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Pregnant and Coping with Mental Illness? Don't be afraid. :-) Come here for a cuppa.

(45 Posts)
smokeandglitter Mon 21-Jul-14 19:10:45

Hello everyone,

Sorry if I've missed one but I couldn't find an antenatal 'club' thread for those with a Mental Illness who are pregnant and I thought it would be nice to start one for moral support, questions, hugs and a good old cup of (probably decaf, I'm afraid) tea. smile

Feel free to introduce yourselves.


I suffer with Schizoaffective Disorder (Bipolar type - they think more co-existing Schizophrenia and Bipolar than strongly one or the other) and I still struggle with Anorexia Nervosa and OCD behaviours (think 'magical thinking' behaviours rather than cleanliness as such).

Currently 5+4 and estimated dd 19th March 2014. I have miscarried twice in the past but if this goes well then little one will be my first child. I'm excited but very nervous. DH and I got married last August and own two mad Ragdoll cats.

I have my first appointment with my CMHT Psyc tomorrow. I've already stopped Lamotrigine as advised (was on 400mg) but I'm still taking 800mg Quetiapine and 35mg Aripiprazole a day. Not sure if they'll lower dosages much as I can go very psychotic for long periods and risk to baby would be very high. I used to take Lithium and Risperidone, but came off them before my wedding mainly for safe conception.

brew and cake to anyone who wants to chat.

OP’s posts: |
Peaceloveandbiscuits Sat 02-Aug-14 07:59:26

Hi! This is a great idea for a thread. I'm 19 weeks pregnant with my first baby. I have dependant and avoidant personality disorders, with traits of borderline, and also post-traumatic stress disorder. I'm currently taking 100mg sertraline. I was discharged from mental health services last autumn but am getting referred back as since getting pregnant things have gone downhill for me.

I worked really hard at my recovery last year, and I sometimes struggle with feelings of resentment towards my baby for making me unwell again sad

I'm ok today so far, though!

cactusnic Sun 24-Aug-14 19:29:19

Excellent idea for a thread!

I'm due my second DC in Feb.

I'm on the autistic spectrum, and have long-standing extremely severe anxiety and depression. I'm currently on 100mg of sertraline, see psychologist weekly and (useless!) psychiatrist sporadically - i'm really hoping that perinatal mental health team will be more helpful, once the referral finally goes through!

Hormones always affect my depression and anxiety, so, you an imagine the state i'm in!

cactusnic Sun 24-Aug-14 19:29:46

Oh, and i also have PTSD

madeuplovesong44 Tue 26-Aug-14 03:30:57

Hi there.

I am pregnant with twins, due Jan/Feb time and this will be our 3rd and 4th child, all being well. I have bipolar disorder which I receive fairly intensive support for. Spent a lot of time in hospital before having children but have been more stable in recent years. I came off depakote to conceive but still take 200mg of quetiapine.

Lovely idea for a thread. It's very reassuring to hear of people in similar situations, my mh is a huge consideration when pregnant and so I find the anti natal threads can become irrelevant at times. This pregnancy has been a bit of a struggle for me so far, had hyperemesis and I suppose the overwhelming shock of twins. I usually suffer at the more manic side of the spectrum but the last few months I have plundered into despair. Things have picked up since the vomiting eased so I have my fingers crossed for a more stable approach towards 2015!!

JaneyTea Wed 03-Sep-14 20:07:48

Hello! I'm really relieved to see this thread, so thank you for creating it.

I have bipolar disorder and am pregnant with my first child. I came off all my medication at Christmas and have been trying very hard since then to look after myself and stay stable. Anxiety has been my biggest problem for the last year, and of course being pregnant presents a whole new list of things to be anxious about!

Haily111 Sat 06-Sep-14 20:10:22

Hello all,
I suffer from depression and anxiety, am currently on 50mg on Sertraline.
Not sure if i am meant to be here, as not as extreme as some other people. But i do find my condition debilitating when i am at my lowest.
I have one dd aged 8 years, one ds aged 15 months and i am currently 6 weeks pregnant xxx

JaneyTea Mon 08-Sep-14 10:35:53

Hi Haily I'm 6+6, with my first - scary and exciting!

I don't think there's a 'level' of illness that someone has to have to be here - and certainly anxiety can be the most debilitating part of my illness.

How's everyone feeling at the moment?

inthewoods4 Mon 08-Sep-14 12:31:31

Hi all, I suffer with GAD and depression, although under control at the moment as I'm on 30mg of citalopram. I'm 5wks. Does anyone else worry about the medication? My doc said she was happy for me to stay on it, but I volunteered to reduce. Now I'm worried as 30mgs was what really stabilised me. I think I'm just going to carry on and maybe reduce later on xxx

coastergirl Mon 08-Sep-14 13:58:54

Just spotted this thread, such a good idea!

