August 21, 2007

I have postpartum depression and need some Zoloft!

So I was chatting last night with a young woman who has a 9-month-old baby and is suffering from postpartum depression. She asked me where to go to get a "good" anti-depressant. She's been going to her OB who has prescribed Lexapro but so far the Lexapro isn't working for her. Before that, she went to her primary care physician who had her taking Paxil for a while, which also didn't work.

What amazes me here is the fact that neither of these doctors should be prescribing an anti-depressant to this woman who is obviously suffering. I mean, when you need medication for your heart, you go to a heart doctor/cardiologist. When you need medication for your brain, you go to (you guessed it) a brain doctor.

Why are so many women getting their anti-depressants from doctors like gynecologists, obstetricians, internists, etc??? Why are we messing around with our brains??? Would you go to a foot doctor if you're suffering from an ulcer? I think there are so many misconceptions about anti-depressants and it has gotten to where they are way too commonly prescribed -- and by any kind of doctor.

So I suggested that this young mother try to go see a psychiatrist so that she'll have the opportunity to get on the right anti-depressant or mood stabilizer or combination of medications, not to mention the correct dosage level for her. She'd never thought about going to see a psychiatrist or even a psychiatric nurse practitioner. None of her doctors had mentioned this option to her. I just don't understand why doctors who are obviously not specialized in the area of the brain feel that they can prescribe brain meds.

Taking a brain medication is a big deal -- not to be handled lightly.

9 comments:

Carter-Ann said...

Hi Kristin,
I found your blog last night, via Post Partum Progress. I'm so glad to see another ppd blog.

I think there is certainly a tendency to overmedicate and prescriptions handed out by not necessarily those most qualified. Of course, there is also the problem when gyno/GPs/etc refuse to refer you or simply tell you that you need to 'talk' to someone about PPD. It seems that there isn't an agreed agenda on how this should be approached.

Kristin said...

Hi, Carter-Ann,
Thanks so much for your comment! I couldn't agree with you more. I personally believe there's a lot to pursuing both medication and talk therapy -- it seems like you're short-changing yourself (and running a risk) by not pursuing both when recovering from depression. It would be nice if there were consistency among doctors who are treating PPD.

Moxie Mom said...

I wonder if the inconsistency stems from the availability of seeing a shrink that is affordable since many, many, people have terrible health care. It's much easier for a women to see her PCP then it might be to see a shrink in that case.

Of course, I agree with all of your comments: a shrink would be the best choice. Believe it or not, I have pretty good health care but I see a psychologist and get my drugs from my PCP.

All the real psychiatrists wouldn't call me back, even after I left several messages. I called 5 of them. Talk about an eye-opener.

Seems to me, all levels of health care providers need to start stepping up their game and thinking outside their box. IMO

Kristin said...

You brought up an excellent point, Moxie Mom!!

Anonymous said...

It doesn't really take a rocket scientist to prescribe meds for most PPD. The thing is too many docs, including psychiatrists, seem to want keep the dose too low and/or switch from med to med without going up on the dose first. See it all the time and have sent moms back to their docs with information about rx'ing for moms with ppd.

There aren't enough psychiatrists and they are expensive. It should be that OBs, pediatricians and GP/pcp/FP could prescribe for MOST moms and refer a few more complicated situations to psychiatrists.

Kristin said...

That's a great point about the tendency of doctors to switch patients to new meds rather than trying a higher dose. It sounds like you might be a nurse or PPD patient advocate. I'd love to hear what you do and how you help women suffering from PPD. Thanks so much for commenting on my blog!!
Best,
Kristin

Anonymous said...

I went 8 months with out knowing I had PPD. Lack of Information and knowledge on my behalf. I tried two medications at about 3 months one was Zoloft that increased my anxiety and made things worse and the second was a medication they use for bi-polar disorder and I cant remember the name - which made me agitated. I went to a "FP doctor" turns out, I probly just needed a different Anti-depressant. I am pass the really bad part of my PPD which is a relief although I really wish I had talked to someone sooner and could have had more help and not suffered so horribly. I have gone through it only trying those two medications and not ever staying on one. I am not sure if it would have been easier with medication but all I know is I wish there were such a thing as a "PPD Doctor" kinda like an OBGYN.
I love your blog and thank you!

Kristin said...

I'm so sorry that you've been through such a tough time! I agree that it would be nice to have a "PPD doctor." There are actually some wonderful OB/Gyn's and psychologists who are very knowledgeable of PPD and its symptoms, and many even specialize in the disorder. The problem is knowing where and how to find them!

There are some amazing resources and groups out there that focus on postpartum mood disorders, and I try to list them here on this blog, such as Postpartum Support International. If you need any help finding and contacting support, please let me know! You can leave another comment here and I'll get back to you right away.

All the best to you and your baby!!
Kristin

zoloft story said...

Zoloft is great it really has helped me with depression and anxiety. I have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and getting depressed and upset triggered severe asthma attacks. I take 100mgs twice a day. It has really been a blessing. Don't listen to any of us, every person is different try it and see what it does for you, then you and your Doctor can decide the proper treatment for you.