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#1 of 36 Old 12-29-2009, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am not sure if what I am suffering from is PPD but I do feel I am suffering from pretty severe postpartum anxiety if there is such a thing.

I am waking up at night feeling very panicked about everything.. most of the day I have what feels like knots in my stomach, severe headaches and I am grinding or biting my teeth so hard at night I am waking up with a sore jaw

I am having a lot of problems processing or doing anything during the day, I just want to sleep and often I feel like I could burst into tears (from the feeling of stress) often or daily. .

has anyone had similar feelings or 'side effects'? I am wondering if there is anything I can do to treat/help myself which doesn't involve a doctors visit.

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#2 of 36 Old 12-29-2009, 01:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ithappened View Post
I am not sure if what I am suffering from is PPD but I do feel I am suffering from pretty severe postpartum anxiety if there is such a thing.

I am waking up at night feeling very panicked about everything.. most of the day I have what feels like knots in my stomach, severe headaches and I am grinding or biting my teeth so hard at night I am waking up with a sore jaw

I am having a lot of problems processing or doing anything during the day, I just want to sleep and often I feel like I could burst into tears (from the feeling of stress) often or daily. .

has anyone had similar feelings or 'side effects'? I am wondering if there is anything I can do to treat/help myself which doesn't involve a doctors visit.
(((HUGS)))

Postpartum anxiety is very common but not talked about nearly as much as PPD.

For non-pharm relief you can try the same relaxation techniques you used in labor, there are some good anxiety workbooks out there, Rescue Remedy and Star of Bethlehem are good homeopathics for anxiety.

Depending on where you live you may be able to find a therapist that does talk therapy with PPD/A and find some relief there.

If all else fails, there are meds that are compatible with breastfeeding.

Karen, homeschooling Catholic mom to 8. #9 due 6/10
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#3 of 36 Old 12-29-2009, 01:24 PM
 
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Hugs, Mama. I so suffered from this the first 8 or 12 weeks after my DD (child #2) was born. I felt anxious, then I felt hideous guilt for feeling anxious when I had these beautiful healthy kids, you know? It's hard.

I used yoga, working out, hot baths at night, and actually went to talk to a therapist a few times. I even briefly went on BF compatible medication, and by about 4 months PP was able to go off of it as I was feeling better.

I'm so sorry and hope that you are able to feel better quickly. You are so not alone.
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#4 of 36 Old 12-29-2009, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Rescue Remedy and Star of Bethlehem are good homeopathics for anxiety.
Can I find these in Europe?

The main problem is the headaches from the teeth grinding are SO bad, the knots in my stomach and everything else makes me really short tempered and overwhelmed easily. I cry over the stupid things and I have no control over how upset I can get

My poor DH is my only support person here and well, he has to take pretty much all of it.

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#5 of 36 Old 12-29-2009, 07:23 PM
 
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My PPD manifested as pretty severe anxiety. Basically, low serotonin can cause depression or anxiety... it's different for everyone.

You can try rescue remedy. I know melotonin helps with sleep, but I think it's illegal in Europe. I think if you try some meditation tapes, it could help.

Talk therapy is also really beneficial. Meds are often helpful, too, and this is the route I went, eventually.

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#6 of 36 Old 12-30-2009, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did find I could order the Bach stuff direct from the UK so I think I'll try that and go from there

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#7 of 36 Old 12-30-2009, 02:16 PM
 
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ugh...it's miserable. I had it will DD1 but wasn't able to identify it and thought it was just "normal" that I didn't want to leave the house and everytime I did, felt like I had abused my child by having her out in the world. I would try rescue remedy. Unfortunately I didn't try a single thing "natural" because at the time I didn't know better. I did use low dose adavan which helped on the bad days.
I know how you feel though and have been exactly where you are. It gets better I promise.

