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antenatal deoression- please help I can't cope

(18 Posts)
HollyDolly15 Thu 09-Nov-17 21:39:22

I hope there's someone out there who will understand, who's maybe gone through the same but come out the other side ok.
I'm suffering severe depression. I have no motivation to do anything. I feel no joy or pleasure in life. It takes all of my energy just to get showered and dressed in the morning. I go out for a walk every day with my 16 yr old DD but feel like I'm a robot, not really enjoying anything.
I'm 23weeks pregnant. I'm terrified if I still feel this depressed when the baby is born, there is no way I'd be fit to look after it. I can't cook or clean or anything, I feel too depressed. After we've been out for a walk, I'll sit on the sofa for hours, doing nothing, just waiting for bedtime.
I started antidepressants 4 days ago. I'm scared they won't help and that I'll be just as depressed when the baby is born and unable to care for it. My partner walked out on me two months ago, so it's just me and DD at home. I'm scared I'll end up in the mother and baby unit because I won't be able to look after my baby. I'm scared the depression might get even worse. My own mind scares me and I'm anxious about being anxious, and depressed about being depressed.
I don't think my family appreciate how bad I am when I tell them.
Has anyone else experienced the same? Did antidepressants help? Were you ok when the baby was born? Have you coped ok looking after the baby?
I really really need some help and support and for someone to tell me it will be OK.
Thank you xx

Back2workanxiety Thu 09-Nov-17 21:50:37

Firstly a big unmumsnetty hug flowers

I felt the same at 26 weeks pregnant. I won't lie it did get worse after the baby was born but I refused antidepressants for a long long time.

Have you been referred to the mental health team? If not make sure you get a referral. I had CBT which really helped me and you get priority on the waiting list when your pregnant.

Once I decided to start on antidepressants I've improved loads, the first few weeks are the worst push through and by the time the baby is here you'll feel so much better! You can do this flowers

Maccapacca88 Thu 09-Nov-17 21:57:28

I had severe antenatal anxiety and depression. I was terrified as you are that I wouldn't cope. I thought I wouldn't love my baby and would end up having my children taken away​! As soon as my baby was born and in my arms it was like a light switched on. I actually looked back and thought "what the fuck was I thinking!" It seemed like another lifetime. Unfortunately I did have a blip a few months later, but that is related to issues other than my antenatal mental health and is nowhere near as bad as when I was pregnant. I'm coping and my children are loved immensely, happy and thriving!

HamSandWitches Thu 09-Nov-17 21:58:57

I had 2 DC and never had any sort of depression but with DC3 I felt terrible. Was absolutely horrible hated every minute of it. I used to just hide, had no energy and worried about what I would do when the baby came. Idk how I got through it, I begged to be induced a month early as I just couldn't cope.

When I had the baby the depression vanished even though I had 3 dc to look after alone I felt so much better afterwards. I honestly tought I was going to get terrible post natal depression bit I didn't.

Love51 Thu 09-Nov-17 22:03:33

I had antenatal depression with my second. I have a history of depression and was pleased to not have got pnd with #1, so felt a bit cheated. Apparently AND is more common than PND.
Mine lifted before the birth so don't feel your stuck with it until you go into labour.
Hospital psych team for expectant mothers was better than any other psych support I've ever had. They helped me when I had mild depression, I didn't have to be in crisis!

HollyDolly15 Thu 09-Nov-17 22:42:57

Thank you so much for your replies flowers
Back2workanxiety I was hesitant about antidepressants, but realised I might not get better without them, so started eventually! How long until yours worked and how did you feel once they did? I've started to forget what being normal feels like. I've not heard back from mental health team in two months, very frustrating. I did self refer to a local mental health organisation who have started CBT for me... but I really can't see how it will work?? She just makes me write a timetable for the week?? Maybe I'm just being too skeptical! Had 3 sessions so far.
Maccapacca88 HamSandWitches Love51 thank you for sharing your stories. I've read on other similar old threads that women have experienced that their antenatal depression disappears as soon as they've given birth. Guess hormones can really affect us. I think the longer I'm depressed now, the more I worry that I'll always be depressed, or even worse when the baby is born. I think depression can trick you into believing you'll never recover from it. My mind has even starting convincing me I was never happy or normal before.. even though I'm quite sure I was! I think that's why I started the antidepressants now, because I want to be well before I'm due to give birth so I can stop worrying that I might not feel better once the baby's born.

