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Mental health / Anxiety during pregnany

(16 Posts)
secretgirl Tue 08-Mar-16 12:24:42

Hi all.
Not sure if Im posting this in the right section but here goes!
I am in the early stages of pregnancy- 7 weeks - and have been on lexapro for anxiety for 4 years. For the last year I have been on 5mg. I was at the doc yesterday & have been told to come off it.
Even though its only 5mg it is my crutch & I never intended on giving it up. But I need to for the baby - this is my first and at 39 most likely my only.
I am already feeling incredibly anxious - I suppose due to hormones etc. I dont wna tto feel like this for the next 8 months. I wan tto enjoy it. And of course because of the anxiety I have already diagnosed myself with post natal depression & already decided that Ill ind it hard to cope when the baby comes.

Has anyone been through this? Can anyone offer any advice to me?


Mummyme87 Tue 08-Mar-16 13:30:13

I don't know much about the medication but when you see your midwife for your booking appointment, let her know about this and see if they have a mental health midwife you can be referred to. You may need a bit of extra support during pregnancy so when you meet the community midwifery team see if there is any chance you can try and see the same one throughout.

There is lots of support but sometimes you need to seek it out.

Mummyme87 Tue 08-Mar-16 13:32:22

Is lexApro also known as citolapram? I am sure I have cared for many many women taking this during pregnancy

FellOutOfBedTwice Tue 08-Mar-16 13:39:57

You should not be stopping cold turkey. I was on 20mg Prozac for anxiety when I became pregnant with DD and was told by a (knobhead) GP to go cold turkey. By 25 weeks I was an anxious wreck having up to six panic attacks a day and not sleeping. Ended up seeing the perinatal MH team who were appalled I'd be advised to come off what is a very low dose all at once. They put me back on it and I stayed in it while breastfeeding. I'm pregnant again now (15 weeks) and they'll prise the tablets out of my cold, dead hands. Irresponsible to advise an anxious person to just give up their drugs.

secretgirl Tue 08-Mar-16 15:19:25

Thanks for all the replies.
Yes I was quite surprised he advised me to finish taking it so quickly. He told me to take it every 2nd night & be finished it by This Friday. So within 4 days!!! He was a a stand in doctor, quite a bit older so maybe old school. He frightened me to be honest. As if I wasnt anxious enough already!
Yes I think Lexapro & citalopram are much the same.

Mummyme87 Tue 08-Mar-16 15:58:37

The studies on citolapram in pregnancy are very mixed, basically if the benefits of taking it out weight the risks kind of situation.

I would suggest getting an appoint,net with another GP if possible whilst your waiting for midwifery/obstetric input

Sophia1984 Tue 08-Mar-16 17:43:50

You really do not need to worry about 5mg of Lexapro. I've been on 20mg Citalopram for my 19 week pregnancy so far and doctor was happy with that. I am planning to withdraw slowly before third trimester with support of perinatal mental health team. My psychiatrist today told me I could stop taking it straight away as it is a low dose. Your doctor might also be happier with you being on sertraline as that is the one with the lowest risk of all of the tiny risks.

Anxiety in pregnancy is totally normal (I think for me it's the feeling of the lack on control) and there is support out there. There is no reason to think you will automatically get PND - it's just something for you and your midwife to be aware of. When you're a bit further along, try and find a pregnancy yoga class - it's helped me massively. I also downloaded this book, which I have found useful:

and have been listening to relaxation CDs.

Good luck :-)

secretgirl Fri 11-Mar-16 10:12:05

Thanks for the replies.
Yes I have started some meditation this week & also went to see a counsellor last night. . I started to bawl the minute I started to speak. IM going to keep going & try keep on top of this.
Its all very scary x

Sophia1984 Fri 11-Mar-16 12:37:52

It is terrifying, but you can do it :-) I nearly cried talking to the psychiatrist too! I also highly recommend seeing if there is a local PANDAS group near you They offer support for pre and post-natal depression. I emailed my local organiser and she is lovely!

secretgirl Tue 15-Mar-16 12:57:57

I've been back to a different doc in floods of tears & sheer panic. She put me back on 5mgs of lexapro. It's one of the ok ones to take during pregnancy. My god this feeling is horrendous. The panic, chest closing in, the tears. I hope it subsides now. THe hospital I will be attending has an anxiety clinic so I will mention it in my first appointment in a month.

economymode Tue 15-Mar-16 13:33:23

I have taken citalopram while pregnant with both my children. I am now pregnant again after a mc (hello even more anxiety!) and on 30mg/day after upping it (the mc did very very odd things to my head). My GP is very happy for me to keep taking it and I wouldn't even consider coming off it.

I think I really need to start meditation or similar. I just find it so hard to switch my brain off.

secretgirl Tue 15-Mar-16 22:01:04

Sorry to hear that economymode. I hope your feeling ok now. Yes I think perhaps I will need to up the dose, I've to go back in 2 weeks. I feel so horrible. I do ge meditation at night and it is lovely to do but to be honest when you get to a certain point the anxiety is sickening, no amount of meditation will help. Sometimes nothing does x

Osirus Tue 15-Mar-16 22:04:03

I think anxiety is normal in pregnancy. I worry about everything, apart from the baby!

dottydimples Wed 16-Mar-16 13:24:18

I've been on Sertraline for the past few years due to anxiety. My doctor said he is happy for me to continue to take this if I need to as he said its one of the safest anti-depression/anxiety drugs to take while pregnant. However he did say he wanted to try and get me off them as being 'pure' is always best. I have now not taken them for about 3 weeks and feel fine so far....

Could you maybe discuss being on a different anti-anxiety drug like Sertraline or something else considered safer than the one you're currently taking? You might be fine continuing with the drug you're taking/not taking it at all, but it might be an option?

Hope you find a solution you're happy with smile

brookeberry Wed 16-Mar-16 13:58:41

Hope you're okay secretgirl. 5mg is a very low dose and if it's not working so well, I would recommend trying a higher dose. You're mental health is incredibly important.

I've been on 40mg citalopram for 5 years and it completely stopped life-long anxiety. Every doctor, midwife and consultant I have seen have said it is fine to stay on during pregnancy - my mental health is very important to the pregnancy. When starting citalopram I felt horrible on 10mg, then horrible on 20mg and then fine on 40mg. Everyone has a different dose that suits. Good luck flowers

secretgirl Thu 17-Mar-16 15:55:54

Thanks dottydimples and brookeberry. I'm feeling slightly better thankfully. Though still off my food and not sleeping but the closure in my chest and tummy is slightly better. Mental Health is so important but being pregnant has made it so much more so. Yes I think I need to go on a stronger dose alright. Brookeberry thanks for that, I really puts my mind at ease. Dottydimples, why do you say something considered safer?? The doc put me back on the lexapro & double checked it with a phone call to some place????

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