I didn't want to do anything, couldn't go anywhere without feeling anxious, lost, freaked out. I would over stress when the house wasn't clean and go through a manic time, just panicking over what needed to be done. If I just got the house clean, I would be okay. But with four older kids, it just got ugly sometimes. Some days, all I did was plan how to get out of there.
I doubled my antidepressant dosage and was okay for a few days, but it still didn't do much for me. I had some very dedicated friends who helped me get through all of it (and a dedicated husband). I felt like everything rested on my shoulders and it seemed like no one was there to help.
People would say, "Oh, get an hour to yourself" and I would think "an hour? I need a lifetime!!". An hour never seemed like enough. I was miserable.
Things got better as DS got older and he grew out of his reflux days. But, still, I find myself, even two years later, sometimes reverting back into the "i don't want to talk to anyone or do anything. just leave me alone" thought process. When that happens, I have to push myself to get out and do things.
You are in a tough time, and I have complete empathy for you. I have been there. My twins are now almost six years old. Twins are demanding, crazy and loveable.
Just letting you know I am thinking of you.
|For me personally, meds are not an option but I don't think it is wrong at all for other mamas to take them.|
I appreciate that you don't want to take meds. Though I used meds for a LONG time to get through my struggle I eventually stopped taking them and lo and behold that is when I got better. I found someone who literally trained me to get control of my anxiety and the OCD I was dealing with (intrusive thoughts and also depersonalization).
My PPD began 4 months after I gave birth. Just a few days after I began menstruating again. I also got the great new gift of migraine headaches (with the aura and nausea).
One thing I remember doing to get me through the difficult times is keeping a journal and writing the most when I felt normal and sane. Like you, I had moments of normalcy. I clung to those moments when I would feel horrible. I'd always journal how I felt (bad and good) but when I felt bad and I would refer to my good journal notes to remind myself that there is a light at the end of the dark tunnel. I knew there was hope and that someday I would be fine.
I'm happy to reveal that I didn't have any PPD with my 2nd child.
I'm afraid to see someone to be honest. It's like I don't want that on my record somewhere. I have this horrible fear that it'll come back to haunt me. For example. the other day my DD hurt HERSELF by ACCIDENT and I was thinking, what if someone thought I did that?! They take one look at my history of PPD and boom. It's just all so scary. I feel like I can't win. I'm drowning in my PPD, yet I'm terrified to seek help.
Mama to : '05, '08, '10 and expecting our 3rd January '13
It sucks you had to deal with a rude counselor. Do you think it would be better if your DH called for you? That way you wouldn't have to confront anyone yourself.
I am really against credit card debt but even if you found a counselor who is not necessarily covered by your insurance and saw her/him one time. Maybe that counselor could help point you in the direction of someone who may do some probono work to help you out. And literally just having that first session was where I unloaded the most important things that by saying them outloud actually helped me to regain my sanity. Keep, keep looking for a counselor. I know how easy it is to get stuck in the PPD rut where you literally have a hard time moving, literally from the very spot you sat down on, but you need to and deserve to get the help that you need. s
It does get better and there will be days when you have your life back again. Having a young baby/child let alone twins is a lot of sheer work and physical exhaustion let alone mental exhaustion. One thing that I discovered for me is that sleep is like my anti-depressant drug. I had to learn how to peacefully part ways with attachment parenting in this one area. I had to find a solution to help me get 3-4 hour stretches of sleep. Now that ds#2 is 2 1/2 and he started to sleep a full night's sleep (4 mo.s ago) I feel like a new woman. We've had some other life changes as well like a new job for dh that we actually see him and he is home to help at dinner time/bed time, more sunshine and regular excercise and oh...much better nutrition (which has helped my whole family's health). It is possible to overcome PPD without meds (I don't want to offend anyone here by saying that, so please don't take offense, I do want to offer hope for anyone who is trying). Keep on going, one day, one moment at a time. Oh, one other thing that has helped....when I am getting into an out of control moment, walking away or even letting it happen but then very shortly afterwards apologizing and talking to my child about it so that they know that I do still love them and mommy is having a "hard time." I feel the most depressed when I feel that I am a failure as a mother. When I can short circuit that cycle by taking charge of myself by counteracting it I feel much better.
