Postpartum anxiety depression

Hi everyone I've been apart of the anxiety support group and just come across this one. I have been having symptoms since me second child was about 3 months she's is now 15 months so it's been a year.

it all started with I shortness of breath but I now I think it was heartbpalps. Anyway I started to worry about it I thought the worst and for the next 3 weeks I was a wreck and I started feeling other things like heavy arms and stiffness in my wrists sore legs at times, internal vibrating throu out my body but mainly just a very heavy feeling in my body. I finally made an appointment with the doctor and she strait away asked me how I was coping with my kids I thought I was coping fine and was really happy until this shortness of breath thing started, so she suspected postpartum anxiety depression but sent me for blood tests and chest X-ray all my tests came back fine. I was a little relieved but I was puzzled why was I feeling all these feelings if everything is fine. The next 3 weeks I was fine again except for a little pain in my fingers and feet which was worrying me but I tried to let it go. So 3 weeks went by and I felt the heavy feeling gain then I noticed that I was shaking thought it maybe a sugar drop but it lasted all day and woke up the next day with it. Looked up tremors and of course Parkinson's MS comes up and my anxiety started all over again I had a break down went to 3 different doctors (my doctor was on holiday at the time) they all said it was anxiety and one of them did a neurological test on me (finger to nose etc) and said I was fine. I then went to my doctor when she came back who also said nothing to worry about and referred me to a psychologist and psychiatrist they both said anxiety (I also have ocd but I new that) I tried 2 different medications but could not take the side effects I'm terrified of them. Diazapam helps but I don't want to get addicted so I only took it a few times.

Anyway since this shaking thing started I have had heartbpalps, tingling, feeling sick, couldn't function or get out of bed, brain fog almost every symptom you could think of. I got a heart Eco and wore a halter monitor had more blood tests and all fine. Only thing I haven't done is gone to the nerologist I have a referral but haven't gone yet as I started feeling better over the last 3 weeks I have moved house so it kept me busy and I did accupunture so I started feeling better mentally I can function now but I still have really bad derealization a woozy feeling in my head at times and the heavy arms and tremor. I just can't seem to accept this is all down to anxiety even though I have read so many similar stories from other women after having kids. It's been s year and I'm not getting better I've made an appointment to start seeing a therapist again and in seriously thinking about medication but I'm just so terrified of it as the side effects freaked me out so much I only laste 5 days on them. I would love to hear others experiences with taking medications and pni in general sorry my post is so long :)

16 Replies

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  • Hello

    I can relate to everything you have said. For me pni started off with weird physical symptoms - actually I was running myself into the ground and not especially happy but after one exhausting week I developed probs with my eyes - sensitivity to light, soreness, eyesight seems to worsen, I started to see double in the distance and I develped a pressure sensation behind one of my eyes. I could not understand what was going on. AFter than I started feeling as if I wasnt' really here and really deep inside myself (depersonalisation) - I put this down to my eyes but in actual fact this is a common anxiety/depression symptom. I too developed tingling in different places over my body as well as numbness. I became obsessed with what was wrong with my as blood tests were fine. Googling my symptoms I came across myriad of awful conditions and illnesses and I became obsessed I was dying. then the crippling anxiety really took hold....

    It sounds as if you've been checked out pretty thoroughly by drs - as they should because there are conditions such as thyroid issues that can cause various symptoms. In my case my gp said as all tests didn't show up anything we'd have to put it down to pni.

    For me the turning point were antids - I took citalopram and this worked for me. After feeling worse initially life started to improve (with dips). I'm sorry you've taken a couple with horrible side effects - can you talk to your gp and maybe a pharmacist as they are quite clued up. It's common for ladies to have to try several although I understand how you must feel having had very unpleasant side effects.

    Exercise worked wonders for me too especially something that raises you heart beat. That nearly always got rid of the fogginess that plagued me and to this day if I find I am low emotionally a spin class for me really helps. Could you try something like this? Even brisk walk can really help.

    Other things are trying different relaxation technques - slow deep breaths through the stomach helped me as as well as clenching muscles then letting go. Google some different ones.

    You mentijoned you had ocd - have you try cognitive behavioural therapy - that can help really effectively. It teaches you to rethink you thought patterns .

    Please keep talking - there are always solutions even if they might take a bit of time to find and take effectx

  • Thank you for your reply it really make me feel better to know you overcome all these weird symptoms and that pni can cause it. Unfortunately I haven't really made enough effort to help myself I've just been really paralyzed with fear. I will start seeing a therapist again from next week. I started yoga classes and I really should try to do some daily exercise its just very hard when you feel so terrible and also 2 small kids. I definitely need to push myself to make some changes. Thanks again :)

  • Glad I helped you. It's hard to push yourself when you feel so rubbish and I completely understand that finding the time and energy to do exercise or anything else with young kids is a challenge in itself!