Maccapacca88 Fri 10-Nov-17 08:21:15

It's really brave of you to seek the help you need! Just keep pushing forward one day at a time. Give the counselling a good shot, I found it very helpful and still have sessions now. Having a timetable might seem daft, but it gives you goals and structure. I keep a notebook of positive things that happen in the day to focus my mind away from looking too far ahead. I also have a list of non-negotiable household chores; washing, washing up, emptying bins etc. If I have a bad day this helps me to keep a routine going so things don't get overwhelming.

INeedNewShoes Fri 10-Nov-17 08:31:04

Talking to everyone - friends, family, GP, midwife, health visitor - helped me. I was completely open with people that I felt mentally rubbish. My health visitor came to see me before baby was born and kept in touch with me.

I was very concerned that my prenatal depression meant I was sure to have bad postnatal depression. Thankfully I was wrong. At about 36 weeks the cloud lifted. My baby has just turned 6 months old and I haven't had even the smallest sign of PND.

flowers for you. I remember the daily struggle well. You will get through it. One day at a time!

HollyDolly15 Fri 10-Nov-17 22:46:39

Thank you Maccapacca88 I will stick with the cbt! Have been having hypnotherapy too, which helps a little, but realistically I know I need the antidepressants. I'm just impatiently wiring for them to start working now.
Thank you INeedNewShoes I'm glad you never suffered with pnd too. It's something I worry about for myself! I've at last got an appointment with the perinatal mental health team, so feeling a bit more positive that I will have the help I need.

Maccapacca88 Sat 11-Nov-17 08:48:42

It's great that you are making the most of what is available to help you! You should be proud of yourself for sorting this out. It shows strength to seek help when you feel so crap. I really think you will do well!

HollyDolly15 Sat 11-Nov-17 23:01:42

Thank you Maccapacca88 smile the antidepressants are giving me up and down moods at the moment. But they are helping me to sleep at least. I'm so scared of not feeling happy again. Just 6 months ago I was on top of the world. This has just come out of nowhere and really knocked me for six.

INeedNewShoes Sat 11-Nov-17 23:34:26

If you were perfectly happy 6 months ago this really does point to this being a hormones issue. Your hormone balance will undergo another shift when the baby is born and hopefully that will make a huge difference to you.

Honestly, for me, it was like magic and pretty instant that when my hormones changed my mood changed.

In the meantime, keep doing what you're doing and making the most of any help available. I also found it useful to keep busy and force myself to get out and about and see people. It would feel like a huge effort to motivate myself to socialise but being in the company of others really helped.

ParkheadParadise Sun 12-Nov-17 00:00:22

I've been there HollyDolly15 although my circumstances were different. Dd2 was a surprise pregnancy I was in total shock. Dd1 was 23 and I never planned to have anymore. The pregnancy was hard from the beginning I never felt connected with it, or planned for her arrival I mostly ignored it was happening. I spent most days in tears.
When I was 7mths pregnant Dd1 died suddenly in tragic circumstances I totally withdrew from life and spent the last 2mths in my bed with the duvet over my head. I remember just wanting to stay there forever.
Dd2 was born and something changed inside me I practically grabbed her out of the midwife armsgrin.
I won't lie I did still have bad days after she was born, but with medication and counselling helped. 2years on and dd2 is one of the best things to ever happen to me.
Stick with the medication it usually takes a couple of weeks to feel the effect.
Hope everything works out for youflowers.

