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Old 01-18-2008, 04:33 PM   #1
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Post-Partum Depression

I don't understand why some mothers have PPD. I never taught that it was going to happen to me. After 5 days the baby was born. I have already shared my story but can anybody tell me why PPD happens to some women.

My sister is 23 yrs old and she's having her 5th child she has never gotten PPD and my lil sister had her baby @ the age of 14 and she also didn't get it.

I just don't understand.
Will I be able to feel like my self again? I'm always thinking of that I'm scared that i won't be my self ever again and that i'm always going to feel like this forever.

Can some one tell me if PPD returns if you have more babies in the future?

Some people say that I'm going to feel like myself again it's going to take some time is that true?

Will Celexa help me feel like me again if I take it only for about 6 months?
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Old 01-18-2008, 11:40 PM   #2
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Re: Post-Partum Depression

responses in blue

I don't understand why some mothers have PPD. I never taught that it was going to happen to me. After 5 days the baby was born. I have already shared my story but can anybody tell me why PPD happens to some women.
There are many reasons. They fall under psycho/socio/bio/physio areas, in many combinations. So it could be a person's psychological make up or history or genetics. It could be the sociological things around them like partner or family relationships, or broader. Biological things may include hormones, but that's not entirely supported as adoptive parents and fathers can also get postpartum depression/anxiety. Add them together in portions unique to each person and shake. About 1 in 5 new moms will draw the PPD card. PPD for Dummies is a good book, btw, if you're a reader. It's the only "Dummies" book I've ever looked at.

My sister is 23 yrs old and she's having her 5th child she has never gotten PPD and my lil sister had her baby @ the age of 14 and she also didn't get it.
Why you...it just doesn't seem fair. They seem to have more likely situations to have gotten it, so why you?

I just don't understand.
It doesn't make sense, does it? PPD doesn't pick just one type of person--it touches people from all walks of life and all kinds of situations. People at high risk may not get it, while others you wouldn't think would, do. Colicky babies & PPD seem to go together at a high rate and moms who had unexpected or dramatic C-sections too.

Will I be able to feel like my self again? I'm always thinking of that I'm scared that i won't be my self ever again and that i'm always going to feel like this forever.
You will feel like yourself again.

Can some one tell me if PPD returns if you have more babies in the future?
There are research numbers that are pretty high, depending on what research you read. But it is all for untreated PPD. In other words, if a mom who had PPD gets pregnant again and doesn't take meds during or after pregnancy she's more likely to get it again. --but since you've had this now, you'll KNOW what it looks like if you see it coming a next time, you'll know which doctor helped, as well as what med and what dose. You'd be far better prepared. All the moms I know online who've had a next baby have done very well the next time(s).

Some people say that I'm going to feel like myself again it's going to take some time is that true?
You will, and getting there is like riding a roller coaster. The hills and valleys start out so big, but as time and medication and therapy goes on, the hills flatten out the further out the time line goes.

Will Celexa help me feel like me again if I take it only for about 6 months?
That will depend on finding an effective dose for you, taking it regularly, getting adjustments as needed, no additional major stressors happening. Therapy can help with building the skills to deal with some of the symptoms as well as managing parenting stress.

I know how hard this is right now (or have an idea), and it really does get better. A support group, if there is one near you, is an amazing help. Meeting other moms face to face who "speak the same language" (don't tell ya to snap out of it or suck it up, and they just understand) is such a relief and very validating.

hth

 
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Old 01-19-2008, 06:23 PM   #3
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Talking Re: Post-Partum Depression

thanks you have been a grat help.
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:14 AM   #4
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Re: Post-Partum Depression

