Two things that really helped me - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 49 Old 05-14-2008, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For some out there, PPD truly requires medicine but for others like me, it just required a shift in my perception to transcend it. By no means am I truly enlightened (just by my username you can tell that) or even at a level where nothing gets to me, but I did not get PPD w/ds2 even though I easily could have and I felt moved to post how this came to be.

Doing "The Work" of Byron Katie: I went to a facilitator but maybe her book would be just as helpful; it shows you that no matter what you think, the opposite is always true, which provided a springboard for ...
Reading "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle: would have never thought to pick up this book had it not been on Oprah, but it shows you not to identify with the thoughts running through your head (this is your ego), that every situation has two layers: the situation itself, which is always just neutral, and your judgment of it (or rather your ego's), and probably the most important thing I learned: Life will always give you whatever experience is necessary for the evolution of your consciousness.

Hope this helps someone.
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#2 of 49 Old 05-15-2008, 10:26 AM
 
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That's wonderful and I am so glad that worked for you.

HOWEVER

PPD is characterized by an inability to think coherently, so the books above would be great, I guess, for someone once they are medicated, but I know from my experience that they would have been NO help to me when I was in the throes of my depression. Now that I am recovered, though, I may plan on reading them.

I just don't want to run the risk of someone reading this and thinking, "oh, why couldn't I have been helped without meds, by a book, or just by thinking more positively?" That kind of talk is what leads to depression in the first place, and could make someone feel much worse if they are already feeling bad.

But I'm sure they are good books to read, nonetheless...

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#3 of 49 Old 05-15-2008, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do realize there are some cases of PPD and other mental illness that require immediate medical treatment, that's why I said that in the first place, BUT there are many times the case is the person can benefit from a shift in their perception, and this has nothing to do with positive thinking, which definitely does not work. It has to do with the THINKING period. It was non-stop gloom and doom and fighting the spouse and feeling like a victim when I had PPD. OK, obviously, if one is in the throes delusion like thinking your baby is evil and wanting to harm ones' child, then some other intervention is necessary. But for most, it is precisely a shift in perception that many need in order to get better. "The Work" is firstly a modality and secondly a book. The first time you go to a facilitator, you will feel better.
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#4 of 49 Old 05-15-2008, 12:47 PM
 
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I wasn't even talking about thoughts like hurting baby, etc. It doesn't sound like what you had was actually PPD, but it certainly could have been... I wonder if you could describe your symptoms?

Typically, women with PPD are having such a hard time functioning that they could not do much work without meds, which is what I was saying. Certainlt in mild cases what you describe could work.

NAK, sorry for typos.

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#5 of 49 Old 05-15-2008, 12:51 PM
 
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I just checked out the website for Byron Katie, and although I do think the work could be helpful for someone with SITUATIONAL depression, I don't think it would do much for actual ppd, which is medical in nature. But great job to you for doing what worked in your situation!!

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#6 of 49 Old 05-15-2008, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. I won't debate you on the true nature of PPD, just hope that some people will confront their depression and see if they are grasping on to some voice inside their head and believing in what it's saying. What would happen if you just honor the negative emotions inside you body without believing %100 in your mind telling you why they are there? Those sources that I mentioned in the OP will help to clarify.
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#7 of 49 Old 05-16-2008, 02:27 AM
 
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I have to agree with mom0810. what you are saying is sounding a lot like the snap yourself out of it comments a lot of women with PPD hear. it's not that easy with many cases of PPD. Post partum mood disorders can also be fairly complex and need multiple methods of treatment. i had/have PPD, PPOCD, and PPanxiety and have had to take meds, do therapy, and other methods to deal with it. it's not just as easy as shifting my perceptions.

