Do I really need the meds?

Elena - posted on 11/09/2009 ( 73 moms have responded )

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I was diagnosed today with Postpartum Depression (PPD) and my OB perscribed me Prozac. Do I really need to take the medication to get better or can I make it through PPD without it? I have a 10 month old that I take care of and I do not want to be a "zombie" around him. Plus I can't afford to have the side effects because, unfortunately, I do not have any one to help me take care of my son. Is it a good idea to skip the meds or should I go ahead and take them?

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Jodi - posted on 11/10/2009

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I also want to stress to you, please take the medication. I know I keep saying this, but I have been in a really bad place because of PPD, and it was the meds, once we found the right ones, that helped me out of it. My mistake was not talking to my doctor soon enough when the medication I was on did not work for me, and made me feel worse.



If you are concerned, feel free to seek a second medical opinion, or talk to your doctor, but don't ignore your medical advice. Stay in tune with how you feel, don't feel guilty about how you feel, and stay in touch with your doctor and get some counselling at the same time. DO NOT IGNORE YOUR MEDICAL ADVICE!!! It could end up tragic, and you actually would not even know it was coming. When I attempted my suicide, I didn't see that coming either. It just happened.....something just snapped and took over and all it took was a moment. It is really important for you to work with your doctor more closely than I did. In hindsight, if I had been more honest with myself and my doctor, it would never have happened. So please, I beg of you, be honest, and trust your doctor to help you.

Kate CP - posted on 11/09/2009

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Quoting Jennifer:

The question is...Do you need the meds? Forget doctors. How do you feel without them? Only you know. But it sounds like maybe you do not. Are you breastfeeding?I was just reading about a really good natural remedy for depression. I will check into it and post back.


*bangs head on desk* 



This is very dangerous advice. This woman is on a mood stabilizer FOR A REASON!!! I took zoloft all through my pregnancy and while I nursed. Yes, my daughter is a stable, happy, normal child. And I was able to keep my sanity so she could grow up to be a happy, stable, normal child. 



Elena, if you don't want to take the pills then you need to seek counseling. Post Partum Depression can turn into post partum psychosis. This is where women murder their children, their spouses, or commit suicide. This is serious and it's dangerous. 



I would personally appreciate it if people would STOP suggesting that you not take your medication.



NOT TAKING MEDICATION IS DANGEROUS!!!



There is NO SHAME in being medicated. If you truly need the medication and it's the right dosage then you WON'T feel like a zombie. You'll feel normal again. Sometimes it takes a while to tweak the dosage to just the right amount. If you take the medication but find it's not doing it's job or it's making you feel suicidal, manic, depressed, or "zombie-like" then talk to your doctor immediately about adjusting the dosage. 

Tara - posted on 11/09/2009

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If your OB thinks you need the meds, it might be best to take them for now. Maybe you should see about seeking some sort of counseling to work through the depression, if you are really worried about the adverse affects? You must know that the medication will only treat the symptomatic side of the depression, it will mask it while you are medicated.. but if you don't get to the root of it, as soon as you stop the medication your depression may creep its way back into your life.



Also, there are other alternatives for treating your depression. A more structured sleep schedule, aerobic exercise, Omega 3 fatty acids, B-complex vitamins, are all things that have been found to help depression.



I've been there before and what really helped me was seeking counseling and getting to the root of the issue. Prozac has whack side affects, maybe you should discuss a different medication with your doctor? For example Effexor is a newer medication on the market that has been found to be 10% more effective in treating the symptoms of depression. If you want it to go away completely, you're going to have to attack it from both ends with counseling and perhaps medication.



Hopes this helps!

Michelle - posted on 12/09/2009

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Elena..hows it going now? Did you decide to take the meds or not? and how are you feeling?

