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reactive depression Vs clinical depression that needs treatment

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bednobs | 20:31 Tue 19th Oct 2010 | Health & Fitness
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hi, wonder if anyone can help please?
My daughter was born stillborn 8 weeks ago today. Obviously this has been a very emotionally up and down time for me and my husband. I still find myself crying every day and just feeling like everything i do is like wading through treacle. I can't help but still feel like it was all my fault, and there really dosen't seem any light at the end of the tunnel. For the first few weeks i wanted to join her every day, but no longer feel like that every day, in fact hardly ever. What i am wanting people's advice on is how long i should leave this feeling before doing something medically about it? i saw my gp for my post natal check this week and he discussed that i could start anti depressants and i did that little form/questionairre. However, it feels like i SHOULD be miserable and sad and that starting anti depressants would just be masking this natural bereavement feelings. What are people's feelings on how long i should leave it, or what indications should tell me i need to do something about it?


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cup of tea time for me , take care
To me it sounds like you don't need drugs at this moment, you are looking to the future in terms of your knee and possibly going back to work. You remain sad which is perfectly natural and expected but you aren't hiding yourself away and you're not wishing yourself away any more... I think you're going through grief in a dignified and good way and not rushing yourself and taking each step at a time and that's commendable. I think you should carry on as you are and see how you go. Grieving takes time I think and you're giving yourself that (as you bloody well should) and I think you're level headed enough to know whether you would need drugs or not to help you manage, you seem to know yourself well.
bednobs - you don't need drugs - you are going through a natural process of grieving and healing. Why do this idiot GPs think that anti depressants solve every problem - 8 weeks is a very short time. I think you have been very brave in talking and sharing your loss on AB - but talking is good and crying also.

I remember reading your post when you found out your little girl was stillborn and you had to go through with the birth - I cried my eyes out, as I am sure many others on here did.

Just to talk and offload I think is good therapy - so just keep doing what you are doing and keep off the drugs.
Den xx
Hi bednobs xx remember me,? i lost my little girl too :( I'd managed to get to 34 weeks so thought I'd be safe! seems it wasn't meant to be x Kiera Florence was born asleep 24th September, 3lb 11oz!

I completely understand what you mean about 'support sites'!!
bednobs......As you know, supportive therapy and Psychiatry are not and never have been my forte, but, for what it is worth, here is my contribution.

First of all, I have some sympathy with the answers given by alexanderd as I too have never noticed any suggestion in your answers pre or post you miscarriage, but clearly we are both wrong.

Definitions have changed over the years and are much more complicated than when I was a hopeless student, but might I point out that Reactive Depression and clinical depression are one of the same and that Post Natal Depression and Post natal Psychosis all fall into the same group.

I know nothing about your past history from the point of view of you mental state, but I do know that you have had a miscarriage, a knee replacement all in a period of nine weeks, each one, a good reason fro being depressed, the former for obvious reasons and the latter for just sitting around the house with nothing to do but AB.

AB may be a good therapy or it may just add to the boredom and focus your thoughts on the past......I don´t know for you........but I know what it would do for me.

You mental state is not improving, there are signs that it may be getting worse and this cannot be allowed to continue.

I know absolutely nothing about your social circumstances, other children, relationship with your husband/partner and job, although you answer well on medical questions so I assume that you are in the medical profession.

This situation cannot be allowed to continue in the hope that it will might......but I doubt it and in my opinion Psychiatric help should be sought before a treatable situation becomes chronic.

This answer has to be taken in the context of someone who has never been depressed (p1ssed off yes) and was utterly cr@p at Psychiatry, but nevertheless that is my opinion.
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never noticed any suggestion of what in my answers, squad? I try not to mention her all that often on here because i don't really want people to think i'm dribbling on about her, or force my misery on other people.

i think it would be much easier for me to think of her as a "miscarriage" (and i have tried) but because i held her, and spent time with her and went through labour with her and was past the gestation of viability, she was a person, and is my daughter who died, rather than a miscarriage. I have often thought if this was going to be the outcome, why couldn't something have happened earlier in the pregnancy, before i allowed myself to be excited, or start buying things for a nursery etc, and then of course feel guilty for wishing her away, on top of feeling guilty about almost everything else. I have such precious memories of holding her, despite the fact she never breathed the same air as us, never cried, never grabbed my finger, that i just can't think of her in terms of a miscarriage.

I find AB alternatively very useful and very frustrating. Useful because it fills my head with "stuff" and prevents me just sitting around thinking about what could have been; frustrating because sometimes other people's worries seem small and i just want to shake some sense into them. (then of course i feel guilty for thinking that people shouldn't be upset about what i perceive to be "small" things - people have a right to be upset about whatever they want!)

I don't have any other children and am married. We have a good relationship. I am a nurse by profession but am not currently working as a nurse, owing to mobility problems. It wont be long before i can't renew my registration because i haven't done enough practice, and i am going to have to describe myself as "used to be a nurse". Is it the same for doctors? Do you have to do a certain amount of hours to keep calling yourself a do
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ctor? (always wondered if you ge tthe title for life or not) :)
thanks for everyones answers, i really appreciate them.
squad when you say psychiatric help, are you referring to medication, talking therapies or both?
bednobs x
Bednobs...she wasn't a miscarriage.