Blessed with two BEAUTIFUL little girls: Kylie (09/06) and Maggie (4/09) :
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#8 of 36 Old 12-30-2009, 11:24 PM
 
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Hello, IH. It seems like you and I have been following a somewhat similar arc during our late pregnancies and early postpartum periods.

First, I am so sorry that you are experiencing this anxiety. As of today, I am three weeks PP and the first 8-10 days for me were the absolute worst. I didn't feel depressed, per se, but I was overwhelmingly anxious. I had total insomnia; couldn't fall asleep for HOURS and HOURS; when I would lie down to sleep my mind would literally begin racing. Then, when I finally would manage to slip into a light doze, I would awaken 15-30 minutes later and then not be able to sleep again for hours. Just a few days of that kind of insomnia made me feel like I was going to experience some kind of psychotic break. My poor husband had never seen me like this; I am generally such an easy-going, cheerful person.

Though this might get me flamed here, I contacted my OB after the first week of this because I had read that PPD commonly manifests itself as insomnia and anxiety. I didn't want to let it get away from me. As it was, I could barely take care of myself and had little to no interest in taking care of my beautiful little daughter. My OB prescribed me 50 mg Zoloft (antidepressant) and 25 mg Xanax (temporary antianxiety drug, not to be used long-term due to high dependency possibility). She also told me that I couldn't continue pumping/BFing while using Xanax. At that point, I had a major decision to make...and I chose to discontinue the BFing.

Now that I've been on the medication for about two weeks, I feel incredibly better. I didn't feel better immediately, but the Xanax I would take at bedtime did help me sleep. I only took the Xanax for the first 10 days or so; I don't feel I need it any longer. My daughter is bottle-feeding now and doing very well, and I don't feel bad or guilty about it at all, because I feel like I have MYSELF back...my old self...and I am enjoying spending time with her now and taking much better care of her.

If you have to make a decision like I did, please don't feel bad if you choose to put yourself first. You have to be in good health, physically and mentally, in order to take good care of your child. I'm not usually the first person to resort to pharmaceuticals in most situations, but I am glad that I made that call in my case.

Please feel free to PM me if you want to vent or chat or have any questions. And please, please take good care of you.
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#9 of 36 Old 12-31-2009, 01:32 AM
 
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You could argue though that if you feel so much better in 2 weeks of treatment that you didn't need the treatment in the first place.

Also, whilst stopping breastfeeding might have been the right choice for you, statistically it's now been shown the stopping breastfeeding increases rates of depression, not decreases them as some people expected.

Additionally, Xanax isn't completely incompatible with breastfeeding (I just looked it up in Hales), 25mg would probably kill you, so I think you must mean 0.25mg, Hale gives data supporting 0.5mg probably being ok.

So rather than flaming you, I feel sad for you that you probably were not given the most helpful information by your OB, though I don't disagree with the drug treatment she offered, it does take time for SSRIs to work for anxiety, so a temporary anti anxiety drug is a reasonable course of action. I feel sad that she couldn't offer anything but drug treatment, but that's just the world we live in. What concerns me most is that in another month or so, the temporary relief you've got from feeling more rested will have gone and your contentment about the decision about breastfeeding will have changed, the hormonal affect of that will be hitting you etc.

I really hope everything works out well for you, but I don't think at this stage you should consider it a done deal, it's worked out well for you today, but you need more time to see if it works out for you in the bigger picture and because of that I think you should be more cautious about recommending it to others. In choosing to continue to breastfeed or not, most of us are making a decision not for how we'll feel in 2 weeks time, but for the health of mum and baby in the long term and sometimes that will work out to be not breastfeeding.

To the OP, I don't really have anything to add, to the other responses, I slid very quickly, so I was never really in a place where I could consider non doctor options.

