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Should I have children when risk of depression?

(19 Posts)
CatsOnMyLap Wed 15-Feb-17 21:44:47

I am 36, been with my DH for 13 years. I'm aware time is running out for us to have kids. I was on antidepressants for years for anxiety and depression. I decided to taper myself off them recently, for many reasons but one of the reasons is so that when the time comes that we want to conceive then I am already off the medication. However since coming off the medication i was fine for the first month or so except for withdrawal effects, but last month or so I have been moody, fed up, tearful, almost having panic attacks. I'm worried about risk of depression if I ever get pregnant.

Perhaps I should never have children with my history of anxiety and depression?? Would I be selfish to do so??

MissMatchedSocks Wed 15-Feb-17 21:52:43

Did you see your GP before coming off the AD's? There's often a good chance that you'd be able to continue on with them even when conceiving and pregnant but your GP can obviously advise better than I can.

It's not selfish to have a baby when you have a history of anxiety and depression. I've done it and countless other parents have as well and been excellent parents to our children.

Please do discuss it with your GP, I hope they can put your mind at rest smile

Ordinarily Wed 15-Feb-17 21:56:52

Usually the advice is to stop ADs if possible for pregnancy. But if the benefits of ADs outweigh the risks for you at any point, then the GP may prescribe. Sometimes people are given a different AD for pregnancy depending on the relative safety record.

I'd ask your GP and explain your concerns, and then they can suggest a way forward. I would imagine they see people in this situation pretty frequently, as while depression and anxiety still aren't talked about much, they're also not uncommon at all.

Good luck flowers

CatsOnMyLap Wed 15-Feb-17 21:59:17

No I didn't discuss with my GP because there were a few reasons I wanted to come off them as well as pregnancy (lots of weight gain, always sleepy, felt better so thought I didn't need them any more etc!). Although a few years a go when getting my repeat prescription for the pill I asked the nurse if I'd need to come off the meds to get pregnant and she looked at me like I was insane for even considering ever having kids! She said that if I did I'd be high risk for PND sad

Glad to hear others have done it and it's been fine smile

Roseandbee Wed 15-Feb-17 23:22:08

I think the population would decline quite rapidly if everyone with a history of depression decided not to have children. I think the majority of people i know have struggled at some point.
Im still just trying to wean myself off mine, i think you were just unlucky with that nurse. Ive been to two gps and neither was concerned or judgemental about me being on antidepressants whilst TTC, they just said if i feel like i can to wean myself of them, but the ones i'm on they do prescribe during pregnancy. GL

physicskate Thu 16-Feb-17 10:14:36

I went to my gp because ttc for the past (nearly) year and my job high pressure job had left me a wreck and they prescribed me ADs, even though one of my triggers has been ttc!

I quit my job instead of taking them because ADs will not fix depression. They will improve your mood and help but not 'cure' anything... if that makes sense?

So even though I was already ttc, my gp was more than happy to start me on sertraline (sp)?

Ordinarily Thu 16-Feb-17 12:45:21

ADs will not fix depression. They will improve your mood and help but not 'cure' anything... if that makes sense?

It depends on the person. For some, ADs are part or all of the answer. For others, they aren't. They have a higher success rate with severe depression than mild cases.

Ordinarily Thu 16-Feb-17 12:47:13

OP if the side effects are annoying then if you do find you need ADs it's worth trying other ADs until you find which suits you best. It's trial and error, as different people get on best with different ADs (for some biochemical reasons I don't understand!)

UnbornMortificado Thu 16-Feb-17 12:52:57

I'm PG my psychiatrist put me on amitripiline it's an old style antidepressant but is considered safe (or as safe in possible) in pregnancy.

I'm always going to be at risk of post/antenatal depression but my problems are long term and I didn't want to put it off forever.

Rustler74 Thu 16-Feb-17 12:55:37

I know people with Anxiety and Depression that are very good parents. Please don't deny yourself this. You're not being selfish. It sounds like you're in a good relationship and you'd like a child. Get yourself to the gp and balance out your meds and therapy, such as CBT. You'll be fantastic!

sadandanxious Thu 16-Feb-17 13:35:05

My DP has depression and anxiety and he's a fantastic dad. I know it's diggers my because you'd be the one having to actually carry the baby but please don't let it put you off. Yes you may be more at risk of PND but you're aware of it and can be monitored more to help you if it does happen.

sadandanxious Thu 16-Feb-17 13:35:35

It's different even!

physicskate Thu 16-Feb-17 13:48:02

It depends on the person. For some, ADs are part or all of the answer. For others, they aren't. They have a higher success rate with severe depression than mild cases.