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#8 of 49 Old 05-16-2008, 02:33 AM
 
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I'm so glad those things worked for you. I think that can be key on the journey to wellness. I needed a chemical to help me, though. I took St. John's Wort, and it did get me the place where readings helped me along. Also, I left my son's father, and that was key for me.
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#9 of 49 Old 05-16-2008, 07:45 AM
 
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I think the OP is talking about CBT-based books. There is evidence that CBT can, in fact, change brain chemistry as well as meds in some individuals. With milder and/ or gradual-onset cases of PPD, especially, that sort of retraining can take the place of meds. Likewise with postpartum anxiety, which is what I have.
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#10 of 49 Old 05-16-2008, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have to agree with mom0810. what you are saying is sounding a lot like the snap yourself out of it comments a lot of women with PPD hear. it's not that easy with many cases of PPD. Post partum mood disorders can also be fairly complex and need multiple methods of treatment. i had/have PPD, PPOCD, and PPanxiety and have had to take meds, do therapy, and other methods to deal with it. it's not just as easy as shifting my perceptions.
I'm just going to leave it at this: what I advocated goes deeper than "just snap out of it" or "think positive." It explains the true cause of all human suffering.Yes, the way I explained it was maybe too simplistic and doesn't sound like it could help someone really in trouble. You can't get into details in a post about the nature of the ego and how it always leads to suffering. People used to tell me to just snap out of it, to choose to be happy--of course that made things worse. You can't deal with a problem on the same level of thought that created it, another words, grappling with all the ego-created problems (and they are ego-created) as if they really are true. And I was trying to change myself from the standpoint that all my problems really were true. It requires going above our mundane existence to a higher level of seeing reality for what it really is.
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#11 of 49 Old 05-16-2008, 11:14 AM
 
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None of the above is possible when you are in PPD. Or any kind of depression, really. It's great as a way of thinking, as a way to see the world, etc. But will never work for someone in the throes of depression. Again, so glad is has value, but it is not the answer for so many of us who have suffered and needed medication. When your brain is not working, no amount of perception is going to change that until you get your brain working properly.

Best wishes.

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#12 of 49 Old 05-16-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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None of the above is possible when you are in PPD. Or any kind of depression, really. It's great as a way of thinking, as a way to see the world, etc. But will never work for someone in the throes of depression. Again, so glad is has value, but it is not the answer for so many of us who have suffered and needed medication. When your brain is not working, no amount of perception is going to change that until you get your brain working properly.

Best wishes.
I agree completely.

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#13 of 49 Old 05-19-2008, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just have to add two things here, even though I really wanted to leave this thread alone.
I began this thread to help, not put some devisive thought into the head of someone suffering from PPD that they don't need to get help, they just have to read a book. No, take you meds by all means, seek therapy too if you can afford it. But consider this: Both Byron Katie and Eckhart Tolle were severly depressed for years, both to the point of suicide when they had their awakenings. At the heart of any depression is some verbalized or unverbalized thought or belief system. Can't get out of bed? There is some unspoken thought there. OCD? There is a belief there. What would happen when you start to turn inward and look for those thoughts?
Just a suggestion if you have the finances and a way for someone to look after you LO and get out of the house for 2 hours: find a Work facilitator in your area http://www.thework.com/facilitators.asp. (If you can't find a local person, google "The Work of Byron Katie" + your area. My facilitator wasn't even listed on the website.)
Take the thought that is troubling you the most. It can be anything. If you can't, that's OK too. The facilitator will find it for you. I bet you that within that first session, you will start to let go.
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#14 of 49 Old 05-19-2008, 04:55 PM
 
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But PPD isn't about a thought that is troubling you. Often, you don't even KNOW something is bothering you. That's the whole point. It's a mental illness that comes from hormonal PHYSICAL changes. Not from a thought or thoughts that are troubling a person, although those kinds of things can come later.

I totally agree that there are some kinds of depression that can be helped this way. Just not PPD. Not in the way that many here have experienced it.

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#15 of 49 Old 05-19-2008, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As I see here on the boards, there is a broad spectrum of PPD
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#16 of 49 Old 05-19-2008, 06:54 PM
 
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Yes, there is a broad spectrum of all kinds of depression. But I think you are not understanding what PPD really is. i did ask you before what your symptoms were, to try and get an idea of what your depression was like. But you never answered. So it's hard to say what was really going on.