Hi Emma1car, It's not always clear to detect if a woman will suffer postpardum depression. There are a number of factors that contribute as the previous poster explained. When I confided in my doctor about what I was feeling he told me that 1 out of 10 moms experience some form of postpardum depression. I went through it twice. I thought the first time was bad but the second time was even more severe. The good news was that the meds (Zoloft) helped a great deal. On a more personal note, I was a candidate for postpardum depression from the start. I've always had a depressive personality which certainly got worse when my hormones changed with the pregnancy. That being said, once you go through it the first time you learn a lot about it, so if you decide to get pregnant again in the future, you already know that the potential exists and you can address it with you doctor from the start and be monitored throughout. As for you sister, for whatever reason she was fortunate that she did not have the same reaction postpardum as you have but it's definitely not something that is in your control. I too have a sister and she did not go through it but my mom did when she had me so their are many viariables. I know this is a very difficult time for a new mom, but rely on your support system for now and continue to do what you are doing like asking questions and reaching out to people who can offer advice. It will get better soon.

 
Old 01-20-2008, 11:41 AM   #5
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Re: Post-Partum Depression

I never had postpartum depression but I believe my mom did I don't think she ever knew what it was but it was severe from how she describes things and of course it was never diagnosed(she is 94 now) but I remember when I was like 4 or 5 she just stayed in her room most of the time. I went on to have many children of my own and did not have it however, my two daughters had it with each of their children for a total of 8 children. They deny every having it but believe me they were very different for the first 6+months(give or take). Crying all the time with mood changes that would scare away the most patient of persons. They both nursed so couldn't take meds if they wanted to. I am very happy my son in laws stuck it out because both daughters were so hard to live with. So but yes it does pass! They have finished having children thank goodness so now we shall see which of these granddaughters will have PPD. You will be fine but it takes a few months. Unfortunately for some mom's it lasts longer and for those that feel depressed for more than a year I would suggest antidepressants. And if you aren't sure you are depressed...LOL...just ask close friend and family they'll surely let you know! Meanwhile try to get as much rest as possible...sleep when baby sleeps and get help if you happen to have a cranky one. good luck.

 
Old 01-21-2008, 02:42 PM   #6
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Re: Post-Partum Depression

I never had post partum. I attribute it to no pain meds after birth, good diet and moderate post partum exercise and having my husband on vacation to help with both kids so I could get proper rest, which is so important!

Post partum is supposed to go away on its own as the body/hormones take about 6 weeks to recover from childbirth, at least that is what I learned back in the days they didn't shove antidepressants at every new mother who felt overwhelmed and yes, having a child is overwhemling, physically tiring and has many psychological aspects aka will I be a good mom, what about the extra expense/work/worry etc.

But medically speaking, I was told it would pass in 6 weeks. I think these days, sometimes we are lead to believe something is a lifelong disorder that really isn't. Also, when medications get involved, they really can cause extra problems. Pain meds after birth are depressants, which could make it worse and antidepressants given for post partum also have their own set of problems, so I would say it's natural to have certain feelings after birth but time and making sure you take care of yourself too really does effect the outcome.

 
Old 01-21-2008, 11:11 PM   #7
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Re: Post-Partum Depression

It's great that you avoided PPD, and that you didn't need pain meds, that you had support, a good diet and you were able to exercise. Those are big helps to every mom. And yes, when pieces of this picture are missing it can put women at higher risk for PPD. There are also women with a risk-factor list a yard long and they don't get it.

It's just not that simple however. 1 in 5 new moms do get it at some point within the first year. It's not the baby blues. That occurs within the first 2 weeks postpartum. It's most often (in my experience) postpartum anxiety along with depression, and a lot of women also get obsessive thoughts, panic or PTSD.

There are just women who you would never expect, never see a risk factor, who get it. And also those with risk factors who do. It doesn't matter if one is rich, poor, 8th grade education or PhD, great parents or not so great, working or not, married or not, white/black/yellow/striped. The rate of occurance is pretty consistent worldwide, in all manor of nations. Personally, I know more women who had it that tend towards over-achievement, but the rates in poor, stressed communities reflect the situations there as well.

