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Depression (?) in Pregnancy

(22 Posts)
RissaC2011 Thu 27-Dec-12 17:49:29

Hi there,

I'm 25 weeks pregnant with DS2 (DS1 is 23 months) and I feel really, really low. I'm assuming it's depression but I don't know what it is. I've never suffered from mental health issues before but I've been feeling like this for a few months now and it doesn't seem to be improving.

I just feel like there's no enjoyment in anything anymore (except my son) and I just want to be on my own. I can't really turn to my parents as my Dad is ill with cancer and they have enough on their plates. I'm not looking forward to the arrival of the new baby at all (feels terrible to write down).

My husband lost his job in October and hasn't found another one so I guess that might have caused a lot of stress. I gave up work to raise my son and unless he finds something soon, we'll have to sell the house, car, etc. I obviously can't go back to work at the moment so feel really helpless about the whole thing. I'm very moody and emotional, not with my son but with my husband which isn't like me at all.

I worry about going to the doctor as I'm worried they'll put me on some sort of 'risk list' as they'll be worried about the baby's wellbeing and I don't feel there's any need for them to be. I'm also worried about being prescribed medication.

Anyway, it feels odd writing this down but any advice/experience would be gratefully received. Many thanks x

vix206 Thu 27-Dec-12 18:25:11

I don't have personal experience of this but my friend felt the same and was diagnosed with prenatal depression. I do think you should see a GP just to talk it through, they will help you and won't force you onto any meds but may offer some helpful advice.

I hope you feel better soon. I suffer with depression, mine is hormone-related, and its the worst feeling.

somewherebecomingrain Thu 27-Dec-12 18:25:56

Hi there. Sorry i'm all over mumsnet talking about my problems prob cause i'm so stressed right now but i definitely have some relevant experience. I'm 25 weeks pregnant also, my mum is ill with cancer, and my partner hasn't got a job. My DS is almost 4. And I am definitely not on an even keel emotionally.

Unlike you I did go on medication about 2 years ago but gave up when pregnant. It worked well for me so I'm just counting the weeks till I can have it back.

What I can tell you is that they will not put you on a risk list or expect you to take medication if you talk about how you are feeling. I was open with my midwife, and was put in touch with the maternal mental health team. The mental health midwife I spoke to did not try to persuade me to take medication (although she did reassure me it was ok) and put me in touch with a psychologist instead for support. Not a single hint of 'alarm bells ringing' etc.

There is such a variety of mental health stuff. Virtually everyone feels they can't cope at some point in their life even if they do not get depressed and almost a fifth of the UK population are on antidepressants. It's not considered a red flag that that you are an unfit parent if you are feeling down - not at all.

Also it sounds like you are reacting to the way your life is - you're not down for no reason. Not that it would make any difference if you were but it's completely normal and understandable.


RissaC2011 Thu 27-Dec-12 18:31:22

Thanks vix206
Hi somewherebecomingrain thank you for sharing your experience with me. It's good to know that I wouldn't be blacklisted if I went and spoke to someone. It's all placing a real strain on my relationship with my husband and we don't get on most days. I just feel like going to bed :-(

Babsjansen Thu 27-Dec-12 18:38:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RissaC2011 Thu 27-Dec-12 18:51:43

Babsjansen Thank you. How did you feel after the birth, did normal service resume? I've read that you're far more likely to suffer postnatal depression if you've had prenatal depression

Jollyb Thu 27-Dec-12 18:57:14

Please do go and see your GP. There's nothing to be ashamed of .I have a history of anxiety and depression. I became very anxious during my last pregnancy and am already feeling quite down this time (am 9 1/2 weeks). After discussing with my GP and the local mother and infant mental health doctor I have made the decision to start antidepressants - though unfortunately I can't take my usual antidepressant. For me I feel the benefits outweigh the small risks.

For mild and moderate depression the recommendation is for talking therapies first rather than medication and your GP could refer you for this.

Despite being under the perinatal team with my last pregnancy I didn't have any contact with social services etc so please don't worry about being put on a register. I did have extra visits from the health visitor which I found really helpful (mine was lovely) and also remained under midwifery care for 28 days rather than the usual 14.

Hope you feel better soon - try to exercise, eat well and get as much sleep.

RissaC2011 Thu 27-Dec-12 19:06:51

Thanks Jollyb
I hope things go well for you. I know I should go and talk to someone but I'm still reluctant. I had an AWFUL midwife after the birth of my son (she was so appalling my friend who was at my house at the time said she couldn't believe she spoke to people like that, let alone women who had just given birth!) so I'd definitely have to switch midwives if I got assigned to her again.
I know it sounds really harsh and ignorant but I just can't see how talking to someone who doesn't know me would help me at all. I'm not saying it wouldn't, as I have no experience, I just can't see how it could...I hope that makes some sense!
I was being very good about diet and exercise for the first 4 months but feeling like this has made me stop caring about either so I've put on weight which makes me feel even worse.

Babsjansen Thu 27-Dec-12 19:30:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lavicious Thu 27-Dec-12 19:49:35

Hi everyone, I'm 23weeks and I think I'm also depressed because all I think about is what if I loose my baby and it gets so bad that I develop these negative thoughts. I was not like this in the first trimester, it started in the second and it hurts me cz I lv n want this baby so much and yet this fear is taking over my life.

kickassangel Thu 27-Dec-12 20:18:10

A lot of women have ante natal depression. For most it goes away when the baby arrives but it can lead into post natal depression. When I had dd I had an emergency psychiatric nurse round my house within 24 hours as I was so depressed. Just telling someone helped and the fact that I wouldn't have to see her outside of that context was good, when you tell a friend something you will always know that they know. She was just very factual and talked about what feelings people have and how it can change once you have the baby etc.