I think those that have experienced a true physical depression know that the BODY is doing things just as much as the mind. This is the case with PPD, more often than not. Thoughts, regardless of how powerful, can never eradicate PPD or any other severe depression.

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#17 of 49 Old 05-19-2008, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mom0810, you've made it a crusade to underline the fact that PPD is hormonal. In most cases, I'm not disagreeing. I said in the first line of the first post that there are some that truly need meds, but for someone like me, something else worked. What were my symptoms? Feeling like I had been run over by a steamroller, traumatized and feeling like I was surrounded in darkness. I went to a mood center for women at a large hospital. You'd think someplace that caters to womens mood disorders could distinguish hormonal from situational PPD. The woman whom I went to every week was not only a counselor but also a holistic midwife. She counseled me on changing my outlook on a practical level (like just relax a bit about things not going right) gave me the same questionairre that is posted here on this board to determine if I had PPD, and after I answered the questions, she said OK, it sounds like you do have some PPD going on there. She asked me do you want to give the vitamins and supplements a try or do you want to go straight to the medication? I said the natural way of course. So she wrote out a how much cod liver oil to take, what kind of B-vitamin to go buy, and even the names of some Bachs Flower Remedies. After two weeks, I told her they weren't having any effect so she spoke to the psychiatrist at the center and they put me on Zoloft. The Zoloft made me suicidal, so they switched me to Paxil. I was on Paxil for 8 months before I myself made the determination that I should stop. I told them and they said since I had already made up my mind, there's nothing more they had to say to me.
So maybe I did have situational depression, but who is differentiating out there in the world of healthcare providers? I don't hear of many. You know your body best. If you feel like it's betraying you, then maybe it's time for some chemical intervention. But I feel that in the realm of depression, even here on MDC, the spiritual component has been ignored. And I don't mean spiritual as in religion. I mean spiritual from a scientific aspect. Does that sound paradoxical? It isn't. You are not this body. You are the stillness underneath that is aware of what is happening inside of you.
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#18 of 49 Old 05-20-2008, 01:13 AM
 
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Just wanted to give some support to the OP - Thank you for sharing what worked for you.

I had PPD with all three of my children and never went the medication route. There is a huge spectrum for depression - and many, many ways out of it. I don't talk very much about my depression because I have come across more than one person who believes (and feels the need to convince me) that there is no way I could have been suffering from true depression if I got through it without medication. I know differently.
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#19 of 49 Old 05-20-2008, 01:33 AM
 
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I think the OP is talking about CBT-based books. There is evidence that CBT can, in fact, change brain chemistry as well as meds in some individuals. With milder and/ or gradual-onset cases of PPD, especially, that sort of retraining can take the place of meds. Likewise with postpartum anxiety, which is what I have.
: I had postpartum anxiety and depression... it was mild compared to the hell some women experience, but it was enough to make that the worst year in my life. I didn't get meds, because where I was at on the spectrum, just realizing that I had PPD was the beginning of the way out.

Maybe it was situational... I don't know. It was SO tied in with the postpartum following my second child that I honestly can't say. But either way, I think The Work would have been invaluable for me then. I wouldn't hesitate to consider meds if other things didn't work. But that's not the best option for all women. Just like herbs or The Work wouldn't be the best option for others, kwim? I'm no expert but it's so individual IMO.

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#20 of 49 Old 05-20-2008, 11:59 AM
 
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I wrote a long reply to this and my 2 yo pressed a button and erased it. So I will try again.

I am by no means trying to say that meds are the only way out. No way. What I DO want to get across is the fact that because of the nature of this forum, many of the women here are already afraid of meds and only interested in natural ways of fighting depression. Which is great. I am all for that, and tried it myself before medication. And many of the women here have done, as well. But the problem is that by the nature of PPD, the decision to take medication can come with a lot of guilt. Or at the very least, a lot of fear and reservation and self doubt.

What I am concerned with is people seeing this thread and thinking , "oh, it's MY fault. My thoughts are to blame. All I have to do is this work and then I'm fixed." It's a slippery slope. Because the nature of PPD is to blame yourself for feeling the way you are, anyway. If you say to someone that it is their thoughts that are causing the trouble, or their own perception of the world around them... it's very very harmful in a case of severe depression or PPD or PTSD following childbirth.

