View Full Version : questions re PPD & tx with meds/therapy
01-09-2007, 05:02 PM
I need some BTDT advice.
Briefly (yeah, right!!) - I consented for a PPD study after Lexie's birth. 5 min phone interview at 4 weeks said "maybe you are depressed." 2 hr in-person interview at 6 weeks - you qualify for the study. Neither one of us (myself or the study clinician) are sure how much of my sx are depression versus simply being overwhelmed. Hello - I have four children - the oldest is 3 1/2. One is an ex-preemie on oxygen. I am married to a resident who is hardly ever home...need I say more??!!
The study clinician (social worker, I think) encouraged me to make an appt with a Behaviorial Health Group that specializes in reproductive-aged women and their issues (PPD, fertility/infertility etc). I have been dragging my feet. Yes, I have days where I cry/scream/get angry/feel sad. I am stressed/overwhelmed/sleep-deprived and my ability to cope is largely dependent upon what kind of day my kids are having and how tired I am. I am sure I COULD benefit from some kind of counseling. Much of her concern is that I have a lot of negative feelings, and I base my feeling of self-worth largely on how well I perceive others think I am handling things, and how well I think I actually am. She thinks that counseling might help the negativity and self-worth issues. I am not suicidal. At all. I did admit to occasionally wondering if my kids/husband would be better off without me, but that is as much my passive-aggressive way of dealing with things more than any real desire to not live anymore. I have NO intention of harming mysef or my children, and I would like to think that if it ever even came close to that, I could get help first. I AM good about giving myself a self-imposed timeout when I get so angry at my kids that I start screaming. I will go into the bathroom, shut the door, and scream out loud in there. Then count to 10 (or 20, 100, whatever) until I feel calm enough to handle the situation. This started largely because I HATE screaming at my kids, and I realize the need to calm myself down before attempting to deal with them. After a phone conversation today, with her asking why I still haven't made an appt, I admitted a few things, both to myself and her. First, I am not sure I really am depressed. Second, even if I am, do I need "treatment?" I don't think I am "bad enough" for meds, and I don't think I want meds. Am I just being naive/stupid? DO I really need them? Will they make that much of a difference? Do I need therapy? Will talking to someone else about my problems make them go away? No! My 4 kids (not that they are "problems") are not going anywhere, and until Lexie and Neilia start sleeping through the night, neither is my exhaustion. WIll they give me methods to cope better? I also think that I have somewhat of a personal stigma associated with "mental illness." I have no problem telling someone else it is ok to get help. But when it comes to myself, I keep making excuses. Do I REALLY need it? Do I really want to go down that route? Do I want it in my medical records? I don't know if being a health care provider myself (and being married to one) makes it any better or worse.
Mom to Carter ~ 05.13.03
Madigan ~ 09.28.04
Natalie ~ 09.17.05 (born at 25 weeks!!)
Alexa ~ 11.03.06
01-09-2007, 05:19 PM
First of all, hugs.
I finally talked to my dr about my feelings when DS was about 16 months old. I was sure that I couldn't possibly have PPD the months after he was born, but then I realized I wasn't handling things as well as I could, and I was breaking down way too often.
I have been on Lexapro since then and it has made a world of difference for me. I too had a serious issue with a personal stigma, but I'm glad I got over it. I still have those days (and I only have one child!) but in general it is much better. I opted not to have counseling (mostly because trying to find a sitter for it would cause me too much stress!) but having gone to a counselor for most of my pregnancy I now know when I need to talk to someone or ask for help.
If you can swing it, at least give it a try - don't let the stigma issue stop you. Obviiously nothing is going to fix your exhaustion but having coping mechanisms does help.
mommy to James
01-09-2007, 06:05 PM
First, I need to tell you that I hope you accept what I have to say in the spirit in which it's intended. I'm not scolding, berating, or trying to belittle your concerns. But, I think you need to hear this.
If it will make you a better parent, which will in turn reinforce your own perception that you're 'handling' everything better, then why not?
I went through a fierce PPD after Mia. I didn't like the parent I became when I couldn't deal with my childrens' basic needs. And I could see that I was beginning to exhibit the behaviour I so resented in my own Mother. That was enough for me to go get help, as I SWORE I would do everything in my power to not replicate that pattern.
