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Pregnant and depression?

AtlanticEyes
AtlanticEyes

Hi, I'm new here.

I'm currently 22 weeks pregnant with my first child. I have bipolar and am taking some of my usual meds but not all as I was afraid of the risk to the baby.

Lately, I have been feeling very low and am thinking dreadful things - that I hate the baby inside me, that I don't want it anymore (this was a planned pregnancy) among other things. I keep crying because I'm so upset at this baby. I feel very confused about how I feel if I'm honest.

I am under the care of the perinatal team and my community mental health team but I don't know how to bring any of this up with them because it makes me sound like a terrible person. I'm scared of being judged because everyone seems to be very happy I'm pregnant. Any advice much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

4 Replies
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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi Atlantic Eyes

Congratulations on your first pregnancy :) So good that you reached out to the forum as you will find lots of support here, although we have all had Postpartum Psychosis.

I'm sorry to hear you have been feeling very low lately. I don't have any experience of bipolar but so admire the women of courage who do. I had what seemed like an endless depression following my recovery from Postpartum Psychosis, so I understand how helpless and hopeless it can make you feel.

I'm glad you have support from the perinatal and community teams. It is difficult when you keep your thoughts to yourself as you wonder what others might think. During my PP I was also worried about being judged but as soon as I opened up to professionals about how I really felt, they were able to reassure me and I eventually felt much better.

You are not a terrible person ..... you just need extra care at the moment. I think the perinatal / community teams will be pleased if you share your thoughts with them and can find ways to help. Perhaps PANDAS (Pre and post-natal depression advice and support) at pandasfoundation.org.uk might be a useful contact for you?

Please try to find a way to open up about your thoughts and limiting your medication, so that you will know how much help is around for you.

Take very good care of yourself.

Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator

Hi AtanticEyes

Welcome to the forum, it's really great you have found us and reached out. Thanks so much for being so honest about how you're feeling, I know you won't be alone in having those feelings. I know they feel like awful feelings to have, but it is not you, it is the illness. You sound quite overwhelmed by the pregnancy.

It's really great you have the support of the perinatal and community mental health team. I know it must feel really hard to speak these thoughts aloud to them but I'd really encourage you to try to. The perinatal team in particular will be very experienced in supporting women who are struggling in pregnancy, and will have heard women expressing these kind of thoughts before, it won't seem shocking to them.

If you tell them they will be able to support you better, for example they might be able to offer you therapy to manage the feelings, or offer you more meetings, or look at possible medication changes if you wanted to do that etc. The perinatal team psychiatrist will know the risk of different medications, and will be able to help you with that. They will just want to support you to be as well as you can be.

Perhaps it would help to write down your thoughts, and give them to a CPN / nurse that you trust the most, so you don't have to 'tell' them anything, just tell them you'd like them to read something you have written about how you feel?

I wanted to let you know too that we do have a guide, that you may have seen already, for women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy and are at risk of PP. You may find it helpful to read. It is free to download from our website here: app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

Take care AtlanticEyes, and please know you can write here anytime for support

Ellie

Teresa_K_S
Teresa_K_SVolunteer

Hi AtlanticEyes,

Congratulations on your pregnancy. Its great that you have found this forum where you will find lots of support and information.

Dont feel afraid to talk about your feelings. Especially talking with your perinatal psychiatrist who can help you and will not judge. They wont insist that you take any meds you dont want. They help you understand all your options whilst having in mind keeping you well. I also have bipolar and pregnancy was a very worrying time even when planned. The worry really affected me whilst I was carrying my second and third child and made it hard at times for me enjoy the pregnancies. Certainly with my third I often wished I could turn the clocks back and not be pregnant.

At every antenatal test I was convinced something would be wrong due to the medication I was taking when I became pregnant. As I got closer to full term though those fears did lessen.

Are there any things you could do where you can enjoy doing something for yourself at the moment.?Something you enjoy or find relaxing. Just take one day at a time and dont worry about not feeling excited. Feelings change from one week or one day to the next. I try to remind myself that feelings will pass when I'm having a low spell and they do.

That being said I'm sure you will feel a huge relief if you can chat to the perinatal team and psychiatrist as it may just be a case of an adjustment in your medication or simply monitoring how you feel in a few weeks time. It sounds like you are in good hands with the medical team around you so I hope that can give you confidence.

All the best,

Teresa x

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello AtlanticEyes

How have you been since you posted? I hope you have been able to let the perinatal and community teams know that you were feeling very low so they can support you, or maybe a trusted friend to speak for you? Take good care of yourself and please reach out for the extra support you need.