With both my children's births I went without any pain medication throughout the birth, nothing after, had my mom or sister staying with us up through the 3rd week pp, dh was home as well, I was back at school without missing a beat, had an extensive mom support group with my 2nd born, opportunity to have a "day off" each week. And go figure. I ended up in the hospital for 2 weeks because I didn't want to try antidepressants. That didn't go well--trying to go without them. That was at 9 months PP. Up until then I was doing quite well.

PPD is an acute depression/anxiety. Some women only get depressed/anxious like this surrounding the birth and adjustment periods. They may not feel even mildly like they did during PPD again. Some may revisit depression and/or anxiety again at other times as well. It's just not a diet, support, exercise-solved thing. It often responds very well & quickly (compared to the ongoing varieties) to therapy & meds.

Becoming a mother is the biggest transition in a woman's life. Yet US society expects women to suck it up and be back at work in 6 weeks. And the fairy tales we're fed about motherhood and childbirth, not to mention the advertising. That's enough to overcome. It's just sad that we sometimes need to overcome a lack of understanding too.

Last edited by lv2srf; 01-21-2008 at 11:17 PM.

 
Old 01-23-2008, 12:19 PM   #8
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Re: Post-Partum Depression

Yes, I agree with most of what you said but 9 months out is not postpartum, and postpartum is yes, the baby blues. At least thats what it used to be.

The problem is that over the years psychiatry has re-defined many things like postpartum to fit a scenario that encourages antidepressant use. For example, if you had been told you simply had depression, you might be more resistant to the idea as many independent-type people do resist that assumption, mainly because they consider themselves strong people(and usually push themselves alot). But when told post-partum is the culprit, then it is much easier to accept as a "medical" condition and does make taking antidepressants seem necessary.

They have even defined menopause as a mental disorder. Again, much easier to accept taking an antidepressant if considered "medical". But since when does childbirth, having a period and going thru a natural change of life define mental or medical ILLNESS??

Post partum has been redefined from it's original form as something requiring lifelong meds and being a medical/mental illness when in fact it is hormonal change and transition which does take about 6 weeks max.

Psychiatry has literally created mental disease models out of everything, even things that were later discovered to be scurvy, pellegra and thyroid problems to stress and grief.

It is very possible your condition was not related to hormones(that's the cause of post partum, hormones) but perhaps physical/mental fatigue, stress or a host of other causes usually not explored. I'd like to know, did they check your hormones at 9 months? Were they normal? Are you on birth control pills? All can be factors.

I find it very convienient that they now define post partum as something that can pop up or revisit. So technically, 30 years after my son's birth, it could happen to me....hmmm, where do we draw the line? How about at the point hormones are back to pre-birth....around 6 weeks after like real science has already proven.

Last edited by Jennita; 01-23-2008 at 12:23 PM.

 
Old 01-23-2008, 02:19 PM   #9
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Re: Post-Partum Depression

You're right--when there wasn't much known in the US about postpartum depression/anxiety, the "baby blues" covered most everything.

How that came to be, and how the DSM only calls it postpartum depression for the first 4 (or maybe it's 6) weeks postpartum is interesting. In the Introduction of the book The New Mother Syndrome, James A Hamilton, MD, PhD, explains how the diagnosis dropped entirely from the medical field for a long time here in the US. In summary, it was partly that in the early 1900's a couple of Nobel Peace prizes went to those in the medical field who had identified and named diseases (physical). Because bacteriology and pathology could be used to pinpoint a cause for illness, while mental illness had no such pinpointable causes (nothing to point to in a petri dish), psychiatry was pushed off to the side, medically. US psychiatry, not wanting to miss out on their fair share of notoriety decided to get rid of the term postpartum in any of the psychiatric manuals. In doing so, they then labeled any mood disorder in the year surrounding birth as a latent, chronic mental illness (ie. schizophrenia, BP) which "childbirth had merely uncovered."

