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Thread: Weaning Anxiety/Depression HELP!

  1. #1

    Default Weaning Anxiety/Depression HELP!

    My baby (16months) cut down on her nursing a few months ago. Ever since she and I began to cut down on feedings I have been going through what I think is a terrible hormonal shift. I've had headaches, moodiness, irrational thoughts, uncontrollable crying, feeling like I can't cope or handle my children, and the worst symptoms: terrible anxiety and insomnia. I haven't slept well in 3 months. I have had some cycles. I've tried a lot of remedies: Epsom salts, tea, exercise, healthy fats, I take lots of supplements, I go to a chiropractor, being in the sun, etc. I drink an herbal tea and magnesium before bed which helps some. She is officially weaned now, in hopes that my hormones would start to level out. That was 3 weeks ago. I've had a cycle since then. I still feel anxious/have insomnia. I'm beginning to worry I will be like this forever! I have no previous background with anxiety. I've had a few nights of bad sleep, but not insomnia ever before in my life. I have 4 wonderful children, and an amazing husband. I have a great life that isn't too stressful at all. I just want to be myself again! Has anyone been through this? Will it pass? Since it's been so long I'm worried that it's now just going to stick around. I've been to multiple doctors and had lots of blood tests. Everything is normal. Any advice! I'm desperate! I do not want to take sleeping pills, since I've heard long term they do not help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Weaning Anxiety/Depression HELP!

    Hello and welcome! the emotions of weaning and the hormonal shift of no longer lactating can certainly cause some mood shifts. But what you are describing is very extreme, especially since your baby weaned (it sounds like) gradually. IMO a hormonal shift from nursing/lactation changes does not adequately explain what you have been going through. This is way outside typical experience. My best advice is to talk to your health care provider.

    Oh sorry I missed you had seen some doctors, I apologize, I was posting and running and missed that. So they did hormone tests? Was peri-menopause ruled out?

    I still think this does not sound like it is entirely related to weaning. However, Kathleen Kendall-Tackett has written about depression and anxiety with a perspective on the hormones of lactation and the unique emotions of motherhood. Have you looked at any of her articles or books?
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; January 13th, 2016 at 06:16 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Weaning Anxiety/Depression HELP!

    Thank you for your reply!

    I haven't had an hormonal tests done yet - I'm going to do that on Monday. I've just had a general lab and thyroid - everything was normal.

    I haven't ever heard of her - I will look her up! Thank you!

    ** I wanted to add that I'm 27 - could it still be peri-menopause?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Weaning Anxiety/Depression HELP!

    That would be awfully young for perimenopause. My money is on something else. Definitely get the thyroid panel!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Weaning Anxiety/Depression HELP!

    I have a similar experience -- I have insomnia any time she goes to sleep earlier than usual or falls asleep in the car at bedtime. The best advice I've heard for insomnia is to relax! Do something fun and calming at bedtime. Read a book! Also don't sit in your bed during the day if possible.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Weaning Anxiety/Depression HELP!

    I'd agree that the insomnia issue cannot be fully explained by the hormonal shifts after weaning. There's something deeper to dig through. You might be surviving the hidden depression, where insomnia and anxiety may be the symptoms. There should be some other explanation than weaning to that... I'm sorry you have to go through this.
    Last edited by @llli*lllkaren; February 13th, 2016 at 05:51 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Re: Weaning Anxiety/Depression HELP!

    Thyroid disease post pregnancy is VERY common. I would get checked out and insist on the thyroid panel NOT just the TSH levels!!!

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