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#1 of 8 Old 10-30-2003, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just had my 3rd baby on August 6th. PPD every time. This time I am functional, the house is clean, dinner is cooked and the laundry is done. I keep thinking I can trick myself into not being depressed. If it looks like I have it together, maybe I really will. Its not working. I feel like crap.

These are the problems:

I have uncontrolable negative thoughts that feed off of each other and build and build until I am having a minor panic attack.

I am so tired, but can't really fall asleep (bedtime is a big time for the negative thought cycle)

I am finding major comfort in food. But I am already bigger than I like, so while I eat, it feels good, after, it feels worse.

I feel very overwhelmed at all I have to do. I have a 4yo, 2yo, 3mo. My 2yo is quite needy, and is still really a baby. He doesn't talk, he screams,I have to guess.

I had a very scary birth. My baby was sick and had to be flown out to the nearest NICU for 5 days. I avoided an emergency c-section by about 2 seconds. All that is a whole 'nother story! We had to leave out older 2 with my parents. I had never left my little boy before, so that was very hard.

We moved the day after we came home from the NICU. (But, to a bigger, better house, so that wan't all bad!)

I am walking around in a fog. I feel like nothing I do will ever be good enough. I feel like I am failing my children. Meds aren't really an option. I just read the thread about magnesium, any other advice? Suggestion? Seriously, if it sounds like I am just a whinner, tell me, but if it sounds like PPD, I will try anything to get control of what is happening in my head.

I have support, friends, help, and a Dh who understands (but is never home) Is this PPD or am I just a big old crybaby?
Sorry, this is long and dreary. I need help. Thanks for reading all this!
G
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#2 of 8 Old 10-30-2003, 06:50 PM
 
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G-Dawg, first let me offer you a big {{{hug}}}. Then let me say that I felt exhausted just READING about all that had happened to your family in the last couple of months!!!

You are NOT a crybaby. You are having a hard time, and I can't think of a single person on this earth who would not be given all that you've been through recently, with 3 young children.

Two things you said stuck out when I read your post: the first was that you've had PPD with your other two births, and the second was your next to last sentence: "I need help." It sounds like you already know the answers to your questions. PPD can present itself in many ways. Just because you can keep your housework up (which btw, most of my mom friends with zero PPD cannot stay on top of!) doesn't mean you aren't having a really tough time and in need of help. Since you've been through PPD before, you probably have a good idea of where to start looking for support.

Just curious, you mentioned meds not being an option. I don't want to pry, but is that because you are breastfeeding? You probably already know this, but if not, there are anti-depressants that are classified as "safe while breastfeeding." While not an ideal situation, these can be worth it for moms who do not get better using other approaches. If nothing else you could wait till your baby is older before before taking meds (should you need them, I'm not saying you do). I haven't tried magnesium, but it sounds interesting. I tried upping my vitamins including tons of B vit's, extra zinc, extra calcium, homeopathy, St. John's Wort, etc. Unfortunately nothing, including more free time and months of counseling, worked till I started taking an anti-depressant. I was pretty functional and had others convinced I was fine and dandy, but I was so miserable inside. I hate to think of anyone else feeling that way because I know how crummy it is.

Take care,
Carol
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#3 of 8 Old 10-30-2003, 07:45 PM
 
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Have you checked out Postpartum Support International??

Here is the link:

http://www.postpartum.net/

There is an excellent Self Assessment test that help you get an idea of what is going on.


Please definitely let us know how you are!
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#4 of 8 Old 10-31-2003, 02:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oh wow. I followed the link and took the assesment. I got a 73 I knew I was unhappy, but... I don't know. I feel like I should do something.

Ellasmom-I appreciate you reply. I thought i had people fooled, but today I ran into an old friend and she asked how I was and she looked very concerned. She questioned that I was "fine"

About the meds thing. Dh was a drug rep for Celexa for a year and "wants to try other options first" so I am looking for other options. We are more into herbs and diet to fix health. I don't want to insult people who are on anti-depressants, thats not what I mean. At this point, I am thinking about them, but I don't have insurance, or a Dr that I even trust.

