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Postnatal Depression / Anxiety / Sertraline

(43 Posts)
Mimimi1029 Thu 14-Nov-19 15:41:45

Hi I'm new here..
I would love to get some advise / experiences from others who went through the same thing.
I have 2 children under 2. Was very happy and had/have a good life.
BUT.. about 8 weeks after giving birth to my 2nd I started to get anxious and very nervous out of nowhere... I started to get panic attacks.. (no depression just anxiety).
Fast forward I went to the GP who prescribed Sertraline 25 - 50mg.
After taking the 1st Pill in the morning I didn't notice anything until in the evening I felt as if someone gave me an electroshock and that night and the following day I felt like I'm in a never-ending panic attack. 3rd day I was calmer but I got severely depressed (for no specific reason) and it got so bad that I couldn't handle it anymore and felt like and don't want to be anymore.. I kept taking it though for 7 days but the depression got worse and worse...
After talking to a doctor (I rang 111) she said to stop it and try something else and she said the depression should lift after stopping because the drug triggered it.
Now, 2 days after stopping I feel worse than ever.. nervous intrusive thoughts anxious very depressed hopeless and fatigued blurred vision and the list goes on.. I have a GP Appointment tomorrow I think she will change my medication but I am scared now

Mimimi1029 Thu 14-Nov-19 15:44:59

Do you think it was a mistake to stop? I knew it will probably get worse before better but I never ever thought I would get so severely depressed that I get suicidal thoughts. I am normally a very positive and happy person and now I lost all hope

Iamnotaroboteither Thu 14-Nov-19 16:03:34

I'm not sure you should have just stopped taking it, that's the trouble with these drugs, once they're in your system it can really affect you if you just stop them without reducing gradually but obviously you probably shouldn't just start again either. I have had Sertraline with last three babies. I get terrible post natal anxiety, this time was the worst ever and sky rocketed a week after starting Sertraline. It took 6 weeks for it to start working but now I feel semi-normal again!! I'm sorry for what you are going through. It truly is awful. Are you breastfeeding as Sertraline is the best drug to be on if you are. See what GP says tomorrow. Just try and stay busy, distract yourself, watch telly, don't be on your own.xx

Mimimi1029 Thu 14-Nov-19 16:42:18

Thanks for your message..The doc said I should stop that's why i did it and I was on 25 mg only so she said there shouldn't be a problem to stop! But now I think it was a mistake.. I just didn't know what to do.. i was so depressed (and still am) and anxious I thought they are not working for me and now I don't know if I should start again or try a different drug

Mimimi1029 Thu 14-Nov-19 16:47:53

I am nit alone thank God!! My mum is staying with me to take care of me and the kids as my hubby works almost 24/7 (he is very worried though)

Mimimi1029 Thu 14-Nov-19 16:54:18

You say it took 6 weeks.. I don't mind waiting a few weeks even though it's so hard.. but it got so much worse!!! Did u experience that?

Mimimi1029 Thu 14-Nov-19 16:55:12

For some odd reason I feel calmer and more "normal" in the evening.. but in the morning it's out of control

Iamnotaroboteither Thu 14-Nov-19 19:48:54

Sorry I totally understand why you stopped if the Dr said to, 25mg is low but it's obviously affected you quite severely already. Let me know what Dr says tomorrow. It's crazy to think such a tiny pill can have such an effect!! The mornings were by far the worst for me, I couldn't get out of bed yet knew that was the only thing which would make me feel more human. I'd walk around all day with dread in my stomach, I couldn't eat, I wanted everything to go away. The evenings were generally better, then it started lasting all day. It didn't take 6 weeks to go away when I took it the first two times and so it worried me that I was never going to feel better but then one Saturday I woke up and it didn't feel like the dread was there, gradually I started feeling better. I still struggle, I have to make sure I shower in the evenings so I can just get dressed and feel 'ready' in the morning (not really possible when you wake up soaked in sweat from the Sertraline side effects!) and I cope better with routine (school runs, baby groups etc). I have to make myself do stuff and not dither about. I'm so glad you've got your mum, it must be hard with your husband working so much.

