Feel like a Horse That Needs to Be Shot - Is It Time to Take an Anti-depressant?

Updated on February 15, 2013
V.S. asks from Coatesville, PA
9 answers

Just wondering what some other Moms would advise - I feel so miserable and cranky, exhausted every single day. I am not as nice as a Mom as I would normally be if I felt better. When I examine why I might feel this way, here are the major possibilities: 1. being woken up every single night for the past 4 /12 years (older son still won't stay in own bed all night, baby still wakes up for various reasons) 2. prolonged breastfeeding (trying to ween 1 y/o but he is not really interested in cow's milk yet and he needs the fat from one source or the other) 3. I work a weekend program at a hospital - every single day I am either with my kids or on the weekends at work - never, ever, any break. I think all of the time of hiring a sitter but we truly have been in a financial cruch since we moved here two years ago. I think all of the time of getting a job during the week instead but I think I would bring home less money because I would have to pay for day care for two kids , plus, my son really loves his preschool program (2 1/2 hours a day) and he would have to leave it to be at day care while I work 4. Never any time for myself - I joined a gym but quit b/c I didn't want to put the baby in the child care area with all of the bugs going around this winter. I have no family to watch kids - husband and I have had one date for 90 minutes in the past 4 1/2 years (it was our anniversary). I can't even attend church services or be active there due to my work schedule (I miss most mass times b/c I work 10 hour days). I really don't have many friends in this area - we have been here two years - so I don't really spend time with other adults except at work on the weekends. I feel like I look horrible most days - barely even have a chance to look in a mirror most mornings before running out the door - no money to buy new clothes. I am sorry if this seems like a rant. Every single day I say I will change out of this rut - I don't want to be a cranky mother - I love these two boys more than life itself - I don't know where to begin with change - it seems like all of the things that might help make a difference are things that I can't afford right now or can't do b/c I have nobody to watch my kids. Maybe I should take an anti-depressant, but I don't know how taking a pill can change the above. I tried going to a therapist but stopped after a few sessions - I couldn't afford the co-pays right now and it was too hard to run there after my husband comes home late in the evenings. Please don't tell me to have more sex - I never really cared about it and now could care less if it never happened again - too tired and out of shape.

What can I do next?

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answers from Wichita Falls on

Start with a trip to the doctor. You would have to have a prescription for an anti-depressant anyway. They will evaluate your health and hormone levels first. Even if you do get a 'script for antidepressants, you will be required to see a therapist for a while to see if it helps. The meds only work if what needs fixing is medical and the doctor is the one to evaluate that. If that the issue, then they can be lifesavers, literally

Non-medicated help:
Try a weekday mass if Sundays are out of the question.
Get to know the other mothers from the preschool - you may be able to trade babysitting with one of them once a week.
Go to the library. It's calm, free, and books can be the 30 min escape you need on busy day.
Claim an evening to yourself. Let your husband know that every Tuesday (or whenever) you have the night off. From 5:30 to 6 the next morning , the kids are his.
Know that this is common, most of us have gone through this stage and come out stronger and wiser.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Nope, i don't think a pill will help with your problems or make you feel better. And if it does there will likely be side effects that will make things just as bad as they were before.

Ok, I take that back... there is one pill I would suggest you start taking right away and that's a vitamin D supplement. Not sure where you moved from, but in your climate there is no way you are getting enough D from sunlight. This can make you tired and cranky. My OB/GYN suggested that to me and it's make a positive difference with my energy level.

Next, I'd suggest you find someway to get exercise in. You don't need to go to the gym to do this! The physical movement is going to give you energy and improve your mood. When my kids were too young to go to the gym with me, I'd pick up a few exercise videos from the libary every week. We'd (as in my kids and I) would pop one in during the evenings rather than watching TV & dance away. We had so much fun laughing at each other. My youngest son really loved the yoga. A few soup cans used as handweights will help build up your muscle mass which will help you burn more calories. Just get moving! Even if it's not with a video - put on some music and have a dance party with the kids! There is no way you can't smile and laugh when doing that, and that's what it sounds like you need most right now!