Anne, Christian mummy to Nathanael 05/28/03, Ada 06/10/05, Grace 05/24/09
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#10 of 36 Old 12-31-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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So rather than flaming you, I feel sad for you that you probably were not given the most helpful information by your OB, though I don't disagree with the drug treatment she offered, it does take time for SSRIs to work for anxiety, so a temporary anti anxiety drug is a reasonable course of action. I feel sad that she couldn't offer anything but drug treatment, but that's just the world we live in. What concerns me most is that in another month or so, the temporary relief you've got from feeling more rested will have gone and your contentment about the decision about breastfeeding will have changed, the hormonal affect of that will be hitting you etc.
Thanks for the concern. I am completely comfortable with my decision to discontinue breastfeeding and haven't experienced any guilt or other bad feelings about it, despite your suggestion that I will eventually be "discontented" with this choice. I tried it and it didn't work out for me. Simple as that. My daughter is still healthy and happy, and that is what matters to me most.

My aim in sharing my story was to illustrate what worked for me; I wanted to share my personal experience here with the OP. I am aware that what works for one person may not always be the answer for someone else. The OP should take from my story what she finds helpful, and leave the rest.
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#11 of 36 Old 12-31-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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Hi ItHappened.

I had a LOT of anxiety following my son's birth. I think I was suffering from postpartum PTSD due to the traumatic nature of my son's birth. With or without PTSD, severe anxiety does occur postpartum. I was suffering with panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, mood swings, all of which culminated in a nervous breakdown of sorts when my son was 4 months. I think if I had been connected with resources or gotten treatment earlier the nervous breakdown wouldn't have happened and my later PPD would not have been as severe or long-lasting.

I would encourage you to look for a support group in your area. It can be extremely beneficial to talk with other women who have had similar experiences. If you can't find one locally, there are virtual groups online. If you need help locating resources I would be happy to help you there, PM me.

~Dana

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#12 of 36 Old 12-31-2009, 03:58 PM
 
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annekh23 wrote: You could argue though that if you feel so much better in 2 weeks of treatment that you didn't need the treatment in the first place.


SO NOT TRUE. The meds like zoloft work in 2 weeks or less for many people, the xanax works instantly. So yes, it is certain that the meds helped in this case and that the poster who said she felt better DID NEED MEDS.

I felt SO much better in less than 2 weeks on zoloft. In days. For some people, it really does work that fast. Those are usually the people who only need smaller "less than therapeutic" doses.

Good for ANY mom who decides to get the help she needs, whether it's meds or therapy or anything else. It's hard to ask for the help, and no one should be judged for asking for and getting medical help for depression or anxiety or ANY mental illness.
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#13 of 36 Old 12-31-2009, 06:12 PM
 
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ithappened- your symptoms sound pretty severe to me. have your midwife or doctor recommend a psychologist first, and then maybe a psychiatrist if you feel like you need meds on top of counseling. i had pretty major postpartum anxiety. i went through psychotherapy and it helped tremendously. i didn't take medication, but i think things would have improved faster if i had. as it is i'm fine without drugs. the help is out there, please, please take it. there is no reason for you to suffer! i am so happy that i got help (so is my dh). feel free to pm me if you want to talk to someone who has btdt! hugs!

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#14 of 36 Old 01-01-2010, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd prefer to not go the meds route if it means I need to stop BFing , , .

I have a doctor appointment in 2 week-ish so at that point I will bring it up, in the meantime I ordered so bach remedy to try.. and I will up my omega-3s

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#15 of 36 Old 01-01-2010, 02:22 PM
 
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there are many pharmaceutical options that do NOT mean you would have to stop breastfeeding. If you have a doc that tells you you have to wean, find another one.
I had severe PPA after #6, almost needed to be hsopitalized, I was pretty much non-functional. It was very frightening for all of us. I ended up taking about three different meds (lexapro daily, xanax as needed and klonopin to help me sleep) from when he was 4 months old-about 18 months and never stopped nursing, with the blessing of my psychiatrist and his pediatrician.
fwiu, doctors in europe aren't quite as liberal with medications and pregnant and nursing women as they are in the US but the information on what is and is not ok is out there (Tom Hales, Medications and Mothers Milk is excellent) and hopefully you can get a doc to read and trust it.

