Hi ladies just looking for some advice from people who have been too scared to go on meds for depression or anxiety.
I have 3 children, Ds1 is 3, Ds2 is 13 months and DD is 6 weeks. I've struggled with anxiety and depression since I was 14 and haven't done a thing about it. I'm 26 now and only getting worse I had pnd with ds1, I went to my Dr who spent 5 minutes with me and gave me a years worth of anti depressants. I took them for 3 days and I remember how awful I felt, I stopped taking them because I was scared and because my Dr didn't take the time to go through any of it with me. So I suffered in silence and at one point it got so bad with ds1 having reflux and not sleeping more than an hour ever....I still did nothing. I had ds2 just before ds1 turned 2 and I believe I suffered pnd the entire pregnancy and after. I then got pregnant with DD when ds2 was only 3 months old and again I believe I was going through pnd. I had a difficult pregnancy so that didn't help.
I could write a book on everything that has upset me or made me anxious. I have had some major things happen over just the last few years which have just added to the overwhelming sadness I feel. Fast forward to now....I have 3 under 3 and I'm not coping. Ds1 has a speech delay and I feel like I fail him every day by not being able to spend much time with him. Ds2 is really needy and basically whinges the entire day which makes me feel even ****tier because again I feel like I'm failing them. I feel overwhelmed all the time, I cry a fair bit and I am far less tolerant or patient. I find myself hating my life sometimes and thinking crap things about myself. But then I have good days and think well maybe I should just struggle. I want to enjoy my babies I've missed out on so much already because I've done nothing to help myself. I constantly feel like a crap mother and like they deserve so much more than what I give them. Not only do I stress about all of that I even get anxious and depressed over other people's problems. My life just feels like Its too much all at once.
I know I have pnd, I know I have anxiety issues but even after knowing what I need to do I still can't bring myself to ask for help. I know I need meds but something is holding me back. I hate feeling this way and I need to do it for not only myself buty kids too. You would think that would be enough driving force to just go and get help but I can't get past that fear, I feel useless. I just want to cope and I want to have more good days than bad.
Dh is amazing and so supportive. I feel like such a crap partner. I'm a sad sack and I do nothing but whinge and stress so I know I need to do something for our relationship too.
My fears are:
- You feel worse before you feel better....I don't know how I would cope with three young kids through that. I have nobody to help and Dh is a shift worker. And I'm scared of feeling even worse than I do even if it is only for a little while.
- I'm scared about being on something I have to wean off.
- This is probably a silly fear but I'm scared of losing my libido. Its already almost non existent and I don't want to lose it altogether.
I know It's not logical because It sucks feeling this crap but I still don't know how to get over the fear. I intend on speaking to the mental health team at my 8 week check but I know I need more than counselling.
Anybody else in the same predicament?
If you were too scared to go on meds did you take the leap and do it? What got you over that hurdle?
Thanks for reading, I know Its long xo
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23-09-2014 11:16 #1
Too scared to go on meds
Last edited by Purple Lily; 23-09-2014 at 11:31.
23-09-2014 11:19 #2
Oh and sorry if that is all over the place, I'm sleep deprived and sick
23-09-2014 11:55 #3
First of all, massive hugs.
I took the leap about 5 months ago and started taking meds. I'm pretty sure I had PND after I had my first (jan 2012) but I struggled along and didn't seek help. I then fell pregnant again when DS1 was only 7 months old and DS2 was born in May 2013. He was a terrible sleeper, had reflux and was a completely different baby to DS1...a lot more demanding. My husband works away and he went back to work when DS2 was only 3 weeks old. I struggled big time with him away for 3 weeks at a time, especially when I was not getting much sleep. I cried a lot, was always grumpy and super anxious all the time. Tried so many different things to help DS2 and his reflux with little success. I finally got into sleep school just after he turned 1 as he was still sleeping like a newborn, waking every 1-2 hours and feeding all night. I took the depression scale while there and my score was very high. I realised that I couldn't keep going on the way I was going, and after the week at sleep school I went to see my GP. I guess for me, it was having someone else come out and say that I had PND and that I needed to get some help that made me really think. Working through the sleep issues also made me realise it wasn't just sleep deprivation that was making me feel so awful either. I was worried about the meds and breast feeding (still feeding DS2) and worried about side effects, but she put me on one that's safe while BFing and generally doesn't have too many side effects.
