Need Anti-depressant Again? (Edited-see What Happened)

Updated on February 19, 2008
J.H. asks from Lakeville, MN
47 answers

The past month or two I haven't been myself. My husband says I'm not happy and I'm tired all the time. Which I agree with. I have NO energy. People at work are also asking me what's wrong saying that I'm more withdrawn than usual. My family has been under quite a bit of financial stress lately and I think that has a bit to do with it. I was on Zoloft for a year to help with my migraines but it made me feel numb and emotionless to everything. I changed birth controll pills a few months ago and was able to wean off my Zoloft. My doctor thought the extra estrogen in my birth control was causing my migraines and since I switched to the mini-pill I've had no migraines! I am however, more crabby, more tired, and I'm feeling pre-menstral all the time! I don't know if I need to switch birth controll again or go back on Zoloft. I don't like the numb, emotionless feeling I had on Zoloft though! Any thoughts or suggestions on how to get a mood lifter?

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So What Happened?

Well, I think I figured out a better idea of why I haven't been myself lately. I found out this morning that I'm pregnant! Completely shocked but I think we'll be happy once the shock wears off! I guess the new birth controll and/or antidepressant will have to wait until after my pregnancy hormones go back to normal. I'll re-evaluate myself after baby is born and breastfeeding is done!

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M.M.

answers from Milwaukee on

I have struggled with these issues. I would be willing to bet that the mini pill is causing some hormal inbalance. I would say get on a real pill and try to get some excercise. Zoloft made me crazy so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. My problems were anxiety which seems to be manageable with exercise and ambien when needed to fall asleep.

Good luck.

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P.C.

answers from Sioux City on

Hi Nutrition the good fats Omega 6 Omega 3. Also I use Homeopathics and Herbals. Mentox HP and St. John's Wort work just as good as an antidepresant with out the side effects. I get mine from Energique from Woodbine Iowa It is liquid 1-800-869-8078 I also listen to the Dr.Len and Joe on the show Ask the pharmacists it is 170 XM 6PM or go to the web site wwwlenandjoe.com or Ask the Pharmacists.
P. Cross

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K.A.

answers from Omaha on

Hi J., there are so many difft. anti-depressants out there, maybe just trying a difft. one may help. It is worth a try.I tryed a couple difft. ones before i found the one that was right for me. Good luck..

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K.S.

answers from Milwaukee on

In addition to everyone else's comments..as far as energy goes...really watch your diet and take in lots of fruits and vegetables. I've just really been advised this and can easily tell a difference in my energy level just by eating right/better. Could you possibly be suffering from seasonal depression disorder? I have that, really bad, and I live in Wisconsin (hopefully moving to Florida soon) and the weather, cold, snow, and lack of sunshine can really put me into a depressive mood, lack of energy, and just moody constantly. Good luck and get well!

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J.F.

answers from Green Bay on

Hello,

Did you feel like this before baby?

Your hormones may not have Re-set
or a little post partum can be happening
Extra estrogen can make you feel the way you do --
Depending on your age -- you might want to check into progesterone creme --
Amino Acids are also very helpful.. especially 5 htp or tryptophan (Julia Ross -- the Mood Cure)
there are lots of options before turning back to an anti-D
good job for weaning yourself

I also Agree with some of the other responders, taking a good B complex is helpful-- make sure you take them in the morning!
be well

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B.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

Paxil CR has help me get through Panic and Anxiety attacks 5 years ago and 2 different cancers 4 years ago. My husband says I wake up smiling everyday.

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T.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi J.
I have a friend who is very sensitive to what BC she takes. they swithed her to a generic without telling her and she freaked out she was moody, tired and just plain hard to be around when she went back on the right pill she was fine. Also if you do not want to be on anti-depression medication. Get a good B vitiaman that has B6 B12 B1 B2. This should really help your mood alot. I also suffer from sever depression and the B's have made me feel like me again. Good Luck :) T.