Karen, homeschooling Catholic mom to 8. #9 due 6/10
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#16 of 36 Old 01-01-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WEAN TO TAKE MEDS!!!


Sorry, but it is so commonly misunderstood and there are a lot of well-meaning but very misinformed people out there.

Zoloft is very safe while nursing, as are many other meds. Hale's book has a lot of great information and was a source of great comfort to me while I was taking meds and nursing. I took zoloft while nursing ds1, and while pregnant with ds2, and while nursing ds2. I stopped taking it when he was about 15 months old... I am still nursing him at age 2+ .

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#17 of 36 Old 01-01-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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zoloft is completely safe while breastfeeding. if you're thinking about meds talk to a psychiatrist, not just an ob. ob's don't know as much about psychopharmaceuticals as psychiatrists, so they may recommend weaning just to be safe. for me, psychotherapy worked tremendously. she helped me understand when it was appropriate to be anxious, and when it wasn't. after a while i learned the difference between normal anxiety, and abnormal anxiety. it took a long time, but i can honestly say that i have little to no anxiety anymore. so if you really don't want to take meds at least get some therapy. you will be so glad you did!
also cut out all caffeine if you haven't already. nothing makes me anxious like a cup of coffee! hang in there mama. we've all been there!

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#18 of 36 Old 01-01-2010, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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with xanax do you need to stop BFing?

at the moment my problem is the bad headaches, overall anxiety/feeling overwhelmed and without support (because with the exception of my DH- we're/I am on my own) and really bad feelings of upset stomachs or knots in my stomach..

My dad is sick which only adds to the stress since they are 16 hrs away..

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#19 of 36 Old 01-01-2010, 05:25 PM
 
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i don't know if xanax is contraindicated while breastfeeding, but from what you've told us, i wouldn't think that xanax would be your first choice. xanax is for the immediate treatment of anxiety. drugs like zoloft take longer to work, but are meant to be used for long periods of time. i would think that a doctor would prescribe zoloft to you, not xanax, but i'm no expert.

try sitting down and writing down everything you are worried about. then grade the worries on a "rational scale". for instance, if you're worried that you'll inadvertantly hurt your baby (i had those sorts of intrusive thoughts) write about it, and give it 1-10 on the rational scale. do this with all of your worries. share these worries with us! we can help you feel better until you can see your doctor.

i'm very sorry about your dad. it must be very hard to be away from your parents, especially when one of them is sick. i hope he heals quickly and completely.

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#20 of 36 Old 01-01-2010, 07:54 PM
 
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xanax is fine, but they will probably give you ativan instead, which is a little bit safer, I think it has a shorter half-life.

I was given ativan when I first got my zoloft prescription because ativan works instantly where the zoloft will take days to weeks to kick in.

Both are very very safe. Talk to a pdoc (psychiatrist)... they know much more about psych meds than an OB.

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#21 of 36 Old 01-01-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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with such a young baby xanax may be contraindicated. i took it when my son was 4 months old. if you do give it a try, start at the lowest dose and watch your baby for excessive sleepiness.
i believe xanax has the shortest half-life of all the benzos.
find a good psych who deals with PPD/PPA if you can but take what you can get from your GP/OB while you wait to get in.

Karen, homeschooling Catholic mom to 8. #9 due 6/10
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#22 of 36 Old 01-04-2010, 04:24 PM
 
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Some great books--The Anxiety And Phobia Workbook, Edmund Bourne (any of his books are great)
The Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety Workbook: Practical Skills to Help You Overcome Anxiety, Worry, Panic Attacks, Obsessions, and Compulsions
by Pamela Wiegartz

Pregnant on Prozac: The Essential Guide to Making the Best Decision for You and Your Baby
~ Shoshana S. Bennett
Shoshana Bennett is a wonderful resource for all this, she has a few great books out.
Motherrisk.org is a great resource about medications and breastmilk.....I used them while pregnant with my son and stuck on a med I could not come off of (Effexor XR) and was able to safely take that and Klonopin prn during and after pregnancy.

