OT - PostPartum Depression

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Minx_Kristi's picture
Joined: 01/02/09
Posts: 1261
OT - PostPartum Depression

Hi ladies,

I was wondering if you could help me?

I know nothing about PPD, well apart from the obvious. I was wondering, does anyone know if it is possible to have PPD after 5 years? I mean, as it's been untreated for so long could it have lasted until now? Or, could it be normal Depression?

Have any of you ladies experienced it? I'm almost convinced I have it.

xx

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

I had ppd after my first, none after my second. But, I have suffered from generalized anxiety disorder for many years - probably due to increasing fibromyalgia symptoms and no diagnosis until recently. I don't know if a doctor would say it is technically possible to have ppd continue for so long, but i think the terminology doesn't matter. Both ppd and depression/anxiety have many of the same symptoms. I would speak to your doctor about how you're feeling. Do you have any physical symptoms, like fatigue, achy muscles, headaches, periods of racing heart or palpitations, dizziness, etc.? If you do you should mention them as well. If your doctor recommends an anti-depressant medication all those symptoms need to be taken under consideration before prescribing the right medication. However, and this is a warning, anti-depressants can be very difficult to stop. The withdrawal symptoms for some people (me included) can be very hard to manage and they included visual problems, electric 'zapping' sensations in your face and hands, and generally feeling like crap.

I hope you're able to get some relief from how you're feeling.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

Yea, I agree that they might not call it PPD, but it is certainly possible to be depressed for 5 years if untreated. My mother was depressed for years before she finally got help. She found that talk therapy helped her more than medication did, so I recommend trying that if it is available.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4087

PPD as clinically defined starts within six weeks of giving birth (or having a miscarriage) and is typically resolved within a year. If you have depression symptoms beyond that time period, then you would move into just "normal" depression or anxiety or whatever. Talk to your care provider and get a complete medical workup, too, because there are some medical conditions that can cause similar symptoms.

Also, you're a single mom, right? I'm sure that's stressful in itself. Make sure you're filling your own emotional fuel tank regularly, i.e. take good care of yourself, get a break, etc. because when you let yourself get too frazzled, everything seems & feels worse than it really is, kwim? :bighug:

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6544

:bigarmhug:

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3179

I think talk therapy is really helpful, and I'm so sorry you're struggling with this.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

I agree about therapy. I cut my post short because I had to do some stuff. I also saw a psychologist for a while when dealing with my issues. She was into mostly cognitive behavioural therapy. There are also some pretty great books out there too. I also feel much better emotionally when I exercise. Does wonders for the mind and body.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3179

Yep. I think drugs should only be used in really serious cases, and not long term. If you can do without, even better. I did talk therapy for a while and it helped immensely, and I was definitely very depressed (probably in a non-clinical sense) and going through some dark times. It made a huge difference and got me back on track.

These days I do yoga and meditation and that is enough, but I'm in a much different place.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

(((hugs)))

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

No, I do not think that post party's depression manifests 5 years after childbirth. If you think you are depressed I urge you to NOT go to a general practitioner but to a talk therapist and to a psychopharmacologist if you DO decide to take medication. IMO GP's have NO business prescribing psychiatric drugs. Good lick to you and I hope you are feeling better soon!!! Smile

Minx_Kristi's picture
Joined: 01/02/09
Posts: 1261

Thank you ladies for responding.

You know, I hate the word "depressed" and I definitely think people use it far too loosely. I have thought for a while that I might be, but have avoided ever talking to anyone IRL about ir or to my Doctor. More than anything, I feel embarrassed and also that people might think the same as me - "you're not depressed, you're just feeling down and will get over it". My Dad who is a Mental Health Councellor, actually blurted out to me one day that he thought I was depressed. He never gave any reasons for this observation and has never mentioned it since, so I guess that could be behind my reasons in thinking I could be. I've also had horrible thoughts about suicide when I have felt at my lowest - but let me emphasise the fact that noway in this lifetime would I EVER do anything so ridiculous. Still, why are the thoughts there? I know online, especially on facebook I let myself down as in I come across like a miserable git. In person, I'm so different and I'm actually a bubbly/jovial person. It's very confusing and I'm just not sure whether to pursue it or just carry on leaving it.