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C.T.

answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with Jayne. Your hormones may need to reset. I had post partum depression and was on zoloft for a bit. I was on BC pills, but seemed to make me more moody. I've been off them for 2 months and have been taking evening primrose oil for my mood's and B-complex for energy. Plus, i know this is hard living in MN,but try to get outside. Even when it's been 20 outside and it's a pain to dress the kid's, i try to get outside, even for 20 min. I have a 3 1/2 year old and 23 month old. Email anytime

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D.M.

answers from Wausau on

I firmly believe exercise and diet will play a major part in the way you feel,and in keeping your hormone levels regulated. Any health food store can help in advice on good vitamins to take. I've been there and done that and it changed my life. I can't leave out taking time for myself, bubble bath, lunch w/a friend, and spending time reading the Bible. I gained so much strength, and encouragement. You can do it too!

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J.M.

answers from Milwaukee on

Just so u know. If you really think you are depressed (and I do suggest you see a doctor anyway) remeber there are other meds to help with mood stability other than Zoloft and they can help make you feel good.

Good luck!

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K.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with everyone's suggestion on exercise - it does help. But if your stuggling to just get there, I've taken Celexa and it's new cousin Lexapro with good results. For me, the only thing with the Lexapro is that it keeps me up at night if I don't take it before 10 a.m. When I do take it before 10 am it keeps me going all day. My pharmacist said that some people will either have lots of energy or must take it right before bed because they get sleepy. Other than that I've heard no complaints.

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J.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

First, it is all going to be OK. Second, you are so wise and perceptive (as are your husband and coworkers) to recognize these symptoms in yourself and to seek a remedy. I've been periodically off and on antidepressants for the past five years (always found them helpful for a period of time, along with therapy.) Find a good therapist. Right away. Yes, there is a huge biochemical componant to all this, but repeated clinical studies have shown that without effective counseling your risk of relapse remains significant. Perhaps you do need to go back on meds. As everyone has mentioned, there are many different options available to you, and not every option works well for every person. There is no need for you to feel like a zombie to get relief. Please don't depend on your GP to figure this out - this is not their field of expertise. Once you've found a medication that works for you, your GP can prescribe it, but the process of finding the right one takes someone with psychiatric experience. A good therapist can, in just a few sessions, help you make a decision about whether medication is the right choice for you. (And what other things, like exercise, meditation, omega 3s, all these other useful things might also help you.) At that point, if your therapist is a psychiatrist, she or he can prescribe something. If the therapist is not an MD, she or he will be able to refer you to someone who can help you figure this out.

If you would like some advice about shopping for a therapist, email me privately and I'm happy to share my thoughts and experiences. Good luck.

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M.M.

answers from Davenport on

I wouldn't get on Zoloft again if you didn't feel better on it. If you feel like you are depressed enough that you really need a drug to help, then ask your doctor to try a different med. Instead of meds you might consult a local therapist for support, and also utilize the support of family and friends any time you can. It's important to be able to talk to others. Remember, you're probably a very good, dedicated mother, which is often exhausting no matter how delightful. I can remember being so fatigued that I couldn't remember my new baby's name when asked once.

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H.A.

answers from Waterloo on

I was on Zoloft too, and it worked well for me, but our insurance changed and the new one wouldn't pay for Zoloft(aren't insurance companies great??? lol). So my dr switched me to generic Celexa and I've had no problems with it.

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L.S.

answers from Des Moines on

I used to get migrains from my birth control too i now use the ring. It's once a month verses everyday. I too was on an antidepressant but mine was for depression. I went off about 6 months ago and also started to notice some symptoms returning. I looked in to more natural methods of helping with stress and lack of energy. I have discovered Claricet, I found it on line and have been totally pleased. None of the side effects from meds but all the bennifits of them.
Good luck!!

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L.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

I was depressed about 4 or 5 years ago and the biggest thing that helped me was that I went jogging. I wasn't even a runner! Part of it was that there was a bit of anger in me, and surprisingly, anger helped me stick to my jogging schedule. Anyway, my energy levels increased, I was able to go more miles without stopping (after keeping at it for quite a while) and I even lost weight! (Of course.) I went from a size 14 to a size 8. Best part was that I never had to take any medications, which are in my opinion, very scary.