I don't think that PPD does mean ongoing depression, nor medication for the rest of one's life. I've been off and on them, since. Lifelong? Not so far. During the past almost 3 years I have been on Zoloft, in varying doses as I whethered a separation and while going to school, being the 24/7 parent.

Anyways, back to the history. It was in the 1970's here in the US when "postpartum" was reintroduced into the medical/mental health references, due in part to collaboration with doctors in England and France (where they had not done away with the "postpartum" label). Both countries extend the postpartum time period, btw, to two years past birth.

Like scurvy, people as far back as Hippocrates (and including him) have been aware of postpartum depression. And like with scurvy, both illnesses have been given different causes and solutions. None has changed the actual manifestation of the untreated illness however, if that makes sense.

In that same way, my experience of postpartum depression matched that of SO MANY other mothers that I finally connected with at least 4 years after I had it. With the internet connecting people so much more easily, it is much easier to "see" the familiar patterns. When I first started posting online with other moms, 7 years ago, no one was talking about the obsessions they may have been having--intrusive thoughts--because they'd never heard of them before and everyone was afraid CPS would show up and take the kids and lock mom up forever. As women have slowly started speaking up about these kinds of things, it's become more and more clear that more women have the anxiety part, and probably as many as 1/3 have the intrusive thoughts. Some of the refining of the definition of PPD could well have come from within the ranks of mothers who went through it, and then gone on to research, treat, and publish.

One of the big arguments within mental health is whether or not PPD is the same as major depression. That's kind of what you are saying too, if I'm not mistaken. Like, after those first 6 weeks, it's depression, not postpartum depression. --Yes, I did have a full blood panel done at the time, and my thyroid was fine. Not on birth control pills at all, as yes, especially the progesterone-only ones are known to increase depressive symptoms. Anyway, the differences between major depression and postpartum... When my dd was 2 1/4 years old we started adding on to our house. It was stressful, but I did fine, mostly. However, once we gutted our old kitchen, rendering the house "unsaleable" until the new kitchen was installed, and we were living elsewhere and away from my usual support, I became depressed in the not-getting-out-of-bed depression that to me is easily identifiable as depression. Postpartum, for me, was a VERY anxious depression, as it is for probably more than half of new moms with PPD.

PPD is the umbrella term--there are 5 or so ways it shows up, in general. If you did a search on the term the more reputable sites include Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, Panic, OCD, PTSD.

And again, you're right, 30 years after the birth of your children, you won't behaving PPD. Just like with our remodeling of our house, I had depression, not PPD at that point. And it was a completely different depression than the PPD had been. And at this point, as my dd is almost 14, it's not PPD when I do feel depressed again, or anxious, it's the everyday textbook depression. I just seem to have it more often than I did before I had kids (in my mid-30's). I'd had one "depression" prior to kids, when a close friend of mine, my age (almost 30 at the time) died. I figured that was grief more than depression, but it also had me reexamining everything I thought I "knew" about life.

So I think on the overview of PPD, we agree, and on the details we're moving towards one another. What do you think, Jennita?

 
Old 01-24-2008, 04:39 PM   #10
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Re: Post-Partum Depression

I've been feeling good with the Citalopram (Celexa) I'm still scared that the feelings that I had will return. A lot of people tell me that it's going to go away and that i'm going to be just like myself. Just cuz of the PPD I dicided not to have anymore babies I'm scared. I don't want to feel like i'm going crazy I know that a Child is a blessing but I'm good with my baby. Can Celexa make you not so sleepy cuz I drink it @ night and this 3 day I havent been able to sleep good I don't know why?
I still have dreams about the way i felt before can anyone tell me if I going to be able to forget this and usually how long do I have to take medication?????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:32 AM   #11
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Re: Post-Partum Depression

Hi Emma,

A lot of people tell me that it's going to go away and that i'm going to be just like myself.
You will. It takes time, but you will.

Just cuz of the PPD I dicided not to have anymore babies I'm scared. I don't want to feel like i'm going crazy I know that a Child is a blessing but I'm good with my baby.
PPD does feel like going crazy, doesn't it? Worst experience of my life, but it honestly does get better.