Maccapacca88 Sun 12-Nov-17 07:44:50

You're welcome, HollyDolly! You will be happy again. Just keep doing what you're doing and take it one day at a time. You're doing everything you can to help yourself, which is really positive. Be kind to yourself and just keep accepting any help you are offered.

DollyLlama Sun 12-Nov-17 07:54:58

I suffered with antenatal depression and the biggest lightbulb moment for me was thinking I didn't want to be here anymore but my baby didn't deserve that.

My gp was fantastic and put me in touch with perinatal mental health services who have been incredible. So much so that my LO was born on Tuesday and I don't feel at all low. I feel well supported.

It was small things like arranging for a side room when I had the baby and weekly psychotherapy sessions up until birth and beyond.

This is so much more common than you think so please don't be hard on yourself. I never took citalopram while pregnant, I stopped when I found out, but I found the first few weeks on them tough so hang in there. You will level out and feel better.

I hope you get back on your feet soon x

Madbee Mon 13-Nov-17 08:56:03

HollyDolly, I had antenatal depression too, and it was particularly bad between 20-30 weeks. I found it lifted a little towards the end of pregnancy, perhaps because I found it so physically limiting and horrible being pregnant - it was a little easier later on because the end was in sight, and I was expecting to feel physically worse than I actually did. The other thing that helped was antidepressants - I'd been on the prior to pregnancy, and my consultant encouraged me to start taking them again - the benefits definitely outweighed the risks by then, and I'm very glad I did it.

I'm now 5 weeks on from having my lg, and I'm managing. I won't lie, it's tough some of the time, but I have the massive advantage of a) knowing what it's like to be depressed and therefore being able to catch myself at the point where I haven't hit a point of no return, and b) having appropriate support in place. My HV is brilliant and offers loads of support, I have a CPN (who is crap, but that's not the system's fault!), and being consistently on the medication means I started off on a better foot than I would have done had I not been depressed before having baby.

I'm sorry you haven't had much benefit from the CBT so far - do give it a chance, but also don't be afraid to say that it isn't working for you - it isn't the only type of talking therapy available, and it never did me any good - I was perfectly capable of rationalising thoughts and feelings, it just didn't make me feel any better. Look up other types of therapy if you can, and go back to the mental health team and suggest one you think might benefit you (A few other common options: Interpersonal Therapy [IPT], Dialectal Behavioural Therapy [DBT], Cognitive Analytical Therapy [CAT], Transactional Analysis [TA], Mindfulness) - not all are available everywhere, but there will be more options than just CBT.

You will, as others have said, be happy again. And you ARE capable of looking after your baby, you just need the right support, and I think you have been wonderful and very brave to ask for it. I really hope you get what you need, and things start to look up for you.

HollyDolly15 Wed 29-Nov-17 19:56:09

Hi. Thank you all for your responses. It's been an up and down few weeks since I posted. The antidepressants help me sleep thankfully. But the depression is still there. I'm at the point that I just can't go on like this. It's hard to explain. I go out every day with my dd and see my friend and her ds sometimes too. Today we've been out for the day. To outsiders I must seem fine. I chat and laugh. But inside it's like I'm dead. Something has changed inside me. I don't feel any true happiness anymore. I just feel empty, dead, broken, weird inside. The longer it carries on the more I'm scared that nothing will help me get well again and I start to feel like I see no point to my life if I have to feel like this. Did anybody else feel this bad? And how did you recover? I can't cope with it much more sad

calmday Wed 29-Nov-17 20:11:37

Hi Holly. Sorry to hear you're struggling. I too suffered from severe antenatal depression and also OCD. I was on an antidepressant and also an antipsychotic during my daughter's pregnancy. It was really hard. Am I right in thinking you've only been on your antidepressant for a few weeks? Cos they often take longer than that to work. Hopefully you will improve. It's good that you're managing to get out and about. My depression did lift once I'd given birth. Stay strong, you're doing so well flowers

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