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Is it PND or 'just' anxiety?

(14 Posts)
AgentCooper Sun 17-Dec-17 17:28:59

My wee DS is 11 weeks old today. I have a long history of anxiety (been on 100mg Sertraline for 6 years) but hadn't had a really bad episode since the early weeks of my pregnancy. I knew I was starting to feel a bit low/edgy recently but figured it wouldn't get worse. Since Monday it has. I've not been sleeping well and waking early with my heart pounding and feeling sick. I've been nauseous and very anxious much of each day. I'm exhausted as DS won't be put down. Ever. The poor wee guy has reflux and is on meds but it's still a tremendous effort and more often than not impossible to get him in his Sleepyhead or bouncy chair so as I've been holding him all the time I've struggled to do things like open parcels I've ordered for Christmas or eat with two hands. If DH takes him at dinner he just screams until I take him. At night he might do 3 hours in his Sleepyhead if he's cluster fed for hours. Other than that I have to have him on my chest. I do manage to get a bit of sleep like this but not much. Previously I was sitting up like this until DH took him off me at 5am and I'd sleep until DH left for work at 7:30. Through all this I've been stressed but not anxious. I think maybe the adrenaline has run out.

I'm basically anxious about being anxious, I feel like I cannot be like this when I have my DS to look after. Waking up and knowing I need to BF/change/entertain him makes me feel sick and I feel awful about this. Obviously I still do it all but I just feel like my mind is in knots and I'm not good enough for DS. I worried throughout my pregnancy that I would have an anxiety relapse and, right enough, it has happened.

I don't know if this is 'just' anxiety and it will eventually pass or if it could be PND. I say to myself to give it a couple of weeks to see if it does pass but then I worry about leaving it to get worse.

I guess I'm wondering what others would do in this situation - wait and see if it passes if it has before or see it as PND?

WhiskyIrnBru Sun 17-Dec-17 17:44:01

It sounds like it could be both Tbh. I think the letting him sleep on you chest thing, although it does help, long term it's creating a rod for you and he is only going to be soothed by you doing that. There is no harm in putting yourself first. Those first few weeks are totally overwhelming. Maybe you should see your health visitor or GP? I know that after the birth of my first I needed my meds adjusted (I suffered from anxiety before pregnancy and once my hormones peaked and fell it got worse before it got better) I was on a higher dose till my DD was 6 months and gradually went down to my pre pregnancy dose. It helped a lot. You sound exhausted OP. And if you're not well and happy baby won't be well and happy. It's not selfish to put baby down and let him cry and have some time for yourself.

LumpySpaceCow Sun 17-Dec-17 18:10:31

Make an appointment with your GP and speak to your health visitor.
Has your baby been checked for tongue tie? Will he settle in a sling?
Regarding the bed sharing - would he sleep next to you rather than on you as you may sleep better like this and you can rest whilst he feeds lying down. Google safe bed sharing guidelines. Regarding 'making s rod for your own back' - I don't buy into this and the phrase frustrates me. Babies need to be close and you need to be responsive to them for their physical and emotional development.

QueenNefertitty Sun 17-Dec-17 18:13:59

I've posted before about postnatal anxiety. I suffered horribly with it from about 6 months postpartum- give it a google - its distinct from PND, and GPs/HVs don't really talk about it, they just lump it in with PND.

If what you read resonates with you, try and speak to your GP, but be prepared to explain what's going on yourself- they might not "get" the difference

flowers for you- it's a shitter, but you'll get through it

WhiskyIrnBru Sun 17-Dec-17 18:27:43

LumpySpaceCow yes. Bad turn of phrase on my part. However, there is too much pressure on mums to put babies needs before their own. That's all I mean. I'm all. For baby led parenting but not at the expense of your own mental health. Baby won't remember that mummy didn't let him fall asleep on her chest when he was 11 weeks old, when he's a strapping teenager. Just be kind to yourself OP. You're a mum. But you're also you. And you shouldn't put your needs at the bottom of your priorities.

BlindYeo Sun 17-Dec-17 18:31:40

Ask for your thyroid levels to be checked. Free T4 as well as TSH. Postpartum thyroiditis can give you temporary hyperthyroidism for a few weeks or months, followed by a hypothyroid phase before (usually) returning to normal. Hyperthyroidism makes you anxious and irritable with a fast heart rate, pounding heart and sleeping difficulties. I think this is underdiagnosed and put down to PND. What is your resting pulse like? Higher than normal?

AgentCooper Sun 17-Dec-17 19:44:44

Thanks everyone flowers It's nice just to be listened to. HV is unfortunately useless - she hasn't been to see us since 4 weeks (6 week check up was at GP) and they don't have much time to talk at the weigh in clinic. I tried to ask if what I was feeling was in any way normal or if it sounded like PND and she just said go to the GP.

