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diagnosed with pnd 2 weeks ago, please talk sense to me

(68 Posts)
poppypops Thu 15-Mar-12 14:28:31

Hi, my little boy is 6 weeks old. I was diagnosed with pnd 2 weeks. My main problem is anxiety especially around sleeping. I went for a few days with little or no sleep and got myself into such a state and had a complete meltdown. Fast forward 2 weeks and I have been on sertraline 50mg for the past 16 days and have been taking 3.75mg of zopliclone to help me sleep.

Started to feel a small improvement with my anxiety and low mood in the past 3 days so last night decided to take half dose of sleeping tablet. I woke up at 2 after little sleep and low and behold have been awake since. My little boy sleeps well so it's not him which is worse as I could rationalise that.

Basically, I have got myself into such a state today thinking this is it I will never be able to sleep again. Worried that I will end up back as I was 2 weeks ago and that is a horrible and scary thought. Having had a few goodish days the fall down is so horrible.

Please talk sense to me. Can anyone tell me a positive recovery story with sertraline. Once they are in my system a bit more should there be an improvement with my sleep or ability to fall back to sleep. I am desperately seeking reassurance that life will improve. I know 2 weeks is such a short time but it has felt like a lifetime getting here.

madmouse Thu 15-Mar-12 14:38:26

It's very early days for your treatment. Sertraline will take a while to work fully and 50mg is a starter dose, you may need a higher dose for it to work best. Did your GP tell you to come back after 2 weeks?

It is certainly too early to start catastrophising about never sleeping again. You will. Early motherhood is a very typical stage for sleeping problems followed by tiredness induced anxiety - it doesn't last!

There is a thread on here started by my friend Getdown - it's called Insomnia friends and you should feel free to join.

poppypops Thu 15-Mar-12 15:05:06

Thank you. Will look at that thread. I know it is early days, just want to fast forward time a bit.

Saw GP yesterday but yesterday was one of my good days. GP thought I looked very well and that things were on the up. Funny what lack of sleep in 24 hours can change.

BeckyBendyLegs Thu 15-Mar-12 15:57:10

I had the exact same problem after my DS3 was born two-and-a-half years ago. You will sleep. I read Paul McKenna's book about sleep when I was suffering badly from post-natal insomnia and one thing he said really struck a cord with me. It is actually really, really hard to force your body not to sleep for a prolonged period and many people who suffer from insomnia actually sleep during the night without realising it. I tried lots of things to help me including hypnotherapy on my ipod (by far the most effective), hypnotherapy with a hypnotherapist (wonderful for anxiety and for switching off the anxiety about lack of sleep leading to more anxiety leading to more lack of sleep, etc etc). I also tried herbal tablets and homeopathy but I know also that a lot of people who have suffered in this way have had a lot of success with ADs of various kinds. I didn't have a great experience with these as my GP didn't seem to know much about how to deal with my problem. I was perscribed zopiclone and diazepam which did help me initially but in the long-term I had to use other methods. CBT is also very effective in the long term.

I'm also on the insomnia friends thread. Feel free to join as madmouse says. We have all been there whether with anxiety, post-natal issues, lack of sleep, insomnia etc. You will be ok smile

poppypops Thu 15-Mar-12 18:21:24

Thank you Becky. Booked in for reflexology session this weekend. You are right in saying that it is a feeding cycle of anxiety. The problem is breaking the cycle.

Willing to try anything. Holding out hope that the meds will build up soon and start helping.

Anyone have any positive sertraline feedback please.

madmouse Thu 15-Mar-12 18:23:26

If you want to know specifically about sertraline start another thread with that in the title. It's fine to have two threads.

BeckyBendyLegs Thu 15-Mar-12 18:33:00

One thing I learnt at CBT was to ask myself: if I don't sleep, what will happen? And I realised that nothing would happen. I won't die. I'd be very tired, I'd struggle to get through the day, but I would get through it. I had got through bad days and got through to the other side after a better night's sleep. And that helped break the anxiety cycle. So when you're lying in bed, awake, just think 'oh well, it might take a while to fall asleep, but it's not a big deal, I've been tired before, I'm sure I will again, perhaps I'll fall asleep soon.' I also play out really boring stories in my head such as going up an endless escalator, or just sitting on the beach, and it really does work even though it sounds really basic and too 'mild' a solution to have any effect.

poppypops Thu 15-Mar-12 18:58:31

Will do Madmouse, thanks. Good advice Becky. Do you mind me asking how long it was before you felt in control of it or is it ongoing?