P.S. I don't know how much of a lunch break you get, but if it's an hour, you definitely have enough time to eat some of your vegetables and other healthy foods that you pack the night before (no Lean Cuisine junk!) and then take a brisk walk. One hour all at once is best, but even 1/2 hr. to 45 min. will help. I wish you all the best!

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V.H.

answers from Topeka on

J.-

I have been on different types of anti-depressants to include Welbutren, Zoloft, and Prozac. Keep in mind when considering an anti-depressant that there are I believe 2 different types. The anti-depressants I have been on are all made to boost the amount of serotonin your body produces. I can't remember what the other type is. However one thing I have learned it there are good and bad side to each one. I have found that a common side effect is a decrease in sexual appetite. Each medication is different so you'll just have to find the one that fits you and your lifestyle. Also, I have been told by my doctor that if you are on an anti-depressant and then come off of it and later even if it's years later the second time you start taking them it is recommended you take them for twice the amount of time then before. I have suffered from depression due to being deployed and away from my son for 15 months and during my time in Iraq I had to go through a few different types to find the one that worked for me. The bad part about going through the trial of finding the one that works is after a while you start to become so tired of taking pills and them not working. Hang in there and good luck!

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B.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi J.-
It sounds to me like you have mom- brain, most likely caused by deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids that your baby needed for fetal brain development. It takes 3 years for you to replenish your supplies.
I am a wellness coach. I'm also a medical professional. Most docs ask new mom's within 2 weeks if they are suffering from depression. They aren't trained in nutrition. Our docs in our company- largest nutrition co in the world- have found that this mom- brain/depression is most likely a result of poor nutrition and low levels of omega -3's. Most people are lucky to get one serving per week of it unless they supplement. It is important for circulatory health and we encourage most pregnant moms to supplement throughout their pregnancy. The deficiencies can also cause migraines. I used to get them too- my doc gave me the same reply about the estrogen. I haven't had ONE since I've been on our nutritional products and taken supplements. It's changed my life! About me: I'm 47 with 6 yo twin girls, med. prof, home bus. owner, spouse- and I haven't taken a nap now since my girls were infants and I started using this. Thanks to my friends help with the products- I'm also 5'8" and got back to my size 6- 135 lbs. You should take a look- listen to our latest call on heart health products- they talk about omega 3's on it- it's a free call. One of the 2 docs on the call is one of 200 in the world who won the Nobel prize!-
call 800-405-2236 passcode 11105895#
Then check out the herbalifeline at http://www.mydietshop.org
It might change this for you too and I'd be happy to share more of this via email or by phone.
B. Jarmoluk
[email protected]____.com
888-366-6293

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C.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

HI--

Have you had your doctor check your thyroid levels yet? I and my sister were misdiagnosed with depression disorders when the real culprit for the lack of energy and moodiness was Hashimoto's disease! Under-active thyroid is more common than most women know, and it can be triggered by pregnancy and other stressors. It can also cause headaches.

I'd ask my doctor to check out the thyroid before going on Zoloft again, especially if you are feeling unsure about the diagnosis.

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L.F.

answers from Minneapolis on

Have you had your thyroid levels checked? Low thyroid can cause a lot of those problems. Also, I was on Zoloft and had the same numb feelings that you had. I now take Celexa and I feel completely normal. Another thing is to take a good multiple vitamin daily... it helps me. Good luck!

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L.K.

answers from Sioux Falls on

I know how your feeling I've been there. I'm not a fan of chemicals for lifting moods. I just recently joined a gym and I go about 3 times a week, more if I can. There has been a huge difference in my moods. I am much happier, I have more energy, and I'm much calmer when dealing with my son. I would say give that a shot, sometimes just a little bit of exercise and moving around does wonders.

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S.H.

answers from Omaha on

Hi... I am on Zoloft and absolutely love it. If it is causing a emotionless feeling, maybe you can try only a half a pill each day... or having your doc switch you to another antidepressant.

Just some thoughts. I'll say a prayer for you :)

S.

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N.

answers from Minneapolis on

I've suffered from depression for years also and also get occasional strange migraines. I know it can be frustrating to feel tired and down all the time.

