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PND and antidepressants

(21 Posts)
BlueBlue22 Mon 16-Jan-17 16:14:59

Hi all,

I'm pretty sure I have postnatal depression and I have taken the positive step of making an appointment to see my doctor tomorrow. It will actually be the second trip to the doctors for antidepressants because the first time I was given sertraline and it gave me terrible headaches so I decided not to take it but to try and beat it myself without meds.

I felt really anxious the first few weeks after my baby was born 3 months ago. That anxiety turned into depression, but when my DD turned 8 weeks old I seemed to improve a bit. However, since Christmas I have really gone downhill again. I feel completely miserable. I have had some terrible thoughts, and even though I love my baby, I keep wishing I'd never had her. I don't know what to do with her all day while my DH is at work. I'm bored of caring for her and I feel so trapped and isolated. I can't do anything I used to enjoy because she takes up ALL my time and attention. She won't sleep except in my arms, although she is sleeping through the night now. She won't sleep during the day and then gets overtired and fussy in the evening.

I have had a couple of stays at my parents house to alleviate the loneliness but I can't keep relying on them or leaving my DH all week. He knows how miserable I am. I cry nearly every day, and today I realised that since my baby was born I haven't enjoyed one single day. This is so sad because she was very much wanted after I suffered a stillbirth in 2015, when I lost twins at 23 weeks. And now I can't bond with my baby, I'm so very very sad because she is beautiful and healthy.

Sorry for the essay. What I really wanted to ask from anyone who has gone through PND, is do antidepressants actually help? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Will parenting get better or more enjoyable? I really hope it does because I cannot live like this 😓 There is more I could write about how I feel but I don't think it's necessary.

Thanks in advance x

AuntiePenguin Mon 16-Jan-17 16:17:53

I took sertraline for PND and it definitely helped: it felt like it lifted me up enough that I could start thinking more clearly, working out how to enjoy life with the baby, feeling up to going out to baby groups etc.

Did you stick with sertraline for long? It does take a few weeks for side effects to calm down, I was very dizzy and woozy for a few weeks but no side effects since then.

And are you breastfeeding? If so sertraline is recommended as being the safest.

AuntiePenguin Mon 16-Jan-17 16:20:13

Clicked post too soon. Meant to add that the first few months were the toughest - baby will get more responsive/interactive soon, and you can start taking her to baby groups etc. Once you have some structure to your day and some adult company you'll start to feel better

BlueBlue22 Mon 16-Jan-17 16:20:44

I didn't take it for long no. I'm not breastfeeding. I used to take citalopram years ago and didn't suffer many side effects. I'm hoping to get that again.

UnbornMortificado Mon 16-Jan-17 16:22:37

Every one reacts differently to AD's. Think the general rule is to give them 3 weeks to kick in and the side effects to subside.

In the past I have been given anti sickness medication and stronger pain killers to get me through the first 3 weeks.

If the GP wants to try sertraline again (it's quite a popular choice with GP's as it has a good success rate) you can always ask for antisickness tablets short term to give them chance to work.

InfinityPlusOne Mon 16-Jan-17 16:24:12

I'm taking lexapro for post natal anxiety. I couldn't sleep, I developed terrible health anxiety and I was miserable, exhausted and just wanted to get into bed as soon as the kids were asleep. I actually didn't develop it until I went back to work after ML and the stress of all the juggling sent me to a bad place. The Dr still considers it post natal though although I guess it doesn't really matter.

When I started taking the tablets I had terrible headaches for quite a few weeks and an awful foggy feeling. I'm not sure how much was the tablets and how much was exhaustion but now two months in I feel 100% better and pretty much back to my normal self. So much so that I almost forget to take the tablets as I feel so normal I forget I'm taking them.

Don't be afraid to get help OP, in whatever form is best for you. I only regret not doing it sooner.

UnbornMortificado Mon 16-Jan-17 16:24:49


There is a newer version of citalapram out now named escitalopram. It's one of the few I've never been on but I've heard a lot of success stories with it.

I was on normal citalopram years, it was brilliant but the withdrawal symptoms were not envy

InfinityPlusOne Mon 16-Jan-17 16:26:25

Also I'm very sorry about the loss of your twins. Did you receive any help with grieving, any counselling? This might help with the PND along with medication if needed.

BlueBlue22 Mon 16-Jan-17 16:31:21

I didn't really have any counselling, again I just thought I'd get through it on my own. I do want to take antidepressants but I feel afraid of dealing with side effects along with caring for my baby. I'm just so afraid and feel hopeless at the moment.

UnbornMortificado Mon 16-Jan-17 16:33:26

I'm sorry about your twins. I lost my son at 24 weeks it's really hard.

Have you ever read up on PTSD? That's what I ended up with (birth was really traumatic) I'm not at all qualified to diagnose anyone I just thought I'd mention it in case it was relative to how your feeling.