I remember one night I couldn't sleep, and I walked across our loft to check on Henry because I was just restless, and I was just so tired, not in the sleepy sense, but in a weary, exhausted of feeling so badly, kind of way, that I just lay down on the floor in my robe. I was just lying there forever, staring at the wall, and I pictured all the pills we had in the house, and thought to myself, completely dispassionately and clinically, that "doing it" that way would be the least traumatic for DH and the baby. It was such a sense of relief, knowing that they would be better off without me. That, yes, it would be hard without me, but it was harder WITH me.
I thank God that I at least had the education and wherewithall to realize logically that having that thought was a problem, and I needed to get help immediately. I called my therapist the next day, and was on meds within a week. Personally, I was so scared by my suicidal thoughts that I knew that I didn't have time to try to explore anything herbal or nontraditional. I was on Zoloft for about 1 1/2 years, and weaned off of the antidepressants late last year.
I'm just hoping and praying that I won't experience anything like that with this baby, and the good news is that we now live minutes away from family, and I have a great support system in place, with people who know what I went through and who are on alert to help me monitor myself in case I show any erratic or depressive behavior. Hopefully my drama queen mother won't mistake pure exhaustion from sleeplessness for depression. This time, if I do run into a PPD problem, I'm looking forward to exploring alternatives to meds, especially since we will catch it so much earlier, should it happen again.
Lots of hugs to all the mothers posting here, and I look forward to sharing stories and advice and thoughts and receiving the same.
I'm always looking for ways to help myself, but I'm thinking I may have to get on meds this time. Obviously, I'm going to have to go back to the psychiatrist!
I had definite OCD tendencies and did not go on medication. Now that I am better I see that my medication decision was coming from that OCD, but at the same time, I'm glad I got through without it. It's just too bad it took two years to find the amino acid therapy. You can google "Gale Force" "amino acid" depression and motheringdotcommune to find some of my posts about that therapy if you are interested.
Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.
I can totally relate about not wanting PPD on your health record. I know kids always have accidents, get bumps and bruises, etc. What if they seriously got hurt and had to go to the ER, (accidently of course) and the accident was investigated for abuse (all serious injuries are), and then PPD shows up on your record? Its not being paranoid. I don't want to loose my baby for something I am innocent of doing. I had some PPP for the first month or so, but did not seek help. I called dh at work to come and care for dd when I started having some thoughts that I am too ashamed to discuss. I knew I was not safe to be alone at times. DH understood, thankfully. I am past the PPP, but still have PPD.
I think a lot comes from my dd not nursing. I really wanted to bf, I educated myself all about bfing, took a class, I was ready! DD had some minor issues at birth and it never really happened for us. (she got nipple preference and completely rejected my breast after 3 months) I saw two LC's (and talked to several others) and it didn't help any. I do have a great milk supply, so I am able to EP for her and she still gets my milk. But I am missing out on the whole bonding thing that I hear so much about. I really hate pumping. (Pumping as I type) I don't like being chained to my pump, and trying to entertain dd while I pump. I don't like to shorten outings due to my pump schedule... What hurts the most is that I feel like she rejects ME, not just breastfeeding. I feel like she doesn't want ME for her mommy.
I am done rambling now. :
My son is almost 2 and I am off Effexor/Xanax/Sleeping pills ect....The Diet Cure and The Mood Cure helped me a lot!I take 5-HTP and GABA relaxation formula by Now Naturals everyday for about 2.5 months that I have been off meds. I also changed my diet and added animal foods back in with more fats and proteins throughout the day. The books said that since I have low-fat low-calorie dieted (since age 10) then I probably have a depleted brain and body. Hopefully in a few more months my defiencies will be taken care of and I can also stop the amino acid supplements, but we will see.