Mimimi1029 Thu 14-Nov-19 20:37:32

Oh it is so hard! Unbelievable what our mind / hormones can do to us I never felt something like that my entire life I would rather go through labour pain a million times than feeling like that..
The thing is I had hope when it first started.. encouragement from others hope medication could help.. but now.. it's just awful.. I am sorry for the moaning but whay can I do..
I hope the GP tomorrow will be helpful

Iamnotaroboteither Thu 14-Nov-19 22:21:42

It should help, it normally takes 2 weeks to start making you feel better, and once you're there you won't remember how hard it used to be but it's hard work getting there. I remember with my second child I told myself I can't ever go through this again and now I have four. Now there is definitely no way I could, I never want to feel that way again. You can't control it, you can't escape the feeling, it's hard to explain to anybody what it's like. I feel very American when I say 'I have anxiety'!!! Try and tell yourself that you know you're going to wake up feeling pretty awful but you have to get up and deal with it. Does listening to your favourite songs help or getting out in the fresh air. The GP suggested a better medication to me but I couldn't take it as I'm breastfeeding but I also wonder how it would work with side effects/withdrawal when you swap from one to the other. Good luck tomorrow, hope they can give you some good advice. Also...have you ever tried mindfulness, supposed to be brilliant but I'm rubbish at trying to empty my mind and stop thinking. I got as far as downloading the Calm app!

Mimimi1029 Fri 15-Nov-19 12:20:38

I am not breastfeeding.. what did your GP suggest?
I habe been to the GP today amd she gave me citalopram.. I am very hesitant to take it though.. I must say I feel better today because the sertraline is out of my system but I still feel worse than pre medication..

Iamnotaroboteither Fri 15-Nov-19 12:54:12

I'm not sure, she just said it was better at treating anxiety. What did Dr say about citalopram? I've just read a little about it, it seems the side effects can be worse and again will probably make anxiety worse before improving. Arrrgggh, it's so tricky. Obviously you don't want to feel worse but ultimately the drug could really help as they prescribe them to so many people. I know you said it came out of nowhere but could anything have triggered it? Is it going from one child to two or lack of sleep or some other stress? Mine is definitely worsened by lack of sleep but it's really because of the guilt of having a new baby and having to juggle everything, not having time for the others etc.

Mimimi1029 Fri 15-Nov-19 13:19:56

Well it was a really stressful time afyer giving birth to my 2nd but I somehow managed to do it.. I was stressed out but I wasn't anxious or depressed.. then my husband had to travel (that was around 2 months postpartum) and that day I got a panick attack.. I didn't tell him I just told him I am sad he is going.. when he came back I said to him I am scared to be alone with the kids (habe 2 under 2).. he tried to get home sooner from work but ever since the anxiety just kept there 24/7.. I was anxiiis even when the kids were sleeping the house was clean we were watching a movie together I was just nervous and anxious for no reason at all.. then I told my mum and she agreed to come for 2 weeks and I almost immediately felt better and normal again.. 2 days before she left the anxiety came back and the day she left I had another panick attack.. a few days withou her and I couldn't handle it anymore and she had to come back hoping it will get better again but it didn't this time.. so I went to my GP and the sertraline disaster began.. I now I am here.. more depressed and anxious than ever

Mimimi1029 Fri 15-Nov-19 13:22:41

I am also not bonding as well with my 2nd and it breaks my heart.. with my first I was ober the moon breastfeeding was a dream and I just loved everything even though she was a very colicy and 'difficult' baby I loved it.. but this time it is just so difficult

Mimimi1029 Fri 15-Nov-19 13:23:23

I think a huge part of it is not being abke to breastfeed this time around

Iamnotaroboteither Fri 15-Nov-19 16:05:11

I'm sorry you're going through all of this. I hate that feeling, the dread and sickness that just won't go away. Don't beat yourself up about breastfeeding, what's important is that baby is feeding and happy. It's extremely hard going from one child to two especially when they are so young. Do you manage to get out and see people? Is baby healthy, sleeping, feeding etc? Has your daughter taken well to the baby? When I had my second I practically lived round my parents, I hated being in my messy house with no adults for company.