Your symptoms, with all respect, did not sound like PPD in the way I am thinking of. You may have had some depression, but the fact that and ssri made you suicidal tells me, obviously, that it was not the right medication for you. Also, sadly, not all therapists (not many of them, actually) are able to recognize true PPD. If you read anything by Shoshanna Bennet, you will find that only IF a therapist has a true interest in researching PPD will they have any extended knowledge of it. It is not something that is just automatically taught, other than being glossed over.

I saw a therapist for a year who misdiagnosed me as just having anxiety, for example. It was not until I found an expert in the field that I was able to be properly diagnosed.

For so many, PPD Is physical, as well. Headaches, backaches, inability to sleep or eat... these are the identifiers for me that prove it is physical. In my case, once I started meds, my back stopped hurting. Serotonin lives everywhere in the body and affects so many of the body's processes.

Again, PPD can look like situational depression and vice versa. Obviously in your case, you could have been misdiagnosed with PPD, and I think you were. Of course that is unfortunate but it does happen ALL the time. I think that probably what they were doing is erring on the side of caution, which is what they SHOULD do in a case of possible PPD.

I'm saying that if "the work" was enough for you, then what you had, in hindsight, probably was NOT PPD.

BUT I AM GLAD IT WORKED FOR YOU.

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#21 of 49 Old 05-20-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing your story. I recently read Byron Katie's "I Need Your Love; Is That True?" and found it to be wonderful. It's inspiring that the books you read and the work you did had such profound effects on your life.

I think that with things like PPD and PTSD there is no one answer. I know people who were helped through by meds and others who were helped by different methods. For me, finding the right classical homeopath and the right homeopathic remedy was invaluable to curing PTSD after my first birth.
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#22 of 49 Old 05-21-2008, 12:17 AM
 
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The Work couldn't be further from positive thinking and the like. I do think it can help the right kind of person find a way out of PPD. Now, I haven't had PPD (should I say "yet"?, I'm still pregnant), but I've had depression and anxiety and The Work was actually recommended personally to me by a psychologist and a psychiatrist that were leading a therapy group on meditation for depression that I was attending. And it worked for me.

I understand the risks of someone holding out to get help thinking they should fix it on their own through books and whatnot, but at the same time, there's also risk of, IMO, trusting that medication is the only way for everyone. I think it's encomiable that the OP would share her journey, especially since it's less known than other usual PPD options. And as with everything else, there's no true one size fits all solution.

Still, what I've found is that solutions such as meditation, self-hypnosis and The Work work a lot better when you're not "on the edge" yet. For people like me who when they have anxiety one of the most impossible things it seems to be asking for help (especially calling to make an appointment, and then going! and knowing it's there every week; I have to be really on a deep end to resort to that), it works because I can do something sooner, and if it's not enough, it makes it much, much easier to contact a therapist before I spiraled down too far. And oftentimes it turns out to be enough on its own for me.
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#23 of 49 Old 05-21-2008, 11:43 AM
 
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That's great, and I am all for alternative therapies. My whole point is that I do not want moms who go on meds to feel like they have failed in some way because they did not have success with the work or any other method of dealing with depression.

There is a tendency to be judgmental toward women who go on meds, and that stigma needs to go away. In the view of everyone, not just the woman on the meds.

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#24 of 49 Old 05-21-2008, 04:01 PM
 
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That's great, and I am all for alternative therapies. My whole point is that I do not want moms who go on meds to feel like they have failed in some way because they did not have success with the work or any other method of dealing with depression.

There is a tendency to be judgmental toward women who go on meds, and that stigma needs to go away. In the view of everyone, not just the woman on the meds.
mom0810, thank you so much for all of your great posts on this forum.

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#25 of 49 Old 05-22-2008, 07:16 PM
 
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That's great, and I am all for alternative therapies. My whole point is that I do not want moms who go on meds to feel like they have failed in some way because they did not have success with the work or any other method of dealing with depression.