I've had good luck with Prozac but switched to Zoloft when I was nursing my 2nd child. Everyone reacts differently to these meds. Whenever I have increased depression symptoms my psychiatrist would increase my dosage for a while and it typically would help me get out of the funk. I'd ask about giving Lexapro a try if I was starting or switching anti-depressents. A friend with similar issues also takes it and says it's been better than all the meds she's tried.

I was also able to wean off the antidepressants for a while when I was taking Yaz - a new birth control pill (its a low dose sister to Yazmin). It seemed to really help with PMS symptoms and even out my mood/energy. After the birth of my son I didn't want to risk getting post-partum like I did with my daughter so I went back on meds.

Lastly - do you have someone to talk to? If not counseling can help too. I've found talk therapy helped me get grounded during the really low times.

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C.N.

answers from Duluth on

hi talk to your DR about an all natural anti depressent called ST Johns wort, you can get it over the counter instead of a priscription. it helped me instead of zoloft which totatly mesed my body up .
C. N

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L.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

You sound super stressed (an 18 month old, 2 beautiful energetic dogs, and a full time career? That's a lot for anyone!) Add the financial pressure and it's no wonder you're feeling this way.

I have cyclical depression, so here's a Checklist to go through before going on medicine:

~How much "you time" do you need? This is time where you get to be completely selfish and do what you want, be it a bath, a walk, sitting and reading, whatever. Are you getting that?

~Are you looking for the good things? Are you taking a moment to really appreciate them, no matter how small?

~How is the division of labor in your home? Is it equal? Is the house clean enough?

~Are you getting enough sleep? Seriously, we get used to running on empty in this culture and it adds up.

~Do you have an enjoyable form of exercise you do at least 1ce a week? Do you dance? Play soccer in the park? etc.

~Are you two setting aside enough time to honor and bond with each other (however you choose to express that)?

~Have you developed a plan to reverse your financial stress? Is it a reasonable one? Are you sticking to it?

I'm sure other people could add to this. I beg you to consider these things before taking a pill that will mask your symptoms without handling the problem (if it really handled the problem, you would feel happier and not numb).

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C.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with Lori. Have you had your thyroid checked? More and more people I know are getting hypo thyroidism these days for some reason, probably the most famous being Oprah. I was diagnosed over ten years ago with it and been on Synthroid ever since. Your thyroid is nothing to mess around with. It controls every organ in your body. Get it checked asap, just to be on the safe side. If it is the thyroid, the sooner you get it checked the less damage it does. If it never is checked, the patient, gets super overly tired (sleeping constantly, then one day slips in a coma, and then the patient dies. Most people know before then that there is something wrong when they are sleeping so much. If it is the thyroid, a great easy reading book (and very interesting) is "Living well with hypo thyroidism". You will learn so much. Many Dr.'s confuse thyroid deficiency with depression. My orininal dr refused to test me, even though he felt it with each check up. When I changed dr.'s the new one tested me and I've been doing much better since I've beem on the med. You never feel completely normal again, as far as having the energy you used to have, but at least now I have three kids and can take care of them. Wouldn't trade that for anything. So glad I got a Dr that would finally listen to me.

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S.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi J.! I wish you all the best here! I agree with having your thyroid checked. Mine has essentially stopped working and I was tired all the time. I've also suffered from depression for over 15 years (I wonder if the two are somehow related??) and have had to switch kinds/doses of anti-depressants. Make sure you talk to your doctor and have your thyroid checked.

Also, I wonder if it's sort of a delayed post-partum depression?? I've heard that that doesn't always start immediately after giving birth. Just a thought??

Good luck!

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E.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

Have you had your thyroid tested?

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G.G.

answers from Sioux City on

J.,
Please get your hormone levels checked! If those are alright, then I would try a different anti-depressant. Depression is something you may have to deal with over the years as I have. (However it's less and less as you age.) But you and your dr. should find the one that works for YOU, not leaving you numb and unfeeling. I'm guessing, however, that you have a hormone imbalance. Rhea

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E.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi J.,
I too in the past have tried anti-depressants and felt the same way you did. I personally don't care for them. Since I have started my Arbonne business, I have used our Natural progesterone hormone balancing cream and LOVE it! It gives me a sense of balance and also helps migranes. I do have an information document on the balancing cream if you would like it. My email address is [email protected]____.com. Thanks J., I hope I can help!
E.

