I have a question about mental health and breastfeeding. I have a history of depression and anxiety, and looking back I had been feeling pretty bad prior to this pregnancy for quite a while. I discontinued my antidepressant when we started TTC, and haven't gone back on it. I had my rough patches in the first trimester (though I really think this was mostly due to stress at work and worrying a lot about how my weight/health might be affecting the baby) but since then I have felt great, relatively speaking. I haven't felt this normal (even happy) in years. It has been fantastic, and to tell you the truth, I had been lulled into a bit of a false sense of security, thinking that this was the "new normal" and maybe I could actually be happy. I started taking it for granted and forgetting how it used to be before.
However... last night, out of nowhere, I had a bit of a panic attack and the feeling of being totally overwhelmed at the prospect of having a baby. I couldn't stop crying for hours and I just felt terrible. It really scared me because I think I had gotten used to being depressed before, rationalized it as being "my fault" or something I would be able to get rid of someday when I built up the willpower, etc. etc. But this just crashed down on me like a ton of bricks and it was very unwelcome to remember how I used to feel before I got pregnant. It was a little more clear to me, since it came on so suddenly, that there is probably some weird brain chemistry thing going on here beyond "I just have a bad attitude" or "if I were a stronger person, I would be happy." My crazy upset self was right about one thing, there is no way I can effectively care for a baby if I'm going to be feeling like that. I hate to think about it but if it's medication or PPD, I may have to go back on medication after I give birth. Not that any of them have been that effective in the past, but I feel like I am going to have to try something if I have more incidents like this.
So now I'm trying to figure out which options may be the least harmful to the nursing baby. I'm seeing Zoloft as an option but again, I have tried that before and it didn't seem to do much for me other than add 10-20 pounds. This is part of why I feel like my depression is all in my head or I'm just a wimp... I have never really found a medication that actually helps all that much.
I am worried about weight gain, as I'm already quite overweight, and loss of libido because I already have a problem with that. But obviously I'd rather have something that causes more side effects for me and less stress to the baby if I had to choose. Also, does anyone have any thoughts on hormones or other factors that might account for me feeling so great (I'm also sweating less than usual, have more energy, and my skin has cleared up) during pregnancy when lots of people have the opposite experience? If I could somehow balance my hormones and "fix" this, I'd rather do that than take antidepressants.
Thanks for any help you might have. Please feel free to PM me instead if you don't want to talk about your experience on the board.
Again thank you so much in advance. This really scared me into realizing I need a game plan. If I am OK after the birth, then great, but if not, then I need to start thinking about what to do.