I thought i was suffering with PND and went to see the doc...(after 16 months) and he did not put me on medication. He sent me to a nurse psychiatrist who talked over my problems and diagnosed me with a reactional disorder of some sort...some docs are quick to jump on the meds thing, some dont like to, but if your doc talked with you about your symptoms and put you on this medication, he obviously felt you needed it.
I dont trust doctors or any medical professional for that fact, because of what happened to my daughter and I in hospital which ended up in me having this disorder. I went to therapy sessions but after a while felt i didnt need them anymore. ( think i need to go back and ask for some more! ) I honestly would say if your doc did all the right things to diagnose you with PPD, I suggest you take his advice and go with it for a few weeks. If its not right ask him to change it. I honestly myself dont believe in taking medication BUT I do believe that if your body really does need a helping hand (life and death situations) then take that helping hand to get better. Im all for other types of remedies and ive tried the whole walking/exercise thing, eating better (and yes it does help..but a little to what your actually feeling in your head). Theres no need to be ashamed of getting your life back. No one needs to know your on meds apart from those closest to you and your OB.

I hope your doing ok now!

NJ - posted on 11/13/2009

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Follow doc's orders. If the med's make you too sedated, get back with the doc about adjusting the dosage or trying another med. It may take a bit of time to get the med's adjusted properly, but hang in there and work through it with the doc. I know it is a struggle for the first few weeks or months, but it will help you be your best for the kids. It is not a forever sentence, either; just to help you get back on your feet and recuperate and get your hormones back to normal. It will probably be a matter of months, rather than years.

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Natalie - posted on 08/04/2011

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my dr diagnosed me wiv postnatel in january wen my bby waz 14mnths i been takein citralopram 20mg 1 a day since then an i could feel a diffrence in myself after bowt 6 wks still get bad day but im gettin there c if the dr will change ur meds x

Athena - posted on 12/10/2009

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I was diagnosed as well, and even though medication does cause some "zombie" like side effects, it can really help with the depression.

C. - posted on 12/09/2009

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I would!!!! When I had PPD I didn't want to tell anyone b/c I was stubborn and thought I could deal with it on my own. DON'T do the same thing.. It could save you a world of heartache and trouble, especially in your relationship (marriage or otherwise) if you JUST DO what the doctor tells you!!!!! TAKE THE MEDICINE!!!!!!!!!! My brother is Bipolar and has battled depression since our father died when I was 9, my brother was 12. You can DEFINITELY see a dramatic change in his behavior when he takes his meds (in a good way)!

Shannon - posted on 11/19/2009

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I agree with you. Some of the advice is not so good for someone who is in the begining of PPD and is struggling with following Drs orders.

Shannon - posted on 11/19/2009

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Prozac comes in different doses. So Prozac can also be adjusted depending on the person.

Angelia - posted on 11/12/2009

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there is nothing wrong with it. it doesn't make you less of a mom, or a bad mom just because you could use the little extra help. i know that personally, when i look at the situation i think about my baby as well. little ones are SO intuned with our feelings and depression affects our moods and feelings. do you think it might help with your enjoyment and your little ones? i agree with just trying it for a few weeks. lots of women have stated that if you feel like a zombie, the dose is off or could be the wrong med. i have had to be on meds for a long time and i feel AWFUL when i am not taking them. who wants to go through life feeling this way? you will probably only have to take them a short time anyhow. going through a pregnancy has totally messed with our hormones..........its so normal for us not to bounce right back

Leigh - posted on 11/12/2009

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Keep a diary, with how you feel when you take them. Try it for a few months & write down how ur feeling. Make sure you attend the PDD clinc for extra support!!

Cindy - posted on 11/12/2009

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I am on celexa and dont have any side effects which maybe an option for you to ask your doctor

Rebecca - posted on 11/12/2009

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Try the meds, but also give yourself some time for yoga. It sounds goofy, but I began doing it 12 years ago and it is great for stress (and body fat) reduction.

Anna - posted on 11/12/2009

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If you decide not to take them, check out this book "The Depression Cure- The 6-step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs." The research is actually very sound and explains 6 things that can help with depression. I have found it very helpful postpartum! Good luck.

Jenny - posted on 11/12/2009

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I have anxiety and depression and the same meds were given to me. Me myself am allergic to paxil and I have found that a lot of people have problems with it. On the other hand I take celexa and it has less side effects that last nowhere near as long as the others. It helps you cope with stress and makes you in a better mood. I think it would benefit you and your child to take the medicne. In the long run you will be helping everyone.

Deborah - posted on 11/12/2009

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A study was done on pregnant women taking Omega 3 oils( fish oil) six months before delivery.