I've dealt with this crapola most of my post-pubescent life (anxiety and depression that is)

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#23 of 36 Old 01-04-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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First I wanted to suggested that you call your doctor back and ask for an appointment sooner than 2 weeks. You should NOT have to wait 2 weeks for PPD/anxiety to be treated. Does our dr know that's what you're coming for? Because if s/he does and thinks waiting 2 weeks is ok, then I would have concerns about how seriously he/she is going to take you at all.

Anyhow, I have had postpartum anxiety with both my kids. You do not need to stop breastfeeding to take medication. I took 25mg of Zoloft for the first 7 months of DD's life, and I'm taking 50mg of Zoloft now with DS. I also have taken low-dose clonazepam (0.5mg dose) for immediate anxiety relief and help falling asleep with both, for a few days to break the anxiety cycle before the Zoloft could kick in. Hale approves of both Zoloft and clonazepam (kloponin) while breastfeeding.

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#24 of 36 Old 01-05-2010, 07:14 PM
 
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Hi, I don't want to thread hijack, but I feel like this is happening to me, too. But my baby is 7.5 months old now. I am within the last couple weeks becoming consumed with anxiety for my children. I didn't have this problem after my son was born two and half years ago. My anxiety is beginning to simply make me start obsessing about their safety and having fearful thoughts that are very very obtrusive. I keep hearing about babies getting killed accidentally or getting a horrible illness and I keep thinking, "Why wouldn't this happen to me?" to the point where I am afraid to just be happy because I don't want to get "caught" unprepared and have tragedy strike. I attribute a lot of this to my current situation: we moved from FLorida to Wisconsin two weeks after my daughter was born. I had a cesarean. (both were by cesarean). My husband works A LOT. A lot, a lot. I have no family here. It is now cold and horrible (weather wise, Wisconsin is a very nice place) here in Wisconsin. We are moving AGAIN (thankfully back to Florida) in the summer, so that is something to look forward to. But we will be renting again, for who knows how long until we can afford a house. So, lack of stability, lack of any real strong network (I have some friends but, you know, no besties). I do have a history of anxiety and I was doing so well for so long, but now, it's rearing its ugly head and I feel like I am floundering. I feel like I am constantly working at keeping this house clean and have no time for myself. But I know I just need to ask my husband to take the kids for a time and I could go do some Yoga or other things that I enjoy. I am just making excuses and I feel out of shape, unhealthy and unhappy. I LOVE my family and having children is the biggest blessing in the world. I am just so worried about something happening to them. It seems every day something sets me off to worrying. Just today I was browsing around the internet and ran into this site where people write the name of their baby who has passed away into the sand. Well, I have this beautiful picture of my daughter's name written in the sand that I took (and wrote) before she was born and before we even knew she was a she and now I feel like I doomed her or something!! WTF??! I hate this.
So, sorry to hijack. I was actually just coming on here to post a topic with the exact same title. Thanks for the all the positive responses.

By the way:
-yes, I am breastfeeding
-I take Omega 3's (about 3000 mg daily)
-2000 mg of Vitamin D
-A flintstones vitamin
-fenugreek 3x day
-I have ativan for extreme circumstances scripted to me by my last OB.
-I have NO doctor here and since we're moving again, I almost feel like, "what's the point". Besides, I have no way to get to the doctor (as my husband is at work - I do have a car) and I am not leaving my kids with someone I don't know... is that a bad excuse?!