Where is your DH in all of this? I find it hard to believe that he would not be pushing you to get help that can only *benefit* your current home life.
If you're able to find effective ways to cope with the daily hardship of raising four very, very young children, one of them with ongoing serious medical issues, that in and of itself should be enough motivation to make the call.
It's going to be a LONG time before you realistically can expect things to lighten up in the child needs department. I think that you owe it to yourself, your children and your marriage to do whatever it takes - whether that's talk therapy, taking medications (and there is NOTHING wrong with that - it's no different than a diabetic requiring insulin), finding a support group, etc.
You're fortunate to be in a position where this help is available to you.
I'm not trying to be a hardass, or snarky, but Girlie, you need the help. Locking yourself in the bathroom and screaming isn't a great plan. It's not a good example for your kids, and it's not doing anything to ameliorate the situation. It makes you feel bad, it confuses the kids, and it probably freaks out your neighbours ( ;) ).
There is no weakness in asking help in learning how to handle your emotions. The weakness is in fooling yourself into thinking you can handle everything by yourself. Worrying about your medical records is an excuse, as is the not wanting to deal with the 'stigma' of a mental illness. It's not like you're a homicidal maniac. You're a young mother who realises she needs to learn effective parenting skills. Where is the stigma in that? I'd rather have that in my files than doctors' notes mentioning that I snapped and my kids are suffering because of it, and are now afraid to be alone with Mommy.
Cut yourself some slack and pick up the phone.
Again, please remember that this is just a little bit of Mommy to Mommy tough love!!
01-09-2007, 06:19 PM
What she said.
01-09-2007, 06:28 PM
You have a lot to handle so please take care of yourself.
I think you need to remember one big point in seeking couseling (i.e. therapist or other), it does not go hand in hand with medication. I think that everyone benefits from talking to someone who is a professional, and can help us work through difficult moments in life. They simply empower you with tools (the right therapist will).
I have said this many times here. 1) I have suffered from severe depression for 10+ years and have been on medication for everyday of that time; 2) I suffered from PPD w/both children DS#2 much more severly then DS#1 and w/out meds I would still be in a state of horrible depression and finally 3) therapy irrespective of my medication is the only way I have been able to change for the better. All of this said I cannot imagine where I'd be if I didn't and hadn't gotten help when I thought I needed it. You sound like you do, so take that first step. Believe me it's the hardest one after that things will get better.
My point being that there a lot of choices for you here. You can just see someone to talk to right now and leave the "should you be on meds" question for later. You can be on meds and see if they help. You can do both. I was like you with my PPD I never wanted to hurt anyone or myself. However, the severe bad feelings I had/have was/is depression.
I really hope my post was imformative at best. At the end of the day I can definitely say that you are an amazing mother, wife and person. You are not doing anything "wrong". You are needed and wanted by everyone in your personal life especially those kids. You have 4 beautiful miracles that is quite an accomplishment, reward yourself for that. Good luck!
01-09-2007, 07:50 PM
You should be overwhelmed. And tired. And cranky.
That being said, if you are depressed meds can really help you. Who cares if it is in your medical records? You have an amazing, important, tough job to do....so why not be the healthiest you can be? Do it for your children, do it for yourself. You don't have to feel the way you feel....you can feel better.
That does not mean that you will automatically feel 100% better on meds, but it will take the edge off. And don't you deserve that?
01-09-2007, 08:05 PM
I asked for your advice and you gave it. Thanks for being candid. And ok, you have a point - maybe screaming at the top of my lungs inside a locked bathroom is NOT the best parenting technique. It DOES calm me down, but I guess I never really thought about how the kids were being affected by it. I just thought it was better than screaming at them.
I guess one of the main things holding me back is I am not convinced I actually am depressed. I mean, I am not sad and crying all the time. But, yes, anger management issues are HUGE, and coping skills are definitely lacking. Will counseling help that? Will antidepressants? Do I have a neurotransmitter imbalance that will be improved with an SSRI like Paxil/lexapro, etc?? I am not opposed to meds in principle, I am just not sure if they will fix my problems - although I guess I don't know what will until I actually try it, right??
