By Judith Lolas, MSW, ACSW
Q. I'm 28 years old, expecting our first baby. I'm 22 weeks along. I'm also very depressed, and have been since early on in the pregnancy. It seems to be physiologically-based. I'm taking 40 mg of Celexa and 60 mg of Buspar daily. I am so weary of coping with this. I have NEVER felt so tired, down, afraid, unmotivated, and terrified as I do on a daily basis. It scares me to death. I'm so afraid that this is ME now, that my whole personality has changed forever. I know intellectually this isn't true, that I WILL get better, but the feelings are so incredibly convincing. Is there anything else I can do to cope with this besides what I'm already doing (which is medication, counseling, exercise, good diet, etc.)? I just need some encouragement.
A. You are doing all the right things now. It's a matter of time to convince you that this is temporary. This is YOU now; but it isn't YOU later on. People cope with so many things in their daily lives . . . depression is so common in our society. It doesn't make it easier when it's us, but it's also one of the easier conditions to control once we are aware and take action.
You are doing all the right things and when the hormonal and other physiological changes are over with, I'm sure you will either return to your old self or have a good handle on how to deal with your new self. And I believe whichever happens, you will do fine. Keep up with the therapy and exercise, which to me are the most key right now.
Have you tried keeping a journal and writing in it whenever you feel upset or afraid? I can't tell you how much this helps me and my own patients!
I hope this helps you a bit.