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Mothering › Groups › August 2011 Birth Club › Discussions › PPD...anybody else?

PPD...anybody else?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

So I've been dealing with PPD since the end of October.  Never thought it'd be me.  I've always heard how women talked about how awful it can be and I always thought "surely it can't be all that bad"....well it is!!! 

 

I am dealing with so much anxiety right now I just don't even know what to do.  I feel like I'm going out of my head crazy.  I finally talked to my doctor about it Thursday.  I just couldn't deal anymore.  He put me on an anti-depressant.  I was a little hesitant at first about taking it but I need something.  I am having panic attacks almost daily and I can't take care of my kids when I'm like that.

 

Anybody have any tips as to what I can do?  Anybody else going through the same thing?

post #2 of 18

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this, but happy to hear you are taking those difficult steps to make life better. I don't have any experience or advice, but wanted to give you a big hug2.gif.  Also, I know a few other people in the DDC have posted about PPD in the past, but I've noticed that most people are only on FB now, so maybe they haven't seen your post yet?

 

Even though I haven't been where you are, feel free to PM me anytime you want to talk. Here or on FB. 

post #3 of 18

Hi Bethany--

Looking back on the first month, I think I had some PPD then.  I was on Lexapro for the first 2 trimesters of my pregnancy and started back up after dd was born.  I wasn't going to start taking anything again but the day we were being discharged from the hospital I had a panic attack and knew I would need the Lexapro again.  Anyway, that first month it really hadn't started kicking back in yet so I was pretty down and had a little bit of anxiety.

Panic attacks and anxiety are the worst, ever.  I've dealt with that all of my life.  Don't feel bad about needing to take something, MANY people do.  Think instead that it's wonderful that we have the tools available to us to help us manage our symptoms.  Also, if you get to a point where you dont' feel so depressed but you are still experiencing any panic attacks, you can ask to not take meds daily and have them prescribe something like Klonopin for you so you have it just in case you start to experience panic and just take it as needed.  It's amazing how much less anxiety you feel knowing that you have something at your disposal just in case.  I have to say, I'm not sure if you're bfing or not, but I don't know if you can take Klonopin while bfing. 

I totally feel your pain. Panic attacks are the worst because it's like a downward spiral.  You start getting them for no apparent reason, then you start getting them because you are anticipating getting one! 

I'm also here if you want to PM.

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bethany42309 View Post

Anybody have any tips as to what I can do?  Anybody else going through the same thing?


Bethany --

 

I dealt with pretty crippling depression this go 'round, pretty much right from the get go, which I have not talked about much here because I didn't really want to burden anyone else, and it's not very interesting.  I saw my naturopath quickly, and tried a whole slew of natural products (fish oil, dietary changes, etc.).  While I really, really wanted those things to work for me, they didn't.  My depression got worse and worse, and by about 12 weeks postpartum it had reached a pretty dangerous point for me.  I was also have daily panic attacks, and was pretty much unable to deal with even the mildest problem (and when you have multiple kids, there are many, many mild problems!).

 

I was very fortunate to be able to get in to a psychiatric nurse practitioner locally who specializes in postpartum mood disorders.  She gently suggested Zoloft.  It was, in the end, my decision though, and I felt tremendously guilty about it.  I had worked so hard to have a completely unmedicated pregnancy (nary a Tylenol, even), and of course, so hard to have a natural birth!  And here I was.  But Zoloft is nearly 20 years old now, and there is a pretty tremendous amount of research on Zoloft and nursing mothers.  I am taking a very, very small dose, about 1/3 of what is considered safe for nursing mothers, and I feel so, SO much better (even with the small amount).  I wish that I had just taken it in those first few weeks, instead of trying all the other things I did before hand.  I feel like I lost time, and only now that the haze is lifting, can I see how really badly I was feeling.

 

One thing my psychiatrist mentioned (and that I found so helpful), was that women who are very sensitive to hormones are the prime candidates for PPD.  Have you had problems with hormonal birth control?  Had greater than average PMS?  My psychiatrist explained that women who are more sensitive to hormonal changes, are often very sensitive to estrogen.  Estrogen is a crucial hormone in the uptake of seratonin, which I did not know.  And following childbirth, levels of estrogen plummet in the body, and do not begin to start normalizing until around the 1 year mark postpartum.  This is why many women who experience PPD and "just deal with it" notice that around 1 year, things start to get better.  But this helped me to understand exactly what was going on.  PPD is not an issue with you as a person, or as a mother.  It is a chemical sensitivity, plain and simple.  Medication can help to pick up slack in your seratonin uptake until your body normalizes estrogen levels as nursing begins to wane.