BeckyBendyLegs Thu 15-Mar-12 21:06:55

It started just after the New Year when DS3 was 6 weeks old, January was horrible, February was ok, March was a bit more ok. Recovery was then gradual until the end of the summer. I have had blips. I remember one night that July when I didn't sleep at all and I convinced myself I was unmendable. But it was just a blip. Now I'd say I am 99% better. I get a little anxious if I go out and don't get to bed before midnight or if my mind is racing and I can't sleep. But I cope, I calm myself down, I tell myself 'it doesn't matter' and I'm more or less ok now. DS3 is a lovely, albeit snotty at the moment, 2 year old now.

madmouse Thu 15-Mar-12 21:21:00

Becky's blips were legendary for a while wink

BeckyBendyLegs Thu 15-Mar-12 21:40:12

madmouse lol!

poppypops Fri 16-Mar-12 08:28:05

Morning Madhouse and BeckyBendyLegs, just read the thread you suggested. Wanted you to know how impressive you both are. You sound like such supportive, understanding friends. It is so reassuring to get perspective from people who have had the experience of it and come through the other side. I do wish Getdown a speedy recovery.

Well I had 3.25mg of zopiclone last night at 8.30, woke at 12 and had a panic so had the other half. Slept well so feel like I can function today. Feeling guilty now for taking the whole tablet especially as I had the second part at midnight, meaning I had to express at 6 and give an extra formula feed this morning.

Do you think I need to go back to GP, I am worried that I will keep needing to rely on zopiclone to get to sleep or should I give the antidepressant longer to take effect. Sorry if my concerns about the tablets are repetitive. Just not sure if I am on the right antidepressant for my anxiety/sleep problems etc. Maybe I should start a separate thread as suggested. God, I am so indecisive it is driving me crazy!

Alicia26 Fri 16-Mar-12 10:45:13

Hi there, just wanted to let you know that all will be fine. My baby was born 5 months ago and I was diagnosed with PND 2 weeks later. Exactly the same symptoms as you - the main issue being insommnia due to anxiety around not sleeping - a viscious circle - some nights I would not sleep at all and it was terrible so I know exactly what you are going through. I saw a psychiatrist and was put on 50mg of sertaline. I have been on this dose for 4 months now. It took about 2 months for all the anxiety to go away. Since then my sleep has improved considerably each week and is now back to normal. I actually sleep more than I did before. Sertaline does not help you to sleep - it removes the anxiety around sleep so you dont worry and therefore are able to. My Psyc said that sleep was the last thing to correct itself post PND and he was right. Even now when my baby wakes in the night I can go back to sleep within minutes of feeding him. If I were you I would avoid taking the sleeping tablets. You might find that you start to psycologically rely on them and I promise you that you wont need them once the AD starts working. I am now happier than I was before PND and am loving being a Mum. It feels so awful right now but just be strong and ride this wave knowing that you are on the right meds and will be back to normal very soon. Please let me know if you need anymore reassurance that all will be more than fine very soon x

ChiefPotterer Fri 16-Mar-12 10:52:26

You will feel so much better soon-but if after a few weeks you find you are still not sleeping maybe your ADs dont suit so you could discuss a change-I tried loads before settling with Mitrazapine and for me it is a wonderdrug!. Try to rest when you can and eat-difficult I know when you feel stressed. I have been exactly were you are now I could have written your post! and I am now back to full strength, enjoying my children again and basically loving my life-I could not have imagined anything changing all those months ago and thought I would end up in an institution! Take care-wishing you a speedy recovery x.

BeckyBendyLegs Fri 16-Mar-12 11:22:21

Alicia26 hello - it is good you posted here because you have experience of the medication poppypops is taking. Your story is very reassuring. I was unlucky in that my GP prescribed fluoxitine which sent me a bit loopy and made the insomnia much worse, and he didn't have any other suggestions beyond councilling and zopliclone / diazepam. He was pretty useless actually. I got better slowly and gradually without anti-depressants but I often think it would have been a lot easier if I'd had different advice and help.

