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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
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I am married with 2 children (3 1/2 and 4 months old). I run

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I am married with 2 children (3 1/2 and 4 months old). I run my own small accountancy practice (in partnership).
On the birth of my second child, the firm did not employ anyone to carry out my work. The firm has been sending my work home and I have been trying to run the house (my husband works 5 12 hour shifts per week), look after the children and carry out my work. I have been very stressed. Unfortunatley, I had a meeting with a major client last week who said she was not very happy with my work. I have taken this very badly and feel I am having a nervous breakdown. The stress is overwhelming. Although, financially I dont need to worry I cant seem to get over this. I am constantly anxious/panicky/light headed/no apetite and cannot get this out of my head. My gp has prescribed me some diazapan which doesn't seem to be working. I now feel anxious in all every day situations (meeting friends/family) and dont know what to do. I feel a wreck. How can I get back to normal?

Hi Mkean:

 

I'm glad you are doing the breathing exercises. I can feel your stress even in the way you wrote the question.

 

On thing that you did not mention is if you spoke about this condition with your OB/Gyn. MUCH of the stress you are feeling is an absolutely normal reaction to your situation - the kids, the husband, the sleep deprivation, breast feeding(?), the job... goodness. But it sounds as though you have been in stressful situations in the past without experiencing the meltdown that you feel right now. In other words, you seem surprised that you are feeling so overwhelmed and defeated. At least, that's what I read into the brief description you offered.

 

This brings me back to my point: I wonder if some of the stress is being fueled by the seismic shifts in hormones your body is going through. If you add breastfeeding and sleeplessness to the equation, you get the current state of affairs. Postpartum depression can take different forms, and you may have a touch of this. Your OB/Gyn may be able to help assess this and offer an appropriate treatment regiment.

 

But back to the day-to-day... I would ONLY use the Diazepam as needed, as this will drag you out and make you feel more guilt over being tired (although honestly, it will alleviate the stress for a few hours). My first order of business if you were my client would be to talk to hubby about striking a balance with him. If he is needed to be away as much as he is, perhaps have a nanny help you out. You simply cannot do it all alone - at the VERY LEAST until your little one begins to sleep through the night and you can feel "caught up." The nanny can be hubby at times, or perhaps one of your mothers or even an actual employee, but you need some help or you are going to freak out.

 

So in order, (a) have hormonal issues checked by an expert, (b) address your concerns with husband and take steps to give you support, (c) continue breathing and controlling your sympathetic response to the stress (d) diazepam as needed only.

 

If you are satisfied with the response, please hit "Accept." That is the only way I receive credit for my answers. Thanks-

Dr. Steve

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for your advice. My doctor seems to think my symptons are stress/work related and not a form of post natal depression. My main problem with outside help is that my 31/2 year old will not let me out of her sight. She is very clingy to me and I dont get to do anyhting without her. She wont do anyhting with even her dad or gran unless Iam around. There is a screaming fit if I go out on my own. The only time we are apart is when she goes to nursery (2 hours per day) and then I am running home to get work done, with ckients phoning/e-mailing me direct at home.

 

I have been reading about the Linden Method for anxiety cure on the internet. Is this something you would recommend?

Hello again, MKean:

 

I am not familiar enough with the Linden method to give it an endorsement, but I will caution you... the only sites on the internet that I could find to explain or describe the method were from the Linden people themselves (or affiliated in some way). Too, they spoke nothing of the method itself, only went on about how wonderful it was. Further, a couple of sites I visited mentioned that here was no scientific data to support the method. I grow suspicious of marketing campaigns such as theirs.

 

But on a positive note, my understanding is that the Linden method works via cognitive behavioral therapy, which is exactly what a therapist would do for/with you and your little one. It will be cheaper (overall) than a few trips to the therapist UNLESS you have an insurance plan that will help to cover the costs. Too, with a therapist to guide you, you will have an expert right there in the room who can answer questions and create immediacy.

 

Now, I am not trying to be an info-mercial for therapy, but there are some advantages. Honestly, when a kiddo has reactions like yours does, two things are happening: (a) s/he is experiencing panic and anxiety and (b) so are you. Together, you two create a reinforcement schedule that seals in the behavior, so both of you will need to make adjustments to correct the problem. Again, a therapist in the room will be best able to see what is happening and offer suggestions for change.

 

Every umpire has a different strike zone, so take advice for what it is worth. I hope my two cents has helped! If you are satisfied with the response, please hit "Accept." That is the only way I receive credit for my answer. Thanks-

Dr. Steve

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