Medical Marijuana & ppd
Do you know any doctors who would be open to prescribing it, who you can ask?
If you are under the care of a doctor, then I would not caution against it so much.
Regarding using a psychedelic drug (not hallucinogenic) with a baby: that's something for you and your doc to decide. If you can be free of distractions when you use it, then the potential is that it might make you more focused and attentive to the babe, not less. If you're breastfeeding, THC can pass through breastmilk so that's another thing to consider.
As stated above, it might also make you more anxious or paranoid, but that is true with nearly any antidepressant. I wouldn't take it without changing some other things too. You should make sure your environment is positive and relaxing. If your house is a mess and it makes you anxious, then using medical mj would probably be a bad idea unless you can walk around outside or something.
It would also be good to have a doc to whom you can describe any negative effects that you notice.
Some other natural treatments for depression would be to improve your diet, exercise and try to find some way to get involved in social activities (you may already do these things, and still need help. I understand that, and I'm not trying to make any assumptions here.)
I stayed home with my son for the first two years and I had a lot of depression. I worked through it on my own, but in retrospect, I do wish I would have gone to a doctor for the support, if nothing else. Sometimes just having someone to reassure you & talk to you about options can be helpful, if the ppd is mild. My doc recommended daily exercise, so I began running and weight training and I have improved my life a lot. I still suffer with mood swings, but I would not say I have experience full-blown depression since those early years after my son was born.
I've been doing a lot of research and looking up the beneficial effects of cannabis. It seems as though a lot of the things it can help with are the things I'm struggling with... so I'm very interested in using it. That being said, if I were to take it, DD would never be in danger. I read that the medical dosage for depression is less than the effect of drinking one glass of wine. To be certain, I only would use it when dh is home (which is most hours of the day).
I don't have a doctor at the moment... we are moving this week and I'm going to try to find one in our new city. I was asking on mdc BC I'm not sure if I should seek out a "cannabis friendly" doctor (which will take more time and effort) or if I should go to a conventional one and get zoloft or something. I'm very leary of pharmaceuticals. NOT that I think its wrong for anyone else to take them. I understand and am more sympathetic than ever towards those who use them to regain their health. I just have adverse side effects to synthetic drugs and am very sensitive. In my research, Zoloft seems to be the safest while breastfeeding, but zoloft has also caused fatalities and increased suicidal tendencies so that worries me.
DD is almost 7 months and I can't live like this anymore. At first I thought the ppd would just go away on its on. I eat very well and I tried increasing my exercise and taking st. John's wort but Im not getting better; in fact I'm getting worse. I told dh that I can't take it anymore. Its really hurting our marriage (I get so upset with him when he doesn't deserve it) and I feel like the ppd is robbing me of my life. I've already lost 7 months. Thankfully, I don't have the symptom of getting mad or being unloving towards DD. No, its all directed towards dh and myself. But I know that being a depressed mother is having its effects on her and I want to change that! I guess I'm venting here. Everyday I have this all encompassing black cloud over me and I feel completely incapacitated to handle anything. Seriously, even the slightest thing overwhelms me and I feel like I just can't handle it. I used to be a very laid-back person but now I'm in constant high stress. I have anxiety attacks. I worry about everything. Sometimes I'm overcome with rage. I've lost motivation to do even the most normal, simole tasks. I don't find joy in the things I used to. Ect ect.ect.
Anyway, just needed to get that all off my chest I guess. I'm going to get help and soon. But I like I said, I'm in the middle of a move now so I'm just trying to see what route to healing I want to take once I get there. Any other advice or suggestions would be much appreciated. : ) Thanks for all the support!
Edited by Philothea - 12/2/12 at 11:55am
As others have said, the psychoactive properties of MJ might really amp up the stuff your feeling with PPD. I really suggest finding therapist/dr who specialize in treating PPD and taking a standard antidepresent. There are a lot of other meds besides Zoloft. I bf'ed while taking clexia with no side effects to baby. Is always a benefit and risk balance, but I was encouraged that biggest concern my ped had was lack of weight gain for the baby (besides having a crazed mama for the baby!). The first med you take might not be the right match and you do have to be pro-active about your treatment which is really hard when you feel like you can barely move off the couch. But you have a little one who needs you.
You said that you've already tried other non-pharm treatments (exercise, st. john's wort) maybe now is the time to try more mainstream things. I can tell you that I could have written what you described 2 years ago. I never really felt "sad" but just totally out of it, lacked any kind of maternal bond with my child (and felt intense guilt about that), wanting to be away from all of it or getting really angry about everything. You don't have to feel this way. Your baby deserves a happy mama. You deserve to feel like a normal person and to enjoy your life.
I got on meds and did therapy with the RIGHT therapist and worked my stuff out. The meds were only a crutch to get me stable. I can tell you that for me, the right med was an almost immediate relief from the worst of it. I did continue the therapy for 6 months but I look back to the first year of my kiddo's life and think why did I wait until she was 6 months old to get this under control. The good part is that she didn't know that I wasn't really there.
Best of luck but know that you are not alone. There are probably post-partum support groups in your area. Contact the health department or local L&D dept of your hospital to get in touch with some support. Keep talking and reaching out to people, IT WILL GET BETTER!