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looking for answers

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for advice, and this is such a hard subject to approach with friends and even my husband........I'll try not to make this too long!
My DS is 5 months old, and I have a 4yo DD. I think I did have *real* PPD after the birth of my son. The first 5 weeks were a blur, I really don't remember much. I had a few scary thoughts of *what if* I hurt the baby..... I talked to the Dr about it, but as they (bad thoughts) had stopped, he didn't seem to think much of it except to say that the next pregnancy might be worse and I should take meds durring the third trimester.
At 3 months post partum, although I felt much better, I still felt lifeless, tired, and foggy so I saw a midwife (new insurance). She ran tests for thyroid and anemia which were negative, and gave me a prescription for Zoloft, just in case. She did not think it was clearly PPD, but said I would know if the Zoloft helped or not.
So I didn't take the Zoloft because I still am not clear if I even have ppd. I tried DHA (thanks to info on the old boards) and I think it helped, but then someone told me about mercury poisioning and I stopped.

If you are still reading, thank you, and now the question. My life is joyless. Things that should make me feel happy, generally do not. My children are BEAUTIFUL, happy, wonderful. They do not know that I would sleep 24 hours a day if I could. It takes all my energy to dress each dayl, let alone to be sure my family has something clean to wear. I'm not exagerating! I know exercise would help, but it is such an effort to get out of the house. It makes me feel like a failure, lazy, bad mother............. Is this PPD, should I try the Zoloft? Do I just need to toughen up? Does anyone know for real about fish oil/ mercury poisioning? Has anyone had success with DHA? How long did you take it for? I would like to read more about this *condition* but I don't even know if I have one!
Thanks for reading

post #2 of 9
Dear Heather, I don't know that I have anything specific to help you with - I just want to send my love and tell you that I too had similiar emotional problems after the birth of my daughter. The one thing that I wish I had done is to have saught professional help or a mothers group for this specific thing. You are not alone that I know for sure! Again, lots of love and hang in there.
post #3 of 9

I know exactly what you are talking about. I could have written your post myself in 1997. I now know (in retrospect) just how far gone I was. I had gotten to the point that I felt like I wanted to die. After going to hell & back; I was convinced to start taking Zoloft. My doc said something similar to your midwife..."We will see if it works & go from there."

I highly recommend that you go to Postpartum Support International

Look on the menu on the left. There is a self assessment survey. See what you score. If you are up to reading; get the book "When Words Are Not Enough" by Valerie Raskin. It is a real eye opener!

Have you read any of the other threads on this forum? You are not the only one. I will check back for your reply tomorrow (I mean later today!)
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the response! I think I will look for that book. I have visited these boards quite a bit and done alot of reading. Enough to know that I am not unusual. I just am still not sure if I *should* be taking the medication or if I am too sensitive. I know a bit of your story through reading this board. Did you have some good days in the midst of bad? I ask, because some days I feel *almost* like my old self, and think, phew, glad thats over, but within a few days I think it is bad again. When I say bad, I mean, not only tired, but I am mean to my husband, snap[ at my 4yo and am generally short tempered and crabby...... The good days almost highlight the bad because it is such a contrast. I have gone back to work one day a week and it has helped alot. It kind of frames my week and helps me accomplish small tasks around the house. It makes me feel successful, and even though my kids miss me, they love their nanny. So, if I have a chemical imbalance that Zoloft would help, can it get better and worse?

Thanks for your insight. I really do not want to wake up in 3 years and realize it didn't have to be like this, but from my midwife's response, I feel like a whiner to even complain......


Oh, I took the quiz that you posted the link to about 2 months ago and scored moderate, I think. I will take it again. I don't think I had any of the red flag sort of symptoms like danger to myself or children. Again, am I just a whiner?
post #5 of 9
Hi--My daughter, Rachel, is 13 months old. I think I had PPD. I posted a few threads about it--I feel like I'm repeating myself! I was lucky to find a great therapist---can you find a therapist you trust who is knowledgable about PPD? Or can you find a support group at a hosiptal near you? I really did not want to take antidepressants because I wanted to nurse. Therapy helped me so much--and I was able to weather it without meds. Nursing helped me bond with Rachel and I am grateful I was able to do it without interruption.. I want you to know that I also had horrible, scary thoughts about hurting her: If I saw a knife I"d think of sticking it in her; I also thought about throwing her into the woodstove. These thoughts were fleeting, but just the fact that I could think such things really freaked me out. It sounds like you are being really hard on yourself--you need to give yourself a break! It IS really hard! Sometimes I still feel when I'm out doing errands that I'm a wandering crazy person and have no business leaving the house--and I'm still exhuasted--but I feel like I have my mind back, know what I mean? Well, good luck with everything--I hope I'm not going on and on about myself and boring you! ---karen
post #6 of 9

me too!