As for my husband, if I were to let him read this post tonight I guarantee the first thing he would say is "I really had no clue." I mean, sure he knows I have anger issues and often get frustrated, but I think he attributes it to just simply being overwhelmed. We STILL do not have any help with the kids (although I am in the process of interviewing two new potential sitters and I am hoping to check out a MDO program that I could take Carter and Maddie to as much as M,W,F from 9-1 if I want) and whenever I say that I am stressed/overwhelmed, he says it is my fault because I "refuse" to get help. I am not "refusing," it just is not happening as fast as either one of us would like it to.
You are right....I AM just making excuses, and I can admit that. It can't hurt to at least make an appointment and talk with someone and go from there. If I feel that it is not helping one bit, than I can just stop going.
01-09-2007, 08:13 PM
Jera, I first want to say that I and many others on this board admire & respect you for handling everything you have on your plate. You got great suggestions above, just wanted to add that therapy is really not something to be scared of. Whether or not you need meds, talking to a proffessional where you feel safe to express all your feelings, even if they aren't always so pleasant, will only free you & make you more relaxed.
I recently started therapy, no meds or depression, just 'issues'. I have learned that I often have too high standards for myself, & that my parenting/ spousal identity is very much tied up with experiences from my childhood. I am currently in a place where I never thought I could be, & I'm not done yet. Therapy is hard work, & I sometimes wonder why I bother. Then I have days like today, when I feel so free of burdens that I have been carrying around for so long, & I know it's worth every dollar & every minute.
I am a big believer in emotional energy. You need to allocate your energy reserves where they are needed, & stop wasting energy worrying about your perception of yourself & others' perception of you. Just letting go of the overwhelming feelings frees up mental space & energy to focus on other things. Depressed or not, meds or not, you are bound to have overwhelming days (before, after & during therapy, too). But if your general mindset is overwhelmed/ depressed, there is a better way. Get over the stigma. It's hard, & you may not want to tell any friends or family IRL. But it is so very worthwhile.
You are definitely strong enough to deal with this!
01-09-2007, 08:25 PM
My stress is no where near yours Jera and I am going in on Thursday.
I often wonder about many of the things that you expressed. My answer to myself about therapy is yes, talking to someone will help. I find it oddly cathartic to unload on someone I don't know. My new co-workers have had enough of me I am sure. I don't know if my medication will need changed or maintained since I'm already on something, but I recognize that I am not well and that I need help.
Good luck with whatever you decide. hugs!!
Wife to Richard
01-09-2007, 08:46 PM
Awww, Jera. I so know how you feel. It is hard and I can tell you that 99% of the time, Jonathan has no clue as to how I feel on a regular basis. Part of that is me trying to keep him from being one more person asking how I am (which, oddly, becomes intrusive when it's the person you live with day in and day out). He also becomes stressed over me not being happy, but unfortunately, that manifests itself in a way that makes him even more miserable to live with. I honestly can't handle the sighing, the handwringing, the tossing and turning. Sometimes, I think by him having a clue, it's like having to deal with one more kid.
Depression doesn't necessarily show itself through sadness and crying. It could be basic disinterest in daily stuff, anxiety, anger, short attention span, lack of patience, constant fatigue or insomnia (or both), binging or no appetite, overspending... There are many, many different ways it can affect your life - as well as those around you.
I know that I tend to have a really, really short fuse and would have never attributed that to depression. Well, guess what...
As far as SSRIs go, I've been on Zoloft (a/k/a happy cat pills) for about 2 years. They don't make me feel 'better'. They just make me feel that I can deal with the crap that happens in daily life. I'm not dancing around the house high on life by *any* stretch of the imagination. But I'm able to eek out some joy in my day to day adventures. ;)
Part of speaking with a therapist should definitely address your apprehension about taking meds, your concern over the stigma of seeking mental help, etc. Perhaps squeezing a half hour alone - OUT OF THE HOUSE - even if it's sitting in the car, and making a list of what you would like your life to be like might help. I'm not talking the about the desire to win the next HGTV Dream House and a free for all spending spree at Neiman Marcus. I'm talking about the ability to take a shower, pee uninterrupted, go grocery shopping without a minimum of two kids hanging off of your body like new appendages, etc.
So, make the call. Talk to the therapist specifically about your fears and hesitancy about going into counselling. If nothing else, you can say you tried.
