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Depression? Or Something Else?

(13 Posts)
PurpleStar13 Tue 05-Feb-08 22:12:05


I have never joined a forum before, but I am at my wits end and dont know where else to go. I have two children, 4 year daughter & 15mnth son.

I have been on Prozac , since well before my children were born. Recently they seemed to stop working, GP prescribed Citalopram as I told them that it was more Stress than depression.

I really feel that I am becoming a worse and worse mother. I love my children but am struggling as a mum. My 4 year old is very bright, and although not particularly naughty, everything she does seems to send me into a mad frenzy, she talks constantly from the minute she wakes until the minute she goes to bed.

Recently, I find myself overreacting and shouting and swearing at her for ridiculous things like spilling crumbs on her when eating and spilling a drink on the floor. After the outburst I feel very guilty, and apologise.

I have never been able to play with my daughter, I dont seem to be able to do it. I find it boring. I am very lucky, she plays with her toys alone, and has a brilliant imagination.

I just feel that I am constantly stressed to the point of breaking. It feels like an elastic band inside me that is being pulled tighter and tighter, and very soon will break. I worry about the mental damage I may be causing my kids.

My son is not quite old enough to cause problems that send me into a frenzy, however I worry that soon he will, and then what will I do??

Am I the only mother that has felt like this?? What should I do?

I love my children to bits, and when I am having my less stressful times, I realise just how lucky I am to have such beautiful, understanding children. However, more and more often, stressful times seems to outnumber the good.

I would love to hear from anyone who feels the same, or anyone who can give me any advice?


DiscoFever Tue 05-Feb-08 22:20:10

hi purple star, ive been where you are and still am some days. i loathe myself over the swearing and i know it must be awful for my dd.

I am not on prozac however but i do have st johns wort which for me is an aid to depression (only mild and due to a big operation).

Sometimes though, i dont think i deserve being a mother because i feel like i get it all wrong. sad

PurpleStar13 Tue 05-Feb-08 22:31:08

Hi Discofever

Thanks for your reply. Its reassuring to know I am not on my own.

I did consider trying St Johns Wort, but at the time was on the pill, so was advise against it. However have come of the pill as I felt this was making me worse, so I will give it a go.

Its so easy to feel your getting it all wrong, I am exactly the same. Every other mother I know, seems to have got it right, and no matter how bad their kids are, they never react like me. It's so hard, isn't it?

Stay Strong

lucyellensmum Tue 05-Feb-08 22:35:54

Firstly, i defy any woman to never get stressed and shout inappropriately at her children. Its too tough a job to be perfect all the time.

Secondly, go back to your doctor, this agitation may be a result of the citalopram not suiting you. I am on citalopram and i find they help me but i do seem to have a shorter fuse, that of course could simply be my depression. I find it interesting that he changed from prozac to citalopram, they are the same family of AD. There are meant to be less personality changing side effects with citalopram though. What dose of cit are you on?

You must NOT take St Johns wort with citalopram though.

Why, if you don't mind me asking were you on prozac? I wonder if you need some counselling or something other than meds (as well as, not instead of) How do you get on with your doctor?

lucyellensmum Tue 05-Feb-08 22:38:45

purple, how do you KNOW that every other mother doesn't behave in the same way at home, under pressure. I think you need to be kinder to yourself, you are most definately not alone in your feelings. I wonder if PND is to blame here, and it is exacerbating any previous problems you were having.

lucyellensmum Tue 05-Feb-08 22:42:38

Just to re-iterate, St Johns wort and Citalopram are a big NO NO. The St John's can make the side effects much worse.

BigBadMouse Tue 05-Feb-08 23:21:03

Citalopram and Fluxoxetine (Prozac) are in the same family but have different reported effects. It is currently thought that people with stress / anxiety based depression are better off on Citalopram than Prozac which may be why your GP changed you from one to the other just to see how you get on. Citalopram made me a lot more 'chilled', but these things have different effects for different people so it is trial and error getting the right one for you. Maybe your dose is not high enough.

Anyway.....enough of the drug talk.. you are certainly not alone in how you are feeling. Don't worry about not being able to play with your Daughter much - it sounds like she takes after you, when she is your age she will be wanting to do things that keep her brain occupied at her level too. I can honestly say I get bored to tears playing with my two (my DD1 sounds just like your DD). I just do 10 mins here and then through the day when I feel I can be engaged in what we are doing (reading books, playing with bricks etc) and she seems to cope well on it. Doing anything is a huge challenge when you have depression so try to acknowledge that and don;t expect too much of yourself.

Have you done a 'depression' test recently to see how depressed you might be? Doc should really have done one with you at your last appointment to guage things. Doesn't matter whether it is PND or not, depression is depression and it is all crap. You have found your way here where you will find lots of others in the same boat, some who are getting over it, some who are just getting into it. There is a way out, you just have to find it. Don't worry about the effect you are having on your children, they will be fine as they will remember when you show them affection etc. Saying 'I should be doing X' etc just makes your depression worse and gets you even more stressed so try not to think that way. IF the Citalopram doesn't help go back and see the docs. There is a citalopram buddies thread on here btw.

Theres a lot more I could say as I am very much in the same boat and have been there a fair while now...but probably waffling so will shut up grin

keep posting smile


PurpleStar13 Wed 06-Feb-08 11:14:53

Thank you all very much for your posts, they are a great reassurance.

lucyellensmum - I have been to the doctors so many times over the years, and have also seen various Dr's. Not sure why Citalopram was prescribed, I explained to him that Prozac just didn't seem to be working anymore, and that I had an extremely short fuse and was prone to outbreaks. I dont seem to have classic depressions symptoms such as lack of sleep, suicidal thoughts or loss of appetite though. The dosage of Citalopram is 20mg, which I think is probably the lowest. They never increase my dose!! I have been on prozac on and off since 16, which is 12 years!! I often think they just try to palm me off with a mild dose, so that I will go away and not bother them for a while! I was offered counselling when pregnant with no.2 as I was very depressed and they were reluctant to give me anything. However I rarely have anyone to look after my kids, so could not commit to regular appointments.