So... Thanks if you've read this. I just needed to write it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefragile7393 View Post
Some great books--The Anxiety And Phobia Workbook, Edmund Bourne (any of his books are great)
The Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety Workbook: Practical Skills to Help You Overcome Anxiety, Worry, Panic Attacks, Obsessions, and Compulsions
by Pamela Wiegartz

Pregnant on Prozac: The Essential Guide to Making the Best Decision for You and Your Baby
~ Shoshana S. Bennett
Shoshana Bennett is a wonderful resource for all this, she has a few great books out.
Motherrisk.org is a great resource about medications and breastmilk.....I used them while pregnant with my son and stuck on a med I could not come off of (Effexor XR) and was able to safely take that and Klonopin prn during and after pregnancy.

I've dealt with this crapola most of my post-pubescent life (anxiety and depression that is)

Thanks for the recs! I actually have done the Anxiety and Phobia workbook a long time ago when I was in therapy (long before I had children). IT might be time to try that again. As well, thank you for the other recs.

OP, I hope you feel well soon.

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#25 of 36 Old 01-05-2010, 07:35 PM
 
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Catters, I hope YOU feel better soon....you have a lot of situational stressors right now. And lets be honest...therapy can help if you can afford it....sometimes even sliding scale is too expensive, so I've found that books can be the next best thing, provided that you are determined to follow through with the exercises and practice them. I'd also recommend This Isn't What I Expected, from Karen Kleiman, and Valerie Raskin. Again I have no vested interest in any of these books, except I've been in the system for so many years, part of groups, worked in the behavioral health sector...and these are ones that many have recommended to me or that I've found have helped me.

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#26 of 36 Old 01-05-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Aufilia View Post
First I wanted to suggested that you call your doctor back and ask for an appointment sooner than 2 weeks. You should NOT have to wait 2 weeks for PPD/anxiety to be treated. Does our dr know that's what you're coming for? Because if s/he does and thinks waiting 2 weeks is ok, then I would have concerns about how seriously he/she is going to take you at all.
.
I believe the OP is in the UK and access to HCP's (especially specialists) there often isn't as easy as calling and saying "I need to get in earlier."
In that regard, we in the US are somewhat spoiled.

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#27 of 36 Old 01-06-2010, 05:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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In that regard, we in the US are somewhat spoiled.
yeap. Im in the EU and the specialist won't just let you in unless you have private insurance or you can pay upfront.. you have to wait along with everyone else. . .

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#28 of 36 Old 01-06-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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Just wanted to chime in with my experience. I developed severe insomnia when my baby was 3.5 months old (now 14 mos.). I had no idea what was happening to me, having never had any mental health problems whatsoever and no history of insomnia other than 3 weeks at beginning of 3rd trimester. As a person who rarely took medication for anything, it was extremely difficult for me to go to the pharmaceutical route, but I credit my well-being today to that decision. And I continued to BF the whole time. That period was truly the lowest in my life.

I ended up taking Zoloft, but didn't find real relief from insomnia until increasing the dosage to 150mg about 10 weeks into my treatment. I initially tried many sleep meds & none of them worked consistently. Remeron is what finally worked & allowed me to sleep. After taking that for a month in May, I just took it as needed. Since early October I've only taken Remeron twice--both times for clearly identifiable sleep disruptions. I'm sleeping great once again.

I share this just to assure you that it is possible to get better and to find meds compatible with BF. You'll make it through!
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#29 of 36 Old 01-15-2010, 04:03 AM
 
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hey there, so im dealing w/ similar feelings. sadness has pretty much replaced total anxiety... i suggest that you find someone in your area that does cranial sacral massage. i just had it done and it was great. it's a total head and jaw massage that releases tension and lets the cerebral fluid flow to your brain. you should check it out, it may give you some relief. good luck!
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#30 of 36 Old 01-15-2010, 04:06 AM
 
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hey there, so im dealing w/ similar feelings. sadness has pretty much replaced total anxiety... i suggest that you find someone in your area that does cranial sacral massage. i just had it done and it was great. it's a total head and jaw massage that releases tension and lets the cerebral fluid flow to your brain. you should check it out, it may give you some relief. good luck!
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