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depression in pregnancy, anyone else struggling?(27 Posts)
I have had problems with depression and anxiety for years however I have been much better in recent years. I am 18 weeks pregnant and have come off my antidepressants due to being pregnant I felt fine at first but now I feel terrible. When I try to talk to family about my feelings I'm made to feel like I'm selfish..I get comments like 'well are you not exited about being a mum? Think of your poor baby you will make it ill with all your worrying.' I find these comments completely unhelpful. Yes I am exited and of course I am already worried about my babies health. I am due to get married next month and I do want this but cause I feel depressed I also have people asking if I am sure I should be getting married followed by similar crappy comments like 'surely you must be so exited about the wedding or how can you be so in love if your unhappy'. I already feel guilt about my feelings and have financial difficulties so that's taken a lot of enjoyment out of life. Thankfully my mother is paying for the wedding. I'm sorry if I've gone on here just don't know who else to talk to.
Sounds like you've got a lot going on, you're probably exhausted and it makes complete sense that you'll be struggling with emotions. It's worth discussing with your GP whether to go back onto a low dose of antidepressant, there are some which can be used in pregnancy. It all depends on how bad you're feeling. If the depression & anxiety is severe, it might be worth considering. The other thing might be to focus on some relaxation techniques or some form of counselling to work through the issues. From my experience, and I'm only 5 weeks, these hormone changes can make things very difficult! Add that to a pre-existing condition and it's bound to be hard. Best of luck with it all, and congratulations for the wedding x
Thanks. I was offered counselling but my boss already throws a fit if I go see the midwife or doctor in work time so I had to turn it down. I just had my sister and mum stay the night and it's left me feeling like I'm the crappiest mother to be..fiance...daughter..sister. They mean well but do certain things that me being sensitive just makes things worse. My fiancé made us breakfast and my sisters like oh poor him and tells me I should be doing it. I work full time too. I think women are just expected to do so much more and be happy at all times doing it.
Family, especially female relatives can be the best support but also the worst critics! Tell them you just need some tlc. Sounds like you're fiance is at least being supportive. If you can't take time out from work for counselling, have you thought about online CBT that you could do in your own time? I find it helpful when things are getting too much for me. I've used Moodgym https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome but there are others.
I'm the same, came off my ADs early in the pregnancy, felt great then was feeling like utter shite again by the same point you are, 18 weeks. I'm 25 now and have been feeling better for the last 2 weeks, but was almost having a breakdown from 18-22 weeks. It doesnt help that you are seen as an incubator with no rights or ability to feel the way you want etc whilst pregnant.
No advice but you arnt alone, I'm pretty depressed aswell and worried about negative outcomes. I am terrified of losing the baby which is making my depression and anxiety worse.
rascalrae for me theres no way id even consider going back on AD's at this point in pregnancy regardless of how depressed I feel, I was already told by several GPs its better not to be on them because there is a risk of birth defects etc and the worrying that something will be wrong with my baby is already making the depression and anxiety worse, if I thought I was possibly doing even further harm to my baby by taking AD's I would likely feel even worse, not to mention the initial period where they wipe you out in the first place and you can barely function.
I really think other therapy should be offered for pregnant women feeling like this than the typical, crap AD's which I find stop working after a short few months anyway and make you a tired, emotionless zombie.
hi emilyjane - congrats on yr pg and well done on coping so far. I am not going to hijack yr thread with my own past and current experience but you will get support here. If this is your only outlet - then let it all pour out. you are not being selfish and yr baby will not be affected by how you feel right now. you are doin the right thing by reaching out to others. I know you say you find it hard because of work to get out for appts but can you get a referral from yr GP or midwife for any specialist local perinatal services / CPN. some of them can see you in the evenings? i had one last time and she was always available on the phone - even when i couldnt get to see her? There is also some fab local support groups through PANDA and they can offer a phoneline where you can talk to other women who have been through the same as you. check them out.
your DP needs to really understand what is happening for you - ask him to read some of the online stuff and stories from other women really show him what it can be like...
I will watch this thread. i am 15 wks pg also and there have been and are still many many dark days but I know I will get through this. You will too.
Thank you everyone. I want to hear other ppls experiences it's nice to know I'm not the only mum to be in this position. I have know had a fall out with my sister and mother over their visit this weekend as they said my moaning, negative attitude and crying has been really draining on them. I understand it can't be easy for them. They probably feel helpless but them trying to make me 'be positive' and 'be happy' and 'be grateful' just doesn't make me feel any better. I wish I had just tried to pretend I was happy and I didn't feel any other negative emotions but I think I am that bad at the moment I can't really hide it. I am a nurse and I hide it all week at work. I'm positive for my patients. I live away Mon to Fri then come home at the weekends. I will be moving in full time when the baby comes. I think that is adding to my stress bring away from dp all week then at the weekends I clean while he works. I know ppl have it so much worse and that adds to my guilt
but emmajayne - there is only so much pretending you can do. bottling it up might be ok in the very short term but you need an outlet as well. i totally get what you say about others trying to help by saying to be happy / positive / grateful but that shows that they just dont really "get it." Only you know what you are going through and you are doing the right thing in finding your ways to get support. Other people may have "worse" situations to deal with but you are you and your own worries and concerns are valid too. No-one can be strong all the time.