There is a tendency to be judgmental toward women who go on meds, and that stigma needs to go away. In the view of everyone, not just the woman on the meds.
Thank you mom0810 i really appreciate your posts. you seem to really understand where i was coming from.

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#26 of 49 Old 05-28-2008, 06:04 PM
 
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That's great, and I am all for alternative therapies. My whole point is that I do not want moms who go on meds to feel like they have failed in some way because they did not have success with the work or any other method of dealing with depression.

There is a tendency to be judgmental toward women who go on meds, and that stigma needs to go away. In the view of everyone, not just the woman on the meds.
From me too----THANK YOU for caring enough to post here and get a crucial point across. I lost my best friend to PPD suicide in Jan 2003 after she was told by her church rep that she needed to try harder to use natural/alternative methods to alleviate her depression rather than "resort to meds". She went off the celexa she'd been prescribed that had been starting to help her, and two weeks later took her own life. In the twisted thinking of PPD, mothers like my dearest friend secretly reach the conclusion that their children would be better off without them.
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#27 of 49 Old 05-28-2008, 07:41 PM
 
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From me too----THANK YOU for caring enough to post here and get a crucial point across. I lost my best friend to PPD suicide in Jan 2003 after she was told by her church rep that she needed to try harder to use natural/alternative methods to alleviate her depression rather than "resort to meds". She went off the celexa she'd been prescribed that had been starting to help her, and two weeks later took her own life. In the twisted thinking of PPD, mothers like my dearest friend secretly reach the conclusion that their children would be better off without them.
That's so sad. If her meds were working it's awful someone would try to discourage her from taking them. Sorry for you, your friend and her family.

One of the reasons I am reluctant to suggest meds (or take them) is similar to your story. In my immediate circle of friends and family I know of one attempted suicide and two actual suicides that occurred and were pretty clearly from antidepressants. I know that in at least two of the situations the doctor prescribed meds but didn't really do counseling...which I think is not all that uncommon.

So meds can be literally lifesaving but they can have risks as well. But having/getting rid of PPD or depression in general is pretty clearly NOT a question of just "trying harder".
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#28 of 49 Old 05-28-2008, 07:47 PM
 
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The reason that suicides are associated with meds are that once the meds begin working, the person has more drive and if they were already suicidal, it gives them the energy to go through with it. That's why someone starting meds needs a lot of therapy in the first weeks/months. They want to follow up with you. But they won't make someone who is not already suicidal start thinking that way all of a sudden.

Depressed people sometimes contemplate suicide. So the meds may look to be to blame, but actually are not. It's like saying that because someone wearing a blue shirt fell down that blue shirts make people fall down. It's just not true.

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#29 of 49 Old 05-28-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mom0810 View Post
The reason that suicides are associated with meds are that once the meds begin working, the person has more drive and if they were already suicidal, it gives them the energy to go through with it. That's why someone starting meds needs a lot of therapy in the first weeks/months. They want to follow up with you. But they won't make someone who is not already suicidal start thinking that way all of a sudden.

Depressed people sometimes contemplate suicide. So the meds may look to be to blame, but actually are not. It's like saying that because someone wearing a blue shirt fell down that blue shirts make people fall down. It's just not true.
Actually at least one of the people in question never had suicidal ideation until she was on the meds. One of the others was only mildly depressed from a life situation change. So it seems to me from these personal experiences and from reading that the meds can alter brain chemistry to the point of suicide.

As you say though, therapy in the first months is absolutely crucial nd was not provided in these instances.
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#30 of 49 Old 05-28-2008, 09:31 PM
 
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From me too----THANK YOU for caring enough to post here and get a crucial point across. I lost my best friend to PPD suicide in Jan 2003 after she was told by her church rep that she needed to try harder to use natural/alternative methods to alleviate her depression rather than "resort to meds". She went off the celexa she'd been prescribed that had been starting to help her, and two weeks later took her own life. In the twisted thinking of PPD, mothers like my dearest friend secretly reach the conclusion that their children would be better off without them.
I'm so sorry for your loss. Her poor children...

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