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So low and depressed - desperate

(25 Posts)
ChairmanWow Thu 07-Mar-13 10:27:48

Hi Gingerbread. Not a great deal to add to some of the brilliant advice you've had. I really agree with Sparkly about bonding. It's hard even with a straightforward pregnancy to bond with a baby that is still growing and developing. I think women are put under huge pressure during pregnancy to feel and behave in certain ways - the whole 'glowing' thing. Nobody tells you that pregnancy can be one of the most worrying times of your life. But looking at a positive side to the worry about your baby, you wouldn't feel that way if you didn't care.

Bonding is an organic process. Some women are lucky enough to get that 'whoosh', many find their love for their child builds gradually as they get to know it. You'll provide everything that child needs, including love, in your own time and your own way.

Try not to be hard on yourself. Hope the GP is helpful thanks

coupleswithtroublesTHERAPIST Thu 07-Mar-13 03:55:19

When pregnant your hormones are going to play massive brain games with you.
That you got depressed from it doesn't mean that you've failed.

It's just how you and your body are responding to the hormones.
It might be that you already feel better by now. It might be that you still feel bad.

Everyone responds differently to a pregnancy and on every pregnancy you'll respond differently.

The bad thing about a depression is that the more you think about it the worse it'll become.
Try to understand that things are not as bad or life is not as dangerous as you might think at the moment. It's the hormones that trick you into thinking and feeling this way.

But how to live with it?
I work with people who suffer from a depression.

A DAILY ROUTINE will help. The corner stones of your routine are:
Your meal times, being pregnant it's good to eat small amounts of food around every 3 hours of the day.

Don't go into heavy sports. Around 15 - 30 min of low intensity sport every day might make you feel better.
Exercise will trick your body into producing 'happy' hormones.

Low intensity exercise could be:

Walking, if the weather is good.

Cleaning the house. You might not feel happy with the thought of doing this. Most people who do suffer from a depression will at the same time feel like they don't want to or can't do anything in and around the house.

A clean house will also give an extra good feeling. (unless you are one of the few people who do prefer a messy house.)
If you look against cleaning the house. Make a list of what there needs to be done in the house every:
more times a week
once a week
every other week
every month

Then think of the time you'd like to spend on each place in the house.
For example daily: the kitchen. Time 20 minutes.

You set the timer. Do what you can do during this time. When the alarm goes of you stop.
Be happy about what you've done and not sad about what you haven't.

Swimming is also a low intensity sport. A big plus is that the water takes away the pressure on your body of the extra weight that you carry on your belly.

Never look at what others are able to do. If you start to sweat and loose your breath then the exercise was to heavy for you. If that happens don't sit down, but have a cooling down.
Move slowly or keep standing for some minutes. Have a couple of deep breathes before going to sit down.

Having a moment for yourself is important.
This could be a daily moment just for you. Or once a week doing something all on your own.

You might feel now like you want to have a daily 'me' moment. And next week you might want something total different. It doesn't matter as long as you listen to yourself and your body.

Take time for your partner.
Not only he might like to have some positive time with you. You might also feel better about yourself and your relationship by doing this.

The same as your 'own' time. Talk with your partner about what he'd like to do and what you'd like to do.
You might want to pick one moment in the week or a daily moment.

Decide together what you are going to do. Or take turns to organize something special for the other person.

Of course it's very import to eat healthy during your pregnancy. But you also need fat.
Many people these days are scared of taking it, because of the bad influence to much of it can have on your body and health.
You need around a table spoon of fat every day.
If your body doesn't get that then in time it'll struggle with some processes in your body. One of these is the creating of 'happy' hormones.

Haven't you had (enough) fat in your diet today? Take one table spoon full of mayonnaise. Or less depending on how much there was in your food today.

Worried about your diet? Ask your midwife for help or to be referred to a specialist.

Sleep is also very important. Especially when you're pregnant.
But being pregnant can make it difficult to have a good night sleep.
Suffering from a depression might even make things worse.
Having not enough sleep or in some cases the depression can make you sleep to much.
Will only make the depression worse.

Try not to sleep or stay in bed for to long or not long enough.

Have you tried to relax or sleep in the afternoon?

You mention that you don't go to work that often anymore. Because of this there is less money coming in at the moment.
Money doesn't make anyone happy, but it sure can make life a lot easier.

When you try to go back to work. You might want to treat yourself a bit more. As there is then also more money coming in. What do you like to do?
A little holiday? There are B&B's for just 20 pound a night.
Going to the theater or dinner.
Or something else that you like to do, alone and with your partner.
Hiring help to do all these nasty household chores that you don't like to do.

