Depression has struck

I can't believe it but I think I've become depressed. :( I had clinical depression a few years back but believed myself to be over it, never medicated (always gave me side effects) but had a great person centred counsellor who helped me tremendously. I can't afford to see her now sadly.

A snowball effect of worrying things (a bleed week 14, finding out all my friends and people I considered family are deliberately blanking me since I split with an ex who I was with for 16 years, my finances deteriorating quickly from my self employed business and no money for food meaning eating up my stores, living somewhere where I don't know anyone) has left me feeling very isolated, weepy, lonely and extremely fearful. How can this be? I'm supposed to be happy at this time, I'm supposed to get my energy back and be glowing. But I feel like a dull bronzed two pence piece.

I have attempted to confide in people I know but they just say it's "normal", that my thoughts are just irrational because of being pregnant, that I'm paranoid. Are my feelings from here on in no longer valid and due to hormones only? When will I tell if I'm reacting hormonally or genuinely? I'm confused.

I can't seem to ease the anxiety I have or the feelings of depression. I'm going to talk to my midwife when I have an appointment with her next week.

In the meantime it will be really useful to hear how others have coped and what they have employed to help them through, if you have experienced similar please tell me how you managed. I'm so scared. These feelings and depression won't be good for little one and my attempts at forcing a good mood is failing.

NB

I'm not religious at all so I don't get comfort from praying or reading scriptures.

Things I've tried... knitting, listening to music, crocheting baby hats for charity, asking people to share their good news.

Please help, what else can I do?

9 Replies

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  • Hi,

    I have experienced something very similar. I am now 24 week pregnant (first baby) and had a horrible first 3 months with a lot of dizziness, sickness and I even lost weight. People kept telling me I will feel very different in the second trimester. And they were right since I started feeling extremely depressed, not sure about wanting the baby, questioning everything (my life, my relationship etc), wanting to harm myself... As I also went through depression a few years ago, I recognised the symptoms and they were confirmed by my GB, midwife and then counsellor. When my midwife saw me, in tears and very low, she became scared and sent me to a counsellor straight away (via my GP, so this is free). I now have 1 hour session every week and I find it pretty useful. But the most efficient thing for me was to have acupuncture. I had it for many years in the past and I am more keen on that kind of thing than on taking tablets. The effects were amazing. I was absolutely exhausted the next day and couldn't do anything but after that, I felt very positive and had a lot more energy. I also went through 3 days without feeling tired at all, which had never happened to me since the beginning of the pregnancy! I now go every 10 days, it has a cost (about £35 per session which last around 40 minutes) but it is definitely worth it. I haven't felt low since I started acupuncture again, so I would say that it wasn't depression but definitely the hormones being very nasty with me!

    I hope this helps and that you will find my suggestion useful...

    let me know how you get on, I truly understand the way you are feeling.

    Isabelle

  • Thank you Isabelle. It is a relief to know that there are others who have had a similar experience and found ways and support to help heal. I can't stand popping pills, not unless someone's mental illness truly warrants it. They tend to make me too detached or just vomit them out, my body doesn't want them. Acupuncture is great but sadly I'm in no position to afford that avenue to explore. I do a lot of deep breathing, desperate to stop my heart beating too fast or my body being stressed enough to harm the baby.

    Although I feel a bit embarrassed to admit that I'm really struggling I know I must get some help from the midwife and find someone to talk to. I mustn't let depression make a dent in my life again. I've waited so long to have a situation that was right enough for me to have a baby. (my first baby too, 16.5 weeks along)

    I was such a train crash yesterday emotionally. Had tried to conceal my tears from my fiance but he found me and hugged me, I couldn't tell him why I was feeling down though. Still can't.

    Thank you so much for writing to me and for understanding me. I really appreciate it.

  • I am studying to become a PC Counsellor but the below is personal advice rather than professional as I wouldnt presume to give professional advice to anyone I hadnt spoken to face to face.