Could not agree more! And by 'cure', I mean eliminate or eradicate the illness... They will definitely work for some people and leave them more able to make positive decisions and changes and they will help alleviate symptoms, but they are not a magic cure-all!

I did not want to take meds for the rest of my life (or the forseeable future) so I am looking for different ways of dealing with the stress, depression and anxiety of ttc and my job (like leaving my job)... but this is personal to me. I would never EVER judge someone else from taking ADs if they help them - it was just not the right decision for me at the time.

I just find it curious that they prescribed ADs when I specifically mentioned TTC being a trigger/ source of my depression!! So they can't be that bad for a developing foetus...

ethelfleda Thu 16-Feb-17 17:51:59

To the OP - are you doing anything else to help improve your mood? I've been suffering for anxiety for many many years at this point... I've never taken meds for it though as I didn't feel it was right for me. I've come to terms with the fact that I will always probably have mental health problems but that I can manage them - this was a turning point for me. As longoing as I exercise regularly and practise relaxation techniques I can manage how I feel.
Exercise is very a powerful cure and I dont think I'd have ever gotten 'better' without it.
I know out circumstances aren't the same but just want to with you luck and say go for it! I'm sure you'll make great parents x

ethelfleda Thu 16-Feb-17 17:52:34

Wish you luck I meant! Sorry

twinnymummy16 Thu 16-Feb-17 19:07:53

Don't forget we are all at risk of PND! And the first year is the hardest but if you can get through the first year the rest is very rewarding and worth it. Definitely speak to the GP about staying on the meds and additional support during and postnatally and they will help you all the way! If you are concerned and worried already you will be a great mum who will always put your baby first! Good luck wink

donkey86 Thu 16-Feb-17 19:19:11

I was on sertraline for around five years. I stopped taking it oct-dec (gradually tapered down the dose) and got pregnant around new year (so it's early days yet!). I do worry a little about our children possibly suffering too, particularly as my husband also has a history of depression, but at least we'll be well placed to help them deal with it. As for me, I'm coping fine without my medication as regards depression, but my anxiety has skyrocketed. If I wasn't pregnant I'd go straight back on the medication straight away (I kept a stockpile when I stopped taking it). It's not fun, but DH is helping me cope. I think, if you've got support mechanisms in place, you should be ok to go ahead. And you certainly wouldn't be being selfish to do so.

GreedyDuck Fri 17-Feb-17 12:07:04

My partner and I both have a long-term history of depression, and we were both on ADs when I conceived DD. I did stop taking my Citalopram as I was on a v low dose at that point and wanted to see if I could cope without it. As it happens, pregnancy was a really positive experience for me and my general underlying mood was much better. I would have gone back on them whilst pregnant if I'd needed to though.

Parenthood is challenging, no doubt about it, and I was terrified that I would get PND. I certainly had a moment at about six weeks in (lack of sleep made me feel very low) but I spoke to my GP about it and my partner, and we got through it. I've now been AD free for almost three years. I had a wobble this winter when I had a mc, and I have an 'emergency' box of ADs stashed away, but on the whole I am ok.

What I did find was that having a child pulled me out of myself and my worries and concerns, I certainly have less time to dwell on things. I was desperate to be a mother, and waited a long time for her. So whilst I will always have depression (I just don't have the mechanisms to cope with certain things) having her was a great decision. I know that it's not the same for everyone, and I am lucky in that I haven't suffered badly from anxiety since my twenties.

I couldn't have done any of it without my partner being fully on board and supportive, we keep an eye on each other's mh, and that is invaluable. We do worry a little bit about our daughter suffering from mh problems in the future, but tbh that can happen to anyone, and at least we both know what to look out for (unlike our parents who were of the 'stiff upper lip' 'depression is a self indulgence' generation). She is a ridiculously happy and sunny child though, so maybe she'll breeze through life.

If it is something you really want, and you have good support around you, I would go for it.

Love51 Fri 17-Feb-17 12:24:50

I had bad depression a few years before my first was born. I got mild depression when she was 1 and I was pregnant again. Nothing sincesmile Would you have children if you had a history of physical illness?

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