Moms Should Not Be Afraid of Needing Anti-Depressants

Healthy Living 8

Here's why you shouldn't be afraid of anti-depressantsI've been anxious all my life, but it was definitely exacerbated by having babies. A lot of babies. And not just because I had more to worry about. But because I was a big gigantic hormonal cocktail.

Then I noticed I started to get extra moody from ovulation to my period, which was really affecting my interactions with family members. I was short, irritable, and on the day before my period, downright angry.

And while I tried everything they recommend, from cutting caffeine to getting more sleep (yeah, right), even exercising regularly and cutting out foods from my diet, nothing really helped until I tried medication.

I'm not quite sure why it took me so long to try medication. As a former therapist, I was quite aware of the benefits and many of my dear friends and colleagues had seen amazing results.

I suppose there was a huge part of me that really felt like I should be able to figure things out on my own. That I didn't need the meds because I could x, y, z and a, b, c, and somehow I would find the magical solution to my problem. A problem, as it turns out, that a lot of women have.

Now I'm not saying that all the things I tried didn't help. In fact, I'm pretty sure that most of them did, even in a very small way. Exercise was a huge mood lifter. And I saw really great results from getting rid of sugar and wheat.

But it wasn't until after I found the right medication for what was diagnosed as Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) that I really saw amazing results. Of course, this was after trying a couple of different medications that did not work at all. And finally seeing a psychiatrist who specialized in these types of medications, as opposed to my general practitioner and midwife who were wonderful people and clinicians, but just didn't have as much experience.

I cannot tell you the difference the medication made in my life. I wasn't necessarily giddy and happy all the time, but I found myself to be much more in control of my anxious thoughts, as well as my heavy feelings and emotions during my period. It was seriously life-changing.

Whether you're feeling mild or major symptoms, if they're affecting your ability to function as a person and a parent, however that might be, talk to someone. It might take a little time and experimentation to find what works for you, but when you do, you'll wonder, like me, why you waited so long.

Do you take anti-depressants?

 

Image via StevenSnodgrass/Flickr

diets, doctors, emotional health, hormonal imbalances, medicine, menstruation, mental health

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UKFan136 UKFan136

Anti-anxiety & anti-depression meds have saved my life. There is no shame in seeking out ways to be menally healthy and choosing the avenue that works best for you.

nonmember avatar Heather

My meds helped my anxiety too. My anxiety got worse after I had my son and had PPD. I was a mess. There is no shame in taking meds if it helps you get in control of your life. I missed out on enjoying my son fully when he was an infant because I didnt recognize how much I needed help.

nonmember avatar heather

What I was trying to say was I didnt recognize right away that I needed help so I missed out on alot with my son. Now i know what to look for and i can be a better mother

nonmember avatar frodo2011

I'd be careful with antidepressants. particularly SSRSIs. I took em for a few years then quit in 2009. it's 2013 and I'm still suffering from side effects. They're nothing to take lightly and I wonder if I'll ever have an orgasm or a day without a headache again in my life. I wish someone had warned me to just say no, so now I'm warning anyone who will listen. these drugs have side effects and for some they can be PERMANENT.If you're worried about your mental health, walking 30 minutes a day, getting sunlight and vitamin d, surrounding youself with up lifting people and taking care of your body and mind go way farther in helping you then a pill. Also not many people seem to know but the pill can cause depression sometimes suicidal depression. that was the fix for my problem. stop taking the pill. and no more depression. except now it's too late and I feel cheated by big pharm. moral of my story: don't rush to pop a pill because you feel down, exhaust all your resources before you try meds. doctors don't always have your best interest at heart and they make a pretty penny off these substances, and the hopes that we put in them to fix us.

nonmember avatar Laura P.

No, when I'm feeling anxious or need something to numb my emotions I just drink some wine like people like people have done since the old days when they were unhappy with things in their lives or with themselves (before that normal part of human life was labeled an "illness").

It's cheaper and has far less side-effects and withdrawal symptoms than medications made of toxic chemicals since it's all natural. It helps a lot! It works like magic.

Caera Caera

Popping a pill should be the absolute last resort. I hate that this society is pretty much pill dependent for everything.

nonmember avatar Laurie

Great article, Kristen. Anxiety is a horror show, and good for you for taking care of yourself.

Just a side note to anyone reading the comments who may take the wine one to heart: that approach was a fast track to problem drinking and serious health problems, for me. Be careful out there, ladies.

Betsy Cadel

Kristen, thanks for being so honest and, frankly un-frilly, about going on anti-depressants. I always urge friends who I think could benefit to just try it for 2 months and if they don't see a difference then so be it. They can always stop (with a doctor's help). And YES, please, please, please people go to a specialist.

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