New clothing... I hear ya there. It's expensive! And if you feel like you are dressing poorly, your esteem is bound to suffer. For many years I barely had enough money to pay my bills much less pick up clothing I needed for work. Then I discovered Goodwill, through the advise of my MIL. She always looked like a million bucks - imagine my shock when I learned all her clothing came from Goodwill! She took me there and showed me that I could dress just as well for a fraction of the price of department stores. Even now that I have a little bit more disposable income, I always go there first. I can't stand the thought of spending any more money than necessary on clothing. A 'fun' afternoon for me is getting 2-3 hours to steal away to Goodwill, scour the racks, and try on clothes. Some of my most complimented outfits came from there and I just grin to myself thinking "if only they knew!" They money I save I spend on good shoes and undergarments - something I refuse to buy used.

Good luck! Smile! Laugh! Don't focus on the negative! Once you are happier as a person, making new friends is going to get easier.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

First of all - you are not alone! Many women get to this point so good for you for asking for help.

Second - you do not mention your hubby. Does he not get up with your 4.5 year old? Will he feed the baby if you pump at night? You need solid sleep. Even 1-2 nights a week (he's on duty and you shut your door at least for X number of hours to recharge). Take a nap when hubby gets home if you know you will be up a lot at night.

What is your son doing/saying when he wakes up? My daughter was a frequent night waker until she turned 5. She still does occasionally but is not awake for more than a few minutes and goes back to sleep. However, now I'm conditioned to wake up and am up at least 4-7x a night just because I wake up...but I then roll over and go back to sleep. Get your kids outside and some exercise - before bed even. This may tire your son out enough that he stays asleep. How is your nighttime routine? Does he get enough sleep? Is he still napping? TAke all that into consideration.

How old is your breastfeeder? You do not sound like you WANT to continue to breastfeed. So he doesn't like milk at first...he will transition and like it eventually. If he's over 2, then I think if you want to stop, then you are well within your rights.

Of course you are tired. Your body and your time (even when sleeping) are not your own.

Ask hubby to take over kid duty 1-2x a week after dinner. Take a bath, watch a show, go to bed early, go to a movie, etc. You need this time. Also have date night AT HOME 1x a week. Could be a movie or tv show on tv, cuddle, make popcorn, etc.

I know you do not want to talk about sex or hear suggestions to do it more, but it will help. It will improve on your sleep and how well you feel. And if you do not care to have it - I wonder if how this affects your husband and if it's putting a strain on your family.

I get it - you work weekends and can't socialize with others. My hubby is on the same schedule. He's made time to go out with his work friends during the week since they have the same schedule as he does. Can you do that 1x a month? Go out to dinner, grab coffee, pedicure, etc with coworkers?

You need more help...whether it be your husband, a sitter or a mother's helper. You cannot do this alone and should not be expected to!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Honestly... I think this is a perfect antidepressant OP.

Because it sounds 100% situational.

Which may be counterintuitive, but antidepressants are best for 2 things:
- Chronic or Type depression (type like PPD)
- SHORT term rewiring (6mo, on average)

Antidepressants DONT change the situation
They change how you VIEW the situation.

Right now, you're exhausted, overwhelmed, stuck, and despondent.

MANY things need to change, but you can't see what, because you're so stuck.

The TRICK (prerequisite, really) is that you DO change things as the fog lifts. Take a searching inventory if your life, and reorder things around so that they're manageable & you're thriving, and then get OFF the medication.

Otw... You're setting yourself up for 20 years of wasted life.

Which is the danger with situational depression & antidepressants. Like taking speed to sleep less, instead of getting more sleep.. If you don't change the situation... Then you're screwed. A lot of people fall into this, though. They ditch their counselors, and sign up for a lifetime supply of antidepressants instead of making their life the thing of beauty it could be.

I can see 8 or 9 ways to reshuffle things. From the outside. Once your head is clear, In sure you will, too. But the key point is to a tually reshuffle. Instead of keeping on keeping on.

This is a thing that is done BEST in conjunction with a therapist who can keep you on track. Antidepressants in situational depression can be more than an amazing tool... They can be 100% necessary (otw years go by and you have another wasted 20 years).

So if I were you, Id be seriously considering this as an option. In no small part, because you've already tried everything else, and nothing is working. 4 years is not a funk. 4 years = need help yesterday.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

When you first starts school, your life will change. When you youngest starts first grade, you have arrived. 1) The first thing you should do is get your 4 1/2 year to stay in bed. When he wakes up, take him back to bed. Eventually he will get the idea. I had this issue too.

Think about what you can pare back to make your life better...it doesn't have to be permanent but what can you do right now to be happier? Is your 4 YO is preschool? That was a life saver for me.