It was found that few of them suffered PPD. I would encourage you to start taking Omega 3,6, 9. You can get this mixture combined in one bottle. The brain thrives on

this kind of fat. At present I don't think you should skip meds. Take care.

[deleted account]

Elena, here is some bald and frank advice- I realise it is controversial and others are going to shout me down but as a professional, a mother and a fellow human being I am telling you this because I care.
Untreated PPD and PPP are well documented as very, very often resulting in mothers harming their children (sometimes many years after birth); therefore the health and justice systems have a moral obligation to prevent it, inasmuch as they can. If do not you have treatment for a diagnosed mental illness and as a result you end up harming yourself and/or your child, he will be removed from your care. This may be a temporary or a permanent situation, depending upon whether or not you are charged criminally.
You have sought medical advice and you have some choices in what form your treatment takes (as many other ladies have said- seek a second opinion from another Dr or psychiatrist if you wish to) but if the above scenario occurs and you have either done nothing to help yourself or to deliberately go against the advice of a Dr, I am telling this can be used as evidence against you in court and it is likely it would help convict you. Also if this occurred you would more than likely be involuntarily medicated. This may seem harsh but it is the reality of the situation- you are responsible for the welfare of a person to tiny to care for himself, you have a moral obligation to act responsibly.

Tara - posted on 11/11/2009

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Quoting Kate:



Quoting Brandy:

I don't believe in it. There are alternatives if you do research. I have a friend who is bipolar, has manic depression and she had post partum depression when her child was born and she hasn't taken meds for 2 years. She found ways to take care of it naturally through changing diet and lifestyle. I would do some research and see what you feel most comfortable with. I have been through depression as well and was also offered meds and refused them. It's all about the way you live your life and the things and people you surround yourself with. Don't be around negative people and find out what puts you in a good mood and make it a part of your daily schedule. Ultimately, it's up to you if you think you need it, but definately do some research first and see if you find other ways that you would like to try.





Bipolar disorder IS manic depression. Bipolar disorder is not something you can just shrug off or change with diet and lifestyle. In most cases it requires therapy, support groups, and medication. If your friend has been able to go through life relatively stable and is bipolar AND hasn't taken any meds then I would venture to say she has a very very mild case. Manic episodes are not happy-go-lucky periods of time. Manic phases are usually sleepless nights and days, anger, a lack of focus, and starting several projects at once (like painting a house, redoing your landscaping, and taking up rock climbing lessons all in the same day). Many people actually commit or attempt suicide during manic phases. 






It is not safe, responsible, or appropriate to suggest a person not take mood stabilizers if they have been prescribed by a medical professional.





I agree with both of you. Let me explain, while i know that it IS possible for people with bipolar disorder to live free from meds, I don't necessarily suggest it unless it is something you have really worked at in therapy, and through learning different coping mechanisms. People who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder can live a med free life EVENTUALLY with hard work, a healthy diet, a support group, and healthy coping mechanisms.



Going through Dialectical Behavioral Treatment, can greatly increase the chances of people living with bipolar disorder living med free. But I agree, don't ever just stop taking your medication when a doctor has prescribed it, unless you have discussed other options with the prescribing doctor first. People with bipolar disorder don't necessarily always live med free, I know maybe two people with the disorder who are doing it, and are still healthy; it took them 4 years to realize a med-free lifestyle though, and they did it under supervision of a psychiatrist AND therapist.  It definitely isn't the norm by all means, and usually only people with hypo-mania (less severe than full blown manic phase) can realize a med-free lifestyle. 



I totally agree that it isn't safe to suggest to a person not to take a mood stabilizer. But mood stabilizers and SSRI's (prozac, paxil, effexor, etc) are totally different from each other. Mood stabilizers suppress swings from mania to depression and speak to a different part of the brain, where as SSRI's act by increasing the reuptake of the neurotransmitter Serotonin. The lack of serotonin is usually at blame for depression. Vitamin B-6 or a B-complex along with vitamins E and C are used to create serotonin, and have been found to help depression. 



 

Ez - posted on 11/11/2009

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Quoting Amanda:

Personally, I would stay away from any medication for depression. They are dangerous things when not used correctly! Instead of the meds., try taking a walk with your baby, going to the park, go to breakfast with just your baby. Things like this will make you enjoy being a mommy, and keeping your mind on positive things will definitely help with the PPD. Also a big help that I have used is doing things with my church. Mommies Morning out, play dates with other moms.


