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I was hospitalized for 6 days (over DDs first Thanksgiving, too, which was a bummer - but worth it to become a functioning mom for her). It helped IMMENSELY - but it was the second inpatient program I tried. I had tried a different one in my area a few days prior but only stayed one night because it made me more depressed being there.
I continued on to group outpatient therapy 4 nights a week for about a month after that, at the same hospital.
It was difficult to be away from my daughter when she was only 1 1/2 mos old, but I knew I needed to get better for her. It was the right choice, for sure.
I made the decision to admit myself when I felt like I just couldn't get help anywhere else. I had exhausted all options I could think of and was having panic attacks that lasted 3-4 hours during which I couldn't function. It was really scary, and I knew something needed to happen.
In the inpatient program, I was able to get on some medications to help get me over the worst part, and since then I've worked with a psychiatrist to get me down to two meds. I still see my therapist once a month (used to go every other week), as well.
Good luck - and remember, sometimes you have to make tough decisions like being away from your LO for a few days in order to be the best parent you can for them.
I was hospitalized for 6 days when my son was 2 weeks old. I was not sleeping, not eating, and had lost 34 lbs since delivery. My anxiety had taken over and I felt helpless. My husband was supportive, my MIL came and stayed to care for the baby so I could get stable.
I think the inpatient hospital stay helped to stabilize me and help me get rest. However, the intensive outpatient group therapy 3 x week plus individual therapy combined with zoloft really helped me through. I know how you are feeling. I PROMISE it will get better but you have to get help. If you are questioning it, it probabaly means you are ready.
I stopped the zoloft in October, and my son just turned 1. I feel great! We are expecting # 2 in November so I will most likely start zoloft again
Hang in there. Big hugs your way!
I have anxiety disorder that I struggled with before, during and after pregnancy. So it's not really post-partum anxiety/depression, just regular ol' anxiety and depression. :)
I have been on anxiety medication for a few years now. When I decided I wanted to TTC our second child, my primary care physician said he didn't feel comfortable with me taking medication while pregnant and asked me to wean off of it.
I did wean off of it and was fine until I got pregnant. Clearly pregnancy hormones + me do not get along because I started having severe anxiety and multiple panic attacks daily. I used the things I was learning in therapy to try to deal with them. Some days I would feel fine, other days I'd feel like crap. When I was about 5 weeks pregnant things went downhill pretty fast. I wasn't sleeping at night (getting maybe 2-3 hours of sleep), I wasn't able to eat, I didn't want to talk to anyone or see anyone, etc. I went back to my doctor and told him how I was feeling and he brushed me off saying "Just stop worrying about things so much and your anxiety will go away".
Well, when I realized he wasn't going to help me I felt like I had nowhere to go. I started to become depressed. I wasn't able to sleep at all because my anxiety was so bad. All I could think was that I would rather die than continue living like this for 9 months. I started thinking about swallowing a bunch of pills so it would all just stop. I told my husband and he decided that he needed to get me some help, so he drove me to the ER.
It was terrifying and humiliating to tell someone that I was suicidal, but I knew I needed to do it. I was admitted to Behavioral Health and was there for about a week. While I was there, I saw a psychiatrist daily. He put me back on my medication (lexapro) and agreed that I should NEVER have been taken off of it. There were doctors and nurses to monitor my treatment. They gave me medicine to help me sleep at night while the lexapro kicked in. There was a social worker who set me up with care for when I left the hospital (a psychiatrist and therapist). There were also group therapy sessions, arts & crafts and other activities for me to participate in. Participation in activities was encouraged - it showed you were willing to participate in your own recovery.
I was only allowed visitors twice a day for a limited. Everyone in Behavioral Health was highly monitored (checks every 15 minutes, no doors in the rooms, no curtains, etc. You couldn't bring toiletries, blankets, pillows, etc. There were a lot of security precautions to prevent anyone from harming themselves.
It was awful, but at the same time it was the BEST thing I could've done for myself at that time. I honestly don't know what I would have done if my husband hadn't taken me. I don't know if I'd be alive today. The staff was very comforting and loving and supportive. If I woke up in the middle of the night and needed someone to talk to or cry to or whatever, they were there for me. The psychiatrists spent a lot of time with me, and they didn't let me go home until they were sure I was feeling better. Plus, I liked that I had resources when I left the hospital. They didn't just kick me out and leave me on my own.
Anyway, sorry for the novel. :) I'm certainly willing to share more details or answer questions about my experience if you have any.
When my daughter (who is now almost 6) was 1.5, I spent 4 days in the hospital.
I had been dealing with depression, and it seemed like nothing was helping. I ate healthy food, exersized, went to therapy, took medication, tried meditation, self-help classes, getting involved with church and my Mops group, had friends, spent time to myself. Nothing made me feel better. Every day, I considered driving off an overpass near our house.
I finally had enough. I checked myself into the mental hospital. While there, I was given Lithium, Proxac and Zoloft. I was released in 4 days and continued to take those medications plus see the therapist who prescribed them.
A week later, I swallowed all three bottles of pills and spent a night in the ICU.
I found a therapist I liked, and she was very suprised I was given the high doses of medication that I was. I continued to see her weekly for 9 months, and am not on Wellbutrin. I can usually tell when a "mood" is creeping up. I start to feel like I don't have friends, that I'm a terrible person, that I'll never be anything more than a wife and mother. If those thoughts start, I get out of the house. I call my friends (a few of whom know about my history), I walk around the mall, I go to the library, or I take a walk. That usually helps.
I'm not saying hospitals are bad, but be very wary of the medication you're put on. Do your research and understand that a side effect of anti-depressants is suicidal thoughts. I really believe the massive amounts of medication I was on caused me to take those pills. Since toning it down, I haven't attempted suicide. I'm not saying I haven't thought about it. I'm saying I am more aware that depression lies and I can get help.