Nursing is tough enough and i know you are doing so well to keep up positivity for patients but you also need all the TLC, care and patience you can get.
I had some terrible days with pg with dd - i mean the darkest lowest thoughts and worries. It was only when i got some help that i could start to see through them. It isnt easy but it get better.
You do sound low - maybe if you arent able to see anyone face to face then online and helplines might help?? what did your MW say or have you not said anything as yet?
Oh I was fine a few weeks ago so I was discharged from the mental health team. I don't know why I'm suddenly having a few rubbish days. Family visit had made things worse I guess. Not sure why. I will use online help I think. Maybe it's just hormones
My lovely, you don't have to pretend to be happy of you aren't. If you're depressed then there's very little you can do to jolly yourself out of it.
If your boss is an arse then do you have a midwife appointment coming up. You need to tell your midwife how you are feeling, be completely honest and she can get you some help. If you need to take ADs then there will be some you can take.
Don't worry about your mother and sister. You are not responsible for how they feel. Talk to your partner too. Don't bottle it up.
Look after yourself. X
Huge hugs. This kind of thing makes me so angry. What have you got to be unhappy about? By the sounds of it nothing. And a lot to be grateful for and happy about. BUT. That makes not a tiny scrap of difference if you have depression. It's like asking a hypertensive what they've got to be all high-blood pressured about, or a diabetic why they're not just keeping their blood sugars under control by thought power alone. Yup, it's part of the human condition to have down days or weeks, sometimes in clear response to naffness of one sort or another, sometime for no reason, but that is NOT depression, any more than a sprained ankle is the same as a broken one. With bits of bone sticking out sometimes. Depression is outside the normal spectrum of mood and emotion and quite frankly when you're there it can be crippling, unmanageable and a very very lonely place to be. Especially when unhelpful people make the comments you've had made to you.
Thought and emotion is a biochemical process. As is muscle movement. Sometimes you can no more control the thoughts and emotions than you can an injured muscle.
I totally understand why you don't want to be on antidepressants, but it sounds as if you need some support from helpful people at the very least. Pregnancy is a difficult time for all sorts of reasons, as is getting married. You're doing the double whammy and have an underlying disease which might well be made worse by both. Through no fault if your own.
Yes, your mood (and resultant cortisol levels etc) can have an affect on your baby. Some antidepressants are...okay.... In pregnancy and it's a balance of risks. Having a mummy not on ADs and not coping can be worse than having a coping, happy mummy who is on an appropriate dose of low risk drugs.
You need to talk to your gp again and be re-referred to your MH team (unless you can re-refer yourself?). As a matter of some urgency my lovely. Keeping you healthy is the best strategy for you and the baby. Be that support and counselling, CBT or drugs. But you do need some help and proper assessment.
Your boss will just have to suck it up. It is care you are entitled to and need to access. I appreciate that having someone make a difficult situation even more difficult is horrible, but it is so important for you an your little one to get sorted.
My main stress and concern at the moment is money. For reasons beyond my Dp control is has had a loss of income per month. Around £500, our money barley covers bills and whilst I'm living where I work we are paying his mortgage and my rent so I know things will be better when I finally go on mat leave but till then it's a major struggle. Worrying about the bills is taking over my life and sucking any joy out of it .I know it's only money and I should just try to forget it but being the worrier I am I can't help it. I shouldn't of got pregnant till we lived together but I did not know that hos wage would be reduced. I feel selfish for worrying about money when there are ppl starving. Thanks for everyone's advice and support
Basically he was working hard for a sale company that where paying him late month after month. So he ended up leaving and taking another job that pays on time but pays less and it's sales still so some months he doesn't even get enough to cover bills. We have a lovely house and We are lucky to have it. Another thing that ppl are constantly pointing out especially as it's his house and his car but when we get married it will be ours. I find it hard to be happy that I've got all this when I don't even know if we can afford the mortgage from one month to the next. I am not sure if I am making any sense here? So worried about losing it all especially with the baby on the way
Emily, you have a lot of stressors going on right now, which would be enough to tax most people. Plus you are pregnant which, whilst not a disease, has significant physical and, for many, psychological effects. Plus, you have a background condition which probably makes it harder for you to think clearly, manage you emotions and mood as you would normally be able to and to interact with others in the usual way. On all levels you need help. Some practical - with finances, some medical, with your depression. It's really hard to ask for help with either of these, and it's really hard to ask when just getting dressed can seem like a monumental task. Unfortunately, things can spiral if you don't get on top if them soon.