I'm sorry, but this is bad advice. PPD can not be fixed with a few fun outing. It is a chemical and hormonal imbalance that needs to be addressed with medication.

Ez - posted on 11/11/2009

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PPD needs to be treated with medication, at least initially. You may want to look into some counselling or cognitive therapy as well, and if that starts working you may be able to come off the meds. But you really need to follow your doctor's orders. Most side-effects from anti-depressants taper off after the first couple of weeks, so if you've only just started taking them it will get a lot better. It's also important to remember NEVER to cease anti-depressants abruptly, as it will cause a dramatic drop in seretonin levels in your brain. Drugs like Prozac typically take 2-3 weeks to reach what is called a 'therapeutic level', so it takes that long to achieve the full effect. Try and be patient, take it as easy as you can and not only will your mood improve, but the side-effects will lessen in severity.

[deleted account]

Have you ever seen the affect of the women who had severe PPD? If not, check out the Andrea Yates story! It will really open your eyes to alot. I suffered from PPD and I can tell you that it was NOT fun at all. Mine was so bad that I wanted to do Physical Harm to my Husband and my Oldest Daughter! The moment I realized that I had a problem, and trust me-it was the thought of Harming my own Child, I went and got on meds immediately. For those who tell you NOT to take these meds, they have either NOT dealt with PPD or they have never had a serious case of PPD! If you have never heard of Andrea Yates, check out her story! I promise you you will take the meds! PPD is too serious to mess with.

Kate - posted on 11/11/2009

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Let me tell you a little bit about me so that maybe it will help. I was diagnosed for years as depressed before I got pregnant, so to be cautious I was watched during my pregnancy by my doctor, I was still taking my anti-depression meds. After the delivery, that had complications, I was diagnosed with PPD. I chose to not up my meds or add anything else. I did however, before I left hospital, got in touch with the Social Worker at the hospital and told her my situation and she helped me set up a "schedule" using my friends and family and volunteers so that I had an average of approximately 1 hour to myself every day to sleep, bathe, read and cry. There is nothing wrong with crying - even if itt means crying in front of your guy (just let him know prior to your crying wether you want him to offer suggestions or hold you and hand you kleenex - most men are fixers by nature and feel empty or impotent if they can't fix you). So if you choose to try to go drug free, let people know honestly wwhat is going on so that people can offer their help. If you start feeling irrational, angry, despondent or suicidal in ANYway call a hotline, preferably a Women In Crisis hot line. I hope this helps in some small way.

[deleted account]

There's some dangerous advice in this thread. Take the meds as prescribed. If you feel off-kilter then call your doc and see about adjusting the dosage. Go to a counselor. See a psychiatrist for a second opinion. But do NOT go directly against a doc's advice without first consulting another doc and deciding whose treatment will work best for you-and they may be the same thing. Depression is very tricky-you may think you're better because the medicine has pulled you up, only to find that you come way, way down when you stop taking your medication. As someone mentioned earlier-mental illnesses are just that-illnesses-and they generally require treatment of some sort. The time to start taking medicine is not when you're at the end of your rope and feeling suicidal-it's before that, so you can get better and take good care of yourself and your family. As someone who has actually had both GAD (general anxiety disorder) and depression in the past, I'm extremely offended at the suggestions that you just ignore a doc's prescription or wait until it gets so bad that you are about to hurt yourself or someone else before following the doc's orders. That's ridiculous. We wouldn't tell a diabetic to wait until they're almost in a coma to take the insulin that would prevent it-same with depression medications-both introduce chemicals that your body lacks in order to make you better.

(By the way, all those "you's" aren't pointed at the OP-they're general.)

Kelly - posted on 11/10/2009

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I would take the meds!!! PPD is not just in your head and it can be very serious if left untreated. There is a difference between ppd and baby blues. I had severe ppd and the meds saved me. I am so sick of people harping on how evil medications are and how its so easy to just take a walk or even better self medicate with some herb. I am sure that it may help some people, but it is never a good idea to fly it solo when you are truly having an issue. If you were a diabetic would it be such an issue to take insulin? Believe me I struggled with having to take drugs, but going off of them made everything much worse, not to mention I didn't enjoy being with my daughter and could not function. If you are working with your doctor you can find a medication that will not make you feel like a zombie. Talk to your doctor some more and voice your concerns. Also see if you can find a local support group for ppd. I am sorry if I come on strong, but it is so important that you keep yourself healthy for the sake of both of your babies. You say you can't afford the side effects, but a good drug that works will help and you can't afford the side effects that can happen if a serious case of ppd is left untreated. I feel for you it was a scary decision for me too. Best of wishes to you and your family.