01-09-2007, 08:47 PM
It really really is okay to ask for help. Somehow, you have to believe that. It doesn't in any way take away from the incredible strength that have. I don't believe that I, personally, would have done nearly as well at keeping it together if I had been in your shoes. And that's with mental health training. Education, knowledge, instinct--these things do not make any of us immune from being overwhelmed or depressed.
It seems to me like you are expending a lot of energy trying to figure out if you meet criteria for clinical depression. It's okay NOT to be able to figure that out yourself. That's what therapists are here for. You can take some time with the right therapist to fully flush out what's going on. You don't need a formal diagnosis to benefit from therapy. Most anyone under stress (which you certainly are) could benefit from support. Maybe you could re-frame what seeking help from a counselor/therapist means--you could try looking at it as help sorting out what you need to make your life easier and what the barriers are to seeking those things. A therapist is your guide and part of your support system.
If you wind up deciding together that talk therapy is not enough, medications are an option. But you definitely don't have to figure that all out now.
So, please make the call. You have nothing in the world to be ashamed of! You've done nothing so terrible and much to be very very proud of.
We're rooting for you, Jera. For your babies, your family, and YOU.
01-09-2007, 09:02 PM
Jera, you ask if we think therapy/meds will help even if you don't think you have ppd. Where you are right now, things are clearly not working for you. While screaming inside a bathroom is better than screaming at your kids, it shouldn't be what you need to do to get through the day. If you are able to go to a good counselor/therapist, he or she will help you figure out the balance of meds and therapy that will work for you, whether or not you have PPD. Clearly, there are many issues at work for you, and meds and therapy won't solve them all, but making an effort to get some help is a step in the right direction.
You haven't really mentioned DH, other than to say that he's not around. I come from a medical family, and work at an academic medical center so I do understand his role as a resident. But he's got 4 kids under 4, including a preemie, and he needs to take a huge role in whatever steps you take next. At the very least, he needs to find it in your budget to get you some help around the house *every single day*, whether it's someone who's helping with the kids, or someone whose sole function is to cook and clean. If he needs to eat ramen breakfast lunch and dinner, and ride his bike to work to make it happen, then that's what he needs to do.
I think *anyone* would be overwhelmend in your situation. There is no shame in asking for help, and find out how to be a better parent.
mom to Max the one year old
and my girl in heaven
My depression experience was pre-Payton. I was able to make an appointment with a therapist, go a couple times, realize with him that I needed meds, take them while I continued therapy, and then discontinue both when I was ready. Meds aren't a hard & fast requirement, but a tool you should consider with your doc as part of an overall plan.
Jera, I would make an appointment & go. A friend and I joke that "everyone needs a little therapy" and I honestly believe it's true. Reading between the lines, I think the fact that you're asking the question shows you're looking for a little push, and we're happy to give it to you.
01-09-2007, 09:29 PM
My, you do have a lot to handle! When you ask "am I really depressed", well that's something a more in-depth interview with a clinician could address. I think when you actually are in it, it's hard to tell yourself. Some of the things you mentioned: neg feelings, basing self-worth on how others perceive you, etc. are risk factors for developing depression and can be treated specifically with cog-behavioral thearpy (just as effective or moreso than meds in some cases), making a person more resilient in the face of stressors. So, even if you aren't clinically depressed, it might be worth taking some time for youself to work on those things. Sometimes people wait until it's sooo bad to get help, that they are virtually on the edge of no return, at that point they don't have the time/patience to wait the 2+ weeks for an antidepressant to start working, or worse, to try a few to find the right one. If you had cancer, you would want to catch it in the early stages, not when you were so bad off that you couldn't even function b/c you were afraid of the stigma of seeking tx? Not saying this is you, but I've seen it too many times. I think it doesn't hurt to go in for an eval and you could ask all of these questions there. HTH!
01-09-2007, 09:47 PM
you totally crack me up. Will the "happy cat pills" make me as witty as you?? Forget about the Dream House...I would settle for ANYTHING bigger than our 2bed, 1bath 800sq ft salt box, and yes, peeing without all 5 of us crammed into the tiny bathroom would be nice, as would showering just ONCE without someone ending up in the tub with their clothes still on. In fact, bathing in general more than once a week would be ideal!! And grocery shopping with only TWO kids with be a dream!!!
Mom to Carter ~ 05.13.03
Madigan ~ 09.28.04
Natalie ~ 09.17.05 (born at 25 weeks!!)