Your gp will be able to help with the psych thing. What about citizens advice or help from your children's centre re:finance. They can probably point you in the right direction to someone who can go through your finances with you, make sure you're getting what's available to you and have some plans in place. Even just talking to someone about it and feeling that you're not going over the maths in your head again and again and again by yourself can be very comforting.
emilyjane so sorry to hear you are struggling. Contrary to a couple of posts there are some medications for depression that are perfectly safe to take in pregnancy. I have been on our different types of drug for bipolar and hyperemesis, amongst other things and now at week 36 have one whopping big baby on the way. Two other friends had prenatal depression and also were on medication with no problems.
There is a risk to everything we do when pregnant, and it's a matter of how high. When you discuss it with your doctors they will explore with you whether the benefits outweigh that. In my case they certainly did and I would probably be extremely ill mentally by now if I hadn't taken my medication. For my particular tablets, there is a 1:2000 chance of a heart defect which is less than 1% and after my NT scan I actually had a higher chance of the baby with a genetic disorder than from my medication (1:1900). Just to give you an idea.
Ad a pp said, please do discuss it with your midwife or gp as soon as possible. They are the experts and will be best advised to assist you and find out what treatments you are most comfortable with.
Prenatal depression can affect as many as one in ten pregnant women and there is help there for you. It's horrible I know, and not helped by an unsupportive boss (who legally is supposed to give you time for any antenatal appointment and not make a fuss) and relatives who are not really helping. I just survived a visit from my mother so I completely sympathise
Pregnancy is really hard on some of us so be very nice to you
Emily, I can't talk about real depression as I've never had it myself, but I have found the last 24 weeks difficult as I've been constantly questioned about "enjoying it" and "feeling excited" and my honest response most of the time has been no, I'm not enjoying it, I'm finding it really difficult. Heck, I was sobbing in bed about another pregnancy thing just last night. Luckily my brilliant DH was there to tell me it's ok and pregnancy is hard and I'm doing well etc. But I think he's the only one who's seeing the whole picture and managing not to make me feel awful a lot of the time. I think there's a lot of pressure on women to "bloom" in pregnancy and to really love it, but the reality is that it's hard work and puts a lot of strain on us, physically, emotionally, financially and, well, just in every possible way. And I suppose I'm mainly just hoping you give yourself a break sometimes and try not to feel like a failure because you reality doesn't quite match the perfect expectations others are putting on you. Good luck and I hope you manage to get the help you need x
Thanks. I agree I think my DP is the only one who gives me a break as such and he let's me moan as much as I need too. He's been brilliant to be honest. I hate ppl saying aww you should be blooming by now...you don't seem exited!. This comments really grind on me. I also have a work colleague who's constantly making digs at me . Fri she took it too a whole new level I guess that aggravated things. She said that the make of travel system I'm Getting is chavvy....too cheap and will harm my babies back. I can only afford around £250 but she spent £1000 on hers you see. I will either be getting a Hauk or a Grace. This women has been like this from day one . Firstly going on about all her miscarriages. Then her premium births she even bring in photos of her dear prem baby in intensive care. She constantly makes negative comments about my weight gain and how I look in the maternity uniform. She is a very well liked member of staff but for some reason she doesn't like me. She knows how much I worry and I can see her thriving on making me more worried. I can't even speak to my boss about it as I have a tough relationship with her too (they are good friends). I do have supportive ppl at work and one of them will tell the other off if she hears her saying stuff. Not sure how to tackle this situation either to be honest.
Graco* I'm not properly awake yet
She possibly has more money than sense then? As in she clearly had the money, but lacks basic common sense about keeping her trap shut. If she wants to spend that much on a travel system, fine. Maybe she haemorrhaged good manners when she opened her wallet. £250 is more than enough. The car seat will last up to 9 months an the pram bit about 6. Some people have the luxury to spend thousands on a new baby, some don't. Some chose to, some don't. It's not necessary if you don't want to/can't and you shouldn't be mocked for it. If you're buying a well recognised brand it'll be fine safety wise. She sounds like a not very nice person. We all have personality clashes with people, but whatever her views about you it's just not nice to behave to someone in the way you describe about pregnancy. It sounds as if it's making her feel better about herself at your expense. Very difficult, but ignore if you can.
Have you tried 5-HTP? It is the precursor to serotonin! Tryptophan gets converted to 5-HTP, tryptophan is an amino acid found in lots of foods but particularly bananas. So should be safe in pregnancy! There is loads of data online that it has as good clinical results as anti-depressants!
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