I wish I could make a long story short, but I don't know how to. :)
I have many children, and never knew I was suffering from PPD / PPanxiety and OCD until the feelings had already passed years later and I had a respite. Now I'm postpartum again and they are back, to a different degree.
The things I suffered were anything from paranoia to intrusive thoughts, constant panic and worry, and depression like I never could have imagined. I felt very detached, very low and very, very tired. I could have slept the days away and often did. I lost all joy and emotion except a very bothersome "flat" feeling.
This time, it struck postpartum but was almost entirely an anxiety - I was afraid every little tingle, twinge or tiredness meant that I was dying. I was always at doctors and the ER - certainly I had cancer. Or a blood clot. Or MS. Or anything else. My mind could not and would not rest. I woke up in the morning being nearly unable to breathe I was so overcome with anxiety....and that anxiety eventually gave way to depression. My WORST symptom now is a general feeling of anxiety, constant dizziness (like I'm drunk), tiredness, and loss of joy in life. I feel like there is always something terrible waiting to happen.
That all said, my hormones are out of whack - they've been tested. My neurotransmitters have been tested, too - I am too high in all things "excitatory" and too low in all things calming, like serotonin, dopamine and GABA.
So I've been trying to take care of this naturally - 5-HTP, GABA, etc. The problem is, I don't think it's working, at least not long term. I will have one very good week and then crash the next and be right back where I was with the depression and anxiety.
I suspect a thyroid issue which is being worked on - the ONLY time I've ever had relief from these symptoms was over a year ago when my thyroid meds were raised with this last pregnancy. ALL depression and worry lifted. It was a miracle. So I still suspect thyroid, as does my doctor.
HOWEVER, I am becoming impatient. It's been 11 months. Would you, if you were me, keep plodding ahead? Or would you give up and get on meds already? Because living like this is wearisome and frustrating.
Thanks for any help you can offer. :)
I cannot tell you what to do but I can tell you what I have done. I have been chronically depressed for atleast fifteen years and refused meds for eleven of that- I gave in and went on the lightest dose possible and it works for me most the time. If you don't like how medication makes you feel you can go off. My mother was sick my whole life and I urge you to consider the quality of life for your children. I wish my mom had chosen to try everything possible, she eventually killed herself instead. Having an overload of the types of hormones you have can also be a symtom of PTSD. Love yourself, love your children and decide what is best for you. I admire you, your quest for health and your desire to get better. GOOD LUCK!!!
I'm as hippie-dippy as it gets and think Big Pharma deserves to have its butt kicked by General Zod.
But, I've also had anxiety that was impacting my life. I went to the doctor, got some pills, and it was like magic.
It's not always like magic. I think depression is harder to treat than anxiety. I personally have a theory that depression has underlying physical causes most of the time. But anyway, I encourage you to see your doctor and at least give medication a shot. If it's not working for you, you can choose to stop - but I just can't see any reason not to try it at least.
Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.
I wouldn't think twice about a trial medication. You have done everything right and are still suffering. I would encourage you to make a phone call and give something a shot. You can always go off of it if you are uncomfortable or feel like it's not working. 11 months is a terribly long time to feel like this...shoot, 11 days is a long time to feel terrible.
I think it's awesome that you ruled out other factors and took natural steps to try and alleviate your difficulties.
I sometimes like to remind people that depression and anxiety are conditions that sometimes require medication. Ditto diabetes, heart disease, etc. Our society is way quick to judge depression as a character flaw. It's not.
There are nutritional and behavioral approaches like yoga that might give you some relief, but it sounds like you have feelings that transcend natural remedies.
Good luck and feel free to PM.
I got tired of my signature, but I still love my children and husband and miss my little brother.
I believe that a lot of people's depression is caused by outside stressful events that become internalized that then affect the body. Common causes such as a death in the family, a divorce, a loss of a job, financial difficulties and just life in general.
I have suffered in much the same way that you have since having my daughter almost three years ago now. I am not big on medications with all of their side effects that seem just as bad as the problem itself. I went to a woman who practices acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. She was an Obstetric Nurse Practitioner for 20 years before she started practicing chinese medicine. She put me on an herb called Xao Yao Wan and it worked very well for me. In fact I recently discovered just how well when I ran out of the medication and didn't get any more for over a week. I completely fell apart. As much as I hate the fact that this doesn't seem to be a CURE I figure at least I am not on some of the stronger Western meds that can harm you in other ways. Please let me know what you find out about your thyroid. Our symptoms have been so similar that I wonder if I should look into that as a cause for my anxiety and depression.
In addition to what you're doing naturally have you tried therapy sessions. In some cases therapy along with medication can create a harmonious balance that will allow you to regain your equilibrium. While I haven't suffered from PPD, this was the solution that finally helped a friend of mine. She found that being able to go and see a therapist was key in her recovery as the person she was seeing had a dedicated time to talk to her each week and it forced her to get out of the house. Whatever you do, just don't give up.