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Mina, Clinical Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 188
Experience:  Working as a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist in NHS. Experience in both children and adults
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After the birth of my first child I became very depressed

Resolved Question:

After the birth of my first child I became very depressed and anxious. (5 years ago)
I received psychological counseling about 5 months after the birth of first child.
After the birth of my second child, the depression and anxiety became worse (3years ago)
I saw a psychiatrist and psychologist. I became addicted to klonopin and when trying to withdraw had a seizure.
In the past 5 years I have experienced shopping addiction, alcohol /substance abuse and terrible fear and anxiety. I have been sober 3 months. I am no longer seeing a doctor or taking any medication. I was in a treatment center for the anxiety about 1-1/2 years ago. My husband said I no longer "act" like the person he married.
I am 36 years old and recently layed off from work. I am searching for answers being that I never had any of these symptoms before the first childs birth.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Mina replied 6 years ago.


I am sorry to hear about the way you feel. It sounds like you are suffering and obviously the loss of your job does not help you to stand back to your own feet.

It seems that you suffered from post natal depression which triggered some other behaviors such as the shopping and alcohol addiction which were used as your coping strategies. It is very positive that you have been able to realize their destructive effect and stopped them. However, you seem to struggle to replace them with positive coping strategies and somehow it seems that you lack some personal resources. It is possible that the birth of your children triggered some very strong emotions and inner conflicts than cannot be contained. A birth can change a person's life completely and how positive or negative this change is perceived by the parent depends on many factors e.g. your own experience of being parented, early relationships with parents, childhood experiences, personal ambitions, current relationships, current support network and sense of identity/roles in the family etc.

If you believe that you have become anxious and depressed since their birth then this may help you overcome this quicker because that indicates that you did not always use to feel anxious. In your case, I feel that you would benefit from seeing a psychologist/therapist to explore the meanings of these anxieties and what they involve and why. You could engage with a CBT therapist who would look into the way you perceive things and monitor your thoughts and how these affect your feelings and behaviors. Then the therapy involves you learning to challenge these thoughts to healthier and more helpful ones while you acquire positive coping strategies. Other models, such as a psycho dynamic model would involve a more in depth work looking at personality development, early relationships and traumas in life. This is usually a longer term commitment during which the relationship with the therapist plays a very important role in therapy.

Since you realize that your recent experiences have changed you, I believe that you need to think seriously about finding a therapist and work on yourself. You owe it to yourself to invest this money for your psychological health which would obviously reflect positively on your relationship with your husband and children.

I hope this helps

Please feel free to share any feedback on these thoughts

All the best


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