Alexa ~ 11.03.06
01-09-2007, 10:03 PM
Anger is DEFINITELY a possible symptom of untreated depression. I've had fights with people close to me that I only rarely, if ever, fought with before, and later found out that it was due to their being depressed, and not under the right care.
Will the drugs work? Maybe. Unfortunately, it can take time to find the right one, the right dose, and/or the right mix. But, the bright side is that when you do find the right mix, your entire world is changed -- for the better. (I have yet to find someone who has found the right dosing who has been anything but thrilled with the result -- and I've had multiple friends and family go through this...)
01-09-2007, 10:11 PM
hmmmm...my "thank you" post got lost in cyberspace somewhere.
YOu all are so right, and thank you for giving me the "push" I apparently needed. I have a phone number and I will call tomorrow. No more excuses.
Thank you for letting me know it IS okay to get help. I have issues with that on so many levels. I am JUST now coming to terms with that fact that I DO need help taking care of the kids, if not daily, pretty darn near close to it (like Ry pointed out). I have been trying to convince myself that God gave me these children, and it is
MY duty to take care of them and the household as well, because as a "stay-at-home-mother" that is my job. I did not think I could justify a maid or MDO/day care or any other things like that because that meant I was shirking MY responsibilities. Reading the post about your daily schedules made me realize that some of you utilize MDO programs or other ways to give yourselves a break, so if you can do it, I can too. DH does try and help when he is around, and he has said he will do whatever is necessary to pay for additional help for me. He has been picking up extra moonlighting shifts (a double-edged sword because yes it is more money for us, but it means less time with him, which is important for all of us too). There is an end in sight. He finishes his fellowship in July and should be making more than enough money to support us AND pay for help. Also, by then, Lexie will be older and I would like to go back to work a few days a month. I think that too would go a long way towards helping my self-esteem, and give me a break from the kids so I do appreciate the time I have with them.
ok. I need to do a quick tidy and make DH's lunch, and then get to bed myself since everyone else is finally asleep.
Thank you all (again) for your help. I truely do not know what I would do without this community!!
01-09-2007, 10:44 PM
I can't imagine facing even half of the trials you have faced without reaching out for a little help! Please try to take a step back and look at your life with fresh eyes, look at yourself as you would look at a friend telling you the story of your life, as if it were hers. Wouldn't you urge her to talk to someone? Try a prescription if a professional evaluated and suggested it? And I guarantee you would not think less of another woman for getting whatever help she could, from childcare/MDO to counseling, to cope with so much going on.
Stop being unfair to yourself. God sent angels to help you -- don't ignore them.
>I guess one of the main things holding me back is I am not
>convinced I actually am depressed. I mean, I am not sad and
>crying all the time. But, yes, anger management issues are
>HUGE, and coping skills are definitely lacking. Will
>counseling help that? Will antidepressants? Do I have a
>neurotransmitter imbalance that will be improved with an SSRI
>like Paxil/lexapro, etc?? I am not opposed to meds in
>principle, I am just not sure if they will fix my problems -
>although I guess I don't know what will until I actually try
It took me a year after DD was born to realize that anger IS in fact a symptom of depression. I was not sad. I was not crying. In fact, I don't think I cried more than 2-3 times in her whole first year. That is not normal (for me). I chose to go on anti-depressant as my first line of defense, but I could have benefitted from counseling as well (it was a matter of finding time to go that threw me). I started coping with things much better when I started the meds.
Go, Jera. You should grab every resource you can. I was overwhelmed with 2 kids under 3, let alone 4 kids under 4. I think I will be overwhelmed with 3 kids under 5 in a few months, but I also know that I am not waiting until I've been pissed off for my DC#3's entire first year to feel normal again. Neither should you.
01-10-2007, 12:52 AM
To answer your question anger is definitely a symptom. It was/is one of my big symptoms. So in order of your questions here are my answers.
Yes counseling will help that. Antidepressants can help that and is what really helps me. SSRI's are generally used in these cases. I hope this answers your questions. I think that you really need to find a counselor you need someone to talk to in the very least.
01-10-2007, 02:01 AM
yeah-what they said.
hang in there.
