Anxiety whilst pregnant(24 Posts)
Hi, hoping for some wise words, this might be long, sorry, and I am feeling rather delicate at the minute. Am currently 14w 3d pregnant, for background info I have a history of depression, in as much that I was on and off medication throughout my teens (I'm 31 now) and had a suicide attempt at 19 and have self harmed for several years, but not for the last two years or so and I was sexually assaulted in February of last year, something that as the anniversary is coming up I'm starting to have flashbacks of.
Since I've gotten pregnant my levels of anxiety have increased massively, I get very stressed out very easily, I go from 0-60 within seconds and end up in tears, hyperventilating and have come very close to self harming again. I'm definitely not depressed, but I've never had levels of anxiety like this before, I feel like it's taking over my life. Strangely though I'm coping really well at work, I'm nurse, and new to my role so really that should be making me feel worse but it's one area I feel ok in.
For example I got a new car tonight, it's my first car and was delivered by my mum as I've been at work all day. So I sat in it this evening to figure out the lights etc before driving it to work in the morning and I got more and more stressed that I didn't feel confident with the lights (I could work them!) and ended up having a panic attack.
This just isn't usual me. I'm normally pretty calm, and can't deal with most things but everything is making me anxious at the moment. I'm really funny about hearing other people eating and I now have to sit with my fingers in my ears whilst DP eats his dinner whereas before I could cope with just turning the tv up a little.
I dunno what I'm expecting of this post, but any advice would be welcome.
Hi Damson, sorry you're having such a hard time. Firstly, I think high levels of anxiety are very common in pregnancy (definitely for me) so that's totally understandable, but also you have been through a lot and it sounds like in particular the assault you suffered last year might be having an effect. There might be trauma you need to work through? Would you consider seeing your GP to ask for some extra help? Otherwise do you have a friend or someone to talk to about how you're feeling? What normally helps you feel calmer? You sound like a really resilient person to have come through what you have done and hopefully you can be a bit kind to yourself at the moment xxx
Sorry you're feeling rubbish. We're about the same due date! MW was able to do a referral straight to maternity MH team- might be worth a phone call. They took me seriously- I was worried they wouldn't but they did xx
Sorry you've had such a tough time. I had awful anxiety in pregnancy and got referred by the midwife for counselling
Thank you, just feeling not so alone helps, it really does. DP is trying but he doesn't get it, which is fair enough, but I can't see he's trying his best and I'm doing my best to explain things to him.
I've never really delays with being anxious before so I don't have any tactics as such, like I do for feeling down or feeling like my depression is creeping in, I don't like not having a tool belt of tactics to fight it with. Which then makes me more anxious obviously
I'm seeing my midwife on the 25/1 for my 26 week check, I'll try and raise it with her. I was honest about my previous MH problems during my booking in appt.
How about pregnancy yoga or mindfulness xx I'm sure there must be something that can be done to help you without medication.
I suffered terribly with ante natal anxiety and was referred to the peri- natal mental health team who were brilliant and so supportive. I also considered medication to help with symptoms but decided not to go ahead - but I would probably have been better sooner if I had taken something
She's already offered the MH team referral at my booking apt which I declined as I was managing, but I feel like my control on the situation is slipping somewhat.
What happens with the MH team? Will it have consequences for after baby is born?
No, no consequences at all - you might get discharged before birth and it would be on your notes - but this would just mean that they could
continue the support after birth if needed.
I saw a clinical psychologist who did home visits. I think she wrote to my gp and I had direct access to her if I needed her - which happily I did not need to use.
Hi, I too have had anxiety and depression since having my older children. This baby is due next week, I have had a rollercoaster ride with anxiety this pregnancy, one month fine, the next horrendous. At the beginning i thought I'd never get through it, but I have, I'm nearly there. You can do it. X
You can contact the midwife to ask her to do the referral- it doesn't matter you have changed your mind. I actually lied to my midwife and really played down my mental health issues/past and current problems as I got awkward. Went back to GP, explained how I was feeling etc and now she has updated midwife and notes and have been referred to perinatal mental health services. I was really pleasantly surprised by the lack of judgement- so remember those doors are still open if you want it and want to get the ball rolling earlier with referral
Thanks. I feel like I can breathe a bit easier now it that make sense. Almost everything I've read about pregnancy is how all oh so wonderful things are, and to be honest, it's just a bit shit and making my fears about how I'll manage after the birth snowball a bit.