I'm 30 and I have generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) and social phobia/anxiety. There has been talk of assessment for autism too, but I haven't pursued this for the moment because I really don't have the energy for it. When my anxiety is really bad it tips into depression, just because of the effects of the anxiety and the despair I feel because of it.

I had a year of CBT in 2012-2013 and it made me worse. It made me anxious about my anxiety, so after giving it a really good go (the full recommended 12 sessions) I stopped. I was unwilling to take medication but gave in after that and started taking Paroxetine, which really helped. I hated the side effects though. I was so, SO hot all the time, and I work with very challenging children so it's a pretty hot job anyway! Anyway, when I fell pregnant I was weaned off it as the Dr said it was the worst antidepressant to be on during pregnancy. I decided to try going without medication as I'd been doing so well. It was bad timing though. I was told that I was being moved to a different class at work which I was devastated about, and this kick started a cycle of horrible anxiety. Then it was the summer holidays, with far too much time to dwell on things. A combination of no meds, hormones, the work situation and boredom meant I completely spiralled into despair. Felt completely rock bottom and like there was nothing for me to live for. Fell out with so many people and have lost a lot of friends. Anyway, I was put back on medication, Amitriptyline this time, at 25mg. It helped a little, but when I went back to work last week I really struggled. In a strange class and everyone kept asking me if I was ok, which just made me cry. Eventually in the middle of last week I was signed off work and had my medication doubled. I was feeling like I just hated everything. Didn't want to be pregnant, had no friends, hated the job I used to love, wouldn't speak to my family or anything.

Over the past weekend, things have finally started to look up. I think the medication increase is taking effect and I just feel so much better, I can't even explain it! I'm starting to feel excited about being pregnant (I'm 11+4) and like I can cope with the changes at work. I'm motivated, I've been cleaning and washing etc. It's amazing and I just have my fingers crossed that the improvements continue and it's not just for a few days.

Sorry for the essay! Think that has needed to come out! Thank you for this thread. Hope others are feeling ok. I definitely think pregnancy has a huge effect, which I had completely under-estimated.

inthewoods4 Mon 08-Sep-14 16:10:20

HI Coastergirl, I'm so glad you're feeling better. I think you'll be fine, and it was more likely the coming off the meds than the pregnancy. I think sometimes we just need the meds, just like someone with diabetes need insulin! I'm planning on staying on mine during pregnancy, as I want to enjoy it and not feel crap all the time. XX

coastergirl Tue 09-Sep-14 16:13:38

I completely agree about sometimes just needing the meds.

Unfortunately, today I feel pretty crap. Not sure what was going on at the weekend when i felt so good, but I certainly don't feel like that now. I feel really down again. Dreading going back to work now whereas I was feeling quite positive about it.

There's also been a couple of mmc in the March thread which is really scary. I don't have my scan until next week which is when I'm nearly 13 weeks, just want it over with.

smokeandglitter Tue 09-Sep-14 16:23:50

Hello everyone - totally didn't realise anyone had answered this thread! Lovely to hear from you all!

Coaster girl, try not to worry re scan. I'm a march edd and just had a scan and all is well after 2 previous mcs. Hope everything will go well.

I had been feeling low but not seriously low like normal. I'm definitely more level. My social worker totally pissed me off, but my midwife has been brilliant so swings and roundabouts I suppose!

OP’s posts: |
smokeandglitter Tue 09-Sep-14 16:24:33

And new edd is 21st march! grin

OP’s posts: |
inthewoods4 Tue 09-Sep-14 19:01:01

Hi coaster girl, I think the meds are still kicking in- if you doubled only last week then it might take a few more weeks for the full effects. I guess you are now anxious about being anxious- which my cbt therapist tells me is main problem. Maybe just tell yourself that you are still adjusting to the meds and not ill again. Xxx

JaneyTea Wed 10-Sep-14 10:29:16

Morning ladies, how are you all today?

I'm struggling with the extreme tiredness. Being tired is one of my triggers, so I'm having to be really careful. Yesterday was a bit of a rough day - my manager is the only one at work who knows I'm pregnant. She recounted a conversation that a group of people in my office were having about who they thought would have a baby next - no one said me blush - she thought this was hilarious, knowing what she does. However I found myself wonder, why not me? Is it so unfeasible it would be me? Undermined my whole day. Silly really.

