A woman on a roller coaster with her medication in the background

Postpartum Depression and the Medication Roller Coaster

So, you've got the diagnosis of postpartum depression. Now what?

Medication for postpartum depression

Many physicians will likely start with a prescription for medication in order to help you cope with your symptoms. There are so many options out there for medication treatment that it might seem overwhelming to think about.

Don't feel any shame for needing it. It is perfectly fine that you need help controlling the symptoms you are struggling through with PPD. Your doctor may prescribe what they think is one of the better options for you.

There is no one miracle pill

There is no one pill that will be the miracle you are desperately wanting. Know that one medication might not work for you so you might have to try several different ones before finding the right one that helps you.

