PPD or sleep deprivation? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 10-14-2003, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know if anyone out there can help me. For background, my ds is 16 months and a bad sleeper. He wakes about 6-10 times a night, every night. He has never slept through the night since he was born. I am, therefore, sleep deprived in a big way.

For the last few months, I have been losing my temper with him, all the time. Everything he does seems to annoy me. I shout at him at least once every day, and I cry at least once every day. I don't feel like I love him as much as I used to, and I wish that I had never had children. I am very lonely at home, even though I have met other mothers in the area. My parents are living 1 1/2 hours a way, but are leaving the country in about a month, which makes me feel scared. I have thought about going back to work, but I didn't particularly enjoy work before I had my ds, and I think I would be just using it as a way of getting away from him.

Do you think I am just extremely sleep deprived, or could this be PPD? My mom has convinced me to go see my doctor this week, possibly for meds, but I really don't know. Will trying to get him to sleep through the night be more effective?
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#2 of 10 Old 10-14-2003, 12:30 PM
 
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Sleep deprivation can bring on PPD. Sounds like you are experiencing a combination of the two.

I think seeing a doctor is a good first step. The second step would be starting to get DS to sleep through the night. At 16 months, 6-10 night wakings IS a bit much. Have you read The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley? It's a great gentle way to sleep train. You might also want to consider night-weaning - this would be a good age to start. La Leche League's book, How Weaning Happens, will have some great gentle ways to encourage night-weaning.

Good luck and let us know how you're doing.
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#3 of 10 Old 10-14-2003, 02:51 PM
 
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I'd guess PPD brought on by lack of sleep. What is your current sleep arrangement? Maybe you should look into night weaning or at least cutting out a few nursings, also maybe take a few nights and sleep somewhere else (another room), and have someone else nighttime parent for a bit.

I know I need lots of sleep to function and ds was up 2-4 or more times a night, I was a miserable zombie. The key for us was me getting more sleep.

Mom to ds 9 dd 7 : and dd 3/08 : if I can I go to
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#4 of 10 Old 10-14-2003, 03:42 PM
 
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When my second was a year old he slept (or didn't sleep: ) like your child. Looking back, I can see that the PPD started then, but I didn't see it at the time. At 15 months I finally nightweaned him and was able to get about five hours of sleep a night on good nights. Unfortunately, the illness had begun. Mine manifested itself in anxiety about my health. I found a lump in my breast and was sure that I had cancer (my mom had breast cancer at age 30 so it was a reasonable fear) but that the doctors weren't taking me seriously. Turns out that I had caused the lump trying to get rid of a plugged duct and it went away on it's own in a couple months. Then I began to have heart symptoms and spent a summer being dismissed by my doctor and told I was a hypochondriac. However the symptoms were real, they just weren't caused by my heart, but rather they were a reaction coming from my brain and the anxiety.

Then my body started to give out and I couldn't eat, I had all sorts of strange symptoms that I couldn't figure out, I got so bad that I couldn't get out of bed or care for my kids anymore. At this time it was roughly a year from the time I think it all began. Finally my dh wisely took me to the ER thinking there was medically something really wrong with me, and they admitted me to the hospital for six days, diagnosing me with clinical depression. I am so thankful for the ER doctors who knew what was wrong with me as soon as I walked in the door. I don't know why that diagnosis came as such a surprise to me since my mother has had depression for as long as I can remember. It was hard since I wasn't really "depressed." I was happy with my life and had no real "issues" to deal with. Why my doctor blew me off, I'll never know. I was put on meds and given the chance to get my strength and appetite back in the hospital, and I am very thankful for those six days. I don't think I would have recovered nearly as fast if I had been put on meds and sent home. I was too sick at that point.

I highly recommend making that appointment with the doctor and getting help now. Don't do what I did and let it get that far. I shouldn't beat myself up too much, after all, I was trying to get help, I just had a loser doctor. Let us know how your appointment goes. Don't feel bad about needing meds. Depression is a brain chemistry issue. The meds taken for the appropriate time frame (typically a minimum of 6 months) help the seretonin get back on track. For me I see it as a chemical issue not a charactor flaw.