I feel mostly healed of PPD, though not completely, especially if I get stressed. There is a lot happening in our life this month (moving ect) and I had a hard time relaxing/sleeping/ and had a generalized physical feeling of anxiousness. I could still cope and function...I just did not feel very happy.
I went to counseling at our church for my anxiety issues (We had no $ for a MFT) and we came to the conclusion that my whole life I have felt overly responsible for things and had BIG trust issues. (My mother life drama/anger problems and I was taking care of her and then when my dad left I was the oldest and mothered my siblings when my mother had to go get a job.There are other things, but that is not the point). I think the counseling helped in the way that I needed to learn that I was only responsible for certain things to a point and then I just have to trust God and others to do their part after that.
I have also learned that I have an "idealist" personality. Realzing that I cannot help everyone and that I need to watch less news has helped too.
I also don't like having PPP/PPD on my record. I was 51/50 by the state when I went to the emergency room because I could not get a Dr.s appt fast enough. (51/50:That means that the state can evaluate your mental status for 72 hours and decide to keep you institutionalized for longer than that.I was released after about 50 hours) I had to call poison control last week because I thought ds ate laundry detergent. She asked all this identifying information and I thought she was going to call the police or something. Last year when I was on meds we had to take ds to the emergency room because we thought he might need stiches. I was afraid then too.
If anyone needs support please feel free to PM me. Going through PPD/PPP alone is the scariest thing of all. I am praying for all of you here because I know PPD is horrible.
<>< Mama to DS, DD, and a new baby girl 4/1!
Ciserosum-If you think you have PPP, get help/tell your dp right away. I am glad that the supplement is giving you some relief. Getting PPP under control sooner is always better. s
<>< Mama to DS, DD, and a new baby girl 4/1!
I read up a lot on Weston A. Price's research about the benefits of nutrient dense whole foods(raw milk, raw butter, free-range eggs, grass fed meats, bone broths) and I started taking cod liver oil. Not only have my depression and anxiety bouts been decreasing in frequency and severity, but physically I am feeling better too. Even as a teenager I had pain throughout my body and joints and I think all these years my body was just starved of nutrients. I am abstaining from sugar as much as possible(this took weeks, I had withdrawals and I've never been much of a sweet eater!) and processed grains.
I'm not saying this kind of diet is for every person, but I am becoming so much healthier than I have ever been....hoping to be fully functional one of these days. Hang in there mom, you are going to find what works for you - just keep talking about it and trying things that work with your lifestyle.
Amy mama to Emily & Ben
I had very severe PPD with my DD but it was short lived -- I think like 3-4 months or so and I was feeling human again. It was really bad, I couldn't function, but with it only lasting 3-4 months it sort of blended in with her infancy so I don't remember it being so pervasive.
So, with DS - I expected to get PPD because of what happened with DD and I was ready for it. That actually helped me in the beginning because with DD I didn't see it coming and I was a disaster in the beginning. With DS - I was like - Ah HA -- PPD again, I can get through this, I did it before, I can do it again. So, I felt horrible, but I also felt confident that I could overcome. Right? So 3 months go by, 6 months go by, 9 months go by...etc etc. etc....
I feel like this is pretty severe. I don't know about post partum pschosis because I never had that diagnosis, but I am terrified to share some of my thoughts with the doctor, so who knows. I can honestly say that I never have had any thoughts about harming my own children, but I did have suicidal ideation ALOT. That was very scary for me, because my logical side knew that that was ridiculous, but I couldn't stop thinking those thoughts. Then I would even feel worse because i would convince myself I was a horrible mother for having thoughts about harming myself and taking my children's mother away from them. The suicidal ideation has lessened over the past 6 months (thanks goodness). DS is 22 months and I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I never expected it to last this long. I am having alot of good days, but when I have bad days, I feel HORRIBLE because I feel like this should be over.