I don't know what to do. I don't feel like toughing it out this time. What if it gets worse? I feel like a fool pouring out my soul online. I have IRL friends. Why is there such a huge stigma to this? It has to be a common thing. Anyways, it is late and I am rambling. I am just blown away by my assesment results, and how many of the red statements I checked "all the time". Scary crap. Thanks for the support.
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#5 of 8 Old 10-31-2003, 06:37 PM
 
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I thought it might be of help to post my experience. I am a former nurse. I saw & heard the drug reps all the time!

I also have been the patient. I had a doctor prescribe Elavil for me as a "muscle relaxant". It relaxed me all right! I was unable to function. I stopped taking it immediately. I then looked it up & learned that it was a psych drug.

These experiences (among others) helped cultivate my very negative attitude toward taking medications.



My first pregnancy; I thought I was going crazy from 22 weeks on. I struggled through severe anxiety attacks whenever the sun went down & uninformed medical staff that just mentally patted me on the head. In retrospect; I realize that I suffered from PPD too. My babe was 7 lbs 1 oz & was/is petite.

In my second pregnancy; it started all over again right at 22 weeks. But this time I knew that I was losing it! I could not lay down in bed at night without waking up & feeling scared to death. I tried to sleep during the day. My condition got progressively worse until I could not sleep at all. I went without sleep for 4 days. My midwife had no idea what to do to help me. I went to a Naturopath out of desperation. He gave me a herbal remedy to take. It helped slightly. When I checked in with my midwife 4 days later; I found out that 2 of the ingredients could cause me to abort!

I barely got by taking Valerian to help me get a bit of sleep. It was hell. It made my experience in my first pregnancy seem like nothing. I kept telling myself that everything would get better when the baby was born. Well; I went 2 weeks overdue & after I finally gave birth I spiralled downward even further. I held out for 2 weeks before breaking down & calling Postpartum Support International. That morning I told my husband that I just wanted to die. I could not stop crying. I dug out an old issue of Mothering & read an article on PPD. I realized I was suffering from passive suicidal thoughts.

The woman that runs PPSI (Jane)talked to me for at least an hour until she convinced me to go see a doctor immeadiately. Two hours later I was waiting for the doctor to come into the exam room. I felt as if I could crawl out of my skin. I was so agitated that I could not hold still. I definitely freaked out the office staff. I started on Zoloft that day. It was a miracle. I do not use that term lightly. I still had to have someone had to stay with me at all times for the next two weeks but I felt human again after just two doses. ( I took one that day at 5 PM & again the next morning.) BTW; this babe was 8 lbs 15 oz. He has always been a big boy.

I wanted very much to have another child. But I did not want to go into another pregnancy uninformed. I had already been in an UCLA study on Breastfeeding & Antidepressants right after my second baby was born. The results comforted me greatly. But there just was not much info on pregnancy & SSRI's. I started doing library periodical searches & found some studies on it. These studies were done on women that "just happened to be taking SSRI's while pregnant." I was able to get info from UCLA & my pharmacy on the latest "findings". I read an excellent book entitled "When Words Are Not Enough" I can not tell you how much I learned about myself & my condition from this book!

I decided to continue taking my Zoloft through the next pregnancy at the lowest dose that I could get away with. It was amazing.. Even though I threw up throughout the entire pregnancy; it was the first time I experienced a wonderful pregnancy. All the stuff I had read & heard about how good women felt when pregnant now made sense! I had been convinced that it was all B.S. This babe was 9 lbs. & had no problems.

I am still awed by how different it can be. I am now going to wrap up this tome I have written.

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#6 of 8 Old 10-31-2003, 07:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by G-Dawg
About the meds thing. Dh was a drug rep for Celexa for a year and "wants to try other options first" so I am looking for other options. We are more into herbs and diet to fix health. I don't want to insult people who are on anti-depressants, thats not what I mean. At this point, I am thinking about them, but I don't have insurance, or a Dr that I even trust.