 

Hopefully that info is helpful.  A lot of doctors aren't exactly fountains of info on these issues.

 

As for tips, try to eat as nutritiously as possible, be gentle on yourself, be honest with your doctors, keep feedback open with your partner, and make sure to set aside some time for yourself each week.  Also, depending on where you are, many communities have postpartum depression groups that meet, although it is often times through the hospital.  But just talking about what is going on in your life, and hearing that you're not alone, can be very, very helpful.  I would say that talking is almost as important as the medication, and research supports that in the treatment of PPD.  It is good to see a therapist of some kind concurrently with meds, be it a psychiatrist, or even just a counselor.  Although try to find someone who has experience treating PPD, vs. "regular" depression, because they are a bit different from each other.

 

Hugs mama.  Hope this helps.

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much girls!

 

I really need all the support I can get right now.  Things are looking a little better today.  Of course it kinda comes and goes.  Things were going pretty well until about October when I started a new low estrogen bc.  I started having some tummy troubles in Nov. and decided to stop taking any and all meds to see if it made a difference and I think that tipped the scale.  Although while I was on this bc I was not a very nice person and my mood did change.  But since going off of it I think my hormones have gone haywire.  And yes I am very much a hormone sensitive person.  I've also started having the sweats at night again, like I did during pregnancy, so I know its gotta be something with hormones. 

 

I started having my period about 10 weeks pp, that's when I started the bc.  I had another period 2 weeks after starting the bc and then another two weeks after I stopped taking it.  Didn't finish a whole months worth of pills even.  I wish I had never touched the stuff!  That's when the anxiety and stuff started. I got my period again on Christmas day.  Things were fine through the holidays.  I had a lot to preoccupy my mind since we got to travel home to see family. So this time about two weeks before my expected period the anxiety returned even worse than before.  Now that I've had my period for about 4 days things are getting better.  It could be my period starting or it could be the meds kicking in.  He told me it could take about a week or two for them to really work. 

 

My husband has the week off this week and next week if he needs to, to help me with the kids.  Thank God!  He's been pretty great about the whole thing thus far.  It's not so much the depression for me as it is anxiety.  I just can't handle this nervous feeling all the time.  I have yelled at my 2 yo so much.  I feel like the worst mother ever.  That just makes it all worse.  I have so much stress and anxiety that it makes me ache and hurt and in return I worry about those aches and pains too.  I keep thinking I've got the worst thing imaginable and I'm gonna die and leave my kids here without a mother.  Even though I know in my head that its the anxiety that's causing all these aches.  It's just a big cycle. 

 

But thanks again guys.  Michelle all that stuff makes so much sense.  I was pretty sure it was my hormones.

post #6 of 18

NAK

 

I have it too. I take the generic version of Zoloft which is called Sertraline. Please don't feel guilty! Like Michelle said, it's a chemical imbalance. This doesn't mean you are a bad/crazy person or a bad mother. It just means your hormones are unbalanced and it won't last forever. Big hugs!

post #7 of 18

I just joined to say thank you.  I'm a bit lost right now and in a bit of denial.  The hormone thing made a lot of sense.

 

......september 2011 ddc

post #8 of 18

Just wanted to send some grouphug.gif all around.  

post #9 of 18

I'm glad this was posted.

The anxiety I've had since becoming a mama has been close to unbearable. I have always been very sensitive to hormones (can't do any hormonal BC, had a lot of issues until I worked some things out in my diet). It's been hard for me, as a first time mama, to know what is normal and what isn't. As a social worker, too, it's hard for me to admit when I have concerns about my own mental health, because I spend so much time trying to help others with theirs.

 

I'm terrified of going back on meds. Mostly because it reminds me of a very, very low point in my life when I desperately did need the meds, and therapy, and I got through it. I feel like going back on meds is like admitting that I lost a battle with myself. Even if I do need it and benefit, which I am suspecting I do need help of some kind.

 

More anxiety than depression. I've had no thoughts of hurting anyone. A lot of weird fears and anxiousness and the feeling that my heart is going to leap out of my chest. I try to talk to DH about it and he listens but I don't think he gets it, necessarily.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

As sorry as I am that you all are going through this it's just really nice to know I'm not the only one.