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K.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

I am no expert on depression. I can tell you from experience, the birth control pill made me horribly moody and depressed. When I went off, I felt like a new person. Also, the weather is TERRIBLE right now. I have not talked to one person who feels like themself!

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T.K.

answers from Omaha on

J.- I am not a doctor, but I would suggest changing your birth control or trying to go without it to see what happens. I had a bout of depression while on birth control and was told by a friend to try to go without it and see what happens. My friend had depression while on birth control as well. She removed birth control from the picture and her symptoms went away. I had the same experience! I am almost 100% convinced that the birth control was causing my depression some how?? I can't relate how or explain it... but it just seemed to dissapear once I was off of it and to this day I have been completely free of the depression and depressive-like symptoms. I just wanted to share with you my personal experience. please know that I hope everything works out for you. It's not a good place to be and I hope you are able to figure out what's best for you and how to improve it! good luck sweetie!

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K.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi J., I have been dealing with my depression since I was in high school. I have been on both zoloft and prozac. After I had my daughter I weaned myself off the prozac because I was nursing. I started to exercise on a regular basis and have been drug free since. I too have struggled a bit this winter, instead of lacking energy, I get really irritated very very easily. Sometimes I'm not very pleasant to be around. Anyways, I'm not sure if you exercise on a regular basis but that is the only thing that I have found that keeps me level. Sometimes it's hard to get to the gym and it seems like such a big chore, but once you get a routine your body and mind benefit so so much. As far at the birth controll goes, my sister was really affected by hers as well. She gets really bad migrains. Not sure about that. Anyways good luck...and don't forget that spring is coming soon and the days are getting longer!!:)

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S.S.

answers from Des Moines on

You could try to herb Mother's Wort. You can get it at Campbell's Nutrition, and I would recommend the pill as opposed to the liquid, which is really bitter. I have been taking it since the birth of my twins four months ago, and it has really helped me. It doesn't make you feel funny, it just helps to take the edge off so you don't feel anxious or tense. And, from what I researched online, it isn't addictive and doesn't have any adverse side effects. It has been a HUGE help for me, especially when I have two fussy babies.

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C.S.

answers from Tampa on

I was on zoloft for a period of time and I felt like I was only partially there most of the time. Eventually I had a doctor change my medication to lexapro and it worked wonders. My mind is quick again and I do not sleep all of the time. Give it a try.

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S.C.

answers from Des Moines on

Yes, it sounds like you might need an anti-depressant, HOWEVER it sounds like either Zoloft isn't the right one for you or the dosage wasn't right-- there are a LOT of different meds out there, work with your Dr to find the right one for YOU (I've always had the best luck with Wellbutrin, but everyone responds a little differently)
--SarahC

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D.H.

answers from Omaha on

Hi J.,

Ask your doctor about Lexapro. I have never taken Zoloft, but originally I had tried Serafem(which is just the pretty name they used to market Prozac to women with severe PMS) and I had that horrible numb to the world feeling. I hated it so then my OBGYN tried me on Effexor. The side effects were horrible for me. Then they had me try Lexapro. Voila! I have since talked to other women who have also had great success with Lexapro. You feel like your old self--the self you liked, the self that was happier and more balanced emotionally. You still are able to laugh and cry and "feel" but you feel the emotions appropriatly in each situation. It has helped me so much! I hope this helps you as well.
D. H.

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P.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi J.,
I know how you feel. I felt the same way on birth control pills when I had to go on for an ovarian cyst.
You may need to see a new doctor to get a new perspective and some different knowledge into the situation. There are milder anti-depressants. I was on paxil during a critical time in my life and needed it to get through. When I wanted to have emotions again, they switched me to welbutrin or bupropion. It is just enough that I have my emotions.
I wish you well.

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L.L.

answers from Lincoln on

Hi J.,

I am a mental health counselor. I would suggest a full check up with your doctor to rule out things like thyroid problems. There are dozens of other antidepressants besides Zoloft that you can try. However, if you cut down on the Zoloft you can get the effects without the numbness. For example, if you were originally talking 100 mg per day, you may only need 50 mg.