So then yesterday, my (what I thought was) best friend has severed ties with me because I am "selfish and a negative person" I am so devastated. It was really hard to get through yesterday. I have been so proud of myself that I have made such great strides over the past few months and that was just a huge blow. I am so hurt and upset and devesated and so many words I can't describe. Yesterday I just wanted to throw up. Her email to me made me physically ill. What a great friend huh? She told me that I needed an attitude adjustment.
Also, I desperately want to have a 3rd child but I am terrified to even consider getting pregnant again because I can't imagine going through this again. So, I feel like I am sort of mourning the third child that I can't have becuase I can't imagine having another one and doing this again for 1-2 years of my life. Maybe I'll have to adopt a child.
Ok, thanks for listening. Really, at 22 months, alot of days are good, but I still have bad days, and yesterday was hideous.
Amy mama to Emily & Ben
Some of your problems sound like OCD to me ~ I had pp OCD but my thoughts were actually on harming my child, it was the most horrifying time in my life b/c iI knew I wouldn't do it but the fact that I was thinking these things?? I would ask myself how am I any different than Andrea Yeats, how did I know I wouldnt' do these things, what if I "lost it?!", what's WRONG with me was my most comon please ...Oh it was awful ~ after reading half a dozen books I camed across a section in Women's Moods that talks about postpartum OCD and thought THAT'S ME THAT'S ME THAT'S ME!! I felt SO RELIEVED to read what what I had was pp OCD, that I wasn't alone and that it was quite common. I'm not sold on her solution (med's) for me b/c I was starting to feel soo much better ~ I'm now reading a book called The diet Cure by Julia Ross and it talks about amnio acids and how what ones we lack and what our minds will do ~ it mentions ocd too. I have found a lot of hope and comfort in that.
Anyhow I just thought I'd share my story ~ I hope things get better for you, were here for you!!
I can also relate to your feeling of desperatley wanting another child, but the paralizing fear that accompanies that knowing that you may have ppd again. I went through that too and it made my ppd even worse I think, I was also told that I have an antibody in my blood making my pregnancy high risk ~ for awhile I couldn't even look at pregnant women w/out physically hurting b/c I thought I'd never have that beuatiful bump again, or feel my baby kick again, or to give birth again .... That's when I started educating myself desperate for answers and now I'm not affraid b/c I know there are things that can be done and that I'll be okay, and that should we really go for #5 the event both during and after is something to look forward to, not fear.
I didn't want to live and I felt this way for the first year. I had thoughts and plans for killing my baby and myself - but I just couldn't do it.
I think the illness lasted about 5 years - hard to say as I have chronic low to medium grade chronic depression. But this severe depression is a completely different monster.
I deeply sympathise with anyone with severe and/or psychotic depression. I know that hell and I am so determined never to go there again that I have had my tubes tied.
There is light at the end of the tunnel - if you don't kill yourself, the depression eventually dissolves. Hang in there, and try to think positive. There is always hope, even when we feel hopeless.
I also experienced it after two miscarriages. Then when my middle child was born I got pregnant when he was only four months old, so needless to say, I spent my last pregnancy in total severe PPD.
Meds didn't help me in the end. I needed counseling, but didn't have the time...I felt guilty for asking anyone to help me and I did want to die. I didn't want to kill myself, but I didn't mind if it happened.
Please everyone, don't do what I did...find someone and talk to them. I wish that I had. And even today, a year after the birth of my youngest (and I am still BFing) I experience some depression, however not as severe as just a few months ago. I have suffered, my marriage has suffered and hopefully I'm on the up swing! And not having anymore children because of it...
Hugs to you all. PPD/PPP and bi-polar all suck, big time.
Although we are online friends we *do* want to hear and you can rant and rave and tell us how it does suck right now and we won't go away. I'm sorry that your friend said that, she obviously just doesn't understand right now.
Part of a healing step for me was to tell the few friends that were semi-open or that I had obligations to (doing service together, playgroups, etc) that I had PPD so they could be more understanding of why I wasn't fulfilling my obligations very well right now. That helped me just to say it outloud. It will get better just know that.