Therapy/Councelling is not as available where I live as it seems to be in the US and privately, it costs a fortune.

I'm not single, no but my DBF and I have had a very rocky relationship over the years. We have seperated twice, but I always go back and as much as I love him I don't think he is my life partner. I won't go into too much detail about him and my disfunctinal family haha, but it can get too much sometimes.

xx

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

Kristi, any kind of suicidal thought, no matter how fleeting or silly it may seem, needs prompt attention. Please please please seek some help. You seem awfully alone, even though there are people around you. As much as the girls on this board are here to offer advice you need to talk to a professional, IRL.

Minx_Kristi's picture
Joined: 01/02/09
Posts: 1261

Even though I KNOW I would never EVER contemplate it?

I feel very alone, you've hit the nail on the head. I honestly don't know where to start in finding the right person to talk to, like I said it's too exspensive to see a Councellor. I have made numerous appts with my Dr to talk about it, but then I cancel at the last minute because I feel stupid.

xx

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6544

Please do not feel stupid! Everyone goes through times of discouragement. I do think it is imperative to find someone to talk to. I understand that it is not always possible to find/go to a professional. Please do find someone to talk to. A good girl friend or wise mentor. I believe many churches have people on staff that will offer counselling for free. :bigarmhug: You will get through this!

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4107

I don't know if you are religious at all but many churches have pastors/ministers who are also counselors. My brother is a minister and he also has a Masters degree in Family counseling. He gets referrals sometimes from some of the phone hotlines that are set up, maybe you could call one of those hotlines and ask if they have someone they can refer you to in your area to talk to. They have lists many times of counselors who volunteer to help.

MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3184

Kristi,

I know that I have dropped a note to you privately but I wanted to respond a to this latest post. As I shared in my p.m. I believe that it takes a great deal of courage to open yourself and ask these questions. Seeking help is NOT a sign of weakness and -- you know what? Anyone that thinks that way - that's *their* failure... not YOU.

As Lisa shared, suicidal thoughts of any type are really worthy of urgent attention. (Please know that this does not mean that we believe you are at that particular point at this moment... but - these thoughts tend to spiral... particularly when combined with other more difficult issues. That *seed* gets planted... then stressors come along and it takes a deeper root and grows. We do not want it to get to that point for you. MUCH easier to deal with at your present stage.

In working with women / families in crisis situations over the years, depression -- even severe depression / thoughts of suicide -- were common given some of their circumstance. What I witnessed though as they sought help was a real transformation... life-changing really and not only for them but their children.

Benefits of their seeking help included:

  • Renewed energy
  • Healthier (mentally and physically)
  • Less stressed (and armed with tools to help through those moments when 'life happens')
  • Less 'living in fear' and more making positive choices for the future
  • Happier (a given) *and* your daughter will be as well. You both can better enjoy life and your time together
  • Lose that feeling of pretense -- i.e. your online persona and your reality will BOTH be in a good space
  • Typically - all of those negatives (whether work, home, finances, etc.) will improve as a result (This does not mean that everything in your life will be rosy, you'll have won the lottery, and dbf will turn into prince charming.... but you'll see as you improve so will those other areas in your life.)

This is about control Kristi. Right now, you've been feeling out of control and are hurting. Your dad loved you enough to say something to you. I'm certain that may have been hard for him and obviously hard for you to hear. You have already taken step one by reaching out to us. Now -- take another step forward and pick up the phone to your dad or a local counselor (regardless of cost) and ask them to direct you to free or (greatly) discounted services available. Start with counseling just to help get your bearings. You may also reach out to charities in your area for some direction. I know here for example, Catholic Charities offers counseling services on a free / sliding scale -- to anyone regardless of belief system. (It is not a religious offering.)

((((((((((HUGS)))))))) You are far stronger than you give yourself credit for. I'm so proud of you for reaching out and know you are welcome to share here with us or contact me privately any time.... but DO go forward now and make that call. Envision where you will be in one year, three years, and five once you do! You deserve a wonderful life hon and YOU can make it happen.

~Missy (missydj7@yahoo.com

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

I second reaching out for help. I know my sister got free counseling here from a woman's organization, that offers support specifically for women. I think if you can make a call to a hotline, there may be more cheaper resources in your community than you think. Even if you find something that is not ideal, it would be a step in the right direction.

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