For the first few days I felt a bit hazy and dizzy, but after that I was fine. It does take a few weeks (even up to a month) to start to feel an improvement, but they are definitely helping. I had my dose upped once after about 6 weeks as I wasn't feeling a huge difference, but she did start me off on the lowest dose so there was room to increase if needed. I am beginning to feel much more like my old self, and find I am not as grumpy or anxious as I was. My hubby has noticed a huge difference in my moods also, and I know it's better for my kids to have a happy mum, rather than one that's yelling or crying all the time.
My libido hasn't changed, but I was warned it could be a side effect. I think it varies person to person unfortunately, but there are so many different ADs on the market that sometimes it can be trial and error until you find one that suits you. Maybe speak to your GP and explain all your fears about going on meds, and they will be able to give you some options.
I really wish I had of taken the leap sooner, as I feel like I spent so much of the past 2 years being miserable and not fully enjoying my time with my children and family. I'm still contemplating some counselling as well just to work through a few things, but I've had a few bad experiences so I'm working up to finding someone that suits me. I'm not even thinking about weaning off the meds just yet, as I'm not ready. But I know my doctor will support me when it's time.
Please, at least speak with your doctor about the options for meds. They may be better at eliminating some of your fears around taking meds and give you some reassurance.
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23-09-2014 11:59 #4
I'm so glad you've reached out here. First of all, I only have the one poppet myself, but it feels like a lot of those feelings you're describing would be pretty common for anyone with 3 under 3. I just don't know how you do it.
I took the plunge myself, because for a lot of reasons I am quite anti-meds (for myself only), but after the suicide of a close friend I fell into a deep depression which became anxiety. When it got to the point of me crying every morning from when I got up til when I got to work, and then again after work until bed, I knew I didn't have the skills to 'fix myself'.
I was on meds for a year, then finally felt better enough to go off them, then within a month came the unplanned pregnancy, the implosion of my marriage, the PND, and to be honest I haven't recovered from all of that and am considering taking the plunge myself. I understand the feeling of the barriers to taking them. For me I don't want to put on weight, and I know that from the outside that seems ridiculous, but it's a huge impediment to me. I don't like the dulled emotions, and I don't want to not be able to feel joy. For now, the lows are bearable because of the highs, but I have a deal with myself that if I become unable to parent because of the lows and the anxiety, then I will go.
So, here's what I thought of when I read your post: first of all, I feel like I know you pretty well, and you are definitely not a crap mother. You are a devoted, loving mother, and your kids know without a doubt that you love them. That's all they need - to feel loved and safe.
Secondly, if you do go on meds, it doesn't have to be forever. When I went on meds I halved the pill. For me that was enough. It took the edge off. It made it so I didn't have to talk myself out of bed every morning, and talk myself into staying alive almost every night.
Thirdly, it seems like you have a bit to work through. I don't believe meds alone will help with that, and perhaps you could just start with a baby step - go to see your GP and get a referral to a counsellor/psych. You probably feel like you don't have time. Talk to your husband. Find a way. You matter. I went to one session after my PND diagnosis and felt a million bucks. I went to more afterwards, of course, but just knowing that I had that chance to talk every week/fortnight made my day to day struggles so much easier. Just doing this may be enough for you not to feel like you need meds.
As for the getting worse before it gets better - it's horrible, I know. Could you prepare for that by making yourself little positive thoughts cards and stick them on your mirror, in your bag, above your bed, whatever. Have a countdown of the days? Little self-talk phrases to remind you this is just a dip before you fly again? And the libido - well, I think if you sleep better and more calmly, and are able to cut yourself a little slack, then your 'emotional libido' may improve. That'll give you something to work with :-)
Sorry for my essay, and sorry if it's garbled. I felt for you so much when I read your post, and I'm not an expert by any means but I want you to know that you're not alone.
23-09-2014 12:52 #5
Like you i have suffered from depression and anxiety from an early age. I think it was the anxiety that prevented my from ever seeking help. The fear of asking was just too much.