She also checked in with me soon after dd's birth and a few weeks later, just to make sure that I was OK.

For me, the sickness and depression disappeared with birth, but I was really very badly depressed and even hearing voices in my head telling me to harm myself. I still find it weird that somehow my body just switched mode the instant that dd was born but it did. Depression and sickness just lifted overnight.

Do remember that it really is a very common side effect and don't feel any more embarrassed by it than you would for morning sickness or varicose veins.

RissaC2011 Thu 27-Dec-12 20:18:22

lavicious Hi there, I think fear of losing your baby in pregnancy is relatively common (Google it and there seems to be a lot of info). Unless you're showing any physical signs to worry about then try not to stress about anything as you'll only make yourself ill. Try to relax (look up Reiki music on iTunes - that and a scented candle whilst lying in bed can do wonders) and think about all the positive birth stories you hear about that happen to thousands of women every day... please stay away from looking up the horror stories!!

RissaC2011 Thu 27-Dec-12 20:20:55

Thanks kickassangel
Somehow for me there's just more stigma talking about this than for something that is manifesting itself physically and I find it really hard. It also cheered me to hear that everything lifted for you after the birth. It's difficult to know if I'd be feeling this if I weren't pregnant or whether all the crazy preg hormones are wrecking havoc! Thanks again x

cupcake78 Thu 27-Dec-12 21:12:38

I have depression and anxiety and am 14wks pregnant with a very planned for baby!

I have found therapy very useful. I have a great gp who is really supportive and I am on sertraline for my depression.

I can tell the difference the hormones are making to me, I am very erratic with my moods and have good and bad days. It is common for this to happen and for me it is vital I have support from professionals who I know are there for me if I need them.

I am not on any black lists. I am already a working mum and am managing to live a relatively normal life just having to take extra good care of myself.

Please talk to someone about it, either your gp or midwife. There is support to help you through and it doesn't need to mean bad things will happen. It really is very common and nothing to be ashamed of!

Good luck smile

cupcake78 Thu 27-Dec-12 21:15:05

Oh and I have just discovered pregnancy yoga. Great for relaxing and gentle exercise. There are a few apps and DVDs aren't alot of money.

I find time out each day for me to properly relax is vital in the management of my depression!

RissaC2011 Thu 27-Dec-12 21:27:08

Thanks cupcake78. I spent a lot of time listening to Reiki music during my first pregnancy and the 'time out' element was very relaxing so might take this up again each evening.
I guess the thing I'm finding most disconcerting is that I can't tell how I really feel about anything i.e. is this really what I feel or is this the pregnancy/depression talking?

cupcake78 Thu 27-Dec-12 21:52:20

If you feel it then its real even if it only lasts for a minute! I understand very well what you mean and that's what I meant by my moods being erratic.

I don't know if this helps you but as an experienced depressed person wink
I find its the unpredictability of my feelings along with the intensity that makes its difficult. For me quick changes in mood are hormone driven as are the sudden need to cry about things that maybe I wouldn't have before. The intensity of my feelings such as low moods, intense sadness, loneliness, helplessness, hopelessness, anger etc tend to stick for longer periods and that is my depression being fed by my hormones to make it feel more present.

There is a difference but its hard to work it out if your in the middle of it all. This is where therapy is a godsend IMO! It helped me understand what is happening a bit better.

Rockchick1984 Fri 28-Dec-12 09:24:13

Rissa just wanted to say, I struggled horribly with antenatal depression throughout my pregnancy, so I know what you are going through. I was signed off work for most of it as I literally didn't have the motivation even to get out of bed when I was having a bad day.

I spoke to my dr and midwife about it and was referred for NHS counselling within 6 weeks (rather than the 6+ months wait usually expected on the NHS) and it was surprisingly helpful. I began to challenge myself each day with help from DH eg if I didn't feel like I could get up he would encourage me to just go from bed to the couch; a few hours later to get dressed etc.

I was fine after having DS, literally like a fog had been lifted so although it's common to suffer PND after it, it's not inevitable! I've never been put on any at-risk registers, never been visited by social services etc. The only difference I'm aware of is that in my local area you have to visit a Surestart centre for all but the first visit with a midwife after birth however I was offered the option of home visits for all appointments - I refused though as I wanted to try and get out and about as much as I could!

RissaC2011 Fri 28-Dec-12 10:35:55

Thanks Rockchick, most helpful. I think I need to give my gp a call x

NipHipOutey Fri 28-Dec-12 14:15:04

Hi I am more of a lurker than a poster, but as someone who suffers with depression and is pregnant I just wanted to say hello and offer some support...I am under the mental health midwifery team in my area (I have mild-moderate depression "only") and they have been fantastic. I am going to be monitored by the perinatal health team post-birth for trying to look at this as a good thing as many people aren't lucky enough to get it diagnosed anywhere near soon enough. I did have a moment of "what if they want to take the baby?" but just talking to people has reassured me that this is the LAST thing they want to do.

You say that you don't see how talking to someone would help but I found that just saying some of my feelings out loud made me feel like a huge weight had been aren't "going crazy", and you are not the only one...your GP will see many people, pregnant or not, with similar problems. They won't be phased by it at all.

Sending you lots of love and hugs, keep us up to date and remember that you aren't on your own xxx

RissaC2011 Sun 30-Dec-12 08:24:46

Thank you v.much NipHip x

lavicious Fri 04-Jan-13 08:36:54

Thank you very much. smiles

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