Post Natal Depression. Any advice?

Sarah - posted on 02/09/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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I have a 10 month old, just being diagnosed with this. I dont want to take medication.. Any advice? I am also having to work full time, run a house and having marriage problems.

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My advice would be not to be afraid of the drugs. I was skeptical of taking them. But, when I was diagnosed with PPD 9 mos. post, I was at my wits end. My husband had PPD too (men CAN get it!). So, we weren't helping each other out much. Desperate for life to get better, I saw a doctor who prescribed Lexapro. Lexapro, which no one here has mentioned, is actually specifically designed for PPD. It works fast and has few withdrawal symptoms when you come off of it. It worked for me within 48 hours. I was my old self again and it was wonderful. I was on it for a year and then came off it over a couple months. My daughter is now 2 years, 2 months and I'm doing great. Incidentally, so is my husband.

Good luck!

Toni - posted on 02/12/2009

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Hi everyone I just joined today.  I don't know if you are UK Based or not but google St Johns Wort.  Its a "natural" anti-depressant that you can buy from Boots and is well worth trying.  You do however need to be careful if you are on the pill with it though.



I suffered badly with my first daughter and I took Prozac.  I only took it for a short while before it had the desired effect.



Good luck

Megan - posted on 02/11/2009

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I suffer from depression most of the time. But I have decided that I will not take meds for it. They have either not worked at all or made me completely numb. So my best advice for you is find someone you can talk to. Be it a religious leader, counselor, family member or friend who understands. You will get through this. It is tough but you can do it

Emily - posted on 02/11/2009

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I suffered from post-partum depression with my first child and chose not to be medicated because I don't believe in it. 



I joined a mommy support group with my son and started taking classes by myself (may I suggest yoga, it's very relaxing and great for your body).  Make sure you take time for yourself, get out of bed every morning and get dressed as if you have somewhere to go.  I always tend to feel more lazy and sluggish when I stay in my pj's or grubs all day.  Look into massage therapy as a possibility for stress relief.  Stay in touch with friends (old and new) because they can offer great support for you.



Also, make sure you are taking vitamins and drinking lots of water.  Your B Vitamins (6 and 12 will help with depression) and also Vitamin D will help with energy.  (you get this naturally from UV given by the sun but in the winter, especially if you live somewhere more northern (like me in Canada :)), your body tends to lack it making you feel more tired and less energetic). 



I wish you the best.  Post to my wall if you have anymore questions about anything :)

User - posted on 02/11/2009

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I know that there is a great book called "After the Rain" and i believe Brooke Shields may have authored it.  Otherwise, everything everyone else suggested is what I have had heard and suggested to some moms that I have known with PND.

Jennifer - posted on 02/10/2009

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Hi Sarah,



I was on Zoloft and paxil and still depressed I felt like i was going crazy...I am telling you nutrition is key and I took a ton of Herbalifeline and relax now...Omega 3's are so key/. If you want to know more info email me kavensky@hotmail.com



I  have been medication free for 6 plus years now Thank God...



life can be so overwhelming....But post partem is due to a deficiency of omega 3's. Are you nursing? If so the baby takes everything from you and you need to replenish.



Hang in there

User - posted on 02/10/2009

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Hi, I think the most important thing to know is that you will come out the other side of this and be able to look forward to the future, we are never the same after we have had a child but things will get better for you in time. Most people are against medication but it can be a useful tool in helping you get to a place where you can help yourself. Cognitive behavioural therapy is supposed to be the best thing for post-natal depression(PND), you can access it through your doctor, there are books or you can do it online, websites such as mood gym have a course you can run through at your own place. Ask your doctor if there is a self help group or can they put you in touch with anyone who has had PND for support. It is also recommended to eat little and often instead of three main meals. PND can often be linked to post traumatic stress such as after a difficult birth and if this is the case talking through your experience with a health professional may be useful. Try and take one day at a time and keep seeking out help and support. Best wishes x

Stephanie - posted on 02/10/2009

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Hi Sarah,



Couple of things:  first, get yourself a good B vitamin supplement (be sure it has B6 and B12) and also an Iron supplement if you have started menstruating again(I haven't because I am BFing).  Evening Primrose could help you too, but is optional, the B vitamins are a must! 



