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may have antenatal depression, what to do?

(30 Posts)
MissChief Thu 31-Mar-05 11:36:16

I'm 20+ weeks, pg and struggling rather at moment. Just facing up to this fact having unexpectedly broken down in front of mw. I've had bad insomnia for past 4 months and am now knackered - not coping with ds or demands of job. Also acutely anxious about everything - seems so normal till I talk about it, then realise should be "enjoying pregnancy" as midwife said. I know i'm prone to depression anyway - pre-pregnancy took ST J's & fish oils which helped. Now taking nothing which is not working. Never taken anti-depressants before, and don';t really want to but need something. GPs not very hepful but midiwife & now dh made me realise need to push for some support for all our sakes.

mummytosteven Thu 31-Mar-05 11:39:56

just a few more thoughts on this:

first of all if you were taking SJWs before PG you are taking something pretty similar to an AD anyway. might be worth asking doc about position re:SJW in PG if you found that worked for you. i really don't have any idea as to whether or not it has been researched in PG at all.

in terms of pushing for support; have you seen more than 1 GP? TBH I think your midwife should be giving you more guidance as to how to get more support - she is in the system and will have seen depressed PG women!

what happened with me coz my GP was so useless, the hospital were fab - they referred me to the disability support midwife at the hospital (they deal with mental health stuff as well as physical problems) and to the Community Mental Health Team - which for me meant seeing a psychiatrist - my GP wouldn't prescribe ADs or refer me to a psychiatrist.

fisil Thu 31-Mar-05 11:43:30

Did you see my comment on T's thread about the checklist, and preparing yourself for your GP? I stopped work at 26 weeks because I just couldn't cope. Remember to look after yourself, that you have a real illness that is not your fault (even though a colleague who broke her leg on a skiing trip she'd chosen to go on would get more sympathy!) and that you have a right to the medical support and time and space that you need to help you get better. Midwives can refer you to mental health specialists - mine offered to as the referral from my GP took some time to come through.

PiccadillyCircus Thu 31-Mar-05 11:50:38

MissChief, I am nearly 16 weeks pregnant and am suffering from depression at the moment. I was having bad sleep and feeling anxious about lots of things. I was also getting so angry with everything. Managing to keep things together at work but falling apart the rest of the time.

I was lucky in that my GP listened to me and immediately referred me to the Community Health Mental Team where I am seeing a psychiatrist. He has prescribed an AD called sertraline which I have been taking for the past 4 weeks and it is helping. I have also been off work since the beginning of March and am starting to see some light shining out somewhere in my tunnel.

As MTS said ADs can't be said to be safe or not in pregnancy as they can't do the same sort of tests on people as they would for other drugs, but I realise that my health is an important thing as well.

I am annoyed for you that your GP has not been more helpful. It is when you are suffering from depression that you need all the help and support you can get. Can you see another GP? And can your DH go to an appointment with you maybe?

blueteddy Thu 31-Mar-05 12:15:36

Poor you.
Is there another GP that you can see?
I suffered fom depression during my 2nd pregnancy, but did not admit it to anyone, as I felt that I should be happy because I was pregnant.
I eventually had to confide in my HV after my ds was born, as things were not getting any better.
I was put on AD's & ended up having counselling.
I wish now, that I had seeked help while I was pregnant rather than leaving things.
Have you got a HV that you can speak to?
Good luck & I hope you are feeling better soon.

MissChief Thu 31-Mar-05 12:19:32

thanks all, guess I need to see GP again. MW told me to go back in 4 weeks to see her and also to see GP for sleeping tablets to see if the issue is insomnia rather than depression.
currently adopting ostrich-like behaviour - don't want to do anyhting unless offered/forced on me. Rather loathe to go NHS counselling route as work in system myself (ironically), though not in clinical role - hence my ignorance.