Feeling better about things today, but still tired and sicky.

inthewoods I came off all my medication a few months before starting TTC. One (an antidepressant) I was instructed to come off due to concerns about the drug, the other two (antipsychotic and mood stabiliser) I chose to come off, but with my consultant knowing about it. She suggested that I stay on some medication, but seemed to appreciate that I'd done my research and that it was my choice. And I think it has to be just that - each individual's choice. It's not easy, but I wasn't finding the medication particularly helpful anyway (and was concerned about being overmedicated).

Nap time yet?! wink

coastergirl Wed 10-Sep-14 13:32:01

Thanks inthewoods. That's what I'm trying to do, just give myself time to adjust to the meds. I started today a little better, more motivated again. Did the dishes and loads of ironing (very unlike me!). But then my husband tried to call and see if we could bring my scan forward due to my anxiety, and they refused to talk to him at all, insisting that I had to call myself. He explained that I find using the phone incredibly difficult but they weren't budging at all. This just tipped me straight into feeling crap. I think that's the thing at the moment, I'm quite fragile. The slightest thing can turn my mood completely upside down. I guess that's similar to what you said Janey about what people had said undermining your whole day? After some digging by my husband, it turned out they didn't even have any earlier appointments, so they were basically trying to force me to ring up myself, with no positive outcome anyway! I'm continually disgusted by the lack of understanding of mental health issues in the very professionals who should have some understanding!

Janey maybe they thought you didn't want kids? A lot of people were quite shocked that I'm pregnant, mostly because I love rollercoasters and really didn't want to give them up. Most people associate me with coasters and theme parks, and obviously white knuckle rides and being pregnant don't mix. I actually think this is partly contributing to how I feel. Seeing my fellow coaster-enthusiast friends, the adrenaline rush of the rides, and a few glasses of wine are all things that really help me to relax, and I'm not able to do any of those things at the moment.

Hope you feel better soon. I've been lucky with tiredness, I'm not too bad.

JaneyTea Mon 15-Sep-14 15:47:16

Just checking in with everyone - hope you're all dong okay.

I had a really anxious weekend; work is super busy at the moment and suspect that the tiredness just got to me. Had my booking in appointment this morning, which felt a bit surreal. I've been referred to the pre-natal mental health service, but the midwife said that it's up to me how much support I want.

brew for all

Haily111 Wed 17-Sep-14 11:44:49

Hello all, just poppong in for a ☕️
I am feeling like poo at the moment. Am 7 weeks + 4 and suffering badly from MS. Which in turn makes me not want to eat and sets my low moods off hmm got docs appointment tomorrow to see if i can take anything. Havent had midwife app or scan yet xXx

JaneyTea Thu 18-Sep-14 06:39:03

Good luck for your appointment today hailly I hope the gp can help.

Haily111 Sat 20-Sep-14 21:53:18

Thank you.
Docs prescribed metoclopramide. When i picked them up from pharmacist she advised i shouldnt have these as they can give you serotonin toxin.
So havent taken any.
Feel like poo tho �� x

finn06 Tue 23-Sep-14 17:39:06

Hiya, so glad I found this thread.

I have suffered from GAD for years and came of my medication when I fell pregnant earlier this year. I'm now 27wks and had to see my doctor following a few weeks of escalating anxiety / insomnia. I'm now weaning myself back on the Escitalipram and enjoying the side-effects all over again sad

I really hope to get back to something resembling myself as I don't want to be like this when the baby comes in December (my first). I know it's early days though, and I need to just hang in there and thing will eventually get better smile


coastergirl Tue 23-Sep-14 18:57:12

Hi finn. Hope you do ok weaning back onto the meds. I've been quite lucky. Going without meds was disastrous for me but the medication they put me back on (Amitryptiline) has been a much nicer medication for me. I haven't had the side effects that I had with Paroxetine, plus it helps me sleep! I've been back on meds for a couple of months now, and things are gradually improving. I dunno though, I still just feel pretty bleurgh.

coastergirl Thu 25-Sep-14 17:24:07

Feeling quite defeated today. I thought things were getting better. I'm going back to work next week. But today my work advertised for two new teaching assistants (my job) and posted a link to the advert on facebook. Cue an immediate freak-out from me that I'm losing my job because of my absence record and they are replacing me. I'm driving myself crazy.

anothergenericname Thu 25-Sep-14 17:48:37

hello all. I know this is a bit odd. I'm really struggling. I wrote a post earlier but didn't get any replies, I don't want to copy and paste it, but I need to talk to someone, is it OK if I post a link?

I actually know a couple of you under my other name, but I have nc for a very particular reason.

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