Then, go to your doc and get your thyroid tested.  Don't take no for an answer.  I was diagnosed with anxiety, depression, depression WITH anxiety, blah blah blah and it turns out I have an underactive thyroid.



Next, pray, meditate, and do whatever you can do to think of your hubby in a positive light (even if he doesn't deserve it).  This is intended to help YOU, not him.  Think about marriage counseling, perhaps.



Finally, you may want to consider working from home.  I have a couple of good ideas I'd be happy to share if you'd like to email me:  stephanielehane@gmail.com (This invitation is open to anyone reading this post).  In my former life, I was a full-time real estate agent and brokerage manager- now, I work from home and don't have to put my 8 month old in daycare.  I also have a 10, 11, and 14 year old, by the way.  There are days I just need to take a nap- couldn't do it if I was at a J.O.B. !



Take care!



Good luck and God Bless!

Carmella - posted on 02/10/2009

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Its definetely tough when you have so much on your plate.  Look for some outlets, things you can do for yourself or by yourself.  Something like finding a mom group to hang out with a couple times a month, or a support group to go to once a week. 



If you are so strongly against medication of any kind, add vitamin D to your diet and fish oil supplements if you can.  They are both natural ways to boost your depression.  Also, exercise is big. 



TRUST ME-- I know its very hard to carve out time for you, but its the best thing you can do!

Tara - posted on 02/10/2009

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I had post-partum too but didn't realize how bad it was until my son was 10 months old. As soon as I was done nursing I got on some meds and I have to say it helped for awhile. I am not on anything now. I wish I had some advice for you. It's hard, I know. It seems like it's impossibly overwhelming to balance it all. All of what your going through and feeling can certainly stress a marriage. I know it's been tough at times for my husband and I as well. The thing that helped me the most was getting back to the business of ME. Take time for yourself. Spend time with girlfriends. Most of all, know that you are not alone. Hang in there!

Kim - posted on 02/10/2009

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Sarah, this sound like my life!!!  I've actually had problems with depression most of my life...my second daughter is now 18 months old and the minute she turned 6 weeks, my world started crashing around me.  I was diagnosed with mild post-partum depression.  Even though I was nursing, my doctor recommended me to go back on St John's Wort, which I took before getting pregnant.  That definitely helps, but you HAVE to take time for yourself.  I also have a not so great marriage, work full time, and run my house.  It's hard, but you also should lower your expectations and let yourself off the hook.  Try to work with your husband to see if counselling is an option, because it is so helpful...even if he disagrees, maybe you could go for yourself.  You have to remember that nobody is going to take care of you except you.  And you can't nurture your baby and your family if you're sick and depressed.  Nurture yourself first.  Take care!

Tamara - posted on 02/10/2009

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Well, the depression may stem from all the other things you have going on -- the natural feeling for you is to want to bond with baby, not solve the world's problems :) I was in a similar boat -- and the only thing that worked was to dust myself off -- pick myself up -- refocus and forge on! YOu need some serious "away time" or "alone time" or "me time" whatever you want to call it -- away from all the chaos -- hire a sitter or seek help from family and join a gym or take a class or something!!! The more time you have to think about how miserable you are -- the more miserable you will be!!!

Hope this helps!

Melissa - posted on 02/09/2009

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Hi Sarah,



You need to take either one day or a weekend to get away all by yourself and relax. That's the one thing we seem to forget once we become mothers. Alone time is necessary, even if it's only a few hours in a day. And Being a working mum myself, I know what it's like to want everything in you're life to be perfect, perfect shild, perfect marriage, perfect household, but it doesn't work if we try to do this all by ourselves. ASking for help is the #1 thing mom's need to learn to do. It can be a real lifesaver. And when problems arise, tackle them one at a time. Nothing ever get's resolved overnight, it takes work and commitment, but you can fix you're problems. And when it comes to marital stuff, it takes two to fix things. Don't be too hard on yourself. Ask for help, and remember the alone time that you need to take.

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