Debra - posted on 11/10/2009

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People are going to say yes, and people are going to say no. Do whatever you and your doctor feel is safest for you and your baby.

I was given Zoloft for PPD only to find out when I went to a therapist (which I suggest if you are taking anti-depressants) I have an anxiety disorder. They took me off the zoloft and gave me Xanax. I don't take Xanax daily, only when I feel an anxiety attack coming on. The combination of meds and therapy helps me, but you may need something different. A lot of times women are not clinically depressed and are just bummed, for lack of a better word. In that case light exercise and getting out for an hour or so, just yourself, to go get groceries or just wander around a store, helps.

Just make sure you speak with your doctor about every possible choice you have.

Nikole - posted on 11/10/2009

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I don't know about Prozac... that drug is meant for permanant use. I would ask your doctor for a temporary medication that is not as strong. Once you are off the Prozac if taken for long periods of time, it's hard for your brain to produce the chemicals again you need to be "happy".
SEROTONIN, NORADRENALIN, and DOPAMINE are the chemicals in your brain that these drugs affect. They basically kick up these chemicals to help you feel happier. Serotonin helps you sleep, Noradrenalin help with your energy levels and Noradrenanlin sets you pleasure and pain levels.
When it comes to mild to moderate depression, antidepressants are only slightly more effective than placebos.
If you have severe depression that’s interfering with your ability to function, medication may be right for you. But since PPD is only temporary, I suggest you do what's right for you.

Depression and anxiety are also common symptoms when withdrawing from antidepressants. When depression is a withdrawal symptom, it’s often worse than the original depression that led to drug treatment in the first place. Unfortunately, many people mistake this withdrawal symptom for a return of their depressive illness and resume medication, creating a vicious circle.
In order to avoid antidepressant withdrawal symptoms, never stop your medication “cold turkey.” Instead, gradually taper your dose, allowing for at least 1-2 weeks between each dosage reduction. This tapering process may take up to several months, and should be monitored under a doctor's supervision.
Again... I do suggest consulting your doctor about Prozac. That is an awful strong medicine for PPD. I would ask him for a low dose medication at first and build from there.
Don't worry... Thank God PPD isn't permant and you will be back to normal in no time! =)

Firebird - posted on 11/10/2009

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You've also got to ask yourself why you went to the doctor about it if you didn't want the meds? Maybe you do need that extra help for a while at least. Whatever you choose to do make sure it's done under close supervision of your doctor as well as family and friends (especially if you don't medicate). It is very important to be aware of yourself and how you feel, so you can know if the method you've chosen is working for you.

Lucille - posted on 11/10/2009

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I would definitly take them. I have been on Prozac for over 10 years now. No side effects, maybe a few weird dreams in the beginning. You wont be a zombie. Prozac is an antidepressant which makes more of your own seratonin available to your body. I am not on it for postpartum, just depression. Without it I could not successfully manage my life.

Roseanne - posted on 11/10/2009

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some times the meds can help but prozac is strong stuff i would see if you could get some thing weaker, but in saying that most times it helps to talk to someone you trust to help you through it hope tings work out

Shannon - posted on 11/10/2009

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Hello. I had ppd and I took Prozac for it. Prozac takes a while to get into your system. Just let it take it's course. Prozac can be coupled with abilify to help move things along and help balance your hormones. Never stop your meds it will only set u back. Email me at shashnor@yahoo.com. I went through PPD and I would love to help you through.

