When How Much You Weigh Effects Your Entire life.

Deborah Judges By Deborah Judges, 5th Mar 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/12v3o853/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Society & Issues

Having Post-partum depression that turned into Post-partum psychosis has lead me on a journey through the realms of psychosis and depression and tortured me with my own fears of weight gain. There was a breaking point this past month and now depression and psychosis are at my door again.

And in the beginning...

I was put on antidepressants and anti-psychotic drugs 14 years ago when I quit Nursing my miracle baby, At my 6 week check up after my daughter was born, the doctor diagnosed me with Post-Partum Depression. She advised me to start taking an antidepressant. I told her that I was nursing and asked if it would get in the breast milk. She said it would but the percentage was only 1%. I explained I had been told I would never carry a baby to term and after 3 miscarriages here she was and I wasn't going to endanger her health. She advised me to talk to the pediatrician and get her advice but, that post-partum depression was dangerous if left untreated. So I made an appointment with the pediatrician that we had chosen because of her wonderful credentials and by people talking about what a good bedside manner she had. My daughter had already been seen by her and I was told my daughter had jaundice. Jaundice if left untreated could damage her liver so for two weeks we went back and forth driving 43 miles one way to get the Jaundice issue taken care of. When we went back for her final check-up she was perfectly healthy and Nursing agreed with her because she was gaining weight. So I had a moment with the pediatrician and asked her about the 1% of the antidepressant getting into the milk she said to either Nurse or to take the medication but since there were no studies done on the cause and effect on an infant that was taking in antidepressants from breast milk but she would not advise it. So since this was my miracle baby and I would probably never carry another one to term this was my only chance to Nurse. So I chose to Nurse her, and deal with the depression.

Seeking knowledge about post-partum depression...

Since I had read every article about babies I could get my hands on while I was pregnant I had a small amount of knowledge of the condition. One article said a depressed mother could adversely effect the bonding of the child with the mother so when it said Nursing your baby was a great way to bond with your child I knew my decision was final. That article also talked about smiling and singing to your baby to make sure you bonded. So that's the very thing I did I faked being happy. By the time my daughter was 9 months old She had grown strong and healthy being in the above normal of intellect and motor skills, my pediatrician was very happy with my daughter's progress. So was I, but I was deteriorating rapidly. The depression had turned to psychosis and it was a struggle to be a person but not only did I have to be a person I had to be a Mother, a GOOD Mother. And then one night everything changed

Psychosis cannot be controlled by sheer will.

I had stopped sleeping. The depression was heavy on me, and even though I had my miracle baby I didn't want to live anymore. I didn't think I was Mother material since I was so depressed and couldn't shake it so I went and got my pistol loaded it with .22 bullets grabbed the phone to call my best friend and say goodbye. I was not lucid anymore. I told her I was going to shoot my husband and then shoot myself that I had to shoot him first so he wouldn't try to save us. She talked me into going to the master bedroom where my husband was sleeping I walked by the Nursery and realized there was a white shield over the door and I knew my miracle baby would be safe. I got back to the master bedroom and standing in the doorway on the phone with the friend I called my husbands name until he woke up and handed him the phone saying our friend wanted to say "goodbye" she of course told him what was happening and he lunged into action using the training he had mastered in his military career. I don't remember much more except that he put me to bed and I knew he stayed by my side all night. The next morning he called my therapist and she worked us right in. After he told her what happened she told him to take me to the hospital and have me commit myself. I disagreed with that strongly but in the end she said if I didn't agree to those terms she would have the police come and take me away by force. So my husband and I went to the hospital she recommended that was about 50 miles away and after talking to the on duty psychiatrist they asked me to commit myself and I did.

