Need Support from Those Who Chose Antidepressants

Updated on September 13, 2014
R.S. asks from Chicago, IL
16 answers

I will start by saying that there is most definitely a genetic predisposition in my family towards anxiety and depression. My sister has been on Zoloft for years, my brother has suffered from anxiety as well, and as an adolescent and young adult I suffered from irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression. Fast forward and I am now forty with three wonderful little ones (5, 3, and 7 months). During this last pregnancy, I experienced panic attacks both in the first and third trimesters. More than once since he was born, I have showed up at the doctors office complaining of various things. The last time I went in, the doctor said to me that he would hate to see me in a crisis and that he does not care if I choose a more alternative route like acupuncture, or something more medical like drugs, but that he felt it was critical I choose something and move forward. Well, I didn't. And, as expected, things have gotten worse. I am edgy, tense and short fused most of the day, everyday. I clench my jaw, grind my teeth and as of recent, have had some stomach issues. I went for some blood work today for the stomach issues (of course telling myself it will be the worst....there goes the anxiety rearing its ugly head). My husband and I have been under some serious financial stress, though he is an optimist by nature, almost always happy and upbeat, so it just doesn't affect him the same. I have a responsibility to myself and to my family to be the healthiest wife and mommy I can be. I have a decrease in appetite and have lost some weight, though that could also be from constantly breastfeeding our son, and feel like my moods are becoming out of control. I am too negative with my kids and not showing them nearly enough love. So, I feel like the time has in make an appointment with a therapist, and also with a doctor. I was on Wellbutrin for a few years during graduate school, and it really helped. I am not sure why I have waited so long to take care of this, and would love to hear from other moms who take an antidepressant and the positive impact it has had on your life. No negative stories please. As a side, my husband is totally against taking any drugs, which makes things more difficult bt ultimately he will respect my wishes.

Thank you!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Jacksonville on

Depression often comes from a chemical imbalance in the brain. It's a medical issue for which you should take medicine. My husband is on Wellbutrin and it has done wonders for him.

8 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Portland on

My husband, too, was reluctant for me to start any sort of anti-depressant.

In April, I lovingly explained to him that I knew he had concerns and that I *needed* a break from the wash of anxiety chemicals which were, I felt, hijacking my brain. And that I needed him to understand, be supportive, and that I would listen to his concerns, AND that I was going to do what I needed to do to feel better.

My doctor put me on a low dose of Celexa and aside from some temporary side effects, I felt much better. I'd had a lot of stress that was causing the anxiety; this helped me manage myself and my moods in a far more healthy way.

After a couple months, my husband confessed that he'd been worried that I would have become and emotional zombie on medication and that had been a big part of his reluctance toward my taking what he felt was a mood-altering drug. And some of the medications out there-- they don't work for everyone; sadly, in the media, we usually hear about the bad news/reactions about medications. Rarely do you hear stories of people for whom these medications have made a good difference.

I share this because I, too, turned to my husband as a sounding board and did finally have to take matters into my own hands. I am so glad I did. It's given me a lot more emotional space to look deeper at some other things in my life which I'm choosing to address now. I don't think I would have had this progress without first getting some relief from the constant low-level anxiety I was dealing with.

You don't have to have a full-on, visible crisis to be in crisis mode. Please, try to feel good about your decision. The only person who can judge if this is working for you is you. Also consider counseling as well. I think that medication can be an important piece of the puzzle and it's best helped along when we get to the root of what's going on. I'm on that path, now, digging a little deeper into some old stuff and I did up my dosage because I know this is a hard part of my past for me to wade through. I don't want to wallow in it, but to create concrete goals so that some of my old ways of thinking/patterns can be redirected toward healthier responses.

You can do this. Talk to your doctor about getting a referral for counseling; if this stuff is affecting your health, chances are your insurance can help cover the cost. Hang in there. Let your husband know, too, that you love him very much, that you understand his concerns, and that you are doing this for ALL of you, for your whole family. Hugs. :)

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

After struggling with depression and severe mood swings since childhood I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder type 2 a few years ago. I started Welbutrin, which has a very low incidence of lowering your libido, and it changed my life. There are only so many "organic" and "cognitive" things I could do before I realized I needed medication. I also see a therapist regularly. Read Gamma G's post again. What you are experiencing is a chemical problem in your brain. Get your thyroid tested first, if that comes back ok, then get back on Welbutrin since it worked so well for you before (which is, technically, a mood stabilizer, not an anti-depressant - it's a dopamine, not seratonin, re-uptake inhibitor).