Firebird - posted on 11/10/2009

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I have never had ppd (I don't think). I am however manic depressive. Bi polar and manic depression are not the exact same thing. Bi polar disorder is a much more mild form of manic depression.... it's only called manic depression when the case is severe. I was diagnosed when I was 16, took meds for a month then stopped without the advice of a doctor.That was 8 years ago and I manage through different routes. Yes I have my ups and downs but I would rather live this way than live under the medicated illusion that my life is nothing but happy. The meds I was on made me just not care that I had problems. My mom has deep depression and she takes meds for it.... they don't usually work for her because she expected them to fix all her troubles. She doesn't realize that in order to be happy you also have to do things to make you happy. That's why her happy pills aren't enough. I know ppd isn't the same thing but only you truly know yourself. If you truly believe that you can get by without the meds, then don't take them, there are alternatives. If you think you need that extra help, then make sure your doc has the dose right because anti depression meds in rare cases have driven people to suicide. Sunlight helps, make sure you are getting enough magnesium in your diet (yes magnesium I'm not pulling your leg!). Eat healthy, exercise, meditate and take sometime for yourself. When baby's gone to bed, give yourself a pedicure, get a sitter for and hour or 2 now and then. Keep your family and friends close to you for support.

Kathy - posted on 11/10/2009

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Prozac does not make you a zombie, it just makes it easier to deal with the downs.

Mariska - posted on 11/10/2009

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Personally I wouldn't take the meds. After the birth of my little girl I was in a very dark place, but I relied a lot on homeopathic remedies and made a point of joining many different mum's groups to ensure I got out of the house. Through talking to other mum's, I soon discovered that I was not alone and slowly but surely started to feel like myself again.



Also as other mum's have posted, rally your friends and family for support, they are amazing and will help you to get through this.



Obviously this is a personal decision and if you feel you need the drugs to help you then you must take them, but as other mum's have said above I would certainly research any other alternatives.

Samantha - posted on 11/10/2009

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Hormones, not just the pregnancy hormones can also play a part in feeling differently after having a baby. Many women do. It's sometimes a combination of things, sleep deprivation, hormone imbalance, depression, stress. The best thing to do, is to be honest with your Dr. about all your symptoms, diet, OTC meds, and routines. Sometimes even the subtle things you may think are too silly to mention may be important to report. The body can have difficulty regulating itself and at times needs help. It is best to talk with your Dr. that has developed a long term relationship with you and/or that has followed you through your pregnancy etc. that is aware of your present condition etc. PPD can be very serious for some women if not treated, and become Post Partum Psychosis. Stay in close contact with your Dr.'s office if and when you feel you are experiencing any side effects so they can get you into the office and adjust the medication if that is what is needed. Keep talking to people, that always helps. I'm a nurse and had PPD twice. It gets better. My youngest is 20 months. Email me anytime if you need a shoulder.

Samantha - posted on 11/10/2009

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Quoting Sharon:

Do what your doctor says. Adjustments can be made if this doesn't work.



I agree, PPD is serious. The support and understanding of family and/or friends is very helpful,  as well as getting adequate sleep and nutrition.



I took Lexapro while I pregnant and after, and I was no Zombie. Lexapro worked for me, but not for everyone. You have to find what is right for YOU. I would've been a grouchy zombie without it. I bonded excellent with my child and I am glad I had the needed medication.

[deleted account]

you know its hard to really tell you yes or no on this one, I was also told that I had PPD I started talking the pills but a lot of my symptoms did not subside plus new ones began to show up. I honestly believe a lot of this PPD is coupled with other things, new moms especially are overwhelmed with the new experiences of being a mom that you don't feel like yourself and won't for almost a good year, not to mention it must be very hard for you since you don't have anyone to help you. For some people I think they truly have PPD and for some I think it's a combination of slight depression mixed with exhaustion. I have recently been told that I have Hyperthyroidism which can have a lot of the same symptoms as PPD. There is a condition called Postpartum Thyroiditis which usually rears its ugly head several months after delivery of your baby, it starts out as hyperthyroidism and can then flip back to normal or it can take a turn for the worse and become hypothyroidism. I haven't found out yet if this is what is going on with me but all I know is that the symptoms overlap with PPD. I would ask your general practitioner to check your thyroid levels first before taking the drug if your not happy about having to take it, tell him/ her that you want to check for postpartum thyroiditis, You can check symptoms online first by googling this condition, if it seems like you then check with your doctor first. Hope this helps.

Sharon - posted on 11/10/2009

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Quoting Anna:

I would choose not to take medication, but it is a really personal decision.



