If you’ve been around here for some time, you know that I struggle with anxiety, depression, and panic disorder. I think the panic disorder was actually triggered by the Mirena I used to have and since having it taken out, I have not experienced a panic attack. I’ve experienced minor anxiety attacks but nothing like a panic attack.
I tried to go off my medication in May of last year because I just wanted it out of my system. I wanted to try and live without it and manage it naturally. But after a few months, I learned it just wasn’t in the cards for me. I remember my psychiatrist telling me that some people just have to be on it and there’s nothing wrong with that. Diabetics take insulin, people with high blood pressure have to be on medication, and some people with anxiety and depression just have to be on medicine too.
So when we found out I was pregnant, my first concern was “oh my gosh, I’ll have to go off my medicine now”. But when I discussed it with my doctor, she told me that if it was working for me, it was okay to stay on it. Depression in a pregnant mom can cause miscarriage, pre-term labor, and low birth weight. So the effects of me staying on it vs. going off could have been more detrimental than staying on it.
I also took other factors into account; I’m on a super low dose, once a day. Bupropion is considered a Class B drug, meaning no risks have been found in humans ( I hate saying this because I know they test on animals… tear). But my husband and I decided that for my mental health and for the safety of the baby, I should stay on it.
Of course everyone is different and the decision I made may not be the decision someone else would make. When I was pregnant with N, I went off my medicine but couldn’t cope with Z being in Afghanistan. So I tried Zoloft for a few days and HATED it. So I just stopped taking medicine all together and did okay. I went back on it after he was born, went off it when I was pregnant with P, and then went back on it after she was older. It’s been an ugly battle going off and being on it but in the long-term, I think it’s absolutely necessary for me to be on it.
I also breastfed both of my children so if I remember correctly, the medicine I’m on is also safe during breastfeeding. I’ll have to double check with my doctor on this but since I nursed my son for 15 months and my daughter for 23 months, I’m almost positive I was on it then.
If you suffer from anxiety or depression, please talk to your doctor about your options while pregnant. Some medicines are considered “safer” than others. But they’ll take a lot of things into consideration when deciding what the best thing to do for YOU is. And don’t let anyone (except your doctor) try to sway you one way or another; you and your doctor know your body best.
There’s such a negative stigma about medication PERIOD, let alone being on it while pregnant. Which is why I felt it was important I shared my situation with you guys. A lot of people still think depression and anxiety can be prevented or controlled. And while there are definitely coping mechanisms, it doesn’t typically just go away. If you have it, you have to learn to live with it.
Depression doesn’t mean I’m crying in the corner everyday; just because you don’t see it all the time, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Anxiety over a test and having anxiety are different. And until more people understand this, I’ll continue to share my story and experience.
If you want to chat further, feel free to email me or comment below. Happy to discuss more! xo