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    Lost without drugs
    meow0730 posted:
    I have had chronic depression since childhood. When I became an adult, I finally got treatment and was successfully and happily on Paxil for many years. This year I lost my insurance for a while and was forced to quit cold turkey when my medicine ran out. Now that I have insurance again, I've decided not to get back on antidepressants because my husband and I would like to try for a baby. Unfortunately, even over-the-counter support (such as St. John's Wort) can potentially cause birth defects. Everything in my life is going great. I recently got my dream job, moved to a nice new city and a beautiful apartment. I have everything I could ever want. And yet, I'm miserable. I cry all the time and when I'm not crying I just feel empty and lost. My life feels meaningless. I don't have the energy or motivation to do anything productive and then I hate myself because I didn't do anything productive and just end up even more depressed. Am I incapable of living a normal life without antidepressants?
    steph1977 responded:
    Wehn i just read this post i felt like i was reading my own post!! I know the feeling of having everything you could ask for and being so blessed and NOT being even able to enjoy it. It makes you feel like you have no quality of life. I wish i could tell you that you dont have to have medicine but i dont know everyone is different. I dont think i could go w/o it but then again i feel like sometimes it dont even help. Its so hard to have to deal with all of this. Im sorry you feel this way. I wish we could all just snap our fingers and be "normal"
    meow0730 replied to steph1977's response:
    I'm trying an experiment now with dark chocolate. It's supposed to boost serotonin levels to help deal with depression. Ironically, I can't stand the taste. It's worse than taking regular medicine. But if it helps feel normal without causing side effects or birth defects then it's worth it. I'll keep you posted.
    rohvannyn replied to meow0730's response:
    Just taking good care of yourself in general can help depression, and help your baby be healthier too. Good, whole food, quality sleep, and frequent moderate exercise will help your mood. So will meditation. I've had some help from dark chocolate, but I love the taste. Sorry to hear that you don't like it! Other things that could help is self guided thought modtification, learning to focus on the positive in life. That is definitely a learned skill for some of us. Set little goals, just like everything else. Take it one step at a time.
    meow0730 replied to rohvannyn's response:
    Well, I'm sorry to say that the dark chocolate didn't help at all. I suppose it was a long shot. I've had some really dark days this week. I can only imagine getting worse with the hormones of pregnancy. I've decided the risks of taking antidepressants outweigh the risks of not taking them and ending up hurting myself when I'm pregnant. Just have to find a doctor who can help.
    An_252525 replied to meow0730's response:
    Probably going to the hospital and seeing terminally ill persons may put things in perspective. Not sure...but it helps me keep focused on how happy and simple my life is when I see persons who have bigger issues.
    itmatsb replied to An_252525's response:
    Unfortunately someone who already knows that her world is beautiful, is not likely to need a new perspective on the dark side. That was helpful to me when I was resentful about being in chronic pain and not being able to do much of anything. But when I had severe suicidal depression, I knew that everything in my life was wonderful and that I was a terrific person. It was definitely a chemical imbalance for me. I felt that no torture could be any worse than the way that I felt. So seeing someone terminally ill would have only struck me as an attractive option.
    itmatsb replied to meow0730's response:
    To meow, I'm wondering why you think that your pregnancy would make you worse. You should talk to an obstetrician about that, since in my experience, women with depression felt wonderful during their pregnancy. BUT after the birth, they had the most severe depression. But maybe you could take the Paxil and be alright. You should really talk to a doctor about your concerns.

    But I understand your torture in the meantime with your depression. I don't know how badly you want children. The safest thing would be to stay on your anti-depressants. But just offering you some other options depending on what the doctors have to tell you. You may want to get even a second opinion on it as well.

    I will say that having long term depression, almost certainly means that you will need anti-depressants for the rest of your life. That is the case with me. And I am very happy ever since my depression was treated.

