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PN PTSD ?(11 Posts)
Hi I'm not sure what to put without outing myself too much but a bit of back story :
I had severe Hyperemesis when pregnant along with a long list of other medical issues, some serious complications and a terrible labour.
I have spoken to a few midwives and health care professionals who have suggested I may now be suffering with PTSD
I keep having flashbacks to the pregnancy and labour
I feel severely nauseous if I so much as hear or read about morning sickness
I have been put off certain foods for life.
I'm constantly thinking something bad has happened to my baby.
Always wanted a large family and now feel devastated at the thought that I'm not strong enough to go through this twice (I compare myself to others with HG who have more than one and feel I am inferior for not wanting to do it again)
I was put in touch with a mental health team who spoke to me like shit. I decided I wouldn't be taking it further with them.
I went to a group session which was supposed to be some kind of therapy for people with pregnancy related MH issues, three hours of listening to them discuss what labour would be like for the pregnant people in the group, and nothing for the ones who have already had babies.(knowing what my issues were beforehand I felt this was very insensitive) I felt even worse when I left that session and won't be going back.
I don't want to go to the GP and be put on anti depressants
(don't feel depressed as such for a start.)
Will my feelings just ease over time or do I need to pursue some help? Has anyone been in this situation and has any advice ?
Thanks for reading if you've made it this far, I don't have anyone in RL who I can talk to no one understands and just tell me to forget about it, I will change my mind in future etc.. your baby was worth it etc etc..
Hi I'm sorry you've had such an awful time. I don't have experience of PN PTSD but I had trauma issues in my past and used to have flashbacks/nightmares etc.
TBH I wouldn't have got over it with counselling (through university when I was a student). I've heard that there are better treatments now though. Mental health team sound a bit if they can't help at least they can try and be nice about it It sounds like you deserve and need help. It might be worthwhile talking to the GP to see if she can refer you for any psychological help if you don't want to take medication (not the MH team). If you're worrying constantly about the baby though…that kind of sets off 'might benefit from medication' alarm bells though! Did anyone refer you to the group? If so can you feed back to them how inappropriate it was…or at least tell your GP what you have tried and that it hasn't been helpful.
TBH I don't see how anyone with HG could do it more than once. It sounds horrific. When I heard that Kate Middleton was pregnant with number 2 I thought she was absolutely batshit crazy. Why would anyone do that again?! I'm assuming that after time has passed hormones take over and then people want to do it again. So don't rule out having that bigger family just now- I know so many people who said they were definitely never doing it again and they did. And I know other people that said actually I've decided that 1 is enough thank you and did that too. Everyone makes their own decisions that suit them.
Im really sorry to hear you have been through this. It's an awful set of experiences but you are not alone.
Have a look at the Birth trauma website, it has useful info.
For me personally EMDR was the only type of therapy that helped. I was skeptical as I'd tried all sorts before but it only took 2 sessions and I began to think about my pregnancy and birth without such overwhelming negative emotions which seemed like a miracle.
I strongly recommend antidepressants, they made all the difference for me and like you I didn't feel depressed.
Don't worry about whether to have another baby yet, there's time for that. Just look after yourself, it's hard enough to have a new baby without these sorts of issues. I know it has changed me forever.
Take care x
Thank you, I'm in tears reading your replies!
I get so emotional when I think about it all, I feel like I'm usually such s strong person I can't believe I'm letting it get on top of me.
It doesn't help when you try to talk about it to family members who say things like "your not having another, I won't allow it" - (like you have a choice in the matter) but in a way that sets off my challenge instinct to prove that comment wrong, so I end up feeling like if I don't have more in future they will think it was because of them, and seems to diminish my feelings if that makes sense!
Then there's DH who doesn't want any more now because of what it did to me, that makes me feel guilty!
I feel guilty about not being able to provide my baby with a sibling and worry about the negatives (although can see some positives -mainly money related)
jennifer can I ask what EMDR involves?
dangermouse your comment made me laugh, definitely bat shit crazy!!
