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Anyone with anxiety? I'm worried I'm damaging the baby.

(14 Posts)
Mylittlepuds Sun 11-Nov-12 19:54:55

After birth of DS 19 months ago I developed generalised anxiety disorder. I'm pregnant again (a lovely surprise) but still struggle day to day with the GAD.

I'm really worried that I've damaged the baby through stress as have had a particularly horrendous few days with it.

I suppose I just wondered if anyone has had GAD through a pregnancy and the baby was ok.

Dolallytats Sun 11-Nov-12 20:09:29

I was like that when I was pregnant with my second (DS 4.5), although I had anxiety/panic attacks before I got pregnant. My anxiety has now become agoraphobia. I have just (4 days ago!!) found out I am expecting no3 and my anxiety has gone through the roof-not least because I had a horrendous pregnancy last time. I can bearly walk up the road without feeling dizzy and anxious.
As far as I am aware, the anxiety itself will not do any harm, but obviously the more relaxed you are in general, all the better for you. Could you see your GP for CBT? There are some good self help books you might find useful too. I have just started CBT (a day before I found out about the pregnancy), and really don't know how I'm going to cope with getting there now (because of the heightened anxiety), but I will try and be postive and try and get there.

Saying that, I think the acid reflux I've been getting since I found out is worse than the actual anxiety-it hurts!! I'm sure it's way too early for it!!

peachypips Sun 11-Nov-12 20:19:13

I was hospitalised with severe anxiety in a psychiatric unit in my second pregnancy as I couldn't bear the agony of how I felt and was suicidal. I am completely fine now- he is two.
He is the happiest, most jolly child you will ever meet. People constantly say that they have never met a more smily happy child. He is an absolute joy and in no way anxious- I am so relieved! Ignore the pop psychology that you'll damage the baby. You won't! Thinking about that will just exacerbate the anxiety. Are you taking meds? Xxxx

Mylittlepuds Sun 11-Nov-12 20:25:11

Hi Dolally smile

Congratulations on your pregnancy! It's a funny mix of feelings having anxiety during pregnancy. Whilst the anxiety is like hell you still so want the baby to be ok and I don't know how you feel but it's still lovely telling people etc etc. it's just feels so unfair to have this awful thing alongside it.

It's bloody hard work isn't it! Thanks for posting as I'm relieved that I'm not the only one. Also I'm glad to hear your DS2 arrived safe and well.

Re. Agoraphobia I think I'm at real risk of developing it as am starting to feel fed up of the battle to get out into the world and feeling like shit. Exactly how you describe - dizzy, weird etc. I'm going to keep forcing myself to go out though.

I'm on the high priority list for CBT so just waiting for it to happen.

Have you tried meds? I've not but now I'm not sure if I've been a bit foolish. In my heart though I don't think they're for me. I've had loads of counselling though and it did nothing!

Thanks again for posting. I really appreciate it.

Mylittlepuds Sun 11-Nov-12 20:39:42

Hi peachy. Thanks for posting smile

I was feeling very close to going into a unit today.

How did you feel after the pregnancy? Did you develop it before pregnancy? I'm worried because mine is longstanding - and because I still have it now - post natally I'm really going to be in a bad place. Like I was last time.

No not tried meds. Did you? Did they help?

Dolallytats Mon 12-Nov-12 07:05:41

Puds, I know this is going to sound 'easier said than done'-not least because I struggle with doing it-but the trick to dealing with anxiety is to stop actually fighting it!! Let it come, get on with what you are doing anyway and ignore it. Tell yourself it really is just feelings (and it really is, I just wish it was easier to believe when you are feeling it). Feelings aren't going to hurt you and you WILL be ok.

Now, I feel a bit silly putting that, because that's the bit that I can't seem to 'get', but that really is how to stop it-stop giving it the power.

I tried Citalapram a few years ago, but fell pregnant with No2 so stopped, but to honest they floored me completely. I have been given Paroxetine a few weeks ago, but didn't take it as I don't really want to go down that route (which is a good thing seeing as I am pregnant again!!)

Please, please keep going out even when it feels awful. I really wouldn't want anyone else to develop agoraphobia and I mentally kick myself several times a day that I didn't realise I was getting it before it happened. Even if you go out for a short walk, please try to keep your world bigger than agoraphobia lets you.

Lastly, (sorry for the essayblush be kind to yourself. Anxiety is hard to understand even when you have it. People find it hard to understand because they can't see it. When you get out, praise yourself. If you've had a bad day, be extra kind to yourself and try again tomorrow.

We can all beat this, but we must remember to work at it.