    During my studies I have found one "self help" book called Hold your head up high by Paul Hauk. It has helped me tremendously both personally and professionally. I agree with isa-rich above, contact your GP.or midwife and talk to them as you may be able to get some free sessions. You are not alone in feeling this way and your feelings are still valid, even if they do stem from hormones. Personally I have always found guided meditation very helpful when I have been feeling under pressure from anxiety or feeling low. I have just brought a guided meditation CD for dealing with anxiety during pregnancy which I have found to be helpful as it gives you time to focus on you and the baby. Best wishes with your journey.x

  • Luckyclucky thank you for writing to me. I have had to distance myself from self help books, I had a tonne of them at one point. (I trained as a hypnotherapist, nlp practitioner, tft therapist years ago and it lead me to a place of great sadness, part of my healing was to sell those books on to those who would most likely have a positive experience) I have attempted to meditate but sometimes just cry the way through it. I do a movement meditation which is a little better for me, it's dance based but a little uncomfy with my body changing at the moment, right now it's not as effective which indicates that I've tipped over to the "I need some help" phase. I sometimes focus just on my breathing. I'm open to exploring meditation more and wonder if you might be able to reveal the source of the cd you bought? Thank you for saying that I'm not alone in these feelings, yesterday I felt like no-one in the world took me seriously and that anything I say would be met with "ha ha, it's just pregnancy hormones silly, you're not thinking straight". I hope I get this sorted out. Thank's for the best wishes too and good luck with your pregnancy too. xx

  • Hi Kaleidoscope,

    So sorry to hear you are feeling down and struggling with old feelings of depression. As you are looking to explore meditation, I thought this CD may be an option for you to explore as it is focused on managing stress and anxiety during pregnancy nctshop.co.uk/Pregnancy-Rel...

    Additionally, the fact that you are in a new area and feeling isolated sounds very tough, especially during all the changes you are experiencing. It might be nice to meet other new and expectant mums who live in your area - if you type in your postcode here: nct.org.uk/branches, you can find your local NCT branch, which will run events and activities in your area. It may be nice to meet other people who have been through similar challenges.

    I hope this helps, best wishes.

    Alice x

  • I agree with Alice, finding someone to talk to in your local area will be very beneficial if you are still finding your feet in your new place. I am sure there are lots of free coffee mornings if fee paying options are not for you. Check NHS online, your local community center, swimming pool, gym etc as coffee mornings tend to be advertised there.

  • Paul Hauk is the only self help book I have ever gotten on with myself I have to admit so its understandable why you don't want to go there again!

    I have often found the same that with "self" meditation I cannot focus on clearing my mind! But during my studies I sat through a guided meditation and it really clicked with me and I was able to commit to the moment and get something from it.

    The cd I brought is The Bump CD by Helen McPherson, hypnotherapy for a more confident and relaxed pregnancy. It is a reasonable CD but I wouldn't pay over a tenner for it in truth as with your hypnotherapy background you may find it a little pedestrian. It concentrates you on your breathing and although the hypnotherapy side of things didn't really work with me, I found its process very relaxing and it concentrates you on calming and overcoming anxiety which I found beneficial. I am sure there are plenty of options out there if that particular CD is not for you. I found it on Ebay cheapest but it was also on Amazon.

    Just remember that your feelings are still valid even if other people say they are "only normal pregnancy hormones" (which angers me anyway, how dare anyone belittle your feelings and I hate generalisations!) they are still real for you and still have the ability to make you feel like crap! Try to take some comfort from the fact that it is not abnormal and you definitely will not be the only person feeling like this.

    Thank you for the best wishes, I of course reciprocate and hope you have some resolution soon.x

  • I agree with everything that was said above. Remember that pregnancy brings a lot of emotions, changes everything in our bodies and minds and, although a lot of women seem to be glooming and really happy to be pregnant, a lot of them don't want to tell anyone that they are feeling low, just because they are not supposed to. It has become a taboo and it makes me very angry because we should be able to talk about our feelings freely!

    I understand that acupuncture etc is too pricey (I was lucky to find an affordable one in my area), but don't be ashamed to talk to your midwife and GP about it, they are used to it and they will react very quickly to find a solution for you because they are generally worried that the way you are feeling right now might go on until after the birth, which may mean that you won't be able to bond with your baby properly (that's what they told me).

    Meeting up with other people is a great idea too. When I was feeling the way you are (only a few weeks ago...), I really wasn't keen on the idea because I didn't want to meetup with "happy" mums-to-be who would only talk about the joys of being pregnant...But again, you will find that many women will tell you that it hasn't been that great for them either and you will be able to share. The worst thing would be for you to be isolated, so try pushing yourself, it's hard but worth it.

    I really hope you feel a lot better soon.

    Take care

    Isabelle

  • Hi, it's interesting you've tried knitting and crochet because these activities are supposed to release serotonin.

    I used to suffer with depression and found Emotions Anonymous really helpful. I used to go to. Group but it is available online. The key is to accept you have emotional problems and then try to let them go. Accept the things you cannot change, have courage to change the things you can and have the wisdom to know the difference.

    It's different for everyone. I hope y find your solution.

    Xx

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