However, one day, when i was actually 26, i was at the GP because i had been feeling tired and run down for a long time and wanted to get some blood tests done. The GP actually asked me if i had depression and/or anxiety, and i just finally said yes. It really wasn't as horrible as i had thought it would be. I started on some meds and saw a psychologist (personally i found that part useless). The meds had somewhat of a numbing effect. I remember losing control of my car in the wet and spinning out of control on the freeway. I felt absolutely nothing. Over time the effectiveness of the drugs wore off so i tried some others. SNRI's had horrible side effects for me so i went back to SSRI's. I've been taking zoloft for quite a while now and while life is definitely not all rainbows and lollipops, the drugs take the edge off things. My anxiety is turned down a notch, I don't spend all day every day in bed bawling my eyes out either. On the downside, the meds completely mess with my memory but i guess that's the sacrifice i need to make in order to function.
It's completely normal to be scared, even petrified of taking those first steps and seeking help. It can be so worth it though. Maybe try and get a support person on board, make a GP appointment and discuss your options. Maybe drugs aren't the answer, or maybe you just haven't found the right one for you?. Maybe a mental health care plan and regular sessions with a psychologist would benefit you more so?
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24-09-2014 18:05 #6
Hi ladies, sorry It's taken me a bit to reply I haven't had 5 minutes to myself. I don't have time to reply properly yet but I just wanted to say thank you all so much for taking the time to share your story and for your kind words, I truly appreciate it. I will pop back in and reply properly tomorrow I just wanted to let you know I appreciate your responses xox
09-10-2014 15:20 #7
Hi ladies, I feel bad It's taken me so long to get back to this thread. Thank so much for sharing your experience and for the lovely and kind words. I'm just sorry to see so many lovely ladies that have done and still are doing it tough Although it just goes to show how strong you all are even in your darkest moments.
So basically an update...Things are the same, if not worse. DD can't be put down without screaming which is normal but so hard when I have other kids that have just as many needs. She's a really hot baby and I over heat easily..we also live in the tropics so baby wearing is no good even with lighter carriers. My life is pretty much a blur and I'm pretty much just hanging on by a thread. I feel like I'm not doing enough and that there just aren't enough hours in the day.
I had a mchn appointment on Monday and she could tell just by looking at me that I'm not coping. I did the pnd questionaire and I scored 16 so quite high. I was referred to the mental health team and I received a lovely call from somebody the next day. I'm a really shy and closed off person but surprisingly enough I was on the phone for an hour and she got a lot of info about me which was good. So next Tuesday I have her and a Dr who specializes in mental health coming to see me at my house. The Dr is coming because she asked what I was open to in regards to counselling and meds to which I replied anything it takes.
They will also talk about services they have like having somebody to come and help me a few hours a couple of days a week. They also offer to take you out of the house because I am still working on getting my license. I also believe there is a playgroup they will be taking me to which is for mums with pnd and anxiety which will not only benefit me but also my kids.
I'm so glad that for once in my life I came out of my comfort zone and I asked for help. I need to do this for me but I also need to do this for my kids. I don't want to remember their first years as being the most horrible time of my life. I'm also doing this for Dh. He is so supportive and he has been working long hours and coming home and taking over almost everything. While that's great I feel like he is going to burn out one day if I don't help myself.
Anyway I'm not sure if I will end up on meds but now that I have started the process I'm feeling a lot more open about it. I can only go up from here so I want to do what it takes. I need to realise that I deserve to be happy. I need to remember that I'm not a hero and I can't do everything on my own and that my mental health shouldn't suffer.
Sorry for the huge reply but that's what's happening with me. Thank you again for your kind words, I really appreciate it xoxo
09-10-2014 18:29 #8Senior Member
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09-10-2014 18:32 #9
14-10-2014 11:25 #10
Just putting a last update up. I had a counsellor, DR and student nurse come and visit me. They were really good and I managed to open up a fair bit. At first I thought there was no way I would go to counselling but my opinion has changed. I think I'm feeling much more comfortable at the thought of talking to somebody. I now have a plan in place and that is I will be referred to a psychologist who does home visits. I get 6 free sessions but in the mean time all I need to do is see a gp and request more. I'm also getting my thyroid and vitamin d levels checked.
And lastly...I have a script for Zoloft which I will fill today. The Dr was really helpful in explaining the meds and what support she will give during the process of finding what works. I feel a lot more comfortable about taking it especially in regards to my severe anxiety. So in the end I'm glad I sought help when I did and fx the meds help.
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