If you try all or some of the above and it does work. Don't stop doing it!!! All are ways to get your body to produce more 'happy' hormones. If you stop pushing your body into doing this the depression might come back.
When this happen quickly start again with doing what works or worked good for you.

All the above is just my advice.
If you like the things that I've mentioned here. Talk about it with your partner.
Is he positive about it?
Then make an appointment with your midwife. Talk with her about the things you'd like to do or change in your life.

Do this before you follow up ANY of mine advice.

I don't know you personally or your health. Your midwife does know all these things. She can tell you what is ok and safe to do and what is not.

Has your midwife done some tests on you?
Some physical pregnancy problems can cause you to feel this way.
Pregnancy diabetes.
Hormone levels that aren't the way they should be. (example Hypothyroidism)
How is your blood pressure?

And there are more things that could cause you to feel this way.

Most likely that the way you feel is because of the pregnancy hormones rushing threw your body at the moment. But if these checks haven't been done. It might be a good idea to get them checked. Just to be sure that you're physically fine and a healthy pregnant lady.

Take care and I hope that you'll feel much better, soon!!!


PixieBaby Wed 06-Mar-13 22:16:46

I echo the comments above - ask your GP for help and find a trusted friend or member of your family who can support you. Don't try and do this alone. Ring the NHS direct helpline (0845 4647) if you hit a crisis point and can't get access to the GP.

My other advice is try to take it day by day. You can't try and control what will happen in the distant future - the best thing for you and the baby right now is for you to get appropriate treatment so you are fit and well.

Take care and be kind to yourself.

Szeli Wed 06-Mar-13 12:11:55

Hey, feel your pain sad

I have been struggling with antenatal depression, been diagnosed with bipolar this week too but have been referred to perinatal which is great; alot of it is having someone neutral to sound off to.

As, I've not been on antidepressants tho pre pregnancy for some time none of my psychiatrists or doctors will put me on anything during pregnancy as they don't know how it will affect the baby; I think it's a different story if I was already on them as it's a 'balance' your body is already used to.

Do push for perinatal referrals tho, you're much more likely to be seen at this stage than if you leave it later; the earlier on you are the more cbt and genral therapy they can give you access to, post 36 weeks they stop it for at least 2 months in most cases so you can focus on baby apparently.

Hope you get sorted xx

emblosion Tue 05-Mar-13 19:42:15

Oops. Posted twice there, soz!

emblosion Tue 05-Mar-13 19:39:48

Oh ginger am so sorry you are feeling so crap. Glad you are going to see your GP - just wanted to echo what everyone else said really, especially sparkly and serious.

Im currently 22 weeks pregnant with my second child and on Sertraline for pnd/anxiety (I was v anxious during my last pregnancy but didnt need meds til after ds was born). Obviously its not an ideal situation but, as was said up thread, for me the pros outweigh the cons. Your own mental health and wellbeing are hugely important and THE best thing for your baby is for you to feel well.

I promise promise promise that you will not feel this bad forever, these feelings will pass. It's also a lot more common than you think.

In relation to bonding, you'll get there. I never got the instant rush of love/intense emotion when ds was born. But its like I have fallen in love with him gradually - everyone is different, and it can take a while, but those feelings come. I wish you all the best - do PM me if you ever need to chat. smile

Jollyb Tue 05-Mar-13 09:00:35

Hi there I'm 19 weeks pregnant and have been taking citalopram for the past 9 weeks. This was started on the advice of the local mother and infant mental health team. The preferred antidepressant in pregnancy is sertraline as there is the most data on this drug. However as I didn't find this drug effective in the past I asked to go on something else and the psychiatrist said citalopram was fine . A benefit of sertraline is that you can take it when breast feeding unlike citalopram. I plan to breast feed and so I'll switch to paroxetine (which is not recommended during pregnancy) shortly after the birth. Would be much easier if I could stay on one drug.

Please do go and see someone OP. I feel so much better now and am even enjoying pregnancy.

SeriousStuff Mon 04-Mar-13 22:36:26

Well from what I remember, the Dr had a list of all anti-depressants, some said next to them that they definitely weren't suitable, but others like citalopram, didn't say anything. I think this meant that there was no evidence that it was harmful. Then again, as I said earlier, there aren't enough studies to categorically confirm or deny the risks unfortunately.

Is there a GP on here who can confirm...?!

Gingerbreadpixie Mon 04-Mar-13 21:13:11

SeriousStuff - I didn't realise citalopram was used in pregnancy? I was on it for two years after my little sister passed away and only came off it last August. So I could have stayed on it? I made too many assumptions about anti ds in preg I think and didn't do my research.