Alicia26 Fri 16-Mar-12 11:37:38

Hi BeckyBendyLegs - I was so lucky that I had a great GP who referred me straight away to a psyc who was brilliant. I am still seeing him now. Amazing that you got better on your own - that must have been a challenging time to say the least. PND hey - who would have thought it could be so hard! Am pleased now though that I went through it as its given me a very different perspective on things x

BeckyBendyLegs Fri 16-Mar-12 11:57:25

Oh me too. I've learnt a lot about mental health and how precious good health and happiness are. I've also learnt a lot about living in the moment, making the most, looking for the good in things and other people.

Loopymumsy Fri 16-Mar-12 12:14:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

poppypops Fri 16-Mar-12 14:12:29

Thank you all. Alicia26, your post made me cry. It is nice to hear there may just be light at the end of the tunnel.

Reading the side effects of sertraline scared me as insomnia is one. Worried that they will make my insomnia worse.

Alicia26, how long before you noticed a difference? Is 2 weeks too short a period of time to start getting worked up over?

Will call that drug line. It is so frustrating as GP and pharmacist didn't really know and advised bottle feeding. Friend of a friend is a GP however and said I should pump and dump

madmouse Fri 16-Mar-12 14:54:24

Poppypops do yourself a favour and read the patient leaflet on any painkillers you have in the house - you will probably find headache listed as a side effect. Go figure.

They have to list everything reported as side effects. Doesn't mean it will affect you.

BeckyBendyLegs Fri 16-Mar-12 15:52:47

So true. A friend of mine started fluoxitine at Christmas and the only side effect she got was a slight dry mouth. When I took them my side effects included: nausea, headache, insomnia, fuzzy head, anxiety, and on and on. Everyone is different.

Alicia26 Fri 16-Mar-12 15:55:08

Hi there yes 2 weeks is really short. Its more of a gradual thing. I went on them in Nov and by Christmas I thought I was so much better but I now know that I wasnt 100% right and I am now. You will start to feel much better after about a month and then this will improve all the time - again my psyc said this to me and he was right. The best advice I can give you is to hold onto the fact that soon you will be feeling so much better and in a couple of months you will be back to how you were before your baby I promise - if not feeling even better than before. Just see it as part of lifes rich tapestry - hold onto the rollercoaster and just ride it without worrying too much about the future knowing that all will be brilliant really soon. I look back on that time now and it seems like such a blur. I dont really remember it and you will do the same. It will make you a much stronger person and more appreciative of everything you have. You will look back on it and see it as an experience that shaped you and you will be better for it. Try not to spend time worrying now xxxxx

Alicia26 Fri 16-Mar-12 15:58:14

ps I read the side effects too and as Madmouse says everyone is different. My side effect was that I got a dry mouth. My psyc said that any side effects will show in the first few days of taking it so dont worry about that now as anything that you could have got would have shown itself by now. My Psyc laughed when I told him insommnia was a side effect and told me to ignore the leaflet.....dont give yourself anymore to worry about than you have already - just use this site to give you strength and reassurance and ignore the rest smile x

GetDownYouWillFall Fri 16-Mar-12 18:10:04

Hi poppy how are you getting on? Only just seen this thread, I am suffering exactly the same. PND / sleep anxiety issues. I had the same after my DD was born (4 years ago) and it all seems a bit of a blur but I did get better.

I am now struggling again and finding it hard to believe I will get better, although in my head I know I will. I just dread the nights. Not really sleeping at all at the moment. Last night I had a panic attack at 1am and it really scared me sad

I've been taking mirtazapine for about 3 weeks now, and the higher dose for about 12 days. Really hoping it starts working soon. I can't bear it much longer.

poppypops Sat 17-Mar-12 07:42:30

Morning, How was your night getdown? Hope you managed to get some sleep. It is such a horrible time we are going through right now and it certainly doesn't feel fair. I feel like I am being punished for something I've done in a former life....silly I know but that's how it feels at this moment.

Well last night I managed to fall asleep at 9ish and woke at 2 when little man needed feeding. Not bad considering I didn't take zopiclone. Tossed and turned
Arguing with myself whether I should take half a zopiclone and think I may have dosed until 4.30. Been awake since, half pleased with myself that I didn't give in but now that the full day is ahead of me worried about being tired. How frustrating!

Hoping that as I managed to sleep for the first part of the night the sertraline may be having some effect. This time last week I would be completely falling apart and analysing all sorts.

Thanks everyone for your encouraging posts. I have reread your posts overnight alicia26, just to boost my spirits and give me something positive to focus on. X

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