Antidepressants in Pregnancy

i have recently had a depressive episode – it’s too long to go into it but I was in bed for days after something triggered this mood of utter hopelessness and sadness and skin-crawling irritability and anger.

I emailed my Ob in the middle of the night one night when I couldn’t sleep and she sent me to see a psychiatrist. This guy was pretty impressive as he’s the leading psychiatrist in maternal mental illness and psychotropic medication in pregnancy, and we had a good chat.

Although what I usually feel about psychiatrists is that they already kind of have an opinion of you and what you have and they ask questions to confirm that.

So this one said I definitely don’t have bipolar (which I of course knew and always felt strongly about) but instead he diagnosed me with depression and PTSD.

PTSD?!? Never heard that before. I don’t know if he meant I have it because of the car crash (I avoid driving, get flashbacks, I’m jumpy in a movig vehicle and that one time hyperventilated when I thought M almost hit this lady crossing the road) or whether I have PTSD from childhood trauma. Or all of the above? 

So anyway he recommended me to get back on Effexor (venlafaxine). He said maternal depression and other mental health issues adversely affect the fetus and can result in many issues including preterm birth and mental health issues in the baby himself.

Fine. I get that. But I had felt so good getting off my medication!! I have not taken anything for 7 months now and I would feel like a fucking failure if I had to get on something again!!

So I said thanks but no thanks. I’ll be fine.

He said I’m at such high risk for postpartum depression that I pretty much will get it and that I should at least start taking an antidepressant after birth.

Still thinking about that one.




3 thoughts on “Antidepressants in Pregnancy

  1. Hey you xx. I think you know I suffer from PTSD from my childhood and have been on antidepressants for year now right? I don’t like meds either but the way I feel when I don’t take them is worse than having them in me so I decided a few years back to just let them help and work out the rest myself.

    I was suffering from PTSD and depression before I had my son and after birth, although Colt was disabled with Autism and a very unhappy baby for the first two years of life, it was the post-partum depression that almost took me out. Every PTSD symptom I ever had came flaring up in huge quantities and I think I felt worse than I ever felt while going through the things that traumatized me in the first place.

    You and I have always had similar reactions to life and I always assumed you had been diagnosed PTSD because of how I can relate to you. Isn’t that strange? Maybe instinct…who knows. All I know is that the meds help me deal with the things in my head and it improves my entire quality of life overall, along with being a better mom to my boy, that’s enough benefit for me. There’s no shame in needing meds but there is a bit of odd thinking involved when you refuse to take them because you don’t want to need them…you know? I say if the help, let them help. xx (I’d wait until after the babe is born though – meds and pregnancy aren’t usually so good together….unless you are in danger of ending your life.)

    • Hey! Yeah, I remember reading about in your blog although I don’t think I ever asked you what it really means in your life, like how it presents in your everyday living. I think you once said you had complex PTSD (?) I’m not sure how that’s different, so you’ll have to enlighten me! I’m so unaware of that condition because I never ever thought about it, I think most people think it only affects veterans…you know how only when men who fight for countries a condition becomes a real issue when women have been suffering trauma for decades if not centuries in men’s hands (sigh).

      I hear what you’re saying about meds and I’m glad you shared your story, I cannot even imagine how hard it must have been to get PPD and having to deal with that AND raising a child! I think you’re very wise to take medication now if you feel it helps! Them helping you to live a better life is all that matters!!

      I think what I meant was that I don’t want to need medication because I feel that antidepressants are such a “fad” or like, everyone and their mother is “depressed” and on medication and I feel that the popular culture minimizes real depression because these days you could just get them for any little feeling of sadness. I’m not trying to downplay people’s life experiences or say someone’s depression is not valid, but what I mean is that I think they’re being dished out for anything and you start wondering if they really help or if they’re just a scam to give people the impression they can be happy and no amount of sadness is normal. I think it’s normal to feel sad sometimes and although I’m aware that my depression diagnosis is real and what I’m dealing with is a real mental illness, I kind of don’t want to be one of those people who can’t try to just live through it…I wouldn’t ever want anyone to judge me and think I’m not really depressed I’m just taking something because it’s cool or popular.

      I don’t know if this makes any sense. Anyway, I had been on three different medications for 12 years and I’m not fixed. I sill got depressive episodes and self harmed and suffers from low self esteem and haven’t really done much for myself. Although I guess you could flip the coin and say hey maybe the medication helped me get up in the morning and helped me get through school and actually get up and get a job and although I’ve always hated every single job I’ve had, at least I’ve been able to work. So I see the benefits, and you can never tell what the effect of the medication was, but I do know that right now my mood is really really bad and I think I will start taking something right after the birth…I can always get off of them again! I just think that the adjustment will be huge, and I already feel like a failure in so many ways it won’t be good to not be able to get out of bed when the baby arrives…

      Anyway sorry long ramble, I would love to hear more about PTSD and if you can pinpoint a blog post where you wrote about it something I really wanna go and read it, I know nothing about it.

      Thank you for your kind and loving words too!

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