Can Celexa make you not so sleepy cuz I drink it @ night and this 3 day I havent been able to sleep good I don't know why?
One of the side effects in the beginning can be difficulty sleeping. This does stop within a week or two at the most.

I still have dreams about the way i felt before can anyone tell me if I going to be able to forget this and usually how long do I have to take medication?
They usually recommend staying on the meds for 6 months to a year.

hth

 
Old 01-25-2008, 01:01 PM   #12
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Re: Post-Partum Depression

yes lv2sf, you are not far off my sentiment. I am more angry about psychiatry and their labeling and deciding one has a mental illness when way too many factors can cause certain symptoms in people which may not be mental illness in the least. Many physical ills and also very overlooked life factors cause depressions. Even prescription drugs, not to mention alcohol and illegal drugs are a huge factors in mental symptoms, but usually ignored or simply written off as "unmaskers" of latent mental illness. God forbid they look into causes that might be dealt with without antidepressants,antipsychotics, or tranquilizers; there is no money in that.

Many people live on drug cocktails legally prescribed. Some can tolerate them, some do ok, some not so ok. I can't help but think the young actor who just died, Heath Ledger, who was on drug cocktails for anxiety and sleep issues, was one of those people who did not do so ok on them, but in the worst way it could go.

These drugs do have consequences which are very underplayed by the medical community. Many people think if they only take one they are safe but side effects can be cumulative(appearing after years of taking a drug) and sometimes those side effects are considered new emerging symptoms of the illness or disorder and then they must add more drugs and soon the person is on more than one psychoactive drug with alot more risks.

Some can weather the effects, at least for some years anyway. It's possible Heath Ledger wasn't one of those people. It's very conceivable those legally prescribed, non-abused drug combos could have been too hard on his respiratory and heart functions. But with "inconclusive" on the report and the fact he was a celebrity, everyone will assume it was him that did something wrong, not his doctors.

One favorite quote of mine from a movie is life is pain, and anyone who tries to tell you different is selling something. This to me is very descriptive of psychiatry, especially over the past decade and a half. I'm not saying there are people out there who are not legitimately mentally ill, but the whole scope of what is or isn't has gone beyond logic.

Anyway, I think they need to stick their noses out of post partum; it's a hormonal issue that yes should be addressed if severe but in no way should label a woman as having a mental illness.

Emma, don't worry, post partum itself does go away!!! However, being on antidepressants will change your brain functions so that if you are not careful when getting off them, depression could be a rebound effect. So whenever you decide you've had enough of them, taper off even slower than a doctor recommends. As far as the sleep issue, antidepressants are what they are....ANTI depressing the CNS, meaning they tend to "rev" up the nervous system although they are not technically stimulants, they have a stimulating effect.

Doctors tend to, perhaps unknowingly, scare the wits of patients. They usually encourage medication by warning of the dangers of not taking medication. I remember my mother-in-law was literally freaked out by her doctor because she didn't want to take Paxil for, as she described it, "feeling down"(her husband had passed away quite awhile ago but she was still sad). What freaked her out was he said if she didn't take Paxil she was refusing treatment she needed and made her sign a release form.

She actually feared not taking it at that point, he made it sound like she was going to die without it. I explained to her they don't want to be responsible if she were to commit suicide because of depression....well, she was surprised because suicide was the furthest thing from her mind and she didn't even feel that depressed. But just the doctor's attitude alone made her worry that something was seriously wrong with her.

So don't be scared, Emma. You will be ok. Just be careful not to stay on the drugs too long as to become dependant and suffer withdrawals. When the time comes, taper off extremely slow as I mentioned. If depression were to continue after all that, perhaps exploring the causes might be in order and you would be wise to hold off on having more kids until the whole thing gets resolved.

Last edited by Jennita; 01-25-2008 at 01:10 PM.

 
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