BubblesDeVere Thu 31-Mar-05 12:22:09

misschief, I have suffered PND twice (still on ad's for the second time) and also suffered antenatal depression, if you would like to cat me feel free. I do know what you are going through.

vickiyumyum Thu 31-Mar-05 12:26:36

see your midwife again, and tell her that you are feeling depressed, she then should refer you to the correct team to help you, especially if you have a history of depression.
i had antenatal depression with my 2nd but did not tell anyone, i was angry all the time with everybody, i was also tearful and couldn't/wouldn't speak to anyone as my husband had said in the past that depression was for people who were weak (he has since taken that back and apologises wholeheartedly). because i didn't get help and pretended everythnig was fine, i had post natal depression as well and it took me 2 miserable years to seek help, i now feel much better with counselling and no ad.
please please speak to someone, it upsets me to think of other people going through what i did, when there is so much help out there.
but well done for taking the first step in admitting that you are depressed.
good luck and take care!

MissChief Sun 03-Apr-05 11:43:11

thanks all - finally took sleeping tablet - well 1 1/s doses in desperation last night. still didn't sleep well but probably had 2-4 hours over broken night, better than nothing. However, does seem to prove it's anxiety that's the cause ie I guess depression, think I'll go to GP and ask for Prozac or similar as can't go on otherwise. Hope to make it to work tomorrow as huge deadline and mega-trouble if don't meet it. Means should get on with work today though - still feel groggy from tablet but hopefully strong coffee will help. can't believe how complicated all this seems, lost my problem-soloving abilitites a while ago I think!

MissChief Fri 08-Apr-05 09:33:52

bump - anyone had success with alternative therapies for anxiety/insomnia in pregnancy? thinking in particular of reflexology, shiatsu massage, hypnotherapy. still if poss want to avoid pills and NHS-referred counselling.
TIA

Toothache Fri 08-Apr-05 09:45:58

MissChief - Don't know about the insomnia, but my GP recommended Sepia for my PND after my first baby was born. HTH.

I scored 18 on the Edinburgh Test at 32 wks pregnant with my 2nd child. I hit a real low. GP prescribed AD's which I didn't take coz of the side effects (the older AD's are the only ones you can take safely during pregnancy). I started taking my Sepia again and that helped with anxiety and depression.
Hope you feel better soon.

Enthusia Fri 08-Apr-05 12:11:01

Hi, I posted an ante-natal depression thread on the pg topic area and after reading other people's accounts didn't feel mine was too bad as I have no bad feelings towards baby and want to be pg. However, I can not get out of bed again today, I can't stop crying, can see no lights at end of any tunnels and basically just want to run away. I said to dh that what i would like at mo is to be taken into hospital so that everything would be done for me and i wouldn't need to think about anything and that baby and i would be looked after. thing is dh is fab and i am really supported, but i just can't swing my feelings around. Went see midwife for booking in appt as only 9 weeks and she thought i may have AND, told me to see gp who said he didn't think i was very bad and that i should try brisk walks and see how i go when i go back to work after easter hols on Monday. However, i am dreading work, yet don't know if he is right and that i will feel better with something to do, but also don't know how i will cope as so emotional and knackered. I feel really stuck and have no idea what to do. Please help!

MissChief Fri 08-Apr-05 12:16:23

really feel for you, but don't know what to say. my gp seemed reluctant to prescribe anything during pregnancy - guess yours thinks the same, hence advising brisk walks etc. having said that, several people have posted on MN to say they took prozac and other ADS with no problems - so suppose you could insist on this and/or counsellling if you don't feel better over next few days? I know it's much easier to give advice than take it though! (speaking as someone who's yet to do much about persistent insomnia over 4 months). also, don't know if this is your first pregnancy but I did find I felt much better emotionally after 13-14 week point, hormones settled down a bit then. HTH

BROWNY Fri 08-Apr-05 12:20:39

Enthsia, forget waiting - go and see your G.P. as soon as you can - brisk walks don't help when you're feeling this sad. I've suffered with PND after having my children, and I now know that IT ISN'T IN MY HEAD, it's actually a chemical imbalance and like any illness you need to get treatment for it. I know AD's are safe in pregnancy also for anyone reading this thread (particularly Prozac). There is absolutely no point feeling so sad and alone when there is help out there - please tell your G.P. and you will start to feel like your old self - PROMISE!

