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Anxiety since first pregnancy

(3 Posts)
borderlineoffended Sun 12-Jun-11 21:50:30


I suffered anxiety badly in my first pregnancy but I did nothing about it. I was obsessive about washing my hands due to swine flu fears. When I had ds he didn't breathe for a minute or two and the anxiety went haywire but again I told no one but I would wake up panicking and wake him, sometimes every ten minutes all night long, to see he was breathing. I read blogs about children dying every day and lurk on the bereavement board although it has become a lot more manageable the further I have got away from his birth and mostly I manage to read them without having anxiety attacks anymore and am functioning well and often very happy, though the fears still underlie it and I can't cope with hearing anything about child death (yet I seek it out, too?).

I know all of this comes from my own past - alcoholic home etc etc - I don't trust happiness and am always waiting for the unpredictable etc.

I am trying to conceive and this time I really want to seek treatment but don't know how to go about it or what it would entail. Can anyone tell me? I am finding it really hard to admit to all of this..

TheArmadillo Sun 12-Jun-11 23:25:36

Firstly the only way you can properly stop the anxiety from returning is to sort out the causes. If you can afford to pay for counselling then private is usually quickest - if not try going through your gp, though there is usually a wait.

Secondly you need to devise some kind of support system for if the anxiety does happen again.

I have anxiety issues from a crappy childhood that got extremely bad during my recent 2nd pregnancy. I treated it with medication (I was in the second trimester by this point so although restricted there was stuff I could have) and I also am still having CBT which works on the behaviour patterns and the way you think (IYSWIM) - that has been fantastic for me but might not work for you at the moment if you are not anxious now.

I also had a lot of support from my midwife and gp (I was under gp-led care for the anxiety). The hospital were made aware of my issues for when I gave birth (there were potential complications because of the medication I was taking) and were very good - e.g. I was placed in a 2 bed room rather than on the 6 bed open ward when I had to stay in. I was assessed by the mother and baby psychiatric team who put me in touch with a charity who would phone me to check on me and let me talk on a regular basis (this really made a big difference).

I had a lot of support from my work (I was off work from about 5 months on sick leave until I went on maternity leave) and then again when I went back to work inJanuary (returning from maternity leave) e.g. my maternity cover stayed on to provide one to one support for 6 months.

I have support from dh's family and our friends (I have no contact with my own family). Luckily in a way for me dh was unemployed so at home full time to look after me (he is now a SAHD) - although I'm much better now I'm nowhere near 'cured' and still need a high level of support from him.

My mind reacted to the severe anxiety by having hallucinations and paranoid delusions. I was on anti-psychotics for this as well as the prozac for the anxiety. I also shook, twitched and stuttered badly (none of which I have ever done before in my life) so came accross as a real headcase.

When the midwife passed me over to the HV after dd was born she to was given my history so could support me. I developed (luckily only mild) PND.

Dh was careful not to let me get sleep deprived (as I said we were lucky he was not working) - we used to do 6 hour shifts at the start. He also kept a very close eye on me e.g. I refused to sleep at all in the hospital so he sent me to bed for about 18 hours when we got home and promised to write down everything she did (times and size of feeds, nappy changes etc) and made sure he stayed awake to watch her.

Sorry this has been an epic but I wanted to show you it can be managed and treated in pregnancy with the right support. Any questions please ask.

Spoo Sun 12-Jun-11 23:30:52

i suffer anxiety and have recently started medication. I also see a CBT therapist which is really helping. speak to your gp. the longer you leave it the worse it can get so try to get yourself seen soon. there is a 'cure' and it is incredibly common. if you had a broken leg you would get it fixed so do the same for your mental health.

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