Baby blues or PPD? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 09-23-2010, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I go back and forth trying to decide if I'm depressed, or just normally hormonal and emotional. I tried talking to DH, but he thinks I'm normal, and just a bit overly dramatic, but he felt like that when I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder years ago, and taking Effexor changed my life around and made me feel so much better. I weaned off that medication when we wanted to start TTC, about 5 years ago. I honestly haven't felt as good since, but I feel like since DD2 was born 5 weeks ago, things are getting worse. Here's what I notice:

I weep easily. TV shows, songs on the radio, thoughts of going back to work, even baby milestones like focused eyes or little grins make me tear up.

I can't sleep. I lie awake at night when everyone else, including baby, is sleeping. I'm exhausted all the time, but just can't sleep. I think obsessively about things instead, like changing my career, what car seat to buy for DD1, or how to rearrange household furniture.

I'm terrified something will happen to my kids. I check on them when they are sleeping, and have these strange and sad thoughts about what i would do if one or both of them died. Like how I would try to cope, and what I would want for funeral services.

I feel lonely all the time, even with friends, family, or DH. I feel like nobody understands me, nobody knows how I feel, and I really want somebody to connect with. I get sad and then just want to be alone because it seems better to be lonely if nobody is around.

I want to escape my life through books, TV, and computer games. I have trouble enjoying moments and being fully present. Some moments break through joyously anyway, usually with the baby, but it just seems to highlight how flat I feel the rest of the time.

I'm short tempered and irritable. Normally I have tons of patience. Now I don't. Maybe sleep deprivation is causing it. I'm terrified about returning to work in two weeks because I teach middle school, and patience is practically a job requirement when working with Tweens.

I have mood swings. Joyously loving my life one minute, sad, lonely, and worried about finances or the kids the next. Happy to do activities with my older child one day, wishing she would sit for a movie marathon and leave me alone the next day. Start projects in the morning, but lose drive and don't finish them.

I know the ladies on this board are dealing with PPD. What do you think? Am I struggling with PPD like I think I am, or having normally hormonal baby blues like DH thinks? FWIW, I feel like I'm putting on a happy show quite often. The old "fake it 'till you make it," and "acting happy will make you happy" bit. I took that quiz in the sticky a couple times, but score in the 40's, which is borderline. Although I do have some of the red "call a provider immediately" symptoms. (obsessive thoughts, fears for baby). I feel like I'm on a slippery slope and slowly getting worse, not better. My back to work date getting closer makes it worse, as I'm very anxious about dealing with work stress as well as finacial stuff and arranging care for the kids.

Please help me figure this out! I'm a wreck! Thanks for reading this and for your thoughts and suggestions.

CD'ing, homebirthing, milk making school teacher. Supporting my family on my income and trying to get out of debt in 2013!
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#2 of 6 Old 09-26-2010, 05:07 AM
 
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Wow,
It sounds like you are really going through a rough time right now and need some community support around you. Have you thought about talking to your doctor, therapist, friends? Perhaps it would be good to have some time for self-care with massage, counseling, dance, etc. Try doing things that make you feel good!

Many blessings for a swift return back to yourself!

Helene Rose
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#3 of 6 Old 09-26-2010, 06:03 AM
 
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I don't know that the line between "baby blues and normally hormonal" and PPD is ever all that clear cut.

However, if I were you, the insomnia and the red flag issues would make me call up a therapist and probably also make me want to consider going back on medication.
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#4 of 6 Old 09-26-2010, 03:25 PM
 
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I have a history of depression and went on Effexor after my third pg loss. I also had great results and weaned off it to get pg again. After DD's birth I had horrific anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite and inability to enjoy my normal stuff (although I occasionally found things funny and marveled at DD's tiny perfection). I was concerned and made an appointment with a psychiatrist who specialized in PPD and anxiety. She told me that while my symptoms were bad and she certainly recommended immediate medication and therapy (why suffer a day longer in her opinion), since I hadn't passed the three week mark yet there was a chance that it was baby blues and that I could get better on my own.

DH and I really focused on my health - good food, lots of opportunity to sleep, homeopathy and acupuncture. By the third week I started to have good days. By the 4th week I was vastly improved. Nearly 4 mos. later I'm doing great.

According to the expert - one day over 3 weeks and it's not baby blues, it's PPD/anxiety. Time to get help. No more suffering.

Jezza, wife to T, oldmommers to E (7), A (4mos.) and three kitties
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#5 of 6 Old 10-08-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldmommers View Post

DH and I really focused on my health - good food, lots of opportunity to sleep, homeopathy and acupuncture. By the third week I started to have good days. By the 4th week I was vastly improved. Nearly 4 mos. later I'm doing great.
I would say, DO THIS as described above because it will help you whether you are within the normal range or not. If you are miserable and your life is chaotic and stressful, you deserve better and can do some things to help yourself feel better. The book "Women's Moods" talks about a self care system that involves nutrition, rest, personal time for stress relief, and exercise (I may be leaving something out). There are lots of recommendations out there for non-drug treatments that everyone can do to improve their mental state. My vote is Yes! Yes! Yes! start doing some of these things and get your dh on board to make it a priority in your family life.

The harder question is whether you should take medication. I think it depends on how badly you're functioning, if the non-drug methods work, etc.. But I think you are right to at least consider it if it helped you before.

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#6 of 6 Old 10-12-2010, 05:14 PM
 
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According to the expert - one day over 3 weeks and it's not baby blues, it's PPD/anxiety. Time to get help. No more suffering.
I would totally agree with this. I had major PPTSD and while I spiraled farther and farther into my depression, others around me thought I was just "tired" or "hormonal" but completely normal. It lasted for 16 months (I write about it in my blog) and it was pure hell for me (and my kids).

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Mom3 View Post
I would say, DO THIS as described above because it will help you whether you are within the normal range or not. If you are miserable and your life is chaotic and stressful, you deserve better and can do some things to help yourself feel better. The book "Women's Moods" talks about a self care system that involves nutrition, rest, personal time for stress relief, and exercise (I may be leaving something out). There are lots of recommendations out there for non-drug treatments that everyone can do to improve their mental state. My vote is Yes! Yes! Yes! start doing some of these things and get your dh on board to make it a priority in your family life.

The harder question is whether you should take medication. I think it depends on how badly you're functioning, if the non-drug methods work, etc.. But I think you are right to at least consider it if it helped you before.

Also agreed here. Exercise, nutrition, alone time...they are all super important to a mom and it really, really helped me. I was able to balance myself out (with the help of a homeopathic doctor) without the use of meds (I just wanted that to be my last resort). I can totally attest to the fact that PPD (and it's spectrum) is a multiple battle thing. You NEED the exercise, you NEED the proper nutrition and you NEED the alone time...but you also NEED the support of your friends and loved ones. No matter what you do, if you do not get the support you need, it will take much longer. Do not try to be "suck it up and deal supermom" (like I tried to be for 16 horrible months). Ask for help, accept the help, know that everything will be ok.

Good luck!!
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