(This is more about prenatal and postpartum depression, I suppose: this is my first baby, and she's not due until the end of July)
I guess I knew this was coming. I was diagnosed with depression and had a severe problem with self-harm and alcoholism when I was 15; then the depression returned again - along with an eating disorder - when I was 18. Lately I've just been low all of the time. I can't take joy in anything; I cry all of the time; I feel helpless; I feel like I'm not doing enough for this baby; I can't sleep at night; and I don't ever feel grateful for anything (I don't want to make this all about religion, but I'm big on thanking God for my blessings every night, and every week finding one thing to be thankful for that I normally overlook. Lately, I go to pray and I know I have so much to be thankful for, but I just can't feel it, so I just mumble "sorry" and give up).
I told my OB and she advised counselling. So far I've only had one counselling session. I don't know if it's standard for them to say "yep, you have prenatal depression!"/"actually, I think you're fine", but she wants to keep seeing me (I guess that's an indication she thinks there's a problem here?). She and my OB also mentioned that I should probably be put onto antidepressants as soon as the baby is born. So now I have questions, and I'd rather ask someone who's been through it...
1. Were you put on antidepressants immediately, instead of a more "let's see how you manage without first" approach? Is it common to do this?
2. Can I still breastfeed while on antidepressants?
3. Are there any side effects I should be aware of? (I won't care. I care more about being happy and healthy for my baby. I just want to be prepared)
Does therapy really help? I can't get my head around my own thinking behind this one. I had therapy for the eating disorder, and not only did it really help me but I knew before I had it that it would. But for some reason I can't imagine how it would work with PPD. I mean, part of the therapy for the ED was to re-train the way I looked at myself. What is there to 're-train' in the case of PPD? I know that those who suffer from it still love and adore their children, so it's not "learn to love your child". I know it's not as simple as "look, you have a baby, just be happy!".
Sorry if I've phrased that badly, I'm not trying to offend anyone, or adhere to ridiculous misconceptions about PPD (in fact, it's because I know that they're misconceptions that I am confused).