What you're feeling is perfectly normal. I wouldn't go down the drugs route just yet. Let yourself grieve and you need to know how you're really feeling. Not feelings that are being masked by drugs. You seem to be coping well so try to give it a bit more time. I'm not sure something like this is something you will ever get over...

I think indications of you needing a prop is when you stop looking after yourself. You seem to be a strong person and I think you'll know if you need a little bit of help..

If you want slowjo's email just let me know xxx
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redhelen....yes, that is true but it was not intentional but lack of diplomacy and forethought for which I am not well known.
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If you still feel like this a year from now then worry about it being abnormal ...getting over major surgery can bring you down for months and that's a tiny thing compared with losing a baby... sounds to me like you are doing ok considering...Anti depressants may help you cope but your body is still making huge adjustments in terms of healing and rebalancing so I think maybe you should just be gentle with yourself a little longer...expect most days to be mostly difficult and you may find the better bits start to become more frequent... Wish you luck Bedknobs think of you often but don't always post about it

Hi bednobs, you've had some pretty strange answers on here haven't you?! I agree with the ones that say it's perfectly normal to still be feeling the way you are. I'm not sure drugs would be the answer either. I think you need to give yourself a whole lot more time and from what you've said already, you are feeling a tiny bit happier as the weeks pass. You don't sound like you're clinically depressed to me, just reacting to the terrible tragedy you've been through. Reading your words about losing Heather has made me cry so God only knows how you feel. I would just like to say how brave I think you are and hope this doesn't make me sound like a pr*ck! I really admire you for 'keeping going' and from how you come across on here think you definitely have the strength to be your normal happy self again.
Oh and that HV incident is appalling, hope you gave her what for the stupid woman. Take care hun and feel free to vent your feelings on here if you need to.
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thanks tw, not really - i was far too gobsmacked at the time. I considered writing a complaint but what's the point - there wasn't a breakdown in communications that could be rectified for other people, silly woman clearly had been informed but just forgot :)
I think strange answers are par for the course on here
bednobs, all things considered you are remarkably level headed! I do applaud you. you've been through the wringer and life has been terribly unfair.

do your grieving, and feel however you feel. you'll know when it's right to get extra help. I feel so sad for you, and wish you all the best xx
Dear Tia
I'm so sorry for your loss. 8 weeks is no time at all and I think that you are right, you need to grieve. I lost a child, 10 years ago, and I know how long it takes to even start to pull your life back together again. Are you seeing a bereavement councillor? In my opinion, and it is only my opinion (I'm not trained in any way), this would be a better option than antidepressants at this stage.
I know it's a clique but time does help. Such a loss is something we never get over but we can learn, with love and support, to cope with it. It may seem impossible to believe right now but you will be able to smile again (and not feel guilty about it!).
It is important that you and your husband, and other family members, remember that everyone grieves in different ways, at different times. One of you may want to return to their usual activities etc sooner than the other but this does not mean that they care any less.
When all is said and done you, and you alone, know weather you can cope and if you need help. If you feel that you do need help don't be afraid to ask (remember that antidepressants aren't the only help you can get). There are lots of support groups but be a bit careful with these as you can find that you add other peoples grief to your own.
I hope this has been helpful.
Kind regards Etta
Ps Just read some of the other posts and realised that all this has been said already but will post anyway just to show that I have been thinking of you
As Western society, we are extremely bad at handling grief.

While you are wondering if your pain will ever end, the people around you are desparately wishing you would return to 'normal' because they don't know what to say - that is what motivates your friends' absence rather than callousness. the fact remains though, at a time when you need support, it magically evaporates.

So from the inside out - which is where you are living right now.

The grieving process is long, hard and terribily unpredictable. Some days you will feel relatively OK, sometimes desparate to die and stop the hurt, and all shades inbetween, sometimes changing minute to minute.

People would love you to 'get better' a day at a time - so this week, you are less distraught than you were last week, next week, you'll be better again, and in six weeks, it'll just be a distant memory we don't talk about.

The reality is that grief is not a train on a track, moving forward every day at a steady pace. It's a boat on the ocean, sometimes you have a fair wind, sometimes you are swamped in a storm with no rudder.

You won't 'get over' your loss, but you will learn to assimilate it into your life until it stops being the dominating force and becomes something you can deal with most of, if not all the time.

Give yourself some time, and give in to your grief. Crying is good for you, don't try to stop it. Talk if you need to, be nice and quiet if you don't. Draw the close ones closer, and forget the uncomfortable avoiders.

You will get through this, hopefully without medication, but if your GP advises it, be guided, they know what they are doing.

Keep in touch, plenty of sympathetic friends on here when you need them.
Well said Andy.
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Hey thanks for all the replies.

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