    Well done on the yoga classes - that's a brill step forward and can help you will controlling your breathing.

    I like you was also paralysed with fear - after some time it becomes your default setting. You wake up and withing seconds arrives the anxiety and fear. Little by little if you start to make little changes it will lead to recovery. Take small steps and try not to overwhelm yourself. So perhaps give yourself the challenge of going to yoga one day this week; another try breathing exercises when you go to bed.

    Good luck with the therapy - sure it will help. Keep talking x

  • Thank you so much x

  • How are you doing? X

  • Hi rocky thanks for asking :)

    I have been better especially mentally the physical stuff is better too but comes and goes I have been reading a book called date and implementing the technique and I think it's really helping. I've been to a therapy appointment before Xmas, I have my next one tmrw I will see how things go over the next month or two before I try medication again.

    Do you still struggle with pni?

  • Hi

    It sounds as if you are really doing well - well done! Ups and downs (blips) are normal part of the recovery process so what you're going through is actually a postive sign - I know when you're low or the symptoms return it's not pleasant, but it shows you are getting better.

    i'm really interesting in this technque you've learnt - date? What does it involve?

    I got pni after my second child. If I'm honest the birth was perfect - I had very high expectations of what I should be as a mum and consequently ran myself into the ground. When my son was 4 mths old I got these weird physical symtpoms and the pni started there. Yes I'm fully recovered - it did take a little bit of time but I'm proof you do get better as it can be a little hard to believe at timesx

  • I have written my reply at the bottom as the boxes are getting really narrow lol

  • hi,i had that too mine was extreme dizzines,pressure in the eyes,extreme tiredness,very heavy body and head and i kept worrying that i might die.i went to several doctors and said post partum anxiety.2 years after i still have some of the symptoms when i feel stressed but it has lessened.

  • Thanks for sharing even though I don't wish it on anyone it feels better knowing others have the same symptoms. Did you ever do anything about it? Medication? Therapy?

  • I drank anti anxiety meds and i also tried fish oil but ask your doctor first.dont worry it will lessen in time.just have everything checked first.i think the main trigger is stress or sometimes when i feel very tired.hope u feel better :)

  • I spoke too soon today I am feeling woozy and foggy in the head and the feeling of unreality these all make me feel like I can't cope and overwhelmed. I think the reason I was feeling better is because of the Xmas/ new year period I was so busy. When I'm home alone with the kids for a few days in a row it seems to come back. I am trying really hard to just let it be but I always get so discouraged when it returns after a good period.

    Luckily I have my psych appointment tonight I hope that will help a little.

    The book is called Dare by Barry mcdonagh, it is excellent and I'm trying to stick to the technique with this set back. Basically it is 4 steps -

    When you feel an anxious feeling or a physical symptom first step is to say 'so what?' Or 'whatever!'

    Next step tell your self 'I accept these anxious feelings' and let them be don't fear, focus or worry about them.

    If it persists then invite them to give you all they've got 'I'm excited by these feelings come at me' this way you are not fearing them and trying to run away but you run towards the feelings.

    After these steps engage - find a distraction whatever it maybe while following the first 3 steps.

    The book explains it better but I believe the method works however you really need to stick to it and keep trying it is hard when the anxiety is extreme but it definitely works with low grade anxiety almost instantly.

    I am glad you have recovered. It gives me hope. And thank you for caring :) xx

  • Hi

    this is a typical blip you're going through. Youve been distracted over the hols and now you're alone you feel quite overwhelmed hence the return of symptoms. It is hard when you're going through one of these it feels frustrating/disappointing all in one. However this is normal - and a sign of recovery believe it or not.

    That book sounds great - I will recommend it on pni.org.uk.

    I really do think youre doing brilliantly with the techniques you're learning. I learnt a few cbt ones and it does take time to master - you have to unlearn certain thought patterns that have become second nature.

    If you like check out the website - it's fab. Keep talkingx

  • just wondering how you are doing?x

  • I must say I've been doing good much better I think it's the techniques from the book I've been using them and they really help. I also noticed that my mind is on other things a lot not just constantly focused on the way I'm feeling. I hope it continues I'm on a good streak right now :))

    Thank you for checking in :)

  • Fantastic news and well done for employing the techniques you've learnt. This is a very real and positive sign of recovery - long it may continue! You may have blips in the future but this is normal and when you do try to carry on using the technques you've learntx

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