I'll give the community midwives a call in my lunch break and see what they say.
Thanks for being so kind
If it helps, I don't have anxiety issues but I do remember having issues with sound and background noise in the early stages of my last pregnancy and found that more sensitive hearing is a recognised symptom for some people. I worked in an open plan office and my colleagues sorted out a quiet space for me to work. Does it help to think that your physical hearing might be heightened, rather than worrying that normal sounds are more irritating?
Sorry you're feeling shit. I felt very similar during my pregnancy. My son is now 4 months old
My midwives were so unhelpful/dismissive but they did refer me to a specialist midwife at hospital and consultant who were both amazing and reassuring. Plus I took my normal meds throughout my pregnancy which probably kept me from having too many meltdowns x
Speak to your gp pronto too.....in my opinion they were much more on the ball than any of my midwives x
Good luck x
I had terrible ante natal anxiety, it was awful. Anxiety just ratcheted up x100. Evolutionary speaking it makes perfect sense, you need to keep safe to carry and look after a baby, but then there aren't sabre tooth tigers about here anymore.
For my first pregnancy I sought help at about 20 weeks. Like you I was anxious about possible consequences after birth, but they were completely unfounded. I saw a brilliant psychiatrist, was on some medication, received support up to the birth, and got great after care (psychiatrist actually phoned the hospital just after I'd had DD, to see how I was). They encouraged me to make my own care plan, it all felt very adult-adult, which is unusual for mental health care (I have prior experience)
With my second pregnancy the anxiety started immediately, and I saw a psych from 5 weeks. This time there was a new mental health midwife at the hospital, who was brilliant. The care I've received in both pregnancies has been great.
Also - as soon as I'd given birth the anxiety lifted, both times. I know that's not the experience for everyone but I didn't suffer with PND.
Good luck x
Morning, just to say that it may well be that medication is for you and lots of people here have clearly found it helpful. However, talking therapies, for example CBT, are very effective for managing anxiety (much better than for depression) so depending on what is offered near you you want to try that first. You can also get great CBT for anxiety self help books and websites. On the other hand, maybe just having a professional supporting you maybe enough for you to manage without specialist input. Good luck if you do decide to contact the antenatal MH team xxxx
Have you got a PANDA support network near you too? Pre and post MH support. Keep meaning to contact the ones round here. www.pandasfoundation.org.uk
@mrscrabtree NHS support isn't just meds- they offer counselling etc as well but the wait can be lengthy so the self help you describe could be v helpful x
The perinatal MH services fast track for counselling and CBT etc- is a lot lot quicker than the wait for standard outpatients MH unit, which is great. They won't push meds on you if you don't feel ok about it. I made a personal choice to not have any meds at all and they have been fine about it (I had already come off meds when found out pregnancy and was petrified of the risks to baby of starting them again etc)
Damson I think the general advice is to try and avoid medication in pregnancy unless it's weighed up that not having any could cause more harm.
My MH problems have always been quite bad, in my last pregnancy it was decided (because of the anxiety) to put me on a low dose of amitripiline. It's more commonly used as a painkiller and doesn't tend to be used for depression/anxiety these days. It is though been proven safer then other ad's while pregnant. This was a few years back so the guidelines may have changed.
Obviously counselling or CBT would be classed as the better option but please remember medication is available if needed.
Personally I've found amitripiline better then previous heavy duty AD's I've been on but it varies person to person.
I hope you get sorted anxiety is shit enough without pregnancy never mind dealing with both. Congratulations on your pregnancy.
I found i got the first counselling appointment within a fortnight. They offered me follow up sessions when I'd had the baby, but I found the anxiety lifted after I'd had the baby. It will sound weird but I felt better being able to see him.
There was no consequences after I'd had him, no SS involvement etc
What happens with the MH team? Will it have consequences for after baby is born?
I missed that, I have bi-polar I've been hospitalised with it in the past. I was monitored during and after my pregnancy by the MH home care team. SS was never mentioned.
Please don't let that fear stop you getting help
Being under MH does not mean SS get involved. It's there to help get better, not to make you more anxious. SS get involved with parents whose children are at risk, not with parents who are receive help for a medical condition. It really isn't something to get worried about.
Join the discussion
Please login first.