Mylittlepuds Mon 12-Nov-12 08:34:31

Thanks Dolally - that's a lovely post and really helpful.

I really do find when I can get into that mindset it helps so much - but when we're at a low ebb it's really hard isn't it?!

I'm glad you haven't said that meds are the magic cure as it feels like every man and hid dog think I'm daft for not going on them!

I hope your pregnancy and CBT goes well smile

DinosaursOnASpaceship Mon 12-Nov-12 08:49:28

I don't know if I have anxiety or whether I'm just a worrier. I'm nearly 29 weeks pregnant. I lie in bed at night imagining hypothetical situations in my head (usually ds3 dying, my other bits being in an accident, ds3 choking on a grape, all different ones) and end up crying myself to sleep. I have awful vivid dreams. I only go out when I absolutely have too - pick the dc up from school, or every 3 days walk to the shop at the end of the road and buy enough that I don't have to go out again for a few days. There is loads I need to do in the house but never get started.

I didn't feel like this before I was pregnant.

Dolallytats Mon 12-Nov-12 11:26:53

Dinosaurs, please try to get out every day. What you are describing is like agoraphobia and if you don't try and 'conquer it' (for want of a better phrase), it may get worse not better. There are some great self-help books around and you may find them useful. Like both myself and Puds, you would probably benefit from a referral for CBT.

I hope you are both (and me!!!) are ok x

Mylittlepuds Mon 12-Nov-12 14:41:04

Dino - I wonder if it will settle down after you've had the baby? Hopefully it will smile

Have to dash as toddler I throwing food but didn't wan you to think I was ignoring your post. X

peachypips Mon 12-Nov-12 19:11:42

Hey! Glad uve got someone to talk to in the same boat. With me it started after I had my first- I had bad post natal anxiety which escalated until I was very poorly. I recovered for the most part but then was hit again the minute I got preg with my second. I was treated with drugs during pregnancy as I was in the psych unit and was suicidal. After the birth I was unwell for ten weeks, then grad got better and now I am better- actually happy and fine!!
I don't want to pedal drugs but anyone who has had this and takes them past the 6week mark gradually gets better and then can enjoy being a mum. Citalopram didn't suit me but Setraline did as well as another med I was taking. If you have felt bad for ages I'd recommend them... Feel free to ask questions!
I'm sorry that you have to go through this- my heart goes out to you all as I have been there and it is hell. Bless you xx

peachypips Mon 12-Nov-12 19:14:16

Btw took them throughout preg xx

Mylittlepuds Mon 12-Nov-12 21:55:08

Hi Peachy!

You sound very similar to me. Very similar set of circumstances.

I'm really glad you told me about the meds. At least I know they are there if things get worse after the birth. And it makes me so happy that you've come out of it the other side!

Have you ever regretted going on them or were they lifesavers for you? Did you need to get to that really bad place when you were pregnant with your second to go on them? I think that's what it would take for me as I'm so scared of them. I don't want to add another unknown to the pot if that mess sense? Are you on them now?

Have you ever questioned if it was all caused by your hormones? Mine certainly was I think - exasperated by a few other issues. After DS1 I was really bad and very gradually improved (I think I've forgotten how bad I actually was) but it would still get worse around periods. And then with this pregnancy it's been very up and down (a bit like your hormones during pregnancy I suppose). My big fear is that I'll crash and burn after the birth like I did last time.

peachypips Mon 12-Nov-12 22:15:35

Mine was DEF caused by my hormones. I had every hormone-related preg difficulty known to man! I had hyperemesis, SPD, you name it. My psych said it was a very clear cut case of chemical anxiety and depression.
I have never regretted the drugs- they meant I enjoyed my babies after they kicked in (6 wks) whereas if I hadn't I think it would have dragged on for ages. I was scared of them too but I am so pleased I did as it gave me my motherhood back.
The first time I waited til it got really bad then took them- when they kicked in I wished I'd had them sooner. The second time I got on them immediately even though I was preg. It stopped me going mega bad again though I did dip after the birth.
I was on 200mg of Sertraline and 45mg of mirtazapine. Now I am on 50mg of Sertraline which is the lowest therapeutic dose. I have reduced gradually and will be med free by Easter I imagine.
For me, the first few days when I took them I noticed nothing, then I got a lot worse for ten days, then I gradually got better til I was like myself but on a very good day. No anxiety, no lethargy or lack of motivation, lots of energy etc. You just have to get through the first two weeks, then by 6 weeks you are good. Very worth it IMO.
It's funny how you forget how bad you were. My husband still is quite traumatised by it really. He had a vasectomy one month after DS2 was born!!!!

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