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Therapist away, need some support please!

(17 Posts)
Sleeplessinnorthlondon Thu 06-Aug-15 14:20:02

Dear all,
Been bit up and down and could really do with some support. Semi
Managing pregnancy anxiety now but worries have exhausted support of family and friends who think have been fab but must be fed up and frustrated now and therapist away for couple of weeks and finding self bit rubbish again. Main fear is the impact of all this anxiety itself on poor bubba, read studies (stupid to google I KNOW) suggesting anxiety in pregnancy increases risk of mental health issues, prematurity, autism, neurodevelopment: really will love this kid however they come out just feel am falling at first hurdle in failing them by putting them at risk this way. Midwife and doctor said anxiety not severe or chronic enough to impact in my case and only increases risk of issues which generally require family history in first place, although do think we can put a marker down for mental health issues there if nothing else. Husband convinced all will be fine but he always is. Anything reassuring anyone can say would be hugely hugely welcomed! Thank you! Xxx

JJXM Thu 06-Aug-15 14:45:34

I have severe anxiety which is so bad that I have to take antipsychotics for the rest of my life otherwise I end up in hospital. I also take other medication to help me. I've had two children and I'm pregnant with DC3 - my son does have ASD but so do the whole of his dad's side of the family. My DD is fine. Look at it this way - women are having healthy babies in war zones, within abusive relationships and in prison - you cannot control whether your child has MH problems anymore than you can control their eye colour.

Sleeplessinnorthlondon Thu 06-Aug-15 15:15:15

Thanks so much for this JJXM - this is brave and so kind of you to share. Can I ask did you take these meds in pregnancy? I am increasingly keen to but GP reluctant, would really like to hear your experience. You're right, I suppose it's not in my control, just want to do what I can to protect him and right now feel like am not doing sad

TitusAndromedon Thu 06-Aug-15 16:14:14

I've been following your threads and haven't posted, but you've been doing so well.

You know, this baby thing is a leap of faith, isn't it? My husband's dad died at 53 of early onset Alzheimer's. Although my husband hasn't undergone genetic testing, I guess there's a fair chance he could suffer with the same thing, and we could be passing that to our children. Sometimes I get really worried about what I might be doing to them, just by bringing them into the world. But, I know that I love them now, and I will love them when they are born, and I will do everything in my power to enable them to have wonderful lives, so that has to be enough.

When my anxiety gets really intense, as it did before my 12 and 20 weeks scans, I remind myself that the odds are in my favour. The vast majority of babies are born healthy and well, and the vast majority of children grow up heathy and well. I know how hard it is to ignore these sorts of thoughts, but try your best to remind yourself that the odds are on your side.

lilyb84 Thu 06-Aug-15 16:24:06

I sympathise sleepless - just started a course of therapy myself for depression/anxiety and I had a 4 week wait between therapists when one decided to refer me to someone else who specialises in an area more suited to my issues. I actually felt like I was getting on okay until I suddenly didn't know when my next appointment would be, and it sent me on a bit of a spiral.

As JJXM says, babies are born all the time to people living in stressful, even horrifying, situations and are fine. And as Titus said, it's a total minefield anyway, and mostly out of your control - my grandfather and his sister both had genetic eye conditions which could well be passed on to my baby, but if I start thinking about that, or about how my mental health- during or after pregnancy - will affect my baby, it's not going to change anything or do anyone any good, least of all me.

Focus on the positives - you've taken a huge step to seek help, your therapist will be back in a couple of weeks, and you care enough already about your baby to be worrying all the time so you're going to be an awesome mum! It's perfectly natural to have concerns but one thing I heard in a therapy workshop which hugely helped me while I was on the waiting list for sessions was 'just because you have a thought, that doesn't make it true' - try to remember that, find some time to do some nice things for yourself, try to relax and step away from Google smile.

JJXM Thu 06-Aug-15 17:44:31

I've taken my medication throughout all three of my pregnancies. I've seen three different consultants in three different NHS trusts and not one has suggested stopping them. One said to me that a diabetic wouldn't stop taking life saving insulin in pregnancy so why would someone who takes MH meds to keep them alive stop?

In my personal experience most gps do not have the expertise to deal effectively with these sorts of meds and some of them are unable to prescribe them as they are restricted. You need an appointment with a psychiatrist or to ask your midwife if they have a gynaecologist who works with MH problems.

There's a good website which is called which gives the FDA categories for each drug. Although it's an American site it will give you a good idea of the 'safety' of each medication. Most drugs are category C which says not safe in pregnancy - what this often means is that the drug is relatively new and untested - what pregnant woman would volunteer to test a new drug? Most of the students involving pregnant women are small - in my pregnancies my information has been passed on for studies. Generally, the older a medication is the safer it is considered as they've had years to see the effects. So lots of antidepressants have lots of data and some of them can help with anxiety too. For example, I take anxiety med called buspirone which was used a lot a few years ago but has fallen out of fashion - this category B - just like paracetamol.