All that said, I do not know if you can take it while breast feeding, so if it's contraindicated then you will have to weigh your need for it against the benefits of breastfeeding.

And your husband? Well, he's going to have to get up to speed with what is going on with you. He needs to understand that you are not weak for needing this, just as a diabetic is not weak for needing insulin.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

(Did the doctor check your thyroid levels?
Because hyperthyroid can share a lot your symptoms.)

If Wellbutrin worked for you before I see no reason why it wouldn't work for you now.
Your husband is entitled to his opinion but he needs to realize you feel like your back is up against a wall and at that point he needs to get over it (his opinion).

When our son was 1.5 yrs old I was running myself ragged trying to be Super Mom.
I had my day planned/blocked out in 15 min increments from 4:30am to 10pm at night.
I ended up on Zoloft for 6 months and it really helped me a lot.
After 2 weeks on it it felt like the hair on the back of my neck could stop standing on end all the time.
I slept better and learned to let some things go.
When it was time to quit I had no re-occurrence or issues.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I went through a really rough patch in life, with our son's multiple brain disorders not completely under control, discovering a neighbor friend's dead body and other very difficult circumstances. I just finally broke. I was not wanting to get up in the morning, I dreaded what was ahead. No optimism left. I wasn't happy or fun to be around. I finally decided it was time to get some medical help.

I went on Celexa and within a week, I was feeling like my normal self again. I could see the positives in life again. I had zero side effects.

I stayed on it a year, until I really felt like I was strong enough to deal with life without the Celexa boosting me along (after all, our son's brain disorders weren't going anywhere).

I really recommend taking this step, if you and your doctor feel it's time. Your husband can take the Tom Cruise stance with his own health, but you need to do what's right for you. Modern medicine has made it so you don't have to suffer, so why not take advantage of it and get your life back on the right track? Your brain deserves just as much attention as the rest of your body when it comes to your health.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

While I would love to not take medication I have become more realistic with myself. I am currently taking 2 different medications in realtively low dosage. Can definately tell a difference when I am on the meds compared to when I am off the meds. I am trying to avoid PPD after our newborn arrives in the next couple of weeks. The drugs that where choosen where safe while pregnant and BFing. My life is more enjoyable, the aruging has stopped, I can concentrate more, etc. This fall is going to be busy with an infant and 8 year old (third grader), I know there will be challenges but I know I am going to be able to handle it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I've taken depression and anxiety medications off and on over different time spans....

Yes, they have helped tremendously!

Downside? It did make sexual pleasure more difficult, unfortunately.....

However, I felt it was necessary to get me through those rough patches.

You have 3 little ones on your plate, so to speak, and yes, times can be tough with all that you are expected to do..... good luck in your journey, and I hope you get a good therapist and doctor to help you see things more clearly.

Medications don't have to be a lifetime thing... you may just need them for a year or so until you feel more in control....

Good luck! Accepting the need for medications doesn't mean you are weak..... it means you've tried to be strong for way to long, and it is time to let someone/something help you for a bit....

(Also..... because of the breastfeeding and pregnancy, your hormones may be out of whack which may be what lead to this..... it may very well be that you need them temporarily....)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I suffer from OCD and depression. A few years ago, it was very bad. My mom had died and taking care of my youngest was extremely stressful. I went to the doctor and was put on Sertraline. It worked great for me. The only thing that I did not like about being on an antidepressant was that I could not cry no matter how much I wanted to. Other than that, it was great. My anxiety calmed and I could manage the sorrow and stress.

Once I felt that I was in control of myself, I was weaned off the antidepressant and I function just fine. Based on my experience, sometimes life is too overwhelming and we need some help. My use of the antidepressant was temporary, one year to be exact. Would I take it again? Absolutely! I just don't like taking drugs on a long term basis. I exercise, eat well, meditate, and listen to music to handle my issues.

Also, since you breastfeed, I would be very careful about taking any drugs just for the safety of your baby. Maybe use therapy without the meds until you are done breastfeeding.

