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Ante natal depression

(23 Posts)
zephyrcat Thu 22-Feb-07 11:33:32

Does anyone have any experience of this?

I thought I may have had it before dd2 was born last year. The pregnancy was unexpected and I was exremely hormonal to say the least. It went beyond mood swings. I don't know how DP stayed together to be honest, the way I was to him.

Now that I'm pg again I'm already moody and wondering if a) I did actually have AND and b) if I will be the same again - especially as this pregnancy is going to be even harder and was even more unexpected.

Is there anything that can be taken to help? Or does it just sound like normal pg hormones?

Gingerbear Thu 22-Feb-07 11:34:39

You need to speak to Rhubarb.

There are a few of us on here - Rhubarb by far the most extreme

I had it with both pregnancies... DD, I put it down to work stress, hg, surprise at pregnancy etc. I hadn't heard of AND, just assumed it was hormones and all of the above.

DS came along... planned, wanted, stable life, and then I fell into the hole again. I would have normal days, and then big black stretches of despair - hating myself, my life, feeling guilty at feeling that way, wanting to end it all.

The biggest help I found was honesty, and using the scarey "D" word. Once I told my family and close friends how I was feeling, and used the word depression to them (which seems to make them stop and realise we're not talking "a bit low" here), I felt a lot better. It meant I had people to turn to in the darkest days - people I could cry big snotty gaspy tears on and who could help carry me through.

I started an AND antenatal thread on here and there were a fw of us going through it together and supporting each other.

I was honest with my midwife too and she was lovely - she told me that she was there to support, that there are things you can take if you think you need them.

But yes, honesty is the biggest thing - your DP needs to know exactly what it is and how you are feeling... they are much more help when they know than when you're just seeming like a bitch

Feel free to email me if you want to chat flamesparrow at gmail dot com

lulumama Thu 22-Feb-07 11:44:45

Rhubarb has set up a website, and there is a thread on here for AND...i will find it now x

lulumama Thu 22-Feb-07 11:49:23

AND support thread here and Rhubarb's site here

zephyrcat Thu 22-Feb-07 11:51:56

Thank you I'm amazed that AND doesn't seem to be as widely recognised as PND and the amount of people who assume you have pg hormones - it makes it that much harder to try and tell tham that it is more than that. I'll put a thread up for Rhubarb and see if she'll post a link to her site

zephyrcat Thu 22-Feb-07 11:52:25

Or not! Thanks Lulu

lulumama Thu 22-Feb-07 11:54:15

welcome honey...

be kinds to yourself, even if you don;t have AND, you are having an emotional time and you need a period of adjustment anyway, x

zephyrcat Thu 22-Feb-07 12:03:34

Thanks Lulu It's not going to be easy!

How do you know when you have crossed the line though? I mean, at my worst I threw a lava lamp at dp's head amongst other things - I don't want to do that again with 3 little ones around.

(will head over to the support thread too )

fizzbuzz Thu 22-Feb-07 12:19:30

I had a miscarriage about 2 years ago at 12 weeks.

Those 12 weeks were hell on earth. Violent mood swings, couldn't stop crying all the time, crippled with anxiety. It was really really awful, no sleep, felt absolutely shit.

All went after miscarriage. Never had it in first pregnancy. When I was later pregnant with dd I was put on a low dose ad, and was absolutely fine.

I guess sometimes it is like that. There is stuff you can tke though. Although I ws on ad's with dd, I was still quite anxious during pregnancy (mainly due to circumstances beyond my control) As soon as dd ws born it all went...

HTH

lulumama Thu 22-Feb-07 12:22:42

i think, if you feel or know you have crossed the boundaries of what is normal for you ,then you have crossed it, IFYSWIM !!

Rhubarb Thu 22-Feb-07 12:27:57

Hey there!
I suffered from this with both of mine quite horrifically. I was bloody awful to dh and like you, I don't know how he stayed with me. I told him he was useless, that I no longer loved him or the child I was carrying, that either the baby got adopted or I left him, etc etc. I turned into a monster and I hated myself for it. I thought I didn't deserve to be a mother anyway.

The second time I was more prepared for it and I sought help much earlier. Plus because of my first pregnancy, the midwife and GP were looking out for me. I got placed with a CPN straight away, I had an emergency number to call - one that dh could use too which was useful as I wasn't always in a rational state and often I would go walkabouts and dh didn't know where I'd gone or how long I'd be. I'd gone to the park trying to pluck up the courage to throw myself off the bridge there. But that just goes to show how much hold it can have over you, I would never contemplate that normally.

I found it more difficult with the second in other ways. I had dd to look after and I found myself taking it out on her too. I remember on horrible day when I was sat in a corner screaming, crying and banging my head on the floor whilst she curled herself up in a ball and sobbed. I just hope to God that I haven't damaged her in anyway. But that is why I will never have another baby because I don't ever want to put my family through that again.

But mine was a severe case. You can manage it but you need help. Go to your midwife and/or GP now and let them know how you feel and what happened during your last pregnancy. You need their support and so does your dp. Email me via the website by all means. I did keep a kind of blog during my second pregnancy but I'm not sure if it's still on the site.