Secondly, I suggest you see a counselor. Medicine alone rarely works. You need to take care of the rest of things in your life. Depression is the most easily treated with medication and counseling.

L. :)

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J.M.

answers from Duluth on

It sounds like post-partum depression. I have dealt with major depression. After trying several anti-depressants that made me feel icky in one way or another I spent 9 days in the hospital trying different meds and we found the right combination. I too, had severe post-partum depression with my second baby. Consider other meds, consider another doctor. After seeing four different med docs, one a gynecologist, I finally found a CNP who understood it all! I tell her she saved my life! Your plate is wonderfully full, but there is help for depression!!! Good luck!

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S.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

J.,

Are you prone to seasonal depression? It is the time of year for that. You may want to take the time to think of the things that help you to be cheerful and give it one more shot until spring before going back on anti-depressants because you are right, they have a lot of side effects.

You may also want to consider keeping a journal. You may begin to notice patterns that you haven't before like the depression hits every year post Christmas and things like mini vacations in January or more "Mommy nights out with friends" helps.

Good luck,
S.

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C.M.

answers from Milwaukee on

Maybe a generic prozac would be an option. Also, look at your sleep, diet and excercise. You know getting enough rest and moving your body will do wonders. I've found a multivitamin and B complex really helps me keep my energy up.

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A.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

I felt the way you are describing when I was on the pill. I got off it after being on it for 7 years (tired of being on something NOT natural - something that fooled with my hormones). Never been happier! Something that docs don't talk about and that I've since heard from a NUMBER of other women: the pill can make you depressed! I tried to approach this subject with my own MD and she said she had never heard of that side-effect. so, FYI: your medical doc may not be very supportive of this conclusion. But I swear that going off the pill changed my entire outlook. My chiropractor recently went to a conference that talked about this very same issue - and my naturopathic doc agrees that there is definitely a correlation between depression (or at least symptoms of depression) and the pill. speaking with those in the alternative medicine sector maybe beneficial or maybe just try other birth control method.
Vitamin D is extremely helpful, as is "light therapy" - check it out online. My med doc even recommended this, so I think it's becoming much more mainstream.
GOOD LUCK to you! :)

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S.W.

answers from Iowa City on

I have always been prone to depression all my life & I do not trust anti-depressants so I have used natural remedies. The depression seems to get much worse for me in the Winter. These are the things that work for me: 1) take a high quality whole foods multi-vitamin, 2)Take Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil (1-3 teaspoons a day depending on your mood that day) 3) Get some source of sunlight, if it has to be artificial (tanning bed) in the Winter it still helps. Don't let it drag on I have done that & everybody including you suffers!
Brekka
PS go check out some books from your library on natural remedies I have been reading some great ones. You can supplement with many different kinds of amino acids that are precursors to serotonin etc that can really help. You can help heal your body naturally instead of covering up the problem.

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K.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Wow, it certainly sounds like you need to do something soon. I developed post-partum depression and have had issues like yours since. I have found I tolerate Lexapro better than Zoloft. Less side effects. But I am wondering if the hormone adjustment from the new pills are a problem. I think you won't know unless you add the anti-depressent back. It does not sound like going back to your old BC pills is an option. Other's ideas about nutrition are great as well. Personally, I've not had any luck with supplements and wholistic medicines. I wish it had worked as I hate meds. Good luck.

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G.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

I was initially put on anti depressants through my gynecologist, but it was clear she didn't have the knowledge in that specialty. She referred me to a psychiatrist, who I've been seeing for over a year now. I would recommend seeing a psychiatrist because there are many different kinds of anti depressants, and if you have depression, zoloft may not be the right one for you. I see Gene Parrish with Park Nicollet in Burnesville. Let me know if you need more info. Don't wait--It's important to take care of your mental health.

G.

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K.E.

answers from Sioux City on

I'm a nurse and currently pregnant, due anytime. Know that you are not alone in your struggle. Have you tried Wellbutrin? It's another alternative and it's safe to use during pregnancy as well. Hang in there.

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