Yes I can definitely relate. It took Zoloft about 3months to take effect. I still have to increase the dosage but we see the effect alreay. Like you I fought this idea for too many years. I should have taken it 22 years ago! This is how long I went wihout treatment. Threrapy is good too but NOW I see that the combination of things puts it togeter.

Heather you are fighting something very hard to deal with this is why your body is so tired all the time. Your lack of energy has to do with a clinical depression that you have. It has nothing to do with your ability as a human.

As for the pros and cons of the meds. Well we can discuss it to the end of our lives, but you need to be happy and the rest is up to you to see the alternatives.

Be good to yourself. Ask as many people and and as many questions as it takes to make up your minds. BTW I am still breasfeeding.
post #7 of 9
How are you Javamama? I went through PPD with my DD 2 years ago. I did not want to go with meds, so I spoke with a therapist that my accupuncturist reccomended. It helped tremendously. And now here I am with a 3 month old and I feel that I need a few therapy sessions to get myself back on track. A check-in or something. I love freely talking with someone that I don't socialize with, nor who is related to me. Unlike talking to a friend, I can talk and talk without feeling like I am monopolizing the conversation! Anyway, I just wanted to see how you are doing, cause you sounded a lot like me before I went to a therapist.
post #8 of 9
Hello Javamama, Maybe your midwife was not aware of how much your suffering. Never be afraid your whining! It seems from what you have said that you are suffering from depression. I have suffered from it myself. It took me a long time to realize I had it. I would blame my symptoms on my diet, other people, the weather, everything but just simple depression. I took Zoloft 7 years ago and it helped me tremendously. I only took it for six months and it helped me get back in the groove. I didn't have bad anxiety or depression again until 2 years ago after the birth of my ds. I'm breastfeeding so I saw a therapist and did everything I could to avoid meds. Slowly things became worse. The worse I felt, the less I did, and the less I did, the worse I felt. It became a spiral downwards. One day I realized what my life had become and I became really scared. I thought I must be crazy and what if I hurt my child? I became so frightened by these thoughts that I finally admitted to my dh and family about how bad I really felt. With his support I decided to try Zoloft again. It has only been 6 weeks since I started taking it and last time it took me 8 weeks to notice a difference. I don't feel better yet but am slowly starting to feel like myself. My self talk is more positive and I am beginning to feel relaxed. I am also enjoying people. When I am really depressed I become very reclusive and I don't think it's good for the mind to not have social stimulation. I read a study somewhere that found the biggest factor in ppd was social support. They said woman with a strong social support system had much fewer incidents of ppd. I have friends but no one who had the same attachment parenting desires that I had. Everyone was telling me to stop breastfeeding. They thought I was feeling tense because I spent too much time with baby. They all thought I should put him in daycare so he wouldn't be so attached to me. Not to mention that we are vegetarians and decided to raise our child that way and everyone gave us a hard time about that. My problem was probably a bit chemical and a lot feeling alone and isolated. You can be surrounded by people but if you don't really connect it is not social support. Thank God for these forums! Well any way sorry to ramble. I just wanted to say you are not alone. I am breastfeeding and taking zoloft and happy with my decision to take it, and I also had days when I felt great and then felt bad again. I don't know how but zoloft helps me to feel more steady everyday and then I am better able to create happiness. Last week I enjoyed some Love with my dh for the first time in months. That alone made life cheerier.
Good Luck!
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
I appreciate everyones open and honest responses. It has really helped me focus on what needs to be done. When you feel like this, it is so hard to gain perspective into all the areas that are affected. Petitemamma, thanks for mentioning your dh. deffinately an issue in this household. It also helped me to hear about your good days and bad days. I just keep thinking if I can feel so good sometimes, why can't I just get it together all the time?
I am still a little nervous to take the meds while breastfeeding. I am going to see the midwife one more time to recheck thyroid and clarify a few questions I have about the meds.
I have a friend who is a therapist. I am going to ask her for a referral I think she knows someone who specializes in women, ppd, etc.
The other hurdle is talking to dh about this. I shouldn't, but I do feel nervous to discuss this much with him. I know it is just something I have to do.....

Thankyou everyone for your thoughtful posts, I will keep you all updated
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