01-10-2007, 06:24 AM
I only have a second and would like to come back to this thread later but felt I wanted to quickly tell you my experiences, professionally, with anger. Anger is an easier emotion to tolerate than grief and sadness. I have noticed it is very often present in the women that I treat with depression. Many never admit to feeling depressed but that anger is right there spilling out all over them. Angry? Why? There are so many reasons. Loss of autonomy, loss of oneself and one's independence, feelings of being overwhelmed, anger at onesself for feelings of inadequacy-"I should be able to handle this, why can't I?" Loss of intimacy with partner because we all know the kids come first. There are so many sources for potential anger. Many of them are losses that need to be mourned, many of them are things that maybe with some coping skills can be worked out. A different method of putting the kids to bed. Asking someone else for a relief night, etc.
Then of course there is the sleep deprivation. Any newly PP mother knows why they use sleep deprivation tactics as a form of torture-because it works. It makes you feel crazy. I will add more about this later.
Jera-hugs to you. Get yourself to a therapist. What would be the harm if you went for a couple of weeks and gave it a try? At the very least it would give you and hour a week to get out of the house and be with yourself.
01-10-2007, 08:38 AM
>I only have a second and would like to come back to this
>thread later but felt I wanted to quickly tell you my
>experiences, professionally, with anger. Anger is an easier
>emotion to tolerate than grief and sadness. I have noticed it
>is very often present in the women that I treat with
>depression. Many never admit to feeling depressed but that
>anger is right there spilling out all over them. Angry? Why?
>There are so many reasons. Loss of autonomy, loss of oneself
>and one's independence, feelings of being overwhelmed, anger
>at onesself for feelings of inadequacy-"I should be able to
>handle this, why can't I?" Loss of intimacy with partner
>because we all know the kids come first. There are so many
>sources for potential anger. Many of them are losses that need
>to be mourned, many of them are things that maybe with some
>coping skills can be worked out. A different method of putting
>the kids to bed. Asking someone else for a relief night, etc.
>Then of course there is the sleep deprivation. Any newly PP
>mother knows why they use sleep deprivation tactics as a form
>of torture-because it works. It makes you feel crazy.
Wow. Well, that's exactly how I feel. I'm totally angry. And sad, and slightly paranoid. Really. I am working on it.
Jera, sister. BIG, BIG hugs to you. Go get help. I know how it is. There is nothing wrong with it. There's no shame in it. People who get help aren't crazy, they are SMART.
How awesome would it be to get out of the house for an hour and sit down and talk to someone who only wants to hear about you and your feelings? I mean really, what a release, what a respite. If you need meds you take meds. My mom's on medication for high blood pressure, I'm on medication for my issue. Different things, but the same reason. To maintain and stay healthy. Not a damn thing wrong with that.
01-10-2007, 08:53 AM
>Loss of autonomy,
I had to come back and say how huge this is for me. To be honest this literally drives me crazy. Like I love my kids. Really, I LOVE MY KIDS. But OMG I can't do a damn thing without thinking of three other people first. I hate that I can't just go do me and what I want. I have to talk to my husband about it. I have two small people I have to take care of. I want to make one freakin' decision of my own and take some control, but I'm not in control the way I was before I had kids. As much as I am lucky to have them and how my heart hurts when I look at them because they are so beautiful, and that I would die for them, I will totally admit to feeling like this. A lot.
01-10-2007, 09:59 AM
I know I'm coming to this late and I'm glad to see you are going to call and make an appointment! I just want to say that I don't know a single person who regrets talking to a professional about possible depression. Not a single person!
Also, I can tell you from my own experience that you don't have to be sad to be depressed. Depression is a combination of symptoms, one of which may be sadness. That was the sticking point for me, too, and why it took me so long to talk to my doctor. I could have saved myself months and months of sleeplessness, not thinking clearly, screwed up eating, etc if I had just gone sooner.
mama to my cutie pie, Avery
01-10-2007, 10:31 AM
"I guess one of the main things holding me back is I am not convinced I actually am depressed. I mean, I am not sad and crying all the time. But, yes, anger management issues are HUGE, and coping skills are definitely lacking. Will counseling help that? Will antidepressants? Do I have a neurotransmitter imbalance that will be improved with an SSRI like Paxil/lexapro, etc?? I am not opposed to meds in principle, I am just not sure if they will fix my problems - although I guess I don't know what will until I actually try it, right??"
