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History of depression so is PND inevitable?

(18 Posts)
TeacupTempest Fri 16-Sep-11 10:13:03

Not sure if this is the right board for this question but I popped into mental health and it didnt quite seem to fit in there either. Apologise if I have got it wrong.

So I have a bit of a history with mental health and depression. I believe, with regards to depression, that I have been "well" mostly for quite a while.

I was very worried about prenatal (?) depression whilst we were ttc but I can honestly say I felt pretty dandy throughout pregnancy so far. Obviously I have hormonal, tear filled episodes but I think thats par for the course really. ON the whole I have felt really on an even keel.

I am now getting a bit worried about PND though. It seems there is a belief that if you have a history of depression PND is almost considered inevitable.

Just wanting to get others experience of this as its always best to be prepared. I really can't see it happening at the moment but I guess that may always be the case with PND.

So question is......has anyone with a history of depression or mental health issues managed to have children with out PND occurring?

notcitrus Fri 16-Sep-11 10:56:41

No, PND isn't inevitable for people with a history of depression etc - call me a counter-example!
My MWs all said that in fact it's slighly protective as people with history of depression will recognise the symptoms and seek treatment or help quickly, whereas people who've never been depressed don't realise what is happening and try to soldier on.

The fact that I spent my days getting out of the house with ds and going for long walks with him and thus getting exercise and sunlight, without complex stress factors such as office work, probably helped a lot. I had some miserable times from lack of sleep and breastfeeding problems and money issues, but not depression.

pruney1977 Fri 16-Sep-11 11:02:35

My mum had 5 children, the first of which she gave up for adoption. She had severe PND after her second child was born and she was put in the local mental hospital for a couple of months (this was late 60s) but she says it was really related to unresolved issues following the adoption rather than no 2 birth. She didn't get it again really with any of her subsequent children, maybe a touch with me (I was no 4). She's suffered with depression and anxiety on and off throughout her life and is now on a low dose of anti-depressant permanently.
I too have a history of depression and anxiety so am naturally a bit concerned about getting PND but I've felt great throughout the pregnancy but quite tearful; not sure if that is because I finished my anti-depressants or the pregnancy, maybe a bit of both as I found that anti-depressants kept me pretty numb. However, I hope that if I fall foul of PND, I'll take the same attitude that I do to my periods of depression and seek help straightaway.

cravingcake Fri 16-Sep-11 11:59:59

Agree completely with notcitrus. I was told the same thing by my MW, my GP and also a hypnotherapist.

I have had depression for about 7 years and like you was concerned about PND but the fact is you can recognise the symptons and you are more likely to seek help quicker.

Going off on a slight tangent but may be of interest to you - I didnt want to be on anti-depressants while pregnant so came off them and then had hypnosis privately and after 3 sessions I feel I have finally conquered it. I walked out of the sessions feeling like a massive weight had been lifted that I didnt even know I had. Would definitely recommend anyone to try it. I'm now 33 weeks and feel confident that should I get signs of PND I will recognise them and be able to sort it before it develops further.

Good luck, you will be ok.

Leo4 Fri 16-Sep-11 12:12:46

This is slightly different...but I suffered from Anorexia nervosa and depression for three years from 15-18... I'm now 20 and when I became pregnant midwives thought it inevitable that I would become anorexic during pregnancy..but I haven't and I have just been eating healthily to combat the feelings of being fat...and knowing I'm doing it for someone else! They are now saying its inevitable I will have PND and Anorexia after the baby...but I'm staying positive because I believe I should be very happy to have a child especially as I was told I couldn't have children. I know its slightly different as perhaps your depression does not come from a particular source...but what I'm trying to say its not inevitable to retain a mental illness during or after pregnancy because your hormones change a lot etc!

TeacupTempest Fri 16-Sep-11 12:42:53

Thanks for all the reassurances smile

I tend to agree that forewarned is forearmed so to speak and as I know the feelings of depression so well I think I will be in a much better place to recognise those feeling creeping back in time to get early help.

I have also made sure my current doctor and MW are aware of my issues so I have others looking out for me and signs too.

Leo4.......not that different at all actually smile

bmm39 Fri 16-Sep-11 12:49:05

My mother suffered with depression and OCD when she was 17 years old and battled with it for years (the was in the 60's). When she gave birth to my sister and I she was perfectly fine.

I too have suffered with depression and additional mental health problems and I have often wondered if I will suffer from PND. I have told myself not to think about it until/if the time arises. There are lots of medication out nowadays to help with depression and I feel that the NHS is very aware and supportive of depression compared to many years ago when people used to suffer in silence.

I am sure you will be fine. xx

spannermary Fri 16-Sep-11 12:56:26

I have suffered 2 prolonged episodes of depression and anxiety in the last 10 years - one following a GA. Since being pregnant I have found myself getting anxious for non-pregnancy related reasons - for example I have suddenly completely lost my nerve when driving - very odd.

I'm hoping this is just hormones and not a recurrence. As for PND - I agree. We know our triggers, symptoms and early clues. And I know I've got strategies to try and deal with things straight away. In a way, we're in a good position.

ToriaPumpkinPasty Fri 16-Sep-11 13:12:26

Another one who has suffered in the past, two particular episodes stick out which occurred around major life changes which is enough to put the frighteners on but when speaking to my HV the other day and they mentioned the risk of PND they also said that as someone who has sought counselling and ADs before they are confident that should I start to slip again I would ask for help.

