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My fear of PND is making me ill now(3 Posts)
I had PND after the birth of my second child, who is now nearly 9. I managed to get through that but have suffered from anxiety ever since. Also have had episodes of high anxiety/intrusive thoughts for the past few years. I was on citalopram for my anxiety up until getting pregnant, I had an idea I might be pregnant so stopped taking before I even got a positive test. Anxiety was high in the first trimester, registrar prescribed me citalopram at 15 weeks but I was scared of the effect on the baby and managed to claw myself out of the dark place I had got into without taking them.
I am now in my third trimester and was feeling OK, however 3 weeks ago two things happened: 1. I finished work, and 2. I had a hospital appointment where the doctor said it might be worth going onto the medication before birth so I don't crash too much afterwards. I have so much time on my hands now that this is playing on my mind in an almost obsessive way.
Now I'm terrified I'm going to be really ill once the baby is born. It's not even PND I'm really scared of, it's the thought of the intrusive thoughts etc and I'm terrified I might totally lose touch with reality. It's started to make me feel ill now, I feel like it's all building up.
I know that when I'm on citalopram it helps massively, however the research I've done into taking it during pregnancy has scared me. I've read studies saying it can dramatically increase the chances of the child developing autism. I've read about newborn breathing problems and withdrawal symptoms. I couldn't forgive myself if any of the above occurred. I feel suffocated and trapped and don't know what to do for the best.
I don't know how much help I'll be in terms of knowledge on what you're going through but I was diagnosed myself with PND a few months ago (had been suffering for months before that though) and this is with my first child so it's all brand new and scary so I can relate somewhat to how you feel. I had recently seen a mental health professional about some anxiety issues too.
There are days I sit at home with my baby and think "does he even know who I am...does he even care...who am I any more...the girl I used to be before he was born is long gone and never coming back.. i'm a monster!" I definitely wanted to end my life and was horrified at some of the things that went through my mind. I would send horrible texts to my son's father, he even called the police on me one night because he thought I was either going to kill myself or harm my son. I never did any such thing but I had been texting him worrying messages in a frenzy, begging for help. I felt like a psycho! Some days I feel like I'm NEVER going to get better but I know deep down I WILL get better. You have already done an amazing job as you mentioned you managed to battle through being in a dark place at one point so that shows you are a strong woman.
Do you feel like you would have access to the right amount of help and support if you felt yourself slipping back into a dark place? I think if you knew you had the right support for when the baby arrives then you could tackle these feelings head on and make real progress should the dark thoughts return. Is your health visitor aware of your worries? Is there anyone they could refer you to therapy for? You WILL make it through this period and come out stronger. You have already taken the first step and that was reaching out for help and taking the medication, as I'm not any sort of medical professional I couldn't comment on the medicine side of things purely because I know nothing about it but I think if you had reassurance that there would be support ready and waiting for you that you would have better peace of mind.
Sorry I don't know if any of that will help at all.... Just know that you're not alone and I bet you are a fabulous mother and this new arrival will think the world of you day in and day out, even on your worst days so just take a deep breath. Do you get enough "me" time? Are there any hobbies or new things you'd like to try? When my son is at his dad's I've started making little decorations for christmas as I find it relaxing just sitting with the TV on or music and just focussing on making that one thing so I don't have to think about anything else. Maybe there are local book clubs (you maybe don't get much time to read though with kids lol!), knitting, even yoga? something to take your mind off things for a while.
I hope you start to feel better soon, sorry for babbling on! x
I had PND with DD2 so understand your fears. I was advised by a psychiatrist specialising in PND etc to get the medication before I gave birth and start it the day I gave birth. I managed to avoid getting PND again- the first time was terrible. It might be worthwhile discussing starting the day you give birth with hospital dr…obviously I'm not a medic and don't know your history, but it might relieve your fears a bit, but also give you a good chance of building up enough AD in your system before things have the chance to go completely pear shaped.
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