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Suffering from depression in pregnancy

(13 Posts)
PetraFyed Wed 26-Aug-09 14:25:00

According to Woman's Hour (not like I go out of my way to listen to this - it's just that if you listen to Radio 4 three times in a week you'll hear the same edition of Woman's Hour at least twice), one in ten women suffer from antenatel depression.

The link is here, by the way:

I'm one of them. But where are the others? Why do I only meet people who are 'thrilled'?

I've found very little discussion about it online. So much so, and in despair at the lack of support, I've started writing a blog. Could be very dull if it's only me talking to myself - would love to hear from anyone else.

My blog is here

Please pop by, or continue the thread here.

SweetnessAndShite Thu 27-Aug-09 09:44:27

I had it with my 2nd though I'm not sure it was antenatal depression or just that I was depressed and happened to be PG.

I read your Blog and all sounds so familiar. Baby was planned but happened much quicker than expected. I spent much of early pregnancy hoping to miscarry and willed there to be no heartbeat at 1st scan, yet conversely I was suicidal but couldn't do anything about it for the baby's sake. I began self harming. Luckily I was referred to local mental health services and my midwife and health visitor also gave lots of support. At 27 wks I started taking anti d's (Sertraline) and by the time baby came I was much better. I now have a wonderful 19mo DS with a very sunny disposition who I wouldn't be without. I'm still on anti d's and I still have very dark times but on the whole am much better.

I really hope you find some other people who can relate to your situation and that you are able to get some professional help. I know from experience how lonely this situation can feel.

How far along are you?

daisyj Thu 27-Aug-09 09:51:40

PetraFyed - you only meet people who are 'thrilled' because people can't admit that they have mixed feelings or are very unhappy. My SIL had antenatal depression with both babies, and her experience was that no one ever talks about it. With her second she went to her (very sympathetic) GP who told her how common it was (more than 1 in ten in his opinion). Just to hear those words made her feel somewhat better. Both babies were very much wanted, but that didn't make it any easier to cope, and she had nowhere near the dark feelings that Sweetness describes. I think it's great that you've started this thread/blog, and I bet you'll have lots of people along to share their experiences.

Berrie Thu 27-Aug-09 09:53:01

Know just wat you mean about there being nothing online.

I was terribly depressed during both pregnacies. I was referred both times but I refused to take any medication and apart from the odd appointment (to check I hadn't done anything to us yet) I had no effective support.

On the plus side, once I had given birth I felt great. The depression returned once my second child was weaned and I suffered depression for 3 years which didn't respond to medication. It was only when I tried the mini pill that it cleared up despite me having banged on for years that I thought it was hormone related.

I have not read your blog...don't think I want to remember but I wish you well. smile

BonsoirAnna Thu 27-Aug-09 09:55:14

Yes, I definitely suffered from antenatal depression, and my MW referred me for counselling, which helped.

I agree that there is very little written about antenatal depression. After I had given birth, my HV administered the postnatal questionnaire on me. It made me laugh! It only framed questions in terms of whether I felt worse or as good as before the birth - when I felt hugely much better!

PetraFyed Thu 27-Aug-09 20:21:34

Thank you all so much it is really helpful to hear that other people have experienced these frightening, and often contradictory feelings and yet have recovered, and are still with their partners and babies.
It is also very helpful to hear that the birth may bring some immediate relief as I had certainly begun to expect the antenatal depression would lead straight into postnatal depression.

tattycoram Thu 27-Aug-09 20:24:52

I had antenatal depression too, but it disappeared the minute ds was born.

TotalChaos Thu 27-Aug-09 20:31:13

yeah I had this too, combined with ante-natal OCD. I started ADs in 3rd trimester, was 50% better by the birth and 80% better by 2 months post partum. I understand that it's untreated antenatal depression that brings a risk of PND, rather than antenatal depression that is treated properly at the time.

PetraFyed Thu 27-Aug-09 20:32:54

I am 28 weeks pregnant. Although I have a history of depression I do think (that unlike you)the pregnancy caused the depression as there is no other reason for me to feel so awful. Thank you so much for being so honest it is a relief to hear that you too had apparently conflicting thoughts. I am accutely aware that to be saying I am suicidal (sounds manipulative/melodramatic) when I then claim not to give a damn about the baby and yet am not prepared to act on the suicidal thoughts until after it is born. It's not exactly consistent but I guess logic and emotion are not easy bedfellows.

Berrie Thu 27-Aug-09 20:41:36

I was so worried about PND having read that statistic and expected it...was so happy after birth of babes. Coming out of depression is joyous as you have forgoton what happy feels like. I really hope you feel the same.

IdrisTheDragon Thu 27-Aug-09 20:47:28

I suffered from depression while I was pregnant with DD. Not AND I don't think as it was my general depression which was triggered by various things including DD not having been planned to happen when she did.

I started taking sertraline when I was 12 weeks pregnant, having become suicidal. Actually saw the psychiatrist the same day as my 12 week scan (scan in morning, pysch in afternoon). Continued taking the ADs throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding and beyond.

Am finally (DD nearly 4) coming off the ADs, having had a short time without them (about 6 months when she was 18 months). This time I have had CBT and finally have better coping strategies.

CarGirl Thu 27-Aug-09 20:50:57

I suffered from depression for a long time, when I was pregnant it was so much worse. It was as if it was something to be endured, I didn't want people talking to me about it, touching my bump, making comments about me being pregnant.

It was hideous but I did feel much better once I'd given birth even though I was still suffering from long term depression IYSWIM.

kidcreoleandthecoconuts Thu 27-Aug-09 21:00:08

I suffered with antenatal depression when I was expecting DD (now 18 months). I wasn't diagnosed with depression until DD was 7 months old when it manifested itself as PND. Only when I had been on antidepressants for a few months and started to feel better did I realise how ill I had been and for how long. I'm now 6 weeks pregnant and still taking my antidepressants which I intend to keep taking for another couple of years at least even if i feel well. I don't want to risk getting AND or PND again.....I really don't think I could cope to feel like that again.

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