    Wish you the best.
    An_248840 responded:
    Consider if now is actually the time to bring a child into your life. Your dream job - will you need to leave that job to care for your child? A new apartments - had you planned to raise a child in an apartment as opposed to your own home? How close are family members who can help provide support once the child is born? What are the odds of your child having chronic depression and do you know the signs in children are not the same as adults? Are you prepared for all of that?
    Did you know that pregnancy hormones were once thought to protect women from depression, but researchers now say this isn't true. In addition, pregnancy can trigger a range of emotions that make it more difficult to cope with depression.
    Finally, Wellbutrin is not a first line treatment but it is a safer alternative than many of the other medications during and even after pregnancy ( risk of postpartum depression ). I know for my own daughter Wellbutrin worked well and she has pregnant and has the most delightful, happy, intelligent now 6 year old. She also said that the advance planning helped mitigate most of those first year stressors - a years worth of disposable diapers, bottle liners for the playtex bottles she used and plenty of clothing, bibs, and a daycare lined up which my granddaughter entered at 8 weeks of age.

    GeoButts responded:
    From my experience. If you want to be happy, not miserable make it a goal to "work shop" your depression. Read self help literature, establish positive self talk and meditation starting every morning and through out the day. chose to get up every morning and get active rather than wallow in depression. Depression is terrible and we have no choice but to work hard to rise above it. We don't have to go out and save the world to eliminate depression, just do the work shop work and go do what truly makes you happy, like time with family and friends, walks, go going out for dinner. Owe ya, health eating, exercise and sex are not wants but needs to feel healthy. And for goodness sake, get back on the medications. They work. Sometimes no matter how hard we try to not be miserable, it can't be done with out the medications. Dopamine is what we need, so do all of the above and I bet you'll feel better, I know I do:)
    meow0730 replied to GeoButts's response:
    I went to an ob-gyn and she prescribed zoloft for me and recommended that I wait a couple of months before trying to get pregnant. She was hesitant to prescribe anything but said that pregnancy can either make depression better or much worse, depending on the person, and as I was already having suicidal thoughts, she agreed that it would be best for me to be on a low-risk antidepressant. Hopefully everything will work out okay. The reason I don't want to wait much longer for pregnancy is because with my age and my particular genetics, I don't have much longer to wait. Also, I know it probably sounds naive but I really think that having a baby will ultimately help with my depression. Of course that's not the only reason I want one, but I feel like having a child will ultimately give my life a sense of purpose and redirect my anxieties and focus to someone beyond myself. @geobutts - I know you're correct, all of these things do help with depression. But there are times when my depression is so severe that even getting out of bed is a major challenge, let alone take care of myself with exercise, healthy eating, etc. Hopefully the zoloft will give me enough support that I can engage in more activities. I've never taken zoloft before - my prior drug was paxil.
    hunnywoman responded:
    I am so sorry that you are dealing with the frustration of controlling your depression and trying to have a baby. Please know that you are not alone. I went through fertility treatments for two years and during that time I could not take anything at all for depression. Somehow I was able to muddle through it (I guess knowing the end result kind of helped) but I was able to go on citalopram during the last six weeks of my pregnancy (in anticipation of postpartum depression). I recently switched antidepressants and had an allergic reaction to my new one which happened to be working great. I've been looking into acupuncture as a holistic treatment for depression. It also is said to help with your fertility which could be a bonus side effect! I've also heard great results with applied kinesiology and chiropractic care which is another avenue I'm looking into as well. Hope this helps!
    itmatsb replied to meow0730's response:
    When I was encouraging you to possibly seek pregnancy, you didn't initially say that you were suicidal and having difficulty even getting out of bed. I think that you definitely need to get far better mental health before even considering getting pregnant.

    Your dream that having a child will cure your depression is a false one. You said it yourself that, "Everything in my life is going great. dream job, moved to a nice new city and a beautiful apartment. I have everything I could ever want. And yet, I'm miserable." That just proves that what you have in your life does not cure depression. I was suicidal with depression many years ago and had everything going great in my life. It was a chemical imbalance.

    You could be very depressed trying to raise your child. And from what you doctor told you, you could be far worse during your pregnancy. Can you manage that for 9 months? So be confident that you can control your depression. Just some things for you to think about. You take care.

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