Also, as far as the night weaning goes, I simply cut out all the feedings between 11:00 and the time the sun came up. It took 3 or 4 weeks but we got there. I would still go into his room and sit with him (we didn't co-sleep at that point) and offer him a sippy cup with water, but I didn't feed him. It was hard to hear him cry, but I was with him rather than letting him cio. I sang to him, talked to him and rocked him back to sleep. Also, if he would wake up at 4:00 am for example and cried until 5:00 when the sun came up, I still made him go back to sleep again before I would nurse him. I didn't want him to think if he just cried and cried that I would give in and feed him. He didn't understand the sun coming up thing at first and I though that feeding him after crying because the sun had come up would confuse him when he would wake at 1:00 and want to be fed.

Good luck, and I hope you get the sleep you need soon.
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#5 of 10 Old 10-16-2003, 01:27 AM
 
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I agree with the others that sleep deprivation and PPD can be linked. At least in my case I know they were.

My daughter woke several times a night till I nightweaned. Not 6-10, but 3-4 average. I did it gradually and as lovingly as I could. My DH was a big help. DD wasn't thrilled to have her nighttime routine altered, but I was past the point of caring after 19 months of not getting a good night's sleep (19 months was my crash-and-burn point when I started to realize things were going to have to change for me to feel better). Not to say that this is what you have to do, but definitely do try the Pantley book for ideas. It won't solve everything the way she promises it will, but it WILL help.

My big realization over the past year of therapy, etc., is that I have to take care of myself or I can't take care of my child in an appropriate manner. I have the right to my safeguard my health and sanity, even if that means DD doesn't get something she wants. Like I said, she was unhappy when our nighttime parenting changed, but in the end we are all happier because the anger and resentment were reduced. KWIM?

Hang in there!

Carol
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#6 of 10 Old 10-17-2003, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi. I just wanted to say thank you to those of you who replied, and to let you know that I saw my doctor this morning. We had a good conversation, and he was very supportive. He suggested that I try meds, along with talking to my health visitor (people here in the UK that support new mothers and provide advice). He also said I could come back and talk to him any time I need to, just to blow off steam (we don't have to pay to see the doctor over here). I thought that was really nice of him.

He gave me some medicine called Lofepramine - I don't know what the brand name is - has anyone tried this? He said I may need to take them for up to 6 months, if they work for me. Well, I'll give it a try. I had a few good days with my ds, but I feel I am back to 'normal' (i.e. depression), so I am willing to try it. I am still feeling a little uncomfortable about taking meds, but if it can make a better mommy, I guess that's a good thing, huh?

I am going to try nightweaning as well. I think I want to start feeling a bit better first (we have all been sick with a stomach bug), but I think if I get some sleep, that will help.

Well, I'm rambling now, so I'll finish. But thanks again for your support and advice.
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#7 of 10 Old 10-18-2003, 07:50 PM
 
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Glad you got help. I can't help you offhand with the medication since I mainly know the name brands of meds, and sometime they differ from country to country.

I hope you feel better soon.
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#8 of 10 Old 10-18-2003, 08:28 PM
 
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I am glad you got help. My DD, my #1, never slept very long and never napped. I had terrible PPD and it snowballed through my subsequent pregnancies with DS #1 and DS #2...I was exhausted and wanted to die! Finally I just decided to get help.

I also rested alot when DS #3 was born ... I stayed home for six months and just rested. I never had postpartum depression with him. I also ate chocolate!

DD is 23 and is still a night owl. She does however sleep all day long.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#9 of 10 Old 10-19-2003, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again for your replies! I am really hoping that meds will work, but I think that maybe some therapy or counselling might be useful, too. I think I will explore that option.

Jish, the brand name for the meds is Gamanil, but that may still not mean much to you. I looked it up on the web, and it is a tricyclic anti-depressant. Do you know anything about them in general?
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#10 of 10 Old 10-20-2003, 01:48 PM
 
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I have to admit that I am surprised that he put you on a tricyclic antidepressant. I only know one person who is on one (she went through pregnancy and breastfed on it) and she is on it because she is one of the few poeple that the ssri's don't work for her and she becomes suicidal if not medicated. I don't have much experience with them but do know that they have more side effects than the SSRI's do, thus the reason the SSRI's are so popular now. They work in a different way than the ssri's do, but I am not versed about how they work. Perhaps I will have to do a little investigating if I have time. I'm curious about them. If you find yourself having lots of side effects, ask your doctor about ssri's.

Good luck.
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