I had PTSD due to a traumatic premature birth. Hypervigilance - checking on baby all the time and visions of unlikely things happening to them - is part of it. As well as flashbacks, feeling upset, angry. I also had the bodily memory you have - feeling like I couldn't breathe.
I also had EMDR which is a drug free eye movement treatment. It got worse before it got better so just to prewarn you the first few sessions are exhausting and overwhelming. I was lucky in that I'm in an NHS area that had an EMDR practitioner that specialised in birth trauma too.
If there's anything I can help with happy to answer
I'm recovering from PTSD though not PN. I didn't feel depressed either, but found Mirtazapine (an AD) has really helped reduce the anxiety though Flouoxitine (which I've taken for depression in the past) did nothing for me this time.
Councelling wasn't very helpful this time either. My councellor actually went in a course on treating people for trauma whilst she was seeing me and said it was a very different approach to the one they are taught in councelling training. I'm now seeing a psychologist and its early days but he had warned it may get worse before it gets better. CPN and councellor both reccomended psychologist for EDMR and/or CBT, not had any EDMR from him yet.. Also saw a friend who is an nlp (neurolinguistic programming) master practitioner the othher day who did something similar to EDMR, which gave instant relief in a 15 min timeframe. Flasbacks stopped after this, but have started again since last psychology session.
Abbey could you explain how it works?
I've not had a formal diagnosis just two separate midwives have said that's what it sounds like! How do you go about getting a diagnosis and referrals? I feel like if I go to my GP it will feel like I'm telling them what's wrong with me if you see what I mean? They will think I'm playing DR Google!
Anxious i have trouble with taking tablets (struggle with just paracetamol) had to take anti emetics for the HG but they didn't help much.
I worry about side effects from anti depressants one thing I can no longer cope with is nausea and vomiting which I find I always get when i take pills of any kind.
Are there any other alternatives?
Does time heal on its own ?
This is the UK and Ireland emdr site www.emdria.org/?page=2
It works for ptsd quite effectively and the army use it for veterans with ptsd. How it works is when you're in a traumatic situation your brain doesn't process it properly and it becomes stuck. The lady that invented it noticed that when she was watching people in a park she felt better. The eye movements get the memories worked up to the surface and be processed properly. I also remembered a lot of stuff I'd forgotten!
I was referred by a midwife as I was pregnant again and losing my shit.
I'd say to your doctor about the other health professionals that have suggested it rather than say you've used the Internet.
I'm not sure that PTSD does get better on it's own. Certainly I had it for 8 years. The anti depressants helped a lot (I started them when baby was 6months old) but still had it for another 7 years until I had EMDR. I paid privately. Counsellor asked me to watch a little red light while I thought back to specific traumatic situations. As I say, I was skeptical but it really worked and very quickly.
I sympathise with relatives saying the most unhelpful things. I was told "Well at least baby's ok" which negated anything I might be thinking or feeling. And to stop going on about it, other people have it worse. That's like saying you can't be happy, other people are happier.
Like you, I thought I was strong.PTSD happens to anyone, weak or strong. It happens where you fear you might die and often where you feel you don't know who to trust any more. So it happens in war and in traumatic birth. I still am strong but it has changed me. Don't felt you have to prove things to people :-)
From what Ive read ADs arn't the reccommend first line of treatment for PTSD anyway, EDMR does seem to be the treatment of choice. I would explain to your GP that other proffessionals have told you they think you have it and ask if they can refer to a psychologist. My GPs never said PTSD, she puts anxiety on my sicknotes the psychologist hasnt but councellor wrote Assessment for PTSD on the referal to him and hes assessed and agreed to take me on for treatment. CPN alsobsaid he thought I was suffering PTSD. I've accessed psychology throuh work, GP said she could refer me but it would be a long wait.
Thank you for your replies, I've been really poorly the last few days so haven't been on here, being poorly has made me feel like I was right back in the worst days of my HG and I seem to have developed a phobia of being sick!
I will book an appointment to speak to my GP.
And Merry Christmas
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