I’ve shared my story a little bit on mental health and anxiety and depression here on the blog before and on Instagram, but I wanted to kind of open it up to questions. So I through up one of those fancy question boxes in a story on Instagram and let you guys go to town with questions! I probably won’t answer all of them, but figured I would hop on and answering a handful of them. Let’s dive in 😉 I think that talking about mental health is so important, normalizing it and reminding people that they’re not going through it alone at all. We’re all in this together.
Q: Were you on medication during pregnancy?
A: YES! I would just ask your doctor which ones are safe, etc. but I was.
Q: Any advice for someone who doesn’t necessarily want to do medication?
A: First, I say be open to trying things – but I get there are cases where you can’t, etc. Second, find an outlet. For me running is a HUGE one. If I miss a day of working out, I can tell big time. That and getting out in the sun whenever possible!
Q: Does therapy working depend on the therapist?
A: YES and don’t settle. I went through four therapists before I found the one I LOVED!
Q: How do you overcome depression when you’re at the point of literally not wanting to do anything?
A: This is the hardest and I 100% understand because I was there a couple of years ago. I think relying on someone for help was huge for me. I had to let Marcus take the reigns and kind of kick me into getting help. Another one was Blake – I didn’t want to be that Mom to her so as hard as it was, I had to figure my sh*t out.
Q: When did you first realize you had anxiety?
A: So looking back to my childhood, hands down when I was around 8 years old. I didn’t realize it then, but it was for sure happening. I really made the connection though as an adult, I would get to the point where I would avoid even going out because I worried about the absolute worst thing happening to Blake. I just couldn’t live like that anymore.
Q: Do your anxiety meds work?
A: Yes – but I went through 3 medications before they did and I had to double the dosage on this! So as much as it sucks, it’s totally trial and error to find what works for you.
Q: Did you have postpartum depression?
A: With Blake, yes, big time. This time I think being on medication already has made a huge difference, but we did up my dosage!
Q: What was the first step you took?
A: Ironically, the first thing I did was make an appointment with a therapist…not sure why but that’s what seemed right in my head and well, it was. Like I said, I had to find one that worked for me, but once I did it was God sent. And she was the one that kind of helped guide me in the direction to get medication. As for the doctor I saw, I went to my OB for it, but I know your family physician can too!
Q: Was your first therapy appointment awkward?
A: When I was with the wrong therapists (I say wrong because they just weren’t a fit for me), yes. But once I found the lady I currently see – not at all. I mean there may have been a couple of hiccups the first time but overall it felt like talking to a friend.
Q: I’m worried about weight gain with it?
A: Totally get this because I know it can make you feel worse when you don’t feel good about yourself – soooo my medication actually typically does the opposite for people and I haven’t seen a huge problem with it (knock on wood). But again it’s just trial and error and expressing this concern to your doctor – they know the side effects!
Q: Did your anxiety get worse when you were pregnant?
A: YES. It got worse with pregnancy for Blake, then even worse after I had her and well, worse and worse until Nash was born. Hahaha
Q: How do you cope with daily anxiety?
A: Medication has helped huge, but there are definitely moments where I still feel it – but something my therapist taught me that has helped a lot is the five senses trick. So when you’re feeling anxiety, you take a step back to bring yourself to the present with the five senses – ie; I see my baby, I can touch her head, I can taste fresh air, etc. etc. just bringing yourself back to what is actually happening, not what is happening in your mind.
Q: Were you on meds during IVF?
A: I was not, that was the one point when I had to stop for a few months. I went back on though about 12 weeks into my pregnancy.
Q: Do you recommend therapy?
A: Personally – YES. It’s been incredible for me, especially EDMR, but if I’m being totally honest and an open book I have a lot history of physical and emotional abuse so I think in my circumstances, it was necessary and really helpful.
Q: How has Marcus been able it all? Did you feel comfortable telling him?
A: He’s incredible. One, he’s been through depression – so he gets that. He was actually the person who said I think we need to get you help after Blake, I didn’t even realize what was happening. So without him, who knows where I would be. He’s been nothing but supportive. Which I know is not always the case so I feel really lucky about that.
Q: How to tell when it’s time to up your dosage or switch meds?
A: For me, I realized my anxiety was becoming more constant (how it used to be). I mean I was stressing multiple times a day which isn’t normal for me when I’m on medication. I was also getting angry really easily – so those were the signs for me!
Q: How long did it take you to find the right med and dosage?
A: I won’t sugar coat it – I went through three medications and it took about two months to find the right one. I had side effects of shakiness, sleepiness, etc. with most of them until the current one I’m on. It sucks but hang in there, it’s worth it in the end.
Q: Do you think there was a trigger or something that has caused your anxiety?
A: Absolutely, I mentioned a history of abuse above and that happened at a really young age for me – so yes, I think that’s where it stemmed from and it grew from there.
Q: What medication are you taking?
A: I’m an open book on this, but because we live in a crazy world and legalities, I have to say this first – this doesn’t mean it’ll work for you, I’m not telling you to take it, blah, blah, blah, AKA – ASK YOUR DOCTOR. But I’m on Wellbutrin!
Q: Have you tried CBD for it?
A: I have not – but Marcus has for pain stuff and has really liked it.
Q: How does the LDS church view this or do they?
A: I’m going to be honest – not entirely sure on this. But my outlook on life and my whole relationship with God is he knows I’m doing my best and I think he supports me making changes to be a better me.
Q: Are you worried about getting addicted to the medication?
A: Honestly, I’ve had this thought – but currently in the chaos of it all, I have to put it to the back of my mind for now because my mental state being taken care of is more important.
OKAY – I literally didn’t even answer half of the questions, so I’ll have to do a part two, but there’s those for now! 🙂