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This topic is for sharing experiences of pregnancy choices; to debate the ethics of termination, visit our Politics or Chat forums.

Pregnancy choices

GAD & Panic disorder - want to terminate

6 replies

Desperate4 · 05/06/2022 17:16

Hi all,

I have never posted anything like this before but I am genuinely desperate for help/clarity.

I am 33 and just found out I am around 5 weeks pregnant. It was very unexpected, especially since I have PCOS, so I have always been told conceiving would be difficult. The main issue is that I have severe GAD and panic disorder and when I found out I was pregnant I was in shock and then it was straight panic. I had a small amount of excitement but the majority of my feelings have been awful panic.

I can barely eat, or sleep, or concentrate, or stop crying. My husband has been very supportive and says he will support whatever decision I make which has been incredibly helpful. But we have also been having significant problems lately and have been going to counseling so naturally I’m anxious about what a child will do to an already fragile state.

In terms of the gad and panic, about 7 months ago I experienced serotonin syndrome and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. I have had a very very very hard time recovering. Thanks to the psych NP I switched to, I have gotten back on track to a certain extent but I am by no means where I used to be. This month is the first time since everything happened I started to feel closer to myself but now that has all slipped away again. I am terrified that I can’t handle being pregnant and definitely can’t handle having a child.

Where we live (not the town but the overall area) is also incredibly expensive and getting more expensive. I work full time at an office and I am an adjunct at a college and my husband has a good town job and it is still difficult to get by. We don’t even have an option to move somewhere more affordable to raise a family because he has 15 years left on the job. I am also currently pursuing my PhD while working all of the time which has been difficult and stressful enough. I am afraid I will have to give up on my PhD which has been a dream of mine since I was 14 (I am not even kidding) - marriage and kids were never my priority it has always been academia. I love my husband and I don’t want to disappoint anyone or regret terminating a pregnancy but I just don’t know if this is right for me.

The panic and anxiety is too much and I know that everyone has issues with pregnancy and esp postpartum depression/anxiety and I just can’t imagine willingly putting myself through even more hormonal and mental changes/issues. But then I feel selfish for feeling this way.

everyone says how rewarding having a child is but what if I don’t feel that way? The last year with my mental health issues I had planned my suicide and it feels wrong to bring a child into the world like this knowing that I can relapse so quickly and severely. I am
on antidepressants and I know I absolutely need them but I feel guilty taking them while pregnant.

I am so confused and sad and so so panicked. Any advice especially anyone with GAD, panic disorder, antidepressants would be very helpful.

OP posts:
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scaredorganicyoghurt · 05/06/2022 20:38

Hi OP, what an awful situation, I'm really sorry that you're suffering so much. I can relate to quite a bit of your post. In the past I also suffered from depression, although I am not/was not currently depressed. When I found out I was pregnant a few months ago I was absolutely horrified and terrified. It was completely unplanned and I had even taken the morning after pill. That panic you're feeling is entirely relatable. My advice for that is to find someone to speak to professionally. I scheduled an emergency appointment with my therapist, and also telephoned some of the advice hotlines. I was also in a way excited when I found out, because I have always wanted children, and thought I would have difficult convincing (ovarian cysts, not PCOS though). Speaking to someone impartial and caring is very helpful, even just to clear your thoughts so you can focus on the issue instead of just feeling the panic.

For your PhD, I don't know what area you're in, if you need to do lab work or field work, but I would tell you that I do think that you could still get your PhD if you had a baby, although it would obviously be more difficult. I have some friends that had a baby while we were doing our phds and they finished (a bit delayed but still). I chose a termination in part because my current contract (postdoc) is up early next year and I was terrified about what would happen if I had a newborn and was suddenly unemployed. In the country I live in childcare is extremely expensive too.

In any case I thought for a long time and then eventually decided to terminate (my partner did not want it, which also contributed, even though he said he'd support me either way). That was a few weeks ago and I've been having an extremely difficult time coming to terms with it. I don't know if you would feel the same way, but I'll be honest and say that I feel worse now. If you think you could also feel this way, just be aware of it.

I'll be here to chat if you'd like. Whether you choose termination or to have it, make sure that the decision is entirely yours. Either way you will be ok OP xx

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littlefirecar · 05/06/2022 20:58

Everyone is different so its hard to predict how you will react but for me I found my anxiety was really tough during pregnancy but actually so much better after having baby. I was so worried about post natal depression and anxiety and thought that I would be sure to have it but baby has had such a calming effect on me, she is my little anchor.

Please don't assume that your GAD will act in a certain way or that you will be a bad mother because of it.

Make your decision based on what you want rather than what you fear and if you want to be a mum you can absolutely be one

Alternatively if you don't want to be a parent you need to embrace that and not feel guilty, there are plenty of people without MH issues who make that choice and its a perfectly valid one

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koalakate999 · 05/06/2022 21:31

@Desperate4 , I'm so sorry you are in such a difficult situation.

I just wanted to add, you may want to speak to your GP for reassurance, but the current guidance is that most antidepressants are perfectly safe to take in pregnancy, ( aka from NHS / BUMPS website). Please do not feel guilty about taking antidepressants during pregnancy, when current research/ guidance shows they are very unlikely to be harmful.

If I was you, I would make an emergency GP appointment, ( they are likely to provide a telephone appointment for you quite quickly), to discuss the specifics of whether your dosage/ medication is safe, ( in the highly unlikely event it wasn't, they would be able to transfer you to an SSRI that was safe in pregnancy.

You may also feel contacting Tommy's ( the pregnancy charity UK), very good at providing some helpful information r.e. mental health and pregnancy, ( their information and support line is staffed by qualified midwives).

www.tommys.org/about-us/our-people/tommys-midwives

They have been fantastic with me with pregnancy queries and while you'll need to leave a voicemail message, ( the line gets quite busy), they'll normally call you back within 2-3 hours the same working day,

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koalakate999 · 05/06/2022 23:20

Also @Desperate4 , can I just ask, ( so can advise correctly), whether you are based in the U.S or U.K ?

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Desperate4 · 06/06/2022 11:07

Thank you for your reply! I am based in the US.

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koalakate999 · 06/06/2022 14:26

Of course.

I'm not entirely sure if you have a GP system in the same way in the U.S, but would you be able to contact whatever doctor prescribed you the antidepressants and ask them to confirm your dosage/ type is safe for pregnancy ? That should reassure you. x

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