This is exactly what I was going to tell you. You aren't sure, so go look into the situation and find out. I was extremely overwhelmed after DS was born, and having had anxiety issues in the past, I had some major anxiety shortly after he was born. Then I was living with my in-laws, which stressed me out, but I felt Ok until about a year later when something triggered a horrible, horrible bout of anxiety and I was forced to take medication for it. I was afraid to before that. Luckily (if you could call it that), my mom and brother went through the same thing with anxiety, so I didn't feel as much of a stigma, but my husband didn't want me taking medication. It's hard for someone who isn't going through it to understand.
But I digress. I realized after going on the medication that I was probably mildly depressed for some time. I no longer snap at my husband over stupid things, and I no longer feel overwhelmed when my husband is working long hours (which is all the time). I used to get so angry at him for silly things, and I always felt overwhelmed. I thought it was just being a new parent and having a husband who worked a lot. It was deeper then that.
I think you owe it to yourself and your family to look into this. Hugs! Hang in there, and don't feel down on yourself or feel there's a stigma attached to this. What's most important is getting yourself better.
01-10-2007, 03:35 PM
Ditto what everyone has said. Great advice and experiences in these women. Huge hugs for you!!!
I suffered from ppd and many many yrs of depression too. It's just the way my brain chemistry is. Meds have helped me tremendously. So has trying to keep a positive and grateful attitude. I've also felt like you do in many of the ways you've described. When i'm in the middle of it, i totally cannot see clearly at all. One day thing are going well, the next i can't imagine anyone really loves me. So early help is very important.
I have 1 child and i have help every afternoon. Granted I have a physical disability (along w/ the depression) but still. I think ANYONE w/ 4 kids under 3 1/2, let alone 1 w/ health issues, would need some help, if not full time. And that does not make you any less of a mom or homemaker. In fact, it makes you a better one b/c you can be emotionally available to your children. And that's what they'll remember most.
...wait...you make dh's lunch too? ugh
01-10-2007, 05:51 PM
Exactly! And so on target about taking meds, too. There is no shame in taking meds for diabetes or high blood pressure, and there is no shame in taking meds for chemical imbalances that are messing with your head. But it is a huge shame to have to live with those issues, and have them beating you down every day.
You don't deserve those feelings. No one deserves those feelings. But the thing about feelings? They got nuthin' to do with smarts. You can't out-think emotions. They don't speak the same languages and they don't live in the same time-zones.
Help is out there! I really urge every person who reads this hread and sees a little of themselves in any of it to *please* take action. You deserve better. And better is not nearly as far away or as much work as you think it is. But you have to get to the other side to see what a short trip it is.
01-10-2007, 11:14 PM
Thank you all for your advice. I really wanted to talk things over wiht DH before I make an appt. Unfortunately he did not get home until after 7 tonight and went right to bed after he ate and put the kids down. Our insurance just changed as of Jan 1, and whereas before I think counseling would have been covered, it now appears that I can have 20 outpt "mental health" visits with a $40/visit copay. YIKES!!! Add to that the $12+/hour for a babysitter, we might need a second mortgage on our house. OK - not really, but maybe there are some cheaper alternatives. I am going to check with our church and see if they have any suggestions. Maybe Catholic Charities has some counselors available. I think getting the kids out of the house a few days a week will go a long way towards helping my sanity too. I left a message for the research coordinator (this has all come about becuase I agreed to participate in a PPD f/u study after I delivered Lexi) and she said that I may be able to talk with one of their counselors over the phone...not sure if that would work or not, but I am willing to try. I promise to keep you updated.
Mom to Carter ~ 05.13.03
Madigan ~ 09.28.04
Natalie ~ 09.17.05 (born at 25 weeks!!)
Alexa ~ 11.03.06
01-11-2007, 09:58 AM
Not sure where you live, but several places I've worked were designated "community mental health centers". That means if you are in their "catchment area" (live in the area covered by that center, you are eligible sliding scale MH services based on income. Many of the people I saw were charged nothing b/c they didn't make much (this includes students). I would call you local hospital psychiatry dept and ask if you are in their catchment area. Also, you may try your husband's school's student counseling services. It's possible they may offer services to spouses (you'd have to check), or they may have other suggestions. HTH
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