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Anxiety and Pregnancy

G

Guy

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
6
Location
Aberdeen
My wife has exrteme anxiety issues, some days she can't leave the house. She hasn't been out of our village in two years.
I work in a city about 25 miles away and am away from 7am - 7pm, leaving her to get our wee boy to school and back.
Recently we've been relying on my sister-in-law to collect him from school as my wifes anxiety prevents her waiting around for him after school. She's been managing to drive him to school, but now even that is getting too much - just under two miles but way to far for a seven year old to walk. It's not his "local" school, but is a far better school.

A couple of weeks ago we discovered that we were pregnant with our second baby. We've been trying for years and finally seem to have succeeded, though it couldn't have come at a worse time with my wife having come off her medication only two or three weeks earlier. She's been trying to get off it for a long time as she says she'd rather feel "something" than "nothing" - even if it's bad. She refuses to take any medication while she's pregnant, no matter how "safe" it's claimed to be.

On top of that, she's now got a virus and has been running a temperature of 38-39C for the last week - I'm told not high enough to affect the baby, but in addition to the aching boobs, constipation and churning tummy from iron tablets / supplements, constant tiredeness, coming off the anti-depressants on top of the normal pregnancy sickness etc, she simply feels like she's being run over by bus after bus after bus! All this on top of the "routine" depression and anxiety / agoraphobia.

We are now three weeks away from getting our first scan, but that's 20 miles away in the city, and she's terrified of it.

I'm very, very worried about her, about my sons schooling, and about the new baby. Of course, I'm forced to be away all day and feel incredibly guilty about that too!

What can I do?
 
BORTU

BORTU

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
1,449
Location
SW England
Hello Guy,

You sound as if you love your wife very much and care about her. Let her know this, she needs it.

Have you tried talking to your boss? If he is not a complete idiot he will be sympathetic. When my wife was very ill, my boss let me take special leave (he fiddled the books to cover my absence). That was a life saviour for me.

How much does your sister in law know of the problem? Can she give more help?

Hope this helps.
 
ally41

ally41

Well-known member
Joined
May 21, 2010
Messages
788
Location
UK
Your wife needs therapy. Medications alone cannot cure something like this, she needs to get to the root of the agoraphobia, find out why it's happening. One common cause is childhood abuse, but there are many others. If she says she had a happy childhood and cant see any reason why she has mental health problems, then I suggest getting some art therapy as this works with the subconscious, we cant cure things that we don't know are there! I' not talking about hidden memories necessarily, just a lack of understanding of ways in which we can develop bad patterns, most people are unaware of just how deeply children can be affected by seemingly harmless practices. Don't be fooled into thinking that this is caused by genetics or chemicals in the brain, think about it logically, how can that be? Your wife is very clear that she doesn't trust people, now this is an out of proportion reaction to what's actually happening, ie; she perceives a threat where there is none. This is called projection, when we transfer the feelings about an experience or person from the past and project them onto the present. A simple example would be being nervous of a particular stretch of road that you once had an accident on, or feeling an instant mistrust for people called Mr Jones because he happened to be a particularly nasty teacher etc. The only way to get rid of these projections is to identify them and learn how to train yourself to react normally only to what is happening right now. Your wife already has the desire to have genuine reactions shown by her cessation of medication.

Please don't be talked into her having cognitive behavioural therapy. This is a conditioning exercise, much like brainwashing, where the therapist has no interest in finding out why someone has anxiety, just in training them to ignore it. It's being pushed by the government at the moment because it's seen as a quick fix. Take if from those of us who know, this is not a long term solution and in any case it doesn't work very well for those with severe agoraphobia. Worse than that, it will add to your wife's problems in the long term, as it increases the denial of that part of her that is so scared, if she continues not to listen to it, her symptoms will ultimately get worse. She has a voice (not literally) shouting louder and louder at her from inside and that can only get louder until she finds out what it's trying to say. She needs to take her time with this therapy and not expect a quick fix, it takes a long time to get to the root of these issues and she has a lot of healing and change to go through, the good thing for her is is sounds like she has a supportive husband. Sometimes someone undergoing therapy can temporarily get worse, this is because they finally are able to let go and really listen to parts that have been suppressed and along with that can come more severe symptoms of depression. This is normal and is a sign that her therapy is doing it's job and it will pass within a few months. Don't forget to get counselling for yourself if you find things hard though, you need to look after yourself too and have someone to talk to. It sounds like she needs help soon so you could consider going private. Art therapy is not available in every area and where it is, you have a waiting list. But even so, I would try for NHS because this is not a quick process and most people have it weekly for several years which would be very costly if private. Tell her from me, it's worth the wait on the nhs. If you go private, she might need to try a few before she finds the right one.

I have experience of exacly this type of agoraphobia and anxiety, if she would like to talk to someone who has been through it and is overcoming it through therapy, then private message me and I'll be glad to chat to her. Take care xx
 
W

willamtarker

New member
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
Messages
3
It is believed that it is common that you are getting anxiety during the pregancy, as the hormones are flying around and the blood sugar levels are fluctuating as you feed child, digestion and breathing.
 
Rosepoet

Rosepoet

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
532
Location
Gower
I had similar issues. I got severe depression after birth me son and them got pregnant straight away so had two small babies and older kids my husband left and my mum died the pressure was incredible. You do feel as if a truck has run you over. I was so ill i could not in explain scans i etext had a home birth because i could not leave house. You cannot solve this for your wife she needs talkin therapy from someone outside the family. It took me two years to recover and i found help from a charity mothers for mothers who helped by listening to me and when i paniced i could talk to them on the phone. Your wife will have to work slowly through her childhood and life issues to get to the root. Fine as many local organisation who can help . Alot can be done on the phone or the net. The important thing is to not put any more pressure on her. The effect on pregnancy on top of her Agra phobia could make her very unwell. Them she wont be able to care for the children. Encourage her 2post
 
F

fight the system

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
45
Location
london
My depression and anxiey has been worse i have a young baby. although i have social anxiety i managed to meet a mum i met while in hospital and we started to go to the local surestart centre. I try and go once a week, The family support workers have been brilliant. It took me ages to open up to them and i have not had to open upto them completely as they knew before i told them. I have taken my partner there to so it may be good for you to go together one day if she felt upto it. I had all stereo typical things going around in my head and was afraid of the area the surestart centre is on but was amazed at how much i enjoyed it and how welcoming people were. I still have a long way to go but at least i can know I can leave the house. Good Luck x
 
F

fight the system

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
45
Location
london
Hi Ally
Glad someone agrees that CBT is just a quick fix. They have taken away Psychological therapy and replaced it with CBT I have argued witht eh GP and IAPT but they insist that CBT is the way forward so I have no other option. I have informed the local MP of this but at the end of the day what can he do?
 
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