It is not just "personal"  this is a MEDICAL issue.  HEY!  My grandmother has diabetes - its a personal issue for her to NOT take her insulin!!  That would be insane and grounds to put her in a care home.



Some people say it helps for a short time so you could always try for a few weeks, give it a chance, and see what you think.



"SOME PEOPLE"?  really?  out of the earths population SOME PEOPLE say it helps for a short time?  Are you kidding me?  So really, why bother taking any pills at all since they only help for a short time.  You evidently know NOTHING about about antidepressants.  They can take weeks to work and they take more weeks to wean off of.  Quitting the meds cold turkey has HORRIBLE consequences.



Plenty of people have certainly got through depression without drugs,



Really?  How many more committed suicide without help, destroyed their lives without help, lost custody of their children because they DIDN'T HAVE HELP??  I'm not saying it can't be done.  But it is a LONG HARD ROAD and if you don't have the right kind of people backing you up - it can destroy your life.



but if you decide not to take them, you should make some kind of alternative plan for yourself. Like, what are you going to do to help yourself feel better and who can you turn to if you feel it's getting worse? Some things you can do to help raise your levels of natural feel-good chemicals: walking or other exercise, eating lots of fruit and veges, getting enough sleep, spending time in beautiful natural places, spending time with friends, keeping a journal, any kind of creative activity. But it's easier said than done with a baby- who can ever get enough sleep or find time to cook a proper meal or get time to yourself? Good luck with whatever you decide Elena.





 

Carolee - posted on 11/10/2009

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TAKE THE MEDS!!! Take naps when he does, if that's possible. My PPD started getting really bad... I was paranoid to the point that nobody was allowed to touch my son (even on the arm) if they weren't on my "approved list" in my head. My son's own father wasn't on that list, along with my dad's wife! Seriously, take the meds. It's not too common for people to go as deep into it as I did, but it can happen. My doc put me on Lexapro, and it worked wonders. No zombie feeling for me, although everybody's different. And if the meds give you side effects that you can't deal with, have them change either the dosing or the type of meds, but keep them informed of every symptom you have. Good luck.

Nyoka - posted on 11/10/2009

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i would take the meds, however if you feel that prozac is too strong then maybe talk about a lower doasge!!

[deleted account]

I tried to go without anything and got to a really low point. Finally I went to the doctor and I was prescribed Zoloft. It didnt really cause me to be a zombie, but it did help relieve the stressing and crying. I only stayed on it for a year. I just got off of it about 5 months ago. It helped me feel better about myself as a mother.

Jodi - posted on 11/09/2009

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Quoting Sharon:

I find it amazing that all of you with PPD had the energy to try concept after concept in an attempt to get better. I didn't have that kind of energy.

I wanted help but couldn't drag myself out of my grungy sweats and into the shower to do it. never mind driving from place to place and explaining my problems over and over to some stranger.

I took the first help offered to me and haven't looked back.



The first time was when the ambulance took me to hospital - they realised I was on the wrong meds when I tried to OD ....... After that, hubby and I really tried to be much more aware of where I was at in my head to avoid another break down.  It was a very, very scary time.

Sarah - posted on 11/09/2009

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BTW - it takes at least 3-6 weeks for any anti-depressent to start to effect the body. It is normal for people to think that it is NOT working during these early few weeks because they begin to have extreme suicidal thoughts or even attempts at suicide. This is because the medication starts to work and people around this time begin to have the energy to act upon the thoughts they have been having. Hang in there, be honest with your support people and do not stop taking the meds, they will work in the long run!

Sarah - posted on 11/09/2009

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Take them. If PPD is left untreated, it can (not always) escalate to severe depression or even post partum psychosis (rare, but it can and does happen). I hope you feel better soon.