Thanks for the advice, I will not take the St Johns Wort with the Citalopram, wouldn't like to mess myself up anymore!

BigBadMouse - Thank you for your kind words, its just difficult not to feel guilty. I have only ever done a depression test for PND after my daughter was born. I have never done one since, not even when 2nd was born. As I said to lucyellensmum, I often feel that I have slipped through the net, and they just give me my prescription and send me on my way with the hope I wont bother them for a while.

Its nice to know there are other people out there who are in the same boat, and now I have found this site, I will definetly keep posting.

I will take a look at the citalopram thread also.

Being a newbie to this, could someone please explain what exactly DD1 etc stand for, so I know how to refer to my two in the future?!!

Thanks again

lucyellensmum Wed 06-Feb-08 13:31:50

DD = darling daughter just add the number of their birth order. Then there is DS = darling son. DH/P for darling hubby/partner, although they tend to get changed quite a lot

Hope you are having a better day.

I dont think 20mg is a low low dose, some people manage on 10 but that is for anxiety more than depression. I started on 20mg and now on 40mg. Now my doctor wants to "tweak" my medication, whatever that means - um, im quite scared about that actually hmm.

I hope you enjoy mumsnet, it is a really supportive forum.

Just be wary of posting anything that will upset you on the "am i being unreasonable threads" as that is a bit of a free for all and there will always be someone waiting to say, yes you are, in no uncertain terms. But it is great for venting your spleen at times.

betsypie Wed 27-Feb-08 09:36:18

Hi all

It is a great comfort to read about other Mums who are in the same boat as me. I have a lovely 4 yr old daughter, but have suffered anxiety and depression since my teens and have taken a variety of different drugs as well as seen umpteen counsellors/doctors etc.

Last autumn my husband and I thought we wanted to try for a second child and so I started coming down very slowly off the tablets. Unfortunately, the withdrawal hit me like a brick and I am now back on them. I am really struggling getting used to the tablets again - nausea, panic attacks, feeling low and tearful all the time. Luckily my husband and in laws/friends are very supportive.

My doctor is putting me in touch with the local mental health team and has recommended that I do a lot of regular exercise in order to get significantly out of breath. I have found swimming to be the best.

Up until recently I used to hide my depressive tendencies, even from my husband's family and my friends, for fear they would treat me differently. I have now decided to be open about it and I have felt great relief in doing so. If people can't accept 'it' is part of me then that's too bad.

Like some of you above, I am taking Citalopram 40mg. It's going to take a few weeks for it to really kick in. I am also taking Lorazapam to help with panic attacks. (I could open up a pharmacy at this rate!)

I know that it will take time to get back to an even keel again, but each day does seem like an eternity.

I've decided against having anymore children now. My daughter is happy and healthy and I should be grateful for this. I find being a Mum can be very tough at times, especially when it is hard enough to look after yourself at times.

Any cheery comments would be very welcome!

JSEA Thu 04-Sep-08 11:01:38

Hi all,

I am new to Mumsnet and wanted to find others in the same boat as myself. I am feeling depressed and stressed and just like I am dragging myself about to do everything. I am on venlafaxine and go back to the doc in half an hour to see if i can raise the dose as i still feel lousy. My kids are 10 and 4. I really struggled managing the age gap over the holidays and got really anxious. I worry about not beng able to cope. I don't have family nearby and all my friends have their own kids and problems to deal with so it's hard to get practical support. I wonder if depression just goes with being a mum? hmm I have lots of friends on Citalopram. My mum is too. I have been to a counsellor this week and it was good to kind of lance the emotional boil, but I am not sure that there is anything in particular causing it. I am just stressed out. It's comforting to see others are in the same boat, even though I am sorry you are all feeling so crap too as it is truely awful. Sometimes my depression makes me feel inadequate and like everyone else is coping better than I am. It's so hard

JSEA Thu 04-Sep-08 12:53:01

BTW Betsypie, I have a friend who stayed on Citalopram throughout her pregnancy with apparently no ill effect. She has a gorgeous little girl. Might not be recommended but certainly posible. Maybe worth chatting to your doc about it? I said I couldn't cope with going through it all again for 4 years but then decided I really wanted a sib for my DD1 (I am getting the jargon now!)I had some difficulties and we have a 6 year gap which wasn't intended. Never say never. You will feel better at some point and you might feel more able to face pregnancy again.
My doc upped my dose of AD this morning. He was quite short with me though and said he didn't know if he was treating depression or just general miserableness as i couldn't be specific about the cause of it! That was a very helpful remark. I bet his wife would know where I am coming from!!

Porgina Thu 04-Sep-08 15:12:56


Two days ago I started on Citalopram for depression/anxiety. I don't know why I feel so miserable, tired stressed and angry all the time. My kids are 5 and 3 and like you it helps to know I'm not the only one losing the plot. I don't think anyone is really coping any differently to you, I think the majority of mums are either on antidepressants, have just come off antidepressants or have just not admitted it yet. But I'm sure there is someone out there who can tell me I'm wrong and if you do can you also tell me what to do so I'm not anxious and depressed?

Sorry instead of being supportive i've dished my own depression. I am new to Mumsnet too.

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