Medications

I had been going to therapy on and off since I was first married at 17. I was 33 and in all those years of depression even though I was offered medications when I was at my worst I told them no I could get better with just therapy. But the therapy hadn't worked on psychosis and that's why I was put in the hospital, to be given medications to try and control the psychosis. The first medicine they gave me made me have and adverse effect and within seconds of taking it i was having tunnel vision and couldn't speak. I must have had a look of horror on my face because the patient facing me at the table got the nurse's attention and that was the last thing I remembered because for two days I just slept. So when I woke up I naturally told them I would not be taking any medications again. But I was a patient under their authority and I met with the psychiatrist he took down my whole life history and then he gave a nurse an order for me to take a different anti-psychotic and added an antidepressant. The psychosis stabilized and the depression lifted a little and I was sent home to be seen on an out patient basis going both to therapy and to the psychiatrist for medications The two medications worked together but I became zombie like with no emotions. So another medication was added to those two to counter effect of being an emotional zombie. He also gave me a sleep aid. There's not much to say about the beginning of being medicated but it is a trial and error progress. In order to stabilize me back into having a normal life I ended up on 7 different medications over the next 8 years. They call it a "medication cocktail" and mine had me stabilized by the time my daughter was 8 years old. So for the last 14 years I have been on medications. My daughter and I have a great Mother Daughter relationship and now that she is older, she knows about all my diagnoses. Unfortunately the depression, medication changes, and hospital stays shattered my marriage.

I'm Cured.

I had been living with just me and my child and her daddy having liberal visitation. I lived that way as an "emotionally steady person" until May of 2013. May 2013 I realized I was happy. Truly happy! And I just knew I had been cured. My doctor even told me as I got older I would probably get better.So I decided on my own that it was time to come off the medications. So my psychiatrist weaned me off one of the powerful anti-psychotics and all was still well with me in my world. That's when I decided I didn't need any of the other medications because I was cured now. I stopped taking all the rest of my medications and I was still doing good. I thought I had made a smart move.

How long medications stay in your system

I told my doctor that I was off my medications and doing fine but what I didn't know was the medication was still working in me because I had taken it so long and it took just so long to get out of your system. I started feeling the depression coming like a heaviness on my shoulders over the top of my head like a fog. Then finally when all the medications were out of my system I could no longer function as anything other than a zombie. I was constantly talking to myself inside my head trying to work out simple tasks that I was supposed do everyday. But my psychosis returned and I began to think dark thoughts and was feeling horrible emotions.and was on the verge of doing dangerous things. Thank God my daughter was in school for most of the day and then had cheer camp and was always spending the night with her best friend and she did not see the rapid decline in my mental status. But God had given me one divine gift and that was to know when to seek help.

Making a new "medication cocktail"

So this winter has been a slow and steady trial and error to get me to a good place. I am not at a good place, yet. I was feeling better but a side effect of one of the medications is too much for me to bear. So the cocktail has to be changed yet again. Why not go back to the original "medication cocktail"? Because two of the medications were interacting and causing liver damage. So at least one medication had to be eliminated And I chose to only go back on one anti-psychotic. Everything was going well my mood lightened I could think again but the one side effect I cannot live with came on me swiftly and last week the burden of that side effect broke through and depression overwhelmed me.

Weight Gain

The side effect that I cannot live with is weight gain. since this "medication cocktail" was formed I have gained over 45 pounds, I have a weight issue anyway and to have 45 pounds just fill me up like a balloon is too much for my mind to handle. I thought it was temporary and since my mood was so good I thought I could wait the weight gain out and it would finally be urinated out of my system. But Last week I weighed the heaviest that my mind can handle and even though my diet has been adjusted I can't exercise due to arthritis in all my joints.Exercise didn't work against a medication induced weight gain that I had to deal with once before, the only thing that worked to get that weight off was to get off the medication. And on the 28th of May it all came to a head and I have been weighing my options literally.I cannot remain at this weight, It torments me. I weigh constantly seeing if the number has exceeded what my mind can handle, I called my psychiatrist yesterday and made an appointment and we will have to start the trial and error all over again. I knew something had to be done when i couldn't write anything anymore. So Monday the 10th of May, I go back to the drawing board.

Tags

Anti-Psychotics Weight Gain, Antidepressants, Depression

Meet the author

author avatar Deborah Judges
I I have kept Journals on and off for 38 years. Sometimes the words. thoughts and feelings fly from my mind to the page; just streaming through my fingers.

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