Don't get me wrong, on Wed morning I sat in my car crying my eyes out because I missed my mum, but I'm happy that I'm pregnant, delighted that I will be meeting my baby in five weeks time and hope I know enough now to be able to spot the cues and seek help if I should start to slide again rather than have a bad day. My DH is very understanding and knowledgable about my triggers and the way I act when I'm depressed as well which helps no end.

I hope everything goes well for you all!

Walnut8 Fri 16-Sep-11 13:14:36

Leo4 I was in the same boat as you. Suffered with anorexia and depression in my early twenties. I was terrified of developing post-natal depression (and A-ND) especially given that I was pretty much alone for my entire pregnancy (lived OS from family and friends) and also for the first 8 months of dd's life.

I was v tearful during pregnancy and at times very down/anxious/irritable but not depressed. The mood swings can be crazy though, I agree, but totally normal!

DD is now 18 months and I can say that for the last 16 months (take off the first two months post birth for lack of sleep, troubles with birth recovery etc) I am the happiest I have ever been. I think having a baby may have changed my hormones or may possibly have made me more "balanced", insightful, less self-critical. I'm thinner than I have been for five years but nowhere near starving (have an active toddler to thank entirely for weight loss).

Just wanted to share my story ... and let you know that PND is NOT inevitable by any means in those prone to depression or other mental disorders. I am living proof that it can be the exact opposite.

Leo4 Fri 16-Sep-11 21:19:42

Thanks for the story walnut.... Hopefully all the weight will shed off me in a healthy way too .... And OP try not to blame baby for weight gain... Just see it as you doing it for them and there establishes your control of the situation...xx

TeacupTempest Fri 16-Sep-11 21:25:33

Thanks Leo. THats what I am trying to do and I think mostly its working. Off days but minor blips I think smile

Allboxedin Fri 16-Sep-11 21:27:43

No, I was worried about this. I think it depends possibly also though on if you are taking medication or not through pregnancy. I have taken anti dperesants through both of mine and I didn't suffer with it with dc1, due to give birth to dc2 next month so hopefully it will be the same. I did put on a lot of weight with dc1 and didn't lose it between pregnancies really, but didn't put it down to depression. I am really going to try and lose it after this one! smile
I would say just keep a look out for symptoms but don't dwell too much on a few bad days, because every mum gets them in pregnancy and after, its inevitable with sleepless nights etc, I like to see myself as keeping my head above water and depression as a battle I have to constantly fight or ward off,especially when I start seeing the signs or going downhill.
If you do start feeling that it is coming on though do talk to your Dr, many women have help with meds throughout and after pregnancy with no ill effects and you don't need to feel bad about it.

Allboxedin Fri 16-Sep-11 21:33:13

....just to add, thinking about it, having a baby changes so much in the way you look at things too. You have to keep going for your baby, you feel needed and responsible, you also have less time to feel lonely or down. Yes, its exhausting,tiring and challenging, but for me, I think a lot of my depression got worse when I felt I didn't have a challenge or when I didn't feel anyone wanted/needed me iykwim?

TeacupTempest Fri 16-Sep-11 21:58:25

Allboxedin......I think I do know what you mean. I feel the same. I like to feel needed by those around me

Oeisha Fri 16-Sep-11 22:57:55

Just echoing what others say really. I disclosed my severe depression to MW and she made a note of it, but said I seemed well adjusted, and essentially over it, with coping strategies when I do feel low, and a supportive DH who will tell me if I'm on my way down so she's pretty much dismissed it.

As a group we are more likely to have PND, but as others have said, we are more likely to spot the symptoms and seek help earlier if it does happen.

The people at risk are those that have had depression in the past, but have just ignored it. I know a couple of people this happened to. One was willing to admit that post-PND she should have recognised she was a depressive in the first place, and to not be so stubborn (I did mention my concerns to her very early on, but she ignored me). She took a long time to finally get treatment - 9mths.
The other one, I tried to warn her about her rather blatant PND, but MW and initial assessment from MHW put it down to 'anxiety' rather than depression (she had both, I had both, I recognised it), but was horrified at the though of being diagnosed with as "proper" mental illness, so ignored me too. Thankfully she 'broke' more quickly, but had an excellent DH who just took control for her and thus got help more quickly.
Both have gone on to have comparatively hassle-free 2nd pgs and babies.

My only concern is having something 'go wrong' during birth and having contol taken from me. Whilst I'll do my best to rationalise it, I know that will mess with me if I'm not careful.

If at all worried, and you haven't been given the option of cognitive behavioural therapy before, you might want to have a look at the resources available (there are loads of books about it for pg and generally). I've found it very helpful at fending off bad times.

themightyskim Sat 17-Sep-11 10:03:26

Hi another OCD/anxiety/depression sufferer lol, My last major episode was christmas, once I felt better I started trying for a baby, and stopped my anti depressants, Im four months without now and while my hormones are terrible im managing. Ive been told I will have to have consultant care due to the risks and be prepared to go back on medication, however as a mental health nurse myself Im fairly sure that I wont be letting that happen until after the baby comes

I spoke with a consultant at work and she was very reassuring in that PND is not inevitable and lots of people find that they dont experience it so Im looking from the perspective that I really really want this baby, its a good thing for me and that alone should keep me happy and well - if not we all know what the treatment is and and your careful and start it early there is not reason why it cant be managed

Also Pregnant ladies hit the top of the counselling waiting list so if your worried get yourself on it now, its amazing what some positive thinking can do to help keep your mood lifted

Meglet Sat 17-Sep-11 10:07:47

No. I had crippling depression that nearly killed me about 10 years ago., had loads of therapy at the time. Never got PND.

The midwife did take lots of notes about my depression but it was never a problem.

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