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i'm struggling with a difficult decision and need your help, mamas. i know i have had PPD, took wellbutrin for it (i diagnosed myself, really--i had had depression before and had some wellbutrin refills left over from before the birth; it did seem to help)...and a psychiatrist recently kind of diagnosed me with PTSD (she says she is pretty sure i have it)...which i'm not sure i REALLY have, but i know i have some symptoms of it.

long story short, i had a very traumatic birth. absolutely horrible. i was feeling better recently until i started back to school, and even with the new stress, i felt okay until i stopped being able to sleep. i am even taking various Rx drugs to sleep and they aren't really helping me consistently, hence why i am awake.

i am trying acupuncture, and an MDC mama (kindermama) has told me of a homeopathic remedy (which i can't do with acupuncture, so i haven't tried it yet--had already planned to start acupuncture so i'm doing that first). i also get regular chiropractic adjustments and take supplements. but i am still not sleeping normally at all.

so question is, should i take the semester off? would it help to focus on getting better, or would taking time off just make me focus on the birth and my recovery so much that i would obsess over it, kwim? i want to do whatever will help me sleep, whatever will help me get well and ENJOY being a mother (which has been a struggle for me the whole time)--financially it's better for us if i'm in school, since i'm paid to be there (grad fellowship), but i've worked it through with the administrators, and they can fix it so that i continue getting part of my money this term even if i don't teach. they are very sympathetic to what i'm going through, thankfully.

DH and i can make it short-term without the money i would lose. he thinks i should get some counseling, whatever i decide to do about school. he is supportive of my taking time off, or not taking time off. he is just generally wanting me to feel better, and i think he's tired of my low-grade breakdown, if that makes sense.

i want to decide soon if i'm going to take time off, because if i do take time off, it would be best to start NOW versus quitting the semester in november...

so how do i know if taking time off will help me or not? any insight? i posted on the WOHM/student sub-forum too, but i really think PPD mamas might be more help on this issue. it's not a question of professional ramifications; i don't care about that right now. i want to get well.

i enjoy teaching, but at the same time, it is a stressor. i'm also teaching a course i have no desire to teach. still, if i were sleeping, i would probably not be considering quitting, but i'm not sleeping, so that never helps.

thanks for listening to me. i am open to any suggestions.
 

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i guess my question is--do you have things to fill your time if you take the semester off? i would not take it off if you're just going to be sitting around the house with the baby all day. that is not a recipe for anything good with ppd.

can you do things with dc? look for a support group? see a good therapist who knows about ppd (varies depending on where you are in the country)?

honestly, my biggest step in feeling better was getting a job. it was very part time and i brought dd, but feeling needed and part of society was the final kicker after therapy, group support, paxil, herbals treatments, and a lot of travel to be with my parents for support when dh was excessively busy with school. it brought some normalcy to life. we just moved and i'm taking a year to apply to grad programs and try to get off paxil so i can think about baby #2, and it is really challenging to not have that work anymore.

however, if you have enough of a community and things to do to fill your time and keep you from worrying and self medicating at home, i'd go for the time off. is there any way you can just reduce your workload?

i hope that helps. and definitely think about seeing a doc about getting on some meds if they helped, plus maybe a sleep aid for a few weeks to get yourself back on track. i'd definitely pay attention to that ptsd diagnosis too. that is so common with traumatic births.

i hope you're feeling more like yourself soon. i hope this helps!
 

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What do you feel in your gut - if you get a resounding chorus here of "take the semester off" are you going to feel relieved, or stressed by that?

Is there any way you could take off from work, but negotiate to go back early if you find that being off was the wrong decision?

Good luck.
 
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