Sleeplessinnorthlondon Thu 06-Aug-15 19:08:41

Got an appt with the mental health team at hospital next weds so will see if they can help - feels like things getting quite a bit worse, i hadn't necessarily thought al that bad but can sort of see from reactions of friends and husband etc if that makes sense that they are. thanks so much for your help.

DimpleHands Thu 06-Aug-15 19:23:00

OP have you tried mindfulness/meditation?

Sleeplessinnorthlondon Fri 07-Aug-15 07:11:19

Yeah.... When am ok ish that works and when I'm not it doesn't really if that makes sense!

DimpleHands Fri 07-Aug-15 08:07:48

how many weeks are you now?

Are there any stressors in your life which make your anxiety worse which you could cut out? For me, work made me very anxious in my last pregnancy and I wish I had got signed off.

I would try to avoid medication if at all possible... but one thing my psychiatrist did say was absolutely OK in pregnancy and which is nowhere near as strong as anti-depressants is Phenergan. I think it's an antihistamine (so you can buy it over the counter for hay fever etc). I have taken it a couple of times when my anxiety was at its worse and it really worked. Please check with your GP though before you take it.

It sounds to me like what really helps you is to be able to talk about how you're feeling - keep talking to us on here or feel free to PM me at any time. I've been there and I know how awful it is.

JJXM Fri 07-Aug-15 08:47:19

Dimple - why are you saying to avoid medication? If the OP needs medication to keep safe and healthy then she should take it. There's no way an antihistamine is going to touch severe and crippling anxiety - nothing taken over the counter will. Many antidepressants are quite safe to take in pregnancy and it's psychiatrists like yours that mean many women struggle unnecessarily in pregnancy because they are given incorrect advice without the academic studies to back it up.

If I stopped my medication I would end up hospitalised - much safer for baby to be exposed to a tiny amount of medication than for its mother to end up dead.

DimpleHands Fri 07-Aug-15 09:58:35

JJXM - My psychiatrist actually agrees with you that in a case of severe depression in pregnancy, it is better to take anti-depressants than not to. He offered Phenergan as an alternative and it worked for me.

Personally, I would want to try all other means before resorting to them in pregnancy. For me, there has not been enough research into whether or not they can have a harmful effect. And actually, it would be a very difficult thing to come to a safe conclusion on even if there were more research - even if you find a link between a stressed/depressed mother and neurodevelopmental problems in the baby, it's very difficult to know if a baby is affected (a) by the medication, (b) by the hormones (like cortisol) or lack of certain chemicals (like serotonin) released by a stressed/depressed mother, (c) by a genetic predisposition towards mental health problems.

But that's just my own personal point of view - I'm not a doctor and I know nothing about it other than my own personal experience and the research I have done on the internet. I just wanted to make an alternative suggestion to OP.

DimpleHands Fri 07-Aug-15 10:01:42

I would also say that my psychiatrist, who must be in his 50s, said that I was one of the most very severely depressed people he had seen in his whole career (I had anxiety-related depression brought about by a very stressful event). If the Phenergan helped me on my worst days (it basically acts as a sedative) then I don't think you can write it off entirely!

April2013 Fri 07-Aug-15 11:01:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sleeplessinnorthlondon Fri 07-Aug-15 19:46:25

26 weeks.. Thanks all for all your support. Saw my CBT lady today and feel so so much better, still tense and nervous but not overcome with sheer panic. the triggers are vague and hard to identify, I definitely need to sleep more and get our house sorted (totally falling apart - builders, nothing in the right place etc..) and just take it easy and stick with the CBT.... April2013 - who was criticising you?!! so pleased your toddler is ok. Going to discuss meds with the hospital team next week. Thank you so much!

Fuzzyduck21 Fri 07-Aug-15 21:41:29

Oh my goodness sleepless, I could have written your original post. I'm suffering terribly and the worst part is wondering what the anxiety will do the baby. I am convinced it has caused a problem but it was so comforting to know there is someone else out there who feels the same. I have 7 weeks to go and can't decide whether to start meds (may be a little late?) or just see how it goes. I feel I should have done it at 20 wks when it was originally suggested to me as I wouldn't feel so rubbish now sad

I am also worried i won't be ok when baby comes as I will be looking for problems that I've caused thru the anxiety and magnitude of scans I've had!

It does help to know others are in the same boat. I've never come across someone with the same concerns. pls keep in touch and let me know how you get on! xx

Sleeplessinnorthlondon Fri 07-Aug-15 22:54:21

Sorry to hear you're in the same boat!! Have you had any support with your anxiety? Feel so much calmer after cbt today and think I just got out of hand with the lack of appts, really can't cope on my own!!! What does your team say about the meds and do you know what triggered the anxiety? Feel free to pm me any time, would love to have a buddy just sorry you're in this too! Xxxx

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