InfinityPlusOne Mon 16-Jan-17 16:40:11

Don't be afraid BlueBlue, easier said than done I know but make an appointment with your Dr and discuss everything you've said here. The side effects for me really weren't that bad at all and I could take painkillers if the headaches got particularly bad. I started to sleep better almost immediately (not easy with a small baby but the sleep I do get is better quality) and I am much calmer and happier overall. While antidepressants aren't for everyone, for me they have made a huge difference. I also think that counselling could really help you, not having any help to deal with what happened to you with your twins must be very difficult.

The first step is an appointment with the GP for a chat about all of this, write down what you need to say and even hand it over if it's too hard to say.

BlueBlue22 Mon 16-Jan-17 16:49:15

Thanks Infinityplus1 that is helpful. I have actually written down how I feel on a piece of paper and I'll take it along to my appointment tomorrow. I just need some help 😥 I need to feel better.

Blackbird82 Mon 16-Jan-17 17:00:03

I pretty much hated the first year. I was going through the motions, doing everything I could to take care of my son and trying desperately to enjoy it but I was just lost and a shadow of my former self. I also wished I'd never had him on many occasions!

There's no doubt, looking back now, that I had PND but I didn't seek help at the time.

What I can tell you is that it does get better. At least it has for me. He's now 21 months and he's just amazing. He talks a lot and has a great sense of humour. I love being with him and although it's still full on, it's just nothing like the first year.

I really do feel back to my old self. I've just started a new business, am back enjoying hobbies and I do manage to have a little time to myself too. I really do get what you're going through, as I said, the first year is pretty dire but things change so quickly. Just try to hang onto that thought and in the meantime if you can find an AD that works for you then great.

All the best flowers

InfinityPlusOne Mon 16-Jan-17 17:09:46

Yes to echo what Bluebird said it is difficult with a small baby and you certainly aren't alone in finding in hard so please don't beat yourself up over that. In your case though I do think it might be something more though so do be as honest as you can with the GP and I do believe counselling would be of help to you as well.

Hopefully tomorrow is the day things start to get better for you in terms of how you are feeling flowers

InfinityPlusOne Mon 16-Jan-17 17:10:31

Sorry Blackbird not Bluebird

UnbornMortificado Mon 16-Jan-17 18:11:36

Blue in hindsight I should of accepted the counselling. All I did was bottle things up and I ended up hospitalised over it.

I do agree with PP small babies are hard work. Adding lack of sleep to anxiety/depression can exaggerate it somewhat.

Good luck with your appointment tomorrow flowers

BlueBlue22 Mon 16-Jan-17 18:47:46

Thank you everyone, I have read all your replies carefully. Perhaps what I have is PTSD on top of PND. Perhaps I had PTSD before I had her because I couldn't believe I would give birth to a live baby. I had a C Section and apparently for the 1st minute she didn't breathe, which is totally normal they said, but it haunted me for ages the fact that she didn't breathe straight away and she could have died. Anyway I have organised to go and stay with my parents again next week and after that the antidepressants might have started making me feel a little bit better. I feel bad for leaving my DH but he wants me to be ok and feels better knowing I'm not alone during the day. Just gotta get through this difficult time.

BlueBlue22 Mon 16-Jan-17 18:50:09

I forgot to add that I feel pathetic for finding looking after my baby so hard. Some women have other children to look after, some women are on their own. I have such respect for single parents, I don't know how they do it.

InfinityPlusOne Mon 16-Jan-17 21:37:33

BlueBlue it is hard. No one knows what's really going on with other people. I too have huge admiration for single parents and I feel very lucky to have help with the kids but none of that stopped me from developing bad anxiety. I used to beat myself up for it too, wondering why I couldn't just appreciate what I had and why couldn't I just snap out of the anxiety that had taken me over. I now realise I was exhausted from months of poor sleep and stressed out completely by returning to work, yet I couldn't see that at the time. And all that is really nothing compared to what you have been through.

I think a bit of time to rest and the right support from family and the health system and you hopefully will find yourself feeling better.

UnbornMortificado Mon 16-Jan-17 22:31:30

Blue everyone struggles. My kids are older but my niece is a couple of months old and she is bloody hard work.

I only mentioned PTSD because I missed it completely , even now I couldn't tell you the "real" symptoms as I couldn't tell them apart from the usual depression/anxiety.

I don't think there's much out their more traumatic then losing a child

CantGetNoSleeeeeeep Sat 21-Jan-17 10:33:56

I also have PTSD from my birth injury and I had PND I told no one until he was 9 months old. I didn't take the ADs offered and opted for talking therapy and hit the gym, gave up alcohol (I still don't drink). I felt a lot better but anxiety was lingering in the background and I had a breakdown last March. ADs saved the day and I now realise that I actually needed ADs to get me to a place where talking therapy could really work and I could properly engage. I've now done both together. What I'm saying is don't be afraid to try both. I wish I'd taken advice sooner and asked for help early like you. You are being a great mum by recognising you need help to be the best version of yourself right now. Xx

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