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  1. #1
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    Default Prenatal depression - would you take medication?

    I have been diagnosed as having prenatal depression. I'm 18 weeks preg. Counsellor has said meds are an option but it's up to me as I'm not severely depressed. I'm leaning towards not taking them and living with anxiety and mild depression. Has anyone taken medication and regretted it / or felt heaps better?

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    I was on my bipolar meds during my pregnancy but I have had to come off them since my DS was born. That's because they were a sedative and I wasn't coping with the night feeds. If you think you can deal without the meds, do it, but remember they are there as an option if it becomes too much later down the track... There are some that are safe during pregnancy, and some that aren't. Just make sure you double and triple check with your drs and hospital

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    Candiceo  (05-03-2013)

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    Hi

    Sorry to hear that you are struggling. Fwiw I would see your councillor regularly and if your health permits I would try to incorporate some exercise into your routind which will naturally act to life your mood. If the situation deteriorates and you are struggling to function or have suicidal thoughts I would then consider meds.

    Panda - post and antenatal depression association are a great help for mums and mums to be. There telephone counselling service us open mon- fri 9am until 7pm(aest) if its after hours you can contact lifeline. You don't need to be feeling suicidal.


    Take care

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    Candiceo  (05-03-2013)

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    Went to see my gp this afternoon and she said that she would rather me continue with counselling instead of start meds just yet. I'm happy with that response.

    Strange how the midwives at the hospital are so quick to tell me to get my gp to prescribe medication. I guess they see a lot of pnd.

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    They will be testing you on a regular basis to see if you are "high risk" for pnd. I actually had an appointment with an ob at the hospital and was categorised as medium risk at 36 weeks. They considered early induction but ruled it out by putting me back on my meds. I am still high risk for pnd but have been coping really well since having my DS but my ob is seeing me on a weekly basis (he is a gp ob) to adjust my meds and assess whether or not I have pnd. This is instead of just going in 6 weeks pp. I'm not even 2 weeks pp and he decided on that today. They will look after you to make sure you don't get pnd, or go make sure it's picked up early.

    Glad your gp agreed with just counselling instead of meds. It's a good outcome for you :-)

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    Candiceo  (06-03-2013)

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    This is a tough one because I find that med use while pregnant is such a double edged sword. I chose not to use medication and it got worse. I ended up high risk and committed to a psych ward prior to the birth of my second child. It was a nightmare I never want to repeat. The careful utilisation of anti-psych medication and mild sedatives (benzodiazapenes) pulled me back from the brink and once bubs was born, I started anti-depressants - initially a heavy dose and then as the months went by and my symptoms lessened, I cut right back (and stopped using the benzos) until I didn't need them anymore. I can honestly say I recovered but am watching vigilantly for any returning symptoms. I have a stash in my top cupboard and if I feel the telltale symptoms returning (eg. fretting about not being able to sleep, pacing, etc) and my breathing techniques aren't enough, I will not hesitate to adopt the regimen I was using last year in order to prevent it from escalating. (Naturally, I will go and see my doctor immediately...I'm talking about a panic attack at midnight or I start seeing people in my loungeroom... I know what works now). As an aside, I must say that diet had a HUGE impact. I stopped drinking coffee completely, cut out sugar, walked regularly and ate a lot of vegetables and this made a very noticeable difference. I also started meditation which helped immensely. In the last few days, I've woken up mid sleep (like tonight) but rather than panic, I've just warmed some milk, read a few threads, posted a bit and will have a warm shower and return to bed rather than toss and turn. While I am determined not to return to the state I was in last year, this time 'round I'm prepared: I know what resources are available, I have meds on hand, I understand that a supervised drug regimen can work and that counselling is essential. I had access to a community mental health nurse last year and will make sure to access her again if I need to. I have never regretted taking the medication but I was fortunate: I had a good doctor who monitored me. I don't advocate drugs being thrown at someone to be used as a crutch.
    Last edited by Caviar; 04-07-2013 at 01:48. Reason: spelling

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    MilkingMaid  (04-07-2013)

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    Totally up to you, but please please get monitored very carefully, and especially after the baby is born. I've done the PND thing 3 times. Make sure your dh and good friends know about your depression, and get them to watch you carefully, so they can help you out if you get too down.
    My biggest problem was not recognising how bad I was, and as no-one really knew, they didn't pick it up. And I wouldn't tell anyone.

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    Caviar, just make sure all your meds are still in date! They can expire and god only knows what they could do after they have expired! But on another note, I am glad you have worked out what works for you. The benzo's are strong stuff. And I agree with diet and exercise control of depression. Some forms of depression can actually be because you have low iron levels. It's also a good idea to get a full blood work up to see if that isn't the cause

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    My biggest problem, from what I have since learned about my experience, was that I didn't understand or realise just how bad I was. I just didn't recognise any of the signs or cues. I just thought the feelings and thoughts I had were normal. And even when I was finally assessed, I was too frightened to admit to the psych that I was hearing voices or seeing things as I thought that I'd be diagnosed with schizophrenia and committed to an institution and that my children would be taken off me. (They already knew as they'd seen me chatting to inanimate objects, myself and reacting to things that weren't there). I was later formally assessed, diagnosed and successfully treated for with Antenatal depression, anxiety and psychosis and then Post Natal Depression with anxiety. I would strongly recommend a blood screening to determine your vitamin and mineral count. My levels were grossly depleted and took a few months to restore after which time I underwent a change for the better. Had I been nutritionally aware I daresay things would have been different. So if you are worried about taking a drug regimen and you are doing well now, I would strongly recommend a blood test and a look at your dietary intake.


 

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