I hope you find what works best for you.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

St Johns Wort has been proven to work as well as prozac. I take it from time to time in difficult moments of my life. It REALLY helps. It's cheap, its natural. It's not on your permanent record. I really urge you to try it before you go on anything else.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

sometimes it's simply necessary to live better through pharmaceutical support. if your brain is being flooded with wonky chemicals, it needs help.
now, there are also lots of conditions that are manageable through other methods. often it's a matter of trial and error to figure out your own unique and completely individual physiology.
with all of that being said, i do hope you think seriously about anti-depressants while breastfeeding. the reports about latent effects on children from breast and in utero drugs are troublesome. remember that testing is ALWAYS a 'test', and when drugs are new on the market, everyone who takes them is in effect a guinea pig for the first 50 years or so.
if you can continue on without pharmaceutical support while you're breastfeeding, i'd consider that. if you're in a state where the help is very necessary, i'd wean the baby first.
good luck, hon.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Yes, I take Zoloft. It has been a tremendous help.
You have been through this before, so you know this will help.
Today, either call and ask for a prescription to be sent to your pharmacy, or ask your husband or a friend to make the appointment for you, if you are not up to it.

I know you feel exhausted and frustrated. You do not want to ask for help, but you need to suck it up and either get your husband to take you, or a friend to take you to get the help you need.

Your children deserve a mom that is healthy and happy.

YOU deserve to be healthy and happy.

Try the medication. It may take some adjustment, but it will help so that you can work with a therapist and find your energy again, Yes, acupuncture can help so can biofeedback back and exercise, but get the medication so that you can think straight again and have some motivation and energy.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Hi There!
I have been on Lexapro since December and it has changed my life! I have always been a little on the high strung, type A side, but last year I was at my breaking point. Between going back to school, taking care of my girls(5&10), taking care of my husband and all the housework, etc, I was overwhelmed, not sleeping and short tempered. In December I went for my annual check up and talked to my doc about the not sleeping, he recommended the Lexapro because of everything going on in my life. I was a bit reluctant, due to my own stigma of antidepressants, but thought I need to do something. I am not sure when they actually kicked in, but over time I felt less stress and things just didn't bother me like they used to. Now 9 months later, I feel like a new person. I rarely fly off the handle at my kids, I have more energy to enjoy them and my husband and school doesn't stress me anymore. I hope my story helps! Best of luck to you!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain, however, this is caused by suppressing emotions and irrational, negative beliefs. This is why medications often only work in the short term. Our bodies will shift for a little while because of the meds but they will then shift again as the cause has not been dealt with.

Anxiety is about fearful thoughts and stories. Many of which are running all the time on an unconscious level.

The best way to heal these issues is through really good cognitive therapy. A good counselor can support you in becoming aware of your negative thinking and questioning your core negative beliefs. Also, they can support you in learning how to feel all your feelings in an appropriate way.

Most of us do not have permission to feel our feelings and especially if that feeling is anger. Depression is created when we stuff the anger deep inside because we believe that it is wrong or bad to feel anger. The anger isn't the problem. It is how we express it (or not) that is the problem. Finding a safe, open outlet for your anger can go a long way to alleviating depression.

The other vital element to healing is really good self-care. There is a really great book by Cheryl Richardson called "The Art of Extreme Self-Care."

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

Depression runs in my family, & I am not immune. I am fortunate that I do not need to be on a medication long-term, but I have had significant struggles that have caused me to go on medication at one time or another, to help me keep perspective & stay calm.

I have tried Zoloft, & while it works for some of my family, we could never get the right dose for me. It takes a bit to build up in the system as well, & I just wasn't that patient.

I found Celexa to be a great drug - very gentle-acting, & just takes the edginess off for me until I get settled again.

When I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia & seeing a Rheumatologist, I was on Celexa for one of these periods. He changed me to Cymbalta, which is an anti-depressant approved for Fibro pain. However, I don't need an anti-depressant at most times, and after 3+ years on this drug, I realized that I never felt bad... but I never felt good, either.

All this to illustrate that there are a variety of medications available, for different issues (some deal with anxiety) and for different people. I know they have a "stigma" in public perception, but for people who truly need them, it isn't much different than many other medications to manage diseases.

But, just like other diseases (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) there are lifestyle changes that we can make to help us manage things better. Sometimes they allow us to come off medication, & sometimes they don't, but in almost all cases they do improve our health.

So I urge you, in addition to meeting with a therapist to discuss medication needs for the here & now, you also consider making time for your mental well-being, with meditation, exercise, or other activities.

Best of luck to you. T.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would ask my husband if he would be against you taking insulin if you had diabetes. Depression is a real, live illness, an imbalance of chemicals in your body! I've been on Webutrin for a few years now, and it makes a huge difference in my life. I hope you go for the Happy pills!



answers from Boca Raton on

pristiq for going on 4 years now. changed my life.
depression is not something i inherited, but life circumstances made me become more on the edge, a worrywart, neurotic etc. i started taking pristine, and i could not believe how good life can be.
i will never go off pristiq. never ever.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions