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ADHD in Women

ADD and severe prenatal depression--trying to cope.

I’m desperate for some support and feedback from any who can relate or have ideas for me to try.

All of my life I’ve struggled with significant ADD and didn’t know what I was suffering from until about 8 years ago.  I’ve done lots of counseling, and have been on Strattera for the past 6 years, with a moderate amount of relief from the ADD symptoms.  I’ve struggled immensely with depression for years, but have been keeping myself depression-free for 6 years now. (Taking Lexapro, along with counseling)  I’m now 39.  I’ve got a neurotypical 10 year old daughter and severe-ADHD 12 year old son. 

I was finished with childbearing, but we were surprised to be expecting a child this year.  I’m 34 weeks along now.

I was doing fairly ok until the psychiatrist forced me to go off my meds at week 23.  I had to go off the Strattera, but am still on the Lexapro.  Despite the antidepressant, without the Strattera my ADD has gone completely haywire, and I am now in the midst of severe prenatal depression.  I am hanging on by a thread to cope, and my family has suffered immensely due to this.  I can’t hold it all together, and my life has taken a huge nosedive.  The psych made this decision against my will, and due to her fear and lack of education about actual evidence of the risks/benefits of meds during pregnancy.  OF COURSE I’d willingly go off ALL meds during pregnancy if I was able to function reasonably acceptably…but I am not able to function at this point.  There are much higher risks to myself, the baby, and my family without me on the necessary meds…

I’ve talked to my Ob/gyn about this, but psych meds are not their specialty, so they decline to have any involvement in that.  They may care, but they do nothing to help.

I’ve looked EVERYWHERE to find a psychiatrist who is comfortable—or at least not terrified—to work with/treat a pregnant woman…but no psychiatrist I’ve contacted is willing to take on a pregnant woman.  I suppose they’re all afraid of potential lawsuits they’ve heard about.  I have no interest in suing anyone—just want to cope and keep myself alive and functioning long enough to bear this child!  I need help!  I’m desperate for help, and no one in the position to help is willing to help me. 

I’m at the point where although I KNOW I will eventually recover from this (the pregnancy will end, eventually) I’m currently FEELING as I’m in a pit of DESPAIR, which I know is related to the super-strong pregnancy hormones and the uncontrolled ADD symptoms which keep me from functioning properly.  I’m at the point that I’ve started actually hating myself for the ADD, and for being who I am to begin with (the ADD and depression), even though that is NOT NORMAL for me to hate myself…I’m simply struggling with these awful feelings of depression that have taken over how I’m feeling and thinking these days.  I"m struggling, and I’m just desperate to hang on and cope, and wait this out until it’s over. 

If anyone here has been through anything remotely similar, or can relate to any part of what I’ve shared, I would deeply appreciate hearing from you—anything you learned or ideas you have for me to get through this would be a tremendous help.  Thank you!


Hi Amy,
I have not been formally diagnosed with ADHD yet, but I have struggled with depression on and off my whole life. It is so unfair that you were left without a reasonable and comfortable plan regarding your meds during pregnancy!
I have found relief and comfort from seeking help from alternative practitioners, like naturopaths, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and meditation. I would find some modality that speaks to you. If neurochemical support is needed, then a naturopathic MD might be able to help.
You are valuable to your family, and deserve to be well!

Posted by addfam on Sep 05, 2014 at 9:12pm

has your ob gyn considered progesterone? you may have a hormone imbalance. I’m post menopausal and the statistics say I should be using progesterone but it sends my mood into the crapper. I almost never had PMS except early in puberty and when perimenopause first hit. P helped then for a bit while highly stressed but now it GIVES me PMS symptoms as well as hot flashes, leg cramps, dry eyes and mouth. along with some itchy papules on my scalp not zits. and it sedates me, it literally converts to a metabolite that acts like valium. The concern is that I might be at risk of uterine cancer without some P. But hormone imbalances can cause depression.

I have heard some real concerns about ssri’s during pregnancy. and stress is also a significant concern. cortisol levels during pregnancy can predispose children to being more likely to have metabolic syndrome in adulthood. the risk/reward ratio for this needs to be checked out more.

I’m rather surprised an ob isn’t paying attention to what head meds during pregnancy might affect in a baby. Or other medications, toxins, and such.

Posted by Gadfly on Sep 21, 2014 at 9:05pm

double post, forgot and kept tapping the submit

Posted by Gadfly on Sep 21, 2014 at 9:05pm
Posted by Gadfly on Sep 21, 2014 at 9:05pm

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