Take one day at a time. Remember that when you get into that state you cannot remember ever having had a good day. So it helps to write down the good days that you do have to remind yourself that you have not always felt this way. Don't close up, be honest with those around you, forewarned is forearmed for them. Ask for help and support, call on friends to take the other children for you to give you a break. Don't be afraid to ask everyone and anyone for help, because you need it and if you try to get through this alone, you and your family will suffer. Take no risks.

Keep us posted.

evenhope Thu 22-Feb-07 17:46:17

I have had Depression many times in the past and have felt since October that it's been creeping back. Saw MW yesterday and told her exactly how I felt & she sent me to the DR. I asked for ADs (having read some prev MN threads) because I don't think struggling on is going to help me or the baby. She was really unhappy about prescribing anything and said they would cause problems with the baby's heart and couldn't I manage for another 4 weeks. Finally got her to prescribe (sertraline) but "at my own risk". Just the sort of addition burden I needed right now.. Rang MW and she was lovely. Said Dr hates prescribing in pgncy and that the Depression needs sorting now. Who do I believe? Am I going to damage the baby?

fizzbuzz Thu 22-Feb-07 18:39:53

Well I was on ad's all pregnancy, and have perfect 7 month old dd.

Don't worry (trite I know to someone who is depressed), but meant well!

zephyrcat Thu 22-Feb-07 18:55:15

Hi Rhubarb, I spent some time reading through your site this afternoon

A fair bit of your story rang true with me. I think it's something I will mention to the MW as soon as I get to talk to her. I'm only 7 weeks just now but the mood swings are kicking in and as much as I'm prepared for them - or think I am - when the red mist decends I have no control over it and it is going to ruin our family if it gets as bad as it did last time.

I am v nervous of taking AD's during pregnancy. In fact I'm nervous of them full stop due to something else that happened a few years back. I'm moreso as it's a twin pregnancy so in my mind they are not as strong as a singleton in the first place.

Rhubarb Thu 22-Feb-07 20:30:42

CAT me if I can help ok?

zephyrcat Fri 23-Feb-07 19:58:58

Thank you Rhubarb - sorry I wasn't ignoring your post...I'll email you via your site if that's ok? Prob over the weekend. I def need to talk to someone about this whole thing, the (originally unplanned headed for termination) pregnancy as well as the poss AND.

Rhubarb Fri 23-Feb-07 23:38:18

Hey, I didn't mean that! Just that I'm here if you need me. That's all. You've been very honest on here and I know how hard that is because you think people will judge you and tell you what your worst fears are, that you are a crap mother etc etc. So to take that step is a very brave one.

If you want to get in touch you can. But I hope you don't need to iykwim. I hope it passes and you can have a "normal" pregnancy. But if you need to scream, cry, shout, rant whatever, I'm here and I don't mind.

You take care of you and yours ok? xx

mummytosteven Fri 23-Feb-07 23:51:40

evenhope - I was took Prozac during 3rd trimester of PG. My GP refused point blank to prescribe anything, so I managed to get hospital to refer me to a psychiatrist. It's a tough call - you have to balance possible risks of untreated depression/effect of quality of life of the mother if she doesn't take the meds against the possiblity of effect on the baby. ADs are relatively recent drugs - it's not that they have information that they are definitely going to harm the baby - more that without being 100% sure (as with any meds when PG) docs are very wary about prescribing. I have no medical qualifications, but I have never heard of any SSRI that would damage a baby's heart if taken when PG. It is a possibility (but I don't think very likely) that a baby can have temporary breathing problems after it's born due to withdrawal from the AD (but if you are at all worried about withdrawal, if you BF the baby that reduces the risk of the baby having withdrawal).

Zephyr - I would have thought that maybe try to get referred for counselling as first port of call, I imagine as you are first trimester that the GP would want to wait till after that if at all possible for prescribing anything. IIRC your particular fear was about Seroxat - IME it is a particularly strange drug with problems with side effects/coming off it due to it's short half life, the other SSRIs aren't like that.

fizzbuzz Sat 24-Feb-07 09:44:18

Is it possible for you to be referred to a maternal psych? They deal with antenatal and post natal women .

I was referred to one, she knew all about what drugs were safe and which ones weren't. I live in a big city with a very good maternity teaching hospital, so I don't know if this sort of thing is available everywhere.

But you could ring hospital and ask, and then get your doctor to refer you.

HTH

evenhope Sat 24-Feb-07 09:46:57

I didn't know they existed TBH. How long would a referral take? I'm almost 37 weeks now.

zephyrcat Sat 24-Feb-07 09:48:31

Whereabouts are you? We have a huge training maternity hospital here too but so far I've found the maternity care here absolute crap! (Southampton)

fizzbuzz Sat 24-Feb-07 09:53:06

I don't know, because it is the NHS, but if it is an emergency they may fit you in.

They are also there for post natal period.

I think it is awful the amount of women who suffer ante-natal depression and there is no support for it. I only found out by accident about it.

It was called maternal mental health, and was based partly at maternity hospital and partly at outpatients at psych hospital. Most GP's don't know about it TBH.

Depression may disappear after birth, my anxiety did, but you sound like you need more support than just GP.

HTH

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