Queen, they never talk about postnatal anxiety! The Edinburgh test doesn't really seem geared towards it. I will definitely go to GP because I want to do whatever I can to be a good mum to DS.

AgentCooper Mon 18-Dec-17 00:14:41

Blind, thank you for the thyroid suggestion, I'll ask the doctor for tests. Not sure what my resting pulse is, though I know my BP was slightly high on leaving the hospital.

Whisky, your experience sounds so similar to mine. I've been worried about increasing the meds but if I can do it with a view to reducing again that doesn't sound so bad. It's so hard to know whether or not to just try and ride it out when I've got DS to look after now.

WhiskyIrnBru Mon 18-Dec-17 12:22:48

I know what you mean Agent but if it was a 'physical' (broken leg etc) illness you wouldn't ride it out. You'd go and get seen and take medication. I was exactly the same. I didn't want to be on a higher dose. But I got to the point where waiting for it to pass was making me feel dreadful and I was putting pressure on myself to 'get better' and unfortunately it didn't work like that. What a pp said about thyroid issues is worth checking too, I had thyroid issues after the birth of my daughter and it wasn't until that was sorted that I realised that a lot of my physical symptom of anxiety were prob related to an unchecked thyroid problem. I hope you are feeling better today op. 💐

RandyMarsh Mon 18-Dec-17 12:31:15

I think anxiety and PND run hand in hand.

I had exactly the same thing when my son was a newborn. It was a very hard time but I promise things will get easier and you will find the anxiety will subside. It won't be forever which I appreciate is not much help right now.

I found that wearing some foam earplugs really helped when my son was screaming constantly, it just took the edge off because high pitched screaming was one of the triggers for a panic attack. Also being on high alert during the night, just waiting for him to wake up screaming, it was awful, I was so wired.

Is there any way your husband or another family member can take over just so that you can catch up on sleep for a few hrs?

AgentCooper Mon 18-Dec-17 14:07:08

Thank you Whisky, I agree with you. I am going to phone GP and ask for a phone consultation, see if they can increase my prescription and at least that way I know I have that option but can also just stay on the 100mg dose if I want. Do you mind me asking what you were taking and how long it took you to feel better? Today has been OK, touch wood. Bad early morning but I'm taking things slow.

Randy, thank you. Someone else saying I won't always feel so bad is actually comforting. It's hard not to feel like a massive failure. I kind of thought motherhood would be the making of me, that having someone else to take care of would help me stop being the same old shitty, anxious, incapable person and I clung to that thought through pregnancy. I remember telling the midwives and HV that I was surprised how OK I actually felt. This is why this crash at 11 weeks has upset me so much. I do realise that motherhood is not a magic bullet though and perhaps I will get stronger through facing this while being a mother.

Hearing that others have been through this is comforting, knowing that I'm not alone.

WhiskyIrnBru Mon 18-Dec-17 15:35:41

Hi Agent, I was on both Venlafaxine and then Setraline. The Setraline was the one that did eventually help, the dose was increased from 50mg to 100mg. I then (stupidly) went back down too quickly and ended up going up to 200mg for a period. I'm at 100mg just now, and have been for awhile. In those early days, I put too much emphasis on doses and what that meant about my mental health. But the difference between just functioning, especially when I had a new baby, and actually living was night and day . It was gradual though. But I am so glad I spoke to my doc because waiting it out was miserable.

jerryortom Mon 18-Dec-17 15:49:22

I had baby blues at around 4/5 days post and then PND from around 11 weeks. I had difficult babies too. Reflux, colic, intolerances, it's not easy. Go to spam a and have a chat with him/her.

Are you back on your meds? I was on sertraline and they were brilliant for me!

It's just a vicious circle anxious about been anxious plus a new little chappy in your life.


AgentCooper Mon 18-Dec-17 17:59:11

Thanks for telling me Whisky - I have phoned the HV and she's coming out on Wednesday. I've also booked a phone appointment with GP on Thurs if needed. That feeling of just existing sounds very familiar and it makes me feel so guilty. I was changing DS earlier and he was kicking about happily so I thought I'd just play with him for a bit. We were having a lovely time and then this thought of 'I just want to go and hide in the toilet' came sweeping in and I felt so sick, like I was the most awful mother in the world. How could I want to hide from that happy wee face? I know it was just a thought, not how I actually felt, but it was horrible.

Jerry, DS has kind of started getting a wee bit easier and it's horrible that this is when the anxiety has hit - it's like a delayed reaction to how hard things have been (really hard). Being anxious about being anxious is awful, you're right.

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