On Trying to Get Help

I will be moving to New City soon because of husband’s job.  To say that I am scared about our move doesn’t quite do justice to the way that I am feeling.  He has a job lined up, I don’t.  We don’t know anybody in New City, so there’s no social support.  We have a baby that I will be home with, alone, at least until I find a job.  I have a great therapist and an okay prescriber where we live now.  When we move, I will have to start over on both fronts.  Right now, I’m most worried about the therapist thing.

When things started to go wrong while I was pregnant, I tried to get help.  And failed.  And got really, really sick.  When things started going south, I did the responsible thing: I told my then-prescriber;  I got a therapist.   And both of them failed me.

Ex-prescriber spent about 5 minutes with me and handed me a prescription for Celexa to add to my existing regimen.  Never mind that I told her that me and SSRI’s don’t mix, which I know from some bad experiences in the past.  Never mind that she didn’t even bother to find out the details of what I was experiencing, which per my current therapist was a mixed episode, and not really something for which Celexa would have been appropriate. I didn’t fill the prescription, and just tried to tough it out a little longer until I couldn’t tough it out any more, and then I got a new prescriber and a shiny new script for Seroquel, which is another post for another time.

The therapist I saw was a nice-enough older lady.  She had been in practice for over 20 years.  She seemed to know what she was doing for the most part, although in retrospect, I think maybe she didn’t.  She told me that what I was experiencing was normal, “just hormones”, that sort of thing.  She told me that once I had the baby, everything would just fall into place.  She basically dismissed all of my concerns.  She told me that pregnancy was protective against depression.  It’s not.  For many women, post-partum depression begins pre-partum.

I felt like I was drowning and people were just standing on the shore waving at me.

And it kept getting worse and worse.  I wasn’t sleeping.  I was having near-constant thoughts of ending my life as soon as my daughter was born.  I was living in a place so dark that I can hardly think of it now.

And the whole time, I felt so, so alone, and so, so afraid.  I didn’t know if it would ever get better (I still don’t know if it will get all the way better, if I will ever go back to normal, but at least it’s not as bad as it was).  I didn’t know if anyone could help me.  I didn’t know if I would be okay.  I was pretty sure I wouldn’t.

Eventually, my doula suggested that I try a therapist who specializes in peri-partum mood disorders, and it that, plus my new prescriber, probably saved my life.

And now, I get to go through it again, trying to find someone to take me seriously, who is actually competent, and who I am comfortable working with.   Sometimes I think maybe I won’t, since I’m not as sick as I was.  But I’m also not well.  And I’m so, so scared of finding myself feeling that alone and afraid again.  Because having a therapist who understands, and who is competent, has made me feel less alone, and less afraid, and in a few weeks I’m on my own again.

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