Gingerbreadpixie Mon 04-Mar-13 21:08:32

Thank you all so much. I'm so touched at some of your replies (quite tearful reading them). It's nice to not feel so alone. I may very well take some of you up on your kind offers to PM for a chat.

Thank you

emblosion Mon 04-Mar-13 20:27:31

Oh ginger am so sorry you are feeling so crap. Glad you are going to see your GP - just wanted to echo what everyone else said really, especially sparkly and serious.

Im currently 22 weeks pregnant with my second child and on Sertraline for pnd/anxiety (I was v anxious during my last pregnancy but didnt need meds til after ds was born). Obviously its not an ideal situation but, as was said up thread, for me the pros outweigh the cons. Your own mental health and wellbeing are hugely important and THE best thing for your baby is for you to feel well.

I promise promise promise that you will not feel this bad forever, these feelings will pass. It's also a lot more common than you think.

In relation to bonding, you'll get there. I never got the instant rush of love/intense emotion when ds was born. But its like I have fallen in love with him gradually - everyone is different, and it can take a while, but those feelings come. I wish you all the best - do PM me if you ever need to chat. smile

OhGood Mon 04-Mar-13 19:19:33

Hi ginger - I could have written this post when I was 14 weeks pg with DD. Except that I had no unexplained bleeds or pain, which would have made much much worse.

Good luck with your GP. It's the right thing to do, and just keep taking small steps.

Some things/strategies that helped me:

1. Finding the right people and places to talk about this. Depression in pregnancy is very common but it's very hard to admit to. I kept feeling like I was already being a bad mother because people kept saying 'oh you must be SO EXCITED' etc. on and on. Like anyone could 'be excited' for 9 months even under normal circs.

2. I was very worried that I would go on to develop post-natal depression but didn't. In fact, post-birth, the hormones which had I think really contributed to me feeling terrible somehow worked well for me and I felt great. Hope the same for you.

3. My mum's advice just to every now and then put the whole thing aside and not think pregnant, just for a day.

Good luck. Please don't think that you will feel like this forever, because you won't, simple as.

Sparklyboots Mon 04-Mar-13 18:28:47

Oh, you are giving yourself a hard time - as if circumstances weren't' t hard enough! I just wanted to say, (about bonding, which I worried about until I realised) you don't have to 'bond' with the baby, you just have to agree to be kind to it and try to be a good parent. I did not feel a 'whoosh' of love or feel 'instantly bonded' as some women do after the birth, with my DS. But it didn't matter because what I felt wasn't at issue, I had clear in my mind that I was responsible to ACT lovingly because that's what he needed, and what I felt was my business. Somewhere along the line, I fell hopelessly in love with him, but I never made it a prerequisite for parenting in a loving manner and neither should you. I think I really understand now the idea that love is as love does - massive feelings of love are irrelevant if you don't act lovingly to the baby, and acting lovingly does not require massive feelings of love. I rather think that if you act lovingly, loving feelings will grow in you. But even if they don't, acting lovingly is all you can promise or depend upon, and it's enough. You are enough.

I realise that might seem odd to the 'whoosh' brigade but I am cautious to the point of anxiety myself so had to think of ways to respond to my own pg related 'what ifs' or else I'd have found them debilitating. It worked out very well for us, for the record. We're expecting number 2 and couldn't be more pleased. Number 1 has been the single happiest, best, most difficult adventure ever.

SeriousStuff Mon 04-Mar-13 18:27:45

Hi again! After your last post, I thought I'd elaborate a bit.

Both my DH and I suffer from varying degrees of depression and anxiety (we're quite the pair!). He's been on 20mg citalopram for about 4 years (has been fine ever since) and I've been on 10mg citalopram on and off for 3 years. I have tried coming off it a couple of times when I've felt better, but soon after, the panic attacks kick in and I have very distressing thoughts.

In Oct, we went to the GP as we wanted to TTC in Jan, and she said that weighing the pros and cons, the pros of staying on the medication far outweighed the pros of coming off them. So on one hand I was worrying about harming my baby with the meds, but on the other hand, I can't imagine anything worse than having a full on panic attack and constant anxiety while pg, and I was worried this would cause more harm to the baby than the meds.

Also, if I'm susceptible to depression in general, I was worried that post natal depression would hit me particularly hard.

I'm less worried because the dosage is so low - and I think this is something you should discuss with your GP. If they suggest meds, discuss starting low to begin with as it might just be enough to take the edge off for you.

So far in my pg, I have had nothing more than some teary moments (which I would expect from being pregnant anyway because of all the hormonal changes!)

It's hard to make an informed decision on this because so little has been written about it i.e. no-one in their right mind is going to want to experiment on pregnant women so it's hard to refer to any concrete figures for or against.