 

I had a really bad day today with it.  I cried most of the day.  I'm just so glad my husband is able to be off work this week for us to finally address this.  He's been AWESOME!  I got an appointment to talk to a counselor next tuesday, earliest I could get.  I'm going back to my GP tomorrow.  My husband has arranged for a lady down the street, who came recommended by a friend, to watch the girls two times a week if I want.  Just so I can have some time to myself.  I feel bad for needing that even though I know I shouldn't. 

 

Mine too is more anxiety than depression.  Although all this anxiety is getting to me and making me depressed.  I can't get a handle on my nerves.  I'm exhausted.  I feel emotionally drained.  I think I'm at the lowest point I've ever been at in my life.  I'm not taking good enough care of myself nutritionally...I just can't eat sometimes. 

post #11 of 18

Hey, Bethany and all the other mamas dealing with PPD, you are not alone. A few days after giving birth, I got hit with a severe case of PPD. I was missing on this forum for a couple of months because of it, and when I returned I posted about it. My heart goes out to y'all so strongly. It was the most difficult thing I've ever experienced internally, but know that it won't last...When it's going on, it can feel hard to believe that, but you will feel like yourself again...

 

I tried a multitude of things, and I have no idea what worked, but suddenly one day the panic attacks stopped and the depression slowly lifted, little by little, each day. Here is what I did try: fish oil, Floradix, exercise (super fast rollerblading to help drain the energy of the anxiety; this wasn't the easiest thing to do as I had a c-section), a session of acupuncture, Chinese herbs that my acupuncturist gave me (I stopped after a few days because I wasn't sure if they were safe while breastfeeding; but it might be worth looking into), Vitamin D and B, about 10 days (on and off) of Zoloft (at a super-low dose), talk therapy, and at night I listened to an mp3 of affirmations and a meditation that a friend sent me. The only thing I really stuck with was the fish oil, Floradix, and I listened to the mp3 a lot. I have no idea how it all went away. Oh - oh - and sleep...When I came home from the hospital I couldn't sleep; once I started getting a few hours of solid sleep it seemed to helped.

 

My husband was home at that time, and even though he didn't understand it all, he helped a great deal around the house. If he didn't I'm not sure what I would have done, it was that difficult. So yes, please take any help that you can get! Let someone help with baby...please don't feel bad about that!! When you have some time to your own it definitely helps. Try and eat well, though that's easier said than done. I had no appetite, but I forced myself to eat...

 

When I was going through the PPD I researched what other people had done. I read that Courtney Cox used estrogen therapy and that took care of it. I also talked with a doctor in Pittsburgh who was testing Estradiol on women with PPD...

 

I'm just writing all I can remember. And I know I am writing rather poorly, but I am exhausted and sleep deprived. If you want to call me, please send a pm and I'll send my #. Also, I can send you the mp3 via email if you're interested. Again, please excuse my writing...

 

A million hugs. You will feel better. xo.


Edited by Ree Tee - 2/6/12 at 10:50am
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bethany42309 View Post

As sorry as I am that you all are going through this it's just really nice to know I'm not the only one.

 

I had a really bad day today with it.  I cried most of the day.  I'm just so glad my husband is able to be off work this week for us to finally address this.  He's been AWESOME!  I got an appointment to talk to a counselor next tuesday, earliest I could get.  I'm going back to my GP tomorrow.  My husband has arranged for a lady down the street, who came recommended by a friend, to watch the girls two times a week if I want.  Just so I can have some time to myself.  I feel bad for needing that even though I know I shouldn't. 

 

Mine too is more anxiety than depression.  Although all this anxiety is getting to me and making me depressed.  I can't get a handle on my nerves.  I'm exhausted.  I feel emotionally drained.  I think I'm at the lowest point I've ever been at in my life.  I'm not taking good enough care of myself nutritionally...I just can't eat sometimes. 


on a lighter note, the good news is that chocolate has proven anti-depressant qualities :)

 

post #13 of 18
Hugs to all you mamas going through tough times.