Enthusia Fri 08-Apr-05 12:22:49

misschief - thanks - yes is first pg, everything is so new and i feel i have changed into a totally different person. used to be highly motivated and focused but for past 3 weeks haven't seen the point in any of it. Can't seem to be happy and none of my favourite activities etc help. But i don't know if this is depression or just hormones or just the early weeks or what, but i don't know how to make it better and i don't know if and when it will stop. Do i just continue as i am in the hope it will get better, when do you decide this isn't right? I am so confused.

Enthusia Fri 08-Apr-05 12:26:03

Thanks Browny, was writing as you were. I am meant to see gp next week sometime. Think I will do work on Monday and see what happens (whether i stay the full day) and go and see gp either sameday or Tuesday - i think my main prob is knowing whether this is ddepression or normal early emotional times that will naturally get better

BROWNY Fri 08-Apr-05 12:27:04

Why don't you just try the Homopathic remedy Sepia (your doctor can prescribe it for you), it's very gentle and it might be all you need to feel more positive, also have you tried Bach Flower Remedies, I sweared by them when I was pregnant and also during labour!

Enthusia Fri 08-Apr-05 12:28:43

Used to use the bach remedies at times b4 pg but did not know if they were safe during pg. I take it sepia is 'safe' too.

MissChief Fri 08-Apr-05 12:28:47

different views on this (as in browny's post) - so go with your instinct. IMO though, don't rush it - you MAY feel considerably better at the end of 1ST trimester.. or not in which case, of course, you should get help asap. You could therefore take it easy till then, resting, exercising, eating well etc and book GP appointmt for 14 wk point in case no better then? 1st pregnancy esp is soo daunting - my one consolation this time is knowing I got through this before and what is normal for me. Personally, I think i'm going to go the natural route for now, trying massage or something to help me relax. I'm approaching 3rd trimester though and don't wt to be taking medication then.

BROWNY Fri 08-Apr-05 12:29:07

Sorry, I forgot to ask you, how many weeks are you now?

Enthusia Fri 08-Apr-05 12:31:29

i have completed 9 weeks today.

Everyone else is telling me to see how i feel after 1st trimester too, it is just at times i wonder how i will make it till then and still function, ie, work etc. I guess it is a waiting game but i just feel so helpless

MissChief Fri 08-Apr-05 12:32:28

browny, interested to know how sepia helped you - for anxiety/insomnia/gen relaxation? also was yr GP okay about prescribing it? whenever I've asked either GP or pharmacist they've said avoid ALL homeopathic stuff as not tested on pregnant women, though last time i did take valerian - though had no effect whatsoever.

BROWNY Fri 08-Apr-05 12:36:58

If you don't feel you can face work, get the doctor to sign you off for a couple of weeks, at least you won't have the worry of dreading going to work and having to 'cope' with the demands of work. Not having to worry about work, might help and it would give you the chance to get more rest (and sleep), it could mean all the difference. I know some people tell you, "work will take your mind off feeling low", but in my case it didn't. I just didn't feel like my old self and I needed time to be with my family and get the support I felt I needed - everyone at work just said, "pull yourself together"

BROWNY Fri 08-Apr-05 12:39:53

MissChief,

My GP is also a herbal practioner and believes strongly in alternative medicine (he also prescribes herbal powders for my children, i.e. croup etc). I found Sepia and Pulsatilla a great help, also Magnesium OK and Evening Primrose Oil, plus getting lots of sleep and, of course, time!

BROWNY Fri 08-Apr-05 12:42:34

Oh BTW, lavender baths, sleep drops (Avent do them) on your pillow at night, also Camomile Tea (although it takes some getting used to helps - I found it calmed the baby at night, so I didn't get as many strong kicks!).

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