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Help please - meds and doctors

S

sundaysunshine

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At a loss what to do so hoping someone has some advice...
I recently experienced an episode of extreme emotional ups and downs with crying fits, panic attacks, racing thoughts and intense OCD after having my new baby. I didn't know what on earth was happening at the time so went to the doctor who said it's probably OCD with postnatal depression and put me on the SSRI Sertraline/Zoloft.
I went along with that and started taking the meds prescribed as didn't have any reason to suspect otherwise. After a few days I felt like a completely different person - I now find myself in a depressed state, devoid of any emotion, with a brain fog and memory loss.
This is when I turned to Google to see if I could figure out what was going on. After reading many publications about postpartum mood disorders, I'm now pretty sure my symptoms were an episode of postnatal-triggered bipolar mania (but dysphoric). So now I'm really concerned the Sertraline has done irreversible damage and shifted me into this new depressed state. Is that a usual pattern? Also I've read people with bipolar shouldn't be taking an SSRI on its own. Can anyone offer any insight please?
It's been completely terrifying. I wake up feeling empty and full of dread every morning and when I now look at my kids I don't feel the love and excitement I always have done and it's horrible.
I really don't know where to go from here - the doctors are dismissive blaming it on postnatal depression but I wasn't depressed before I started on the SSRI (just very up and down for a few weeks) and I love my new baby to bits. I don't want to be on meds which are going to make things worse :( Who do I need to speak to and what should I ask for? Please help!
 
S

sundaysunshine

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Forgot to add, I've now not slept for 3 days... due to extreme anxiety or what I don't know :/
 
Tawny

Tawny

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Can you hang on until tomorrow?
You need to keep going back to the doctor, every day if you need to
If one doctor is not helping well enough, speak to another
This is what they are there for

If you need help today you can call 111 at any time. There are people there you can speak to, nurses, GP's, they have many people working out of hours for us

We are here also.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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No googling!
I have bipolar disorder
Before diagnosis, i was argumentative, restless, not sleeping well
Then one day i was quiet, still, nothing
Then i took an antidepressant
Days later, i was again elated, over active, talkative, restless, on the go constantly and hardly sleeping
This then turned into a horrible restless/depressed/something and i was suicidal and hearing voices, laughing, suicidal, laughing and so on. Very difficult time.

I went back to the doctor and started taking a mood stabiliser
Now i am ok

Do you need urgent help right now?
 
Tawny

Tawny

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You can call 999 any time
You can go to A&E and speak to the psychiatric team
There is lots of help, you don't sound well
I don't have children so i cannot comment on everything else you have said but other people will be able to here

Try to rest
Cup of tea
 
S

SFGuy

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Hi Sunshine, Welcome.

I'm sorry you are going through this.

A few years before I was diagnosed bipolar, a psychiatrist put me on Sertraline (bad idea). I got mildly agitated on top of my depression. I stopped it and had no permanent side effects. I haven't heard of anyone suffering from permanent damage from Sertraline, but I'm not a doc.

Was the Sertraline prescribed by a psychiatrist? If not, do you have access to a good one? Can you get a second opinion? GPs often prescribe SSRIs, but rarely know them well.

I notice anxiety in your post, too. Zoloft helps that when it works, but it doesn't sound like it's helping you. A good psychiatrist can prescribe meds that will get at both your depressive blahs and your nervousness.
 
calypso

calypso

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If you have PND then an antidepressant can work. But SSRIs have a history of making some people worse. You need to go back to see your GP and insist that he listen to you. I would suggest you make a list with bullet points of all you are experiencing and ask for a psychiatric appointment urgently to help you. They should refer you on.

I also have bipolar so suggest you avoid looking things up on the internet but rather get a professional assessment. If you are in fact then you are right anti depressants alone aren't a good idea. I agree with Tawny that you need a GP assessment.

I wish you well for the future. PND can send our emotions haywire and cause a lot of what you are experiencing.
 
M

Mav2126

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Find a very good psychiatrist...
 
mischief

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Here are a couple of links to helplines with specialist knowledge on the subject through which you may be able to get some support.


As Tawny has said, calling 111 is always a good place to reach out to get good medical advice and they will refer you to an appropriate service if they assess there is a need.
 
S

sundaysunshine

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Thanks everyone. I'll call the docs again tomorrow. I'm mostly worried about the new depressive emotionless, confused state - is this the new me forever and is it a result of the antidepressant? I'm so upset I ever took it when I thought at the time PND didn't seem right but didn't know about bipolar then
 
Wishbone

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In my experience a dysphoric mania is a cyclone of horrendous torment. You know like in a movie when someone explodes from within? Mine felt like that...and like I was being pulled by the arms and legs and stretched...but all in my mind of course: torture, essentially. But it's being pulled one way and then the other and it doesn't relent. You can, as I did, hit a wall and end up in depression, but going by the little that you've said, it's not jumping out at me as being a dysphoric mania as everything would be hellish and ruined; you wouldn't be able to take care of your baby; you probably would have fallen out with a whole bunch of people and so on. Your age and your own mental health history, if you're willing to share, could help us to figure things about a bit more though maybe?

However, given that you've just had a baby, and this process is an immense toll on body and mind, hormones (which have a lot of explaining to do) could be the reason why you've begun to feel this way.
But perhaps the jey part is this: any time anyone starts antidepressants it can make you feel worse for a while. They should have told you this, but the information leaflet should too. So it may just be this, in which case you'll be feeling more like your old self in a few weeks.
And yes, we definitely shouldn't be having antidperessants without a protective medication to guard against it. Personally I'll never take one again though after what they did to me.
Anything else you want to ask us or query?
P.S: Congratulations.
 
K

keith74

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After reading many publications about postpartum mood disorders, I'm now pretty sure my symptoms were an episode of postnatal-triggered bipolar mania (but dysphoric).
I was thinking the same thing when I was reading your post. My wife's sister went through something similar after the birth of both her kids. She didn't seek any treatment however (she is in denial over any possibility that suggests she may have a mental illness) so she raged for several months until it died down each time. She really ran through the gamut of emotions, she was just extremely emotional and wild swings.

It is good to hear that you are following up with your doctor. Best of luck
 
S

sundaysunshine

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The doctors insist it’s anxiety but it doesn’t explain all the symptoms to me and I wasn’t experiencing depression until I got put on the Sertraline - everything got so much worse after starting that for a couple of days. No one believes me so I’m being told to just keep taking Sertraline
 
S

sundaysunshine

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Manchester
Can anyone help advise me? A psychiatrist will see me in a few weeks. I’m really struggling to get through the days looking after my 2 lovely kids with this crippling depression which seems to be getting worse by the day. It lifts a bit at 3pm but the mornings are unbearable. I’m also only sleeping 1-2 hours a night. Has the Sertraline made the condition worse do you think? I read about rapid cycling but not too sure what that is. And mixed episodes? Sorry, this is all new to me and I have no one to talk to, feeling very scared and alone
 
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