Things are not good.
After every pregnancy, I have suffered from heretofore undiagnosed post-partum depression (on top of my diagnosed bipolar II). With the twins, it set in around 8 or 9 months. Same with Amaia. This time, it started at around 2 months post-partum and has gotten bad enough to drive me back to the therapist and a psychiatrist for meds.
My bipolar symptoms have been awful. Moods so completely uncontrollable and violently swinging that I feel beyond crazy, beyond out of control. I don’t know what keeps me from driving into oncoming traffic.
On top of that, the therapist I was seeing quizzed me based on my input and diagnosed me with post-partum depression. Seems legit. And I’m in complete and total denial.
Many days, I’ve wanted to turn to my blog to vent, to talk about my reality, to share my experience in hopes that I might help some Internet passerby in a similar situation. But I’m so unbelievably overwhelmed — both by the fact of having four small kids, as well as by my own emotional instability — to actually do it. It’s been a very difficult 6 months and I’m finally breaking the silence.
I decided to go back on Lamictal, which is the medication used for my bipolar II. That in itself was a difficult decision because I’m committed to continuing nursing, and I don’t want to expose Elias to anything questionable. After consulting with two psychiatrists and doing my own thinking on it, though, I decided it was preferable to, you know, other options.
I started it back in late April. It’s a drug that has to be increased at a slow rate so as to avoid dangerous side effects, so I’ve been on it for two months. But the higher in dosage I went, the worse I felt. I ended up feeling so bleak, so dark, so down, that I could not contemplate going on another day. Yesterday was my last day taking it.
In a moment of clarity, I remembered my placenta tincture. For some reason, I had stopped taking it and kind of forgotten about it. I restarted it four days ago and, what do you know? I feel pretty darned good.
Now, I’m no doctor, but considering how good I felt during the first six weeks post-partum while taking my placenta pills, and now how much more sane I feel while taking my tincture, I have to guess I’ve got something hormonal going on. Just a guess. So I have an appointment with my OB tomorrow to see what he thinks about having my hormones tested, and what he thinks about trying another anti-depressant while I deal with post-partum depression (I tried Zoloft after having the twins, but I had horrible side effects and little relief).
Though I feel better for much of the day, nighttime is a different story. Elias still wakes to nurse at night. Oftentimes, I am unable to get back to sleep after nursing and I go into a horrible tailspin of anxiety, terror, and paranoia. I am convinced that the twins’ room is on fire, that Amaia’s curtains have caught fire, that someone has broken the glass in the twins’ bedroom and is kidnapping them, that the baby is having a seizure or is actually dead and not sleeping. That someone has just opened our bedroom door or patio door and is going to kill us. A terror grips me to the point that I feel like I can’t breathe and I’m hearing things.
Call me crazy yet? Don’t. Please. It’s very hard to talk about this stuff.
So, right now, I’m looking at some natural solutions for sleep and anxiety. If I could just sleep through the night, I feel like I’d feel better overall with the help of my tincture, at least until the noise of this depression goes away and I can assess where I’m really at mentally.
In the meantime, let’s see what Dr. Fabulous has to say about all this.