When you're super exhausted and burned out you need to go back to basics. What can you do to survive?



answers from Allentown on

I completely understand where you are at. I was there. Still am at times. I never took any meds, don't believe in it for situational problems. I am a single Mom, had two kids newborn and 2 and a half. the 2 and a half year old was still nursing and waking every hour when my son was born. She did get better eventually. But for 4 plus years I didn't sleep through the night. I think for me that was the worst thing. Nursing also takes a lot out of you and I nursed my son till he was 3 and my daughter was still nursing when he was born so I nursed two for two years, finally weaned her at 4 and him when he was 3 for a total of almost 6 straight years of nursing. With two years of nursing two. It was horrible and wonderful looking back now. I know I gave the best to my kids but it was really hard on me. And honestly even tho I stayed home with the kids it was just as hard as working, so not working would not help your situation much. I would have killed at times to have been able to leave to go to a job. I love my kids to death but I didn't have the resources to hire a sitter and it was me all the time. It gets so much better once they are sleeping through the night and not nursing anymore. My kids r 5 and 7 now and despite I am still the one and only here 24/7 it is so much better now that i know pretty much when I get them to sleep the rest of the night is mine, I can sleep all night, I don't have to worry about waking up or even nursing to bed or anything and that has made a world of difference. I started seeing a counselor when my son was about 10 months old because I was so distressed, and talking helped some but it wasn't a cure either, she couldn't change the situation either. I choose to homeschool my kids, so I am still dealing with the 24/7 but you will also get a big break once your oldest starts school. Will he be 5 in time to start K next fall? If so start him, don't hold him back just because he is a boy. Let him go, I started my son in K(homeschooled) this year and he didn't even make the cutoff, turned 5 in Dec, so officially he couldn't start school but he is doing great. So if he makes the cutoff send him to K, it will give you a break, and you can work on weaning the younger one. I got my son to switch to milk by using boost, it was sweeter and more like breastmilk. Check with your ped before doing this but if they ok it, try it, he may like the vanilla flavor, and my son still drinks the boost now(calls it his vanilla milk). I used a playtex sippy cup soft spout and he drank it from there before bed. Still does many nights. I think once you can get more sleep, things will get so much better. And once you are getting more sleep and not nursing you will feel even better and you find you are generally happier with more energy. Try taking a walk everyday, get your kids outside more. It honestly won't be like this forever, it just feels that way right now. I remember people saying that to me and it was hard to even imagine life being different or better, but now being on the other side I can say with confidence it will get better for you too. As the kids get older and more independent. They are at really tough ages right now. So you are right, you really can't force your kids to sleep or to wean, so it is going to feel like you are stuck right now. But I promise it will get better and if you are struggling too much you can do thins. You can work on weaning your baby. You can work on sleep issues with the kids, and none of it will change overnight, I won't lie and say in a week or two things will be looking up, but you will look back on this in a few years and realize how different things are and how hard it was then but also how worth it it all is. Take it easy on yourself. Do something for yourself when the kids r in bed, even going to bed when they do and letting some of the housework suffer even more than it already is. Hang in there!!!



answers from New York on

You do not need a pill. It is life. Try to get to a play group and make some friends. Get a babysitter and get out with your husband. If you really cannot afford a sitter, how about a mothers helper in the afternoon. Much less than a babysitter. Just today read an article about mothers getting antidepressants when the problem is lack of sleep, schlepping kids, working full time etc. it is not really depression but life. Spring will be here
Soon. Get out to playgrounds. For to a library. They all have children's programs.



answers from Detroit on

1. find a sitter.. I was home with little ones for a while.. and I always had s sitter I could have watcht he kids for a couple of hours so I could get out. Going to the grocery store and out to lunch all by myself would put me in a much better mood.

2. get out of the hosue everyday. I went to library story times, playgroups, malls .. we went someplace every morning. we were home in time for lunch.. and nap..but again I was in a much better mood if i had been out of the house.



answers from Portland on

You have so many things going on. I suggest that you find a counselor with whom you can discuss options and even vent. Perhaps one that's called a life coach. She would be able to help you sort out your wishes, priorities, your life and help you decide a way to change your life.

An anti-depressant might also help give you more energy and thus help you be better able to sort things out. One does not have to see a therapist when taking an anti-depressant. Getting a physical exam and asking about meds is what I'd do.

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