I'm dealing with *something*, not really sure what it is... PPD, normal depression, stress, etc. I've dealt with small bits of depression before- usually situational, nothing too extreme. I find myself to have some "postpartum rage". Makes me feel like shit when I loose it - I never would shake or hurt the baby, but I tend to yell- usually I go in another room and leave the baby crying for a few minutes. Usually its most when I'm stressed about something else and the baby feels the need to scream nonstop or be extra needy and its tough doing this without her father in the same state. I will be moving soon and away from most of my stressors and will see how it goes then. If nothing improves then I will be going to see a doctor. I've been on meds before, both Zoloft and Lexapro. I don't remember too much from when I was on Lexapro, but the Zoloft made me just numb- I didn't get happy, but I didn't get sad. I want to avoid meds if possible. But I also don't want to be screamy, crazy mommy- I want to be good, calm, happy mommy- which I am 95% of the time, but I want it 100% of the time.
post #14 of 18
oh, and here's a good read that I found while researching postpartum rage
http://www.farewellstranger.com/2011/07/19/postpartum-rage-my-story-part-1/
post #15 of 18

Hi Stormy. I'm sorry you're going through this. In the comments on the link you sent, so many mothers write that lack of sleep has something to do with postpartum depression and/or rage. I have no doubt that sleep plays a significant role in all of this. And I realize that's a quandary as some mamas have babies who get up a lot through the night. A few weeks ago I posted about having to nurse for my baby to sleep and I think a lot of other mamas scratched their heads because - what's wrong with nursing your baby to sleep, right? Nothing. It's the most natural easiest thing to do - - except when you have to get up every hour to do it and it's hugely affecting your state of mind.

 

Having tiny vices like coffee won't help. Sleep will. I can attest to this because I've had a string of weeks where I got none, and I've had weeks when I got some. I was in mmmmmmmmuch better shape when I got some (i.e. 4 hours uninterrupted). 

 

If you can get some help with baby at night, take it. If not, the No Cry Sleep Solution has been helping ever-so-slowly. Also, at night I switched from cloth to a super-absorbent disposable. I also make sure to nurse as much as I possibly can during the day (some babies get their feeding schedules switched), and before bed I nurse a little and feed Sam a bottle of pumped milk so that I know he's getting a fair amount. (Some people give their babies a bit of rice cereal around this age). Other things that have helped - making sure baby gets some quality naps during the day and that he's not too warm or too cold at night (I had to experiment with layers to see what seemed better for him)...

 

Here's a thread from mothering on sleep and ppd: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/92226/ppd-or-sleep-deprivation

 

Nursing every hour throughout the night for a 5-month-old wasn't helping me or anyone else around me. When Sam gets more solid nighttime sleep he's happier during the day.

 

My educated guess would be that PPD, and other things like post-partum rage, are caused by sleep deprivation and hormonal flux. And both most likely affect the other...I hope this helps. Whatever the case, many hugs to you and I hope you feel better soon...xo.

post #16 of 18

I personally believe sleep has a TON to do with it - for me it takes a huge toll on my mental health when i dont get enough sleep- and rage is a part of it.  It SUCKS since most new moms arent sleeping

post #17 of 18

Stormy - What situations seem to set it off? I have the same issue and I have found that if I want to yell at my kids, the underlying emotion is feeling overwhelmed. I feel like yelling "Why are you making things so much harder?"

 

Also, being a "single" mother married to a military man is a hard life. My husband was in the Army for 8 years and I had a hard time keeping everything running smoothly when he was away. I hope things get better for you when you're in the same house again!

post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamera View Post

Stormy - What situations seem to set it off? I have the same issue and I have found that if I want to yell at my kids, the underlying emotion is feeling overwhelmed. I feel like yelling "Why are you making things so much harder?"

Also, being a "single" mother married to a military man is a hard life. My husband was in the Army for 8 years and I had a hard time keeping everything running smoothly when he was away. I hope things get better for you when you're in the same house again!

Being overwhelmed and stressed definitely set it off. She is such a "good" baby (not that any babies are bad... just not sure what other word to use). She rarely cries unless there is a need and 95% of the time the need is pretty identifiable. Typically the situations tend to arise when I have something I NEED to do and it needs to be done and there is a time crunch. I think most of the time she feels my stress then cries, which stresses me more, then I get angry that I don't have anyone to help, then I brood over the fact I never have anyone to help... and then it just goes downhill from there. On the days (which are most days), I'm not really on a time limit to get things done, the crying doesn't bother me- of course she rarely cries on those days. This next week should be interesting- we are trying to pack up the stuff we have here- which is alot because I left a ton of stuff when we moved to Texas. However, I plan on asking (or begging) for help to watch the baby if I need to. I am absolutely giddy thinking about my husband being able to come home on the weekends and he can watch her while I go grocery shopping, walk around the block, or even just go upstairs alone and not have to worry about attending to her if she needs something.
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