My Dr was amazing and she even rang me when I found out I was pg to check the meds were still working etc...and the MW will keep an eye on you throughout.

Kasey12 Mon 04-Mar-13 18:01:37

Hey, just wanted to say that I also completely sympathise. I'm
Due in about 10 days, and have been panicking throughout my pregnancy. My GP referred me to the Perinatal Team who gave been very supportive.

There always seems to be something to worry about, or a never ending amount of horror stories! Today I was crying over what if I have a toddler who won't stay in his room?? Baby isn't even here yet! Pregnancy hormones make you go a bit do lally I think. But it could be a touch of depression too.

Please speak to your GP. PM me anytime if you'd like to chat.


Gingerbreadpixie Mon 04-Mar-13 16:57:17

Thank you all for your replies. I'm going to see GP this week. Although she already kind of knows what's going on as she signed me off with anxiety for a month. I've also just started therapy. I think the only resort now will be antidepressants, which I was trying very hard to stay off of. But I'm willing to talk options now. I believe Sertreline is the go-to anti d in pregnancy? I just don't like the thought of putting chemicals into my baby but I guess lots of women do?

wifey6 Mon 04-Mar-13 13:44:36

OP...sorry to read of the anxiety & depression you are feeling.
I can completely sympathise & finally found the courage to talk to my MW today about my anxieties. I am 22 weeks. It was a real sense of relief & I honestly would recommend you confide in your GP or MW. They are there to support you, reassure & make sure your pregnancy is as stress-free as possible. Wishing you all the best x

cyclecamper Mon 04-Mar-13 13:37:21

Do talk to your GP or midwife. And don't play down how anxious you are. They can help and they need to know the extent of your anxiety. The sooner you speak to them, the quicker they can help.

BaldricksTurnip Mon 04-Mar-13 13:21:18

Hi OP, please talk to your GP or midwife, they are there to help.

abbyfromoz Mon 04-Mar-13 13:20:58

Maybe if enough people tell you to see your GP you will go so once again please see your GP.
Pregnancy does crazy things to your hormones and if you are in a tough situation as well it can make you feel terrible.
I hear unexplained spotting can be common but i agree scary.
Don't be scared you won't bond with bubba.... Deal with each day as it comes.
Sorry i'm not much help but that's what got me through pregnancy & labour... One thing at a time.
All the best xxx

ExpatAl Mon 04-Mar-13 13:17:17

Hi Ginger I've seen your threads and can totally understand why you're frightened. You will bond with your baby, absolutely, give yourself time. I think all pregnant women are anxious. It's a massive thing to have a little life inside you and to have unexplained bleeds must be beyond stressful. No wonder you're feeling in a state! Be kind to yourself and do whatever you need to do to know that you gave baby the best chance. Make sure you eat properly and keep hydrated because it's easy to let these things go when you're unhappy. 14 weeks is great. Stay strong. x

Go and see your GP or call your midwife. Antenatal depression is less common than postnatal but is just as worrisome and there is so much help out there for you, you just need to find it.

Pregnancy is one of the most worrying things that a woman with anxiety problems can go through - because once you're pregnant you lose such a degree of control, over your health, your lifestyle, your relationship, your body, your pelvic floor!! It can be really stressful and you should in no way beat yourself up for feeling this way - to some extent we all feel like this.

Do get some help for your anxiety and try your very best to focus on the fact that you are doing something truly amazing. Well done.

SeriousStuff Mon 04-Mar-13 11:38:36

As dinkystinky said, go to see your GP. I suffer terribly with anxiety and depression and spoke to my GP before we started trying for a baby. It really helped. I'm now 8+4 weeks pg and on a really low dose of an anti-depressant and feel much better. I hope you get the help you need.

dinkystinky Mon 04-Mar-13 11:36:04

Ginger - first off hugs. Second off - please, please, please go see your GP. Today. Tell them what you are feeling. they can and will help you.

Gingerbreadpixie Mon 04-Mar-13 11:34:09

I'm sure some of you have seen my posts in the past few weeks. They are all the same - me worrying, stressing and struggling to know what's normal and not normal in pregnancy. I've had unexplained bleeding, pains and major anxiety and I'm only 14 weeks. I feel like crying every moment of the day. I'm constantly scared. I'm so low with a constant feeling of dread in my gut. I enjoyed my early scans when I had them but now I only have scans out of fear and can't even bring myself to look at my scan photos anymore. I'm scared I won't bond with the baby. I'm scared the baby will die. I think I've crossed the line from anxiety into full-blown depression. My DH tries to be supportive but I know I am a disappointment to him. I'm struggling to go to work and my wages are dwindling as I now only get paid for the days I can make it in. I feel lonely, lost and isolated. I don't know what to do.

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