Post-partum and miserable

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker


I am 21 and have post-partum depression I have tried Zoloft and Lexapro and they both made me feel horid. I’m experiencing post partum and I have no clue what would help as far as a med that wont give me those nasty feeling off dread, severe anx,and iritablilty with those creepy crawly feeling being your neck and arms.I allready have those feelings as they are and don’t need them any stronger. I was on lexapro along time ago and It worked fine so why does it make me feel like this now.What kind of anti dep would you prefer? Snri, tricyclic,”naSSa”? And what are the differences? what kind is different than the ssri and would be a greater help? Is it just the ssri meds that my body can’t take ( thats what i’m guessing)?I really need help. I have post partum to the degree that it’s hard to even be a mother let alone a wife. I feel miserable. Please Help. Thanks.

A: I’m not a psychiatrist so I’m not qualified to advise you on medications. What I can suggest is this: You need more help than medication alone will give you. As you are already finding, antidepressant medications don’t work for everyone and some people find the side effects as bad as the original problem. The medication you once found helpful isn’t working right now because your hormones are still adjusting following the birth. Do keep working with your doctor to try to find a medicine that is helpful but in the meantime, please, please find a counselor who is experienced with postpartum depression and who can meet with you once or twice a week to coach you through this hard time. Ask your pediatrician if there is a local support group for women with postpartum depression. Talking to others who are going through the same thing in a mutually supportive way can be very helpful.

My guess is that your partner is feeling helpless to help you. He may need reassurance that this is in no way his fault and that it doesn’t mean that you don’t love him and your baby. You need his love and support while you work on recovering your emotional balance. He can be most helpful by educating himself about the problem and by taking responsibility for caring for your baby as much as he can while you get yourself back together. Accept whatever help you can get from family and friends. The priority right now is to make sure your baby is cared for and to make sure you get the help you need so you can recover. You can return the kindness of others when you feel better.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Jan 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). Post-partum and miserable. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/01/10/post-partum-and-miserable/