Jocelyn - posted on 11/09/2009

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If you a little leery about taking Prozac, you could try taking a St Johns Wort supplement every day. It is proven to help depression. I switched from my meds (celexa) for ppd to st johns wort after about a year and the transition was very easy. Under doc supervision of course. A melatonin supplement is also suppose to help ease depression, but I have never tried it. Good luck :)

Anna - posted on 11/09/2009

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I would choose not to take medication, but it is a really personal decision. Some people say it helps for a short time so you could always try for a few weeks, give it a chance, and see what you think. Plenty of people have certainly got through depression without drugs, but if you decide not to take them, you should make some kind of alternative plan for yourself. Like, what are you going to do to help yourself feel better and who can you turn to if you feel it's getting worse? Some things you can do to help raise your levels of natural feel-good chemicals: walking or other exercise, eating lots of fruit and veges, getting enough sleep, spending time in beautiful natural places, spending time with friends, keeping a journal, any kind of creative activity. But it's easier said than done with a baby- who can ever get enough sleep or find time to cook a proper meal or get time to yourself? Good luck with whatever you decide Elena.

Tracy - posted on 11/09/2009

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It is not safe, responsible, or appropriate to suggest a person not take mood stabilizers if they have been prescribed by a medical professional.

I think it is important to remember that although OB see a lot of depression I think it is best to talk to a psychiatrist they know what medications work best and will usually start with something mild and work up to stronger meds if needed. I have a 3yr old son and when he was 4 months old I was diagnosed with PPD and mild bipolar. Through counsiling I discovered a lot of deep problems and dealt with them but remember depression and other mood problems are chemical inbalances in the brain so just changing your lifestyle doesn't always work. I take med to control my bipolar problems but also talk to a therapist to make sure I am dealing with the problems that can magnify my depression or manic problems. Hope this helps. I think I would seek advice from a mental health professional before taking meds prescribed by an OB. They don't always look at the whole problem and just assume it is PPD when it could be just plain depression.

Sharon - posted on 11/09/2009

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I'm beginning to wonder how many of the women who are suggesting women NOT MEDICATE THEMSELVES enjoy reading news stories of new mom suicides and takes baby with her type stories? REALLY people?

Cynthia - posted on 11/09/2009

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I would be very careful with any depression medication! Is your depression severe? If it's not a critical condition, like where you're ready to kill yourself, I'd rally my closest friends and family, be honest with them and ask for some help! You may find that what would help the most is some mommy time, either alone to do something special that you like , with a partner or even having a fmily member watch the little guy while you have an evening out with a close friend! I wish you the best of luck, and hope all is well soon!

[deleted account]

The question is...Do you need the meds? Forget doctors. How do you feel without them? Only you know. But it sounds like maybe you do not. Are you breastfeeding?I was just reading about a really good natural remedy for depression. I will check into it and post back.

Sharon - posted on 11/09/2009

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I find it amazing that all of you with PPD had the energy to try concept after concept in an attempt to get better. I didn't have that kind of energy.



I wanted help but couldn't drag myself out of my grungy sweats and into the shower to do it. never mind driving from place to place and explaining my problems over and over to some stranger.



I took the first help offered to me and haven't looked back.

Wendy - posted on 11/09/2009

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I fought my ppd with Tai Chi, Acupuncture, and moxibustion. Believe it or not it really worked! Especially the acupuncture. Follow your instincts, they'll get you through. Blessings!

Jesse - posted on 11/09/2009

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Get a second oppinion hun! When I had my first child the doc said I had PPD. She told me to stop breastfeeding and gave me all these meds to take. (There was one for in the morning to make me all sunny and chipper and another, Torazine, for at night to make me sleep. Not really the best thing with a new born.) No sooner than I left her office I went to the hosp and talked to the lactation consultant. She showed me in a book they had that I COULD NOT breastfeed so long as I was on those meds b/c they would be in the milk. She refered me to another doc that understood my stress and did not see me as PPD. My son is now 9 and is perfect, I also have 2 others and am expecting again.
The point is that if you don't really agree with what your doc is saying you may want to talk to someone else. I'm not saying shop around until you get an answer you like but too many docs these days jump the gun when it comes to the script pad.

[deleted account]

I am not a Dr but this is the way I see it: People forget that mental illnesses are exactly that- physical ailments that manifest as emotional/mental disorders. You would not question a person suffering from diabetes taking their insulin so why would you question this? Just as it can be life threatening for diabetics not to have their medicine, so too can it be dangerous for mental illnesses to remain untreated. I have personal and professional experience of exactly how dangerous it can be when people who are mentally ill are not having proper care. If a professional feels that you need this medciation then I would heed that advice. How would you feel if you didnt and you became more ill and something bad happened to you or someone you love?

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