Mimimi1029 Fri 15-Nov-19 16:45:28

Thanks.. it's not really about beating myself up it is just so different don't know how to explain it..
My family lives far away I think that was the problem in the first place - being alone and lonely bit having to function with the babies.. entertaining a little toddler and figuring out feeding and taking care of a newborn at the same time and messed up sleeping pattern for all of us

Iamnotaroboteither Fri 15-Nov-19 22:27:16

Have you decided what you'll do about the new medication? Did they offer you any form of counselling or do you prefer not to do that? I was supposed to self-refer but haven't as of yet. It would just be another thing to fit into my day although I should really! If I can be of any help just shout! I hope you have a better weekend.

Mimimi1029 Fri 15-Nov-19 22:51:09

No haven't decided yet I am absolutely terrified to take them but at the same time I think I need them.. I just don't want to go through that hell ever again

irrationalrainbow Sat 30-Nov-19 11:01:01

Hi lama I was just wondering did the sertraline work for you every time you had to go back on them and what dosage are you on?

Iamnotaroboteither Sat 30-Nov-19 14:12:18

Hi, yes I guess it did but took longer (a lot longer this third time it seemed) and the second and third time I had to increase it to 100mg. The first time I stayed on 50mg. It definitely took the edge off my anxiety, the feeling of dread, the panicking but I still struggle a little especially in the mornings.

Lightsabre Sat 30-Nov-19 14:21:18

There are a couple of support threads on Mumsnet at the moment for those who have started using Sertraline. It takes around 6-8 weeks to get into your system properly and for you to see changes.

irrationalrainbow Sat 30-Nov-19 14:33:00

I was on 200mg for three years for gad and pnd and I cannot describe to you what I was like before being put on them it was horrifying I had everyone scared to leave my side I don't really want to go into what it was but I was worrying about things out of my control and googling alot. Well I felt better in the summer like I didn't need tablets anymore so I weaned myself off them and still felt generally well until about a month ago a was reading an article and it set off the sheer panic in me again the same feelings I had 3 years ago and I knew I had to go to the doctor who put me back on 50mg then 100mg and now 150mg and I'm trying my best to stay off Google and Facebook because I have a habit of trying to scare myself and I don't know why. I cannot eat I cannot feel happy and I am constantly on edge with a feeling of dread I don't know how much longer I can take this. Sorry for the long post. I am just so scared this won't work again.

irrationalrainbow Sat 30-Nov-19 14:35:01

Hi lightsabre I'm on those threads but they haven't gave me much hope I needed someone who has been on and off before x

Iamnotaroboteither Sat 30-Nov-19 17:59:37

Oh that's awful, I'm so sorry you've been feeling this way. so you have been back on it a month? And I'm assuming you're not feeling any better yet? Did it get worse when you started them? It took a good 6 weeks this time for that dread to slowly start to dissipate. I also thought it would never end, I would wake up so full of dread and sickness and not know what to do with myself. One Saturday I woke up and it just seemed that dread wasn't there as much and slowly it went. Did the doctor not suggest another medication or did they put you on Sertraline as it had worked before. I have pretty bad health anxiety and I'm now not allowed to read any Daily Mail headlines (!!) as I believe everything and worry no end (eating this causes this etc etc) and I always catastrophise. It really can be hard living like this, for every happy thought I replace it with a negative one, it's exhausting. I really do empathise but I think it will get better. Will they up your dosage again?xx

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