I don't know what to do. I don't feel like toughing it out this time. What if it gets worse? I feel like a fool pouring out my soul online. I have IRL friends. Why is there such a huge stigma to this? It has to be a common thing. Anyways, it is late and I am rambling. I am just blown away by my assesment results, and how many of the red statements I checked "all the time". Scary crap. Thanks for the support.
I wanted to address this part of your post.

-About your husband wanting to try other options... geez this is the third time this has happened. Would he be against a trial period of something like Zoloft? My hubby was completely amazed (understatement) at the difference it made. We did not have insurance. I called a GP that I had seen before & he told me not to worry about the money, just come in now . We worked out payment later (cost $75). He gave me all his sample packs of Zoloft.


Why can't you talk to people IRL about this? Well, besides the stigma; they will be of no help unless they have been there! Would you consider calling PSI?
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#7 of 8 Old 11-01-2003, 02:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Today was a better day. That is the wierd thing this time, I will have a horrible, horrible day or two in a row. I'll be ready to call the Dr. Then the next will be fine. It makes it more confusing.

gilnikche- I really appreciate you posts. Sounds like you had a horrible time! I admire you for having more children. I don't know, maybe I will have to take it a day at a time and do the best I can on the bad days. It is so odd how it comes and goes. Thank you so much for your support and your posts, and thank you for sharing your story. This is such a difficult thing. Lately I have been thinking that millons of women have babies, why is this so hard for me?

Hopefully tomorrow will be a good one!
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#8 of 8 Old 11-01-2003, 09:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by G-Dawg
Lately I have been thinking that millons of women have babies, why is this so hard for me?
G-Dawg, I have asked myself the same question so many times. The answer is that there is no answer, given our current knowledge about depression and motherhood. Just as we aren't exactly sure why some people are predisposed to diabetes or heart disease regardless of lifestyle, we don't know why some people are predisposed to depression or PPD. What I do know is that we (at least in the US) live in a culture that isn't very supportive of parenting, especially of AP parenting or parenting from the heart. In this day and age, it is rare to have women around helping and sharing and commiserating many hours of the day. Combine wanting to parent from the heart with the isolation of being expected to be able to do so very much on your own day in and day out, and it's really little wonder that it feels so hard.

Don't be 100% certain that it is so much easier for other people. We are programmed to put on a brave face from infancy on, and this especially goes for moms. We are not supposed to tire, not supposed to get cranky, and above all, we are absolutely not supposed to complain about the very real challenges of motherhood. After all, we chose to have kids and many of us chose to stay home. So as long as we are procreating and getting a "free ride" off our husbands, we are never, ever, supposed to gripe or dislike parts of our job. Of course, anyone who works outside the home or does DIY work around the house or anything else can complain, but somehow we're supposed to see every tantrum as a gift from the heavens. Given this environment and the competition that often subtly exists amongst women, I think we all pretend to be way more OK than we really are at times.

I understand what you mean by feeling the ups and downs and being confused. I remember several times thinking I ought to start therapy but then would have 1 good day and hopefully think, oh yay, maybe things are looking up now. What finally made me realize how bad things were was when I took a look at my comparative "ups" and realized how low they were compared to how good I used to feel. It came to a head went on a long vacation where I didn't have to cook or clean for over a week, had my husband's help 24X7, and still didn't feel good inside. You may not be anywhere near that point, but realize that it is normal to have ups and downs. Even on Lexapro, I have ups and downs, and am assured this is perfectly normal.

There is nothing wrong with pursuing non-drug treatment if that is what you want to do and you don't feel the situation is dire (but do make sure it's your decision and not just your husband's). I did that for a year before starting meds. In retrospect perhaps I was a little overly anti-drugs, but at least I am totally certain that I tried every other avenue. Plus, it is wonderful because I have many other things I can do for myself that improve life, and I will be able to use these skills to hopefully help myself start gradually weaning off Lexapro in a few months. And of course, you can do all those same things while on anti-depressants, but I'm sometimes lackadaisical about doing good things for myself, and so might have let the Lexapro "do the work" for me if I'd started there and it had worked.

Let us know how things are going!

Carol
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