have bad days (like today) where my concentration is really terrible (largely due to a headache that would not quit) and I didn't get much work done, which of course adds stress because I have a big deadline coming up.  But as far as feeling completely overwhelmed or uninterested in what's going on and so on, I just don't feel that's happening.  I've been working out consistently, seeing friends, and eating relatively normally (for someone with nausea).


I suffered from major depression in college, so I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on when I'm feeling like that, but I guess I wanted to reach out to other DDC moms who are in the same rough stage I am to ask: is the first trimester basically like all the symptoms of depression rolled into one?  Or am I missing a giant warning sign here? 



post #2 of 21

I can't speak to the depression part, although your points all make a lot of sense to me, but my question is this:  Does the clinical weight gain trial happen to be linked with company who produces a medication used to combat depression?  Just wondering if maybe they're telling all the 1T preggos that they're at risk for depression in hopes that their drug gets prescribed.  

Either way, it sounds to me like you're being honest with yourself and evaluating the situation with some perspective, and that's the absolute best thing you can do for yourself.  If you feel like you are doing well, I'm willing to bet that you are.  Especially having the experience you've had with depression in the past.  

post #3 of 21



I'm pretty familiar with depression and that doesn't sound like it. But, I do think the red flag is your husband. I'm assuming he knows you pretty well and for him to be wondering could be an indication. Could be. He could also be reading it all wrong and it's just pregnancy. But of everything you wrote, that was the only thing that raised an eyebrow for me. I really agree with Desert, that you should look further into the company.

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks, guys.  I'll have DH keep an eye on things.  He's pretty good at being honest about when I'm being crazy.


As far as the clinical trial, it's not associated with any kind of drug or anything.  It's actually really just a study on how women gain weight if they have resources like articles, weight tracking, and so on at their disposal.  I do a couple food logs, self-reported weigh ins, and so on in each trimester and then postpartum.  So, I don't think there are any ulterior motives here.  I'll look into it more though. 


I do think it's kind of funny that so many first trimester symptoms overlap with depression though.  eyesroll.gif

post #5 of 21

You don't sound like anything besides a normal pregnant woman to me--although it certainly makes sense to have your husband keep an eye out.  I've never been one to have much depression (anxiety is generally more my issue), but I've been feeling more sad this pregnancy than I can ever remember.  I think it is the mix of being sick, exhuasted, all those hormones, plus a lot of stress and crazy hours at work (and a two year old to care for) that just leads me to feel sad and overwhelmed. It's a lot like what I feel sometimes briefly when I am PMSing. Personally, I'm not really worried about it though, and assume it will largly go away once the rest of the first trimester symptoms do.  I'll take it more seriously, if all the rest of the symptoms clear up and my sadness (depression??) doesn't.  

post #6 of 21

I've had a lot of the same stuff - moodiness, extreme fatigue, lack of motivation.  These are definitely symptoms of depression if there is no other explanation. For me (and you too I'd think), 1T pregnancy symptoms explain everything.  I'm nearly 12 weeks now and the symptoms are fading.  I am not as tired or moody, and I am getting my motivation back.  It's worth keeping an eye on, but it doesn't sound like anything to be concerned about.  


PS it's nice to know another pregnant woman who is cold during pregnancy. Everyone I know was hot their whole pregnancy. Not me.  I was ice cold for my first and I'm ice cold now no matter how many covers I have or how high the heat is cranked.  The only thing that helps is my shearling suede slippers. I am not a fan of clothing made from animal products, but these slippers are the best piece of clothing I have ever owned and I live in them. 

post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 

Rebecca, I agree with you about being concerned if it doesn't go away.  I'm already feeling a little more energetic in my 13th week (still not enough to get work done, but....) and I really think when the weather improves I'll be in a much better mood.


First time mama, that's a good way to put it.  If I weren't pregnant, these symptoms might be worrisome, but we all have a pretty good excuse for it.  Again, I'm hoping the second trimester (now) and improving weather (in two months) will put some of this to rest.  As for being cold all the time, do you have low blood pressure?  A few of the other mamas who mentioned being freezing all the time also have low bp, so I'm looking for patterns.  I'm starting to get a little more comfortable, but I still have the heat cranked way above what I usually do.  And shearling is indeed a wonderful experience for the feet.  orngbiggrin.gif


post #8 of 21

I agree with keeping a check in with the DH. They can be pretty spot on.


I had HORRIBLE PPD after DS but didnt realize it till almost 2 years after his birth, no one really said anything either which in hindsight I am pretty miffed about, I spent a lot of time convincing myself it was just me instead of realizing I actually should of gotten help.


It might be worth bringing it up to your Doc, but like me you also suffered depression before and sounds like you're pretty aware of yourself/your body etc.. which is a great thing.

post #9 of 21

I'm cold all the time too.  And, yes, low blood pressure here.  With my first pregnancy, it was great, since I wasn't as cold as I usaully am, but didn't get super hot either.  But so far this pregancy, I think I'm even colder than my normal. 

post #10 of 21

I'd say the best barometer will be YOU.  Of course your husband will be great to kind of keep an outside eye, but if you've dealt with depression in the past it would seem that you will be able to feel when you are starting to fall into it.  If you feel that most of your "red-flag" symptoms can be attributed to first trimester pregnancy stuff (and I agree), then so be it, with the caveat that you are consistently self-monitoring and having open discussions with your dh about it.  That said, I can completely relate to all of your points - bed is just so comfortable isn't it?  :) 

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone.  I'm actually feeling the 13 week surge of energy and I'm making a concerted effort to spend less time in bed and more time out at coffee shops doing work (even though that's much more expensive).  My workouts have been going really well and I've been getting a decent amount of work done, so that's all good.  It's also unseasonably warm today, so I'm going to take the dogs for a long walk and get some vitamin D.


ithappened, I'm putting DH on the watch especially for PPD, since I just have this weird feeling I'm going to be prone to it.  I really hope not, but catching it early is so important.  Otherwise though, I feel pretty good about keeping an eye on where I am mood-wise for the time being.

post #12 of 21

Yep, I too have low BP.  Not bad low, just on the very low end of normal.  It went up a bit during my first pregnancy and got quite high (for me) at the end.  I am curious to know what it is right now because I didn't know there was a connection between BP and body temp. Makes sense though. 

post #13 of 21

Im curious if there are more natural depression treatments to use during pregnancy?



post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 

ithappened, the most natural depression treatments are also the most effective, interestingly.  Fish oil, exercise, and exposure to (natural if possible) light are great ways to combat all forms of depression. Recent research shows that exercise is actually in many cases MORE effective than anti-depressants.  Talk therapy can also be quite helpful, particularly if the depression is stemming primarily from life-circumstances (rather than an internal imbalance).  Both my parents are clinical psychologists, and my father recommends exercise over anti-depressants.  (Medical disclaimer: This advice obviously depends on the case.  Extreme depression may not respond to anything but meds, but in general even those with major depression benefit from exercise...  those suffering from depression should see a qualified professional just so there's someone keeping an eye on things... but just be aware that mental health professionals seriously overprescribe anti-depressants when they are often not the most effective or safest option).

post #15 of 21

I can see actually a HUGE difference when I exercise vs. don't (like this week ive been sick which means no exercise = depressed)


interesting I didnt realize it was actually proven though. :)

post #16 of 21

ithappened: I struggle with depression and anxiety.  I used to be very anti-meds, so I attempted to handle mine through a combination of talk therapy, exercise, sleep, and diet (I cut out sugar in all forms completely, and cut down significantly on white flour).  It really helped, but it required a TON of energy and management to stay on track.  Eventually, it was just too hard to manage and it wasn't getting the job done, so now I take a very low dose of Celexa, while still working on the factors above.  I find that it strikes a really good balance for me.  My doctor said it's okay for me to keep taking Celexa throughout my pregnancy, so that's what I'm sticking with.

post #17 of 21

I was on a very low dose of zoloft which worked great for me but chose to go off it once pregnant- I will probably continue it again after birth. I found it really helped with my PPD

post #18 of 21
Originally Posted by ithappened View Post

I was on a very low dose of zoloft which worked great for me but chose to go off it once pregnant- I will probably continue it again after birth. I found it really helped with my PPD

I have struggled with depression and anxiety my entire life.  I fought meds until I couldn't any longer at 20, then I worked on getting better and off the meds.  But the meds took the edge off that I needed to walk forward through treatment positively.  When you're truly depressed, you don't have the motivation and desire to do a tedious, insanely active regimen for getting better - you just don't care.  Taking that one pill a day can set your brain chemicals straight enough to get you back that motivation to get up and try again.  I'm very anti-meds, but that's one area I am a clear advocate.  I've been on Zoloft 50mg throughout my PP periods and it has helped.  I had to come off Zoloft for this pregnancy, and it's made me suffer from prenatal depression this time around.  I'm debating the merits of meds during this pregnancy.


((hugs)) to OP.  I hope you find a gentle way through this.  I hope that your measures continue to help you!  Sounds like you've got a good plan. 

Edited by Thandiwe - 2/4/12 at 9:09am
post #19 of 21


I had to come off Zoloft for this pregnancy, and it's made me suffer from prenatal depression this time around.  I'm debating the merits of meds during this pregnancy.



Agreed. I have noticed a huge drop in my mood once I 'weaned' from it and its really been an ongoing debate for me if its worth it or not..

post #20 of 21

I have had depression and anxiety issues my whole life, it seems. I was never medicated for it until recently, though. So, after I had Cecilia, I had the opposite of postpartum depression. I had what I refer to as "postpartum elation." I had never been happier. It didn't matter how little I was sleeping, etc, I was just so STINKIN' HAPPY. And I couldn't help but think, "Oh, I'm cured! Having a baby cured me!"


Imagine my disappointment when my depression came back when Cecilia was about 9 months old. I still waited to go in for far too long, but when Cece was about 15 months old, I went on a low dose of Lexapro. By that point, I was making so little milk that it didn't matter (we were, and are, still breastfeeding with an SNS, I just don't make milk) what medication I was on for that reason. I couldn't believe how amazingly well I felt. My anxiety and depression were all but gone, and even my sex drive was back.


Going off of it to get pregnant was a tough choice. I'm truly hoping for a similar experience as I had last time, and hoping to avoid PPD. If I can't, I am more than willing to try Zoloft.

  Return Home
  Back to Forum: August 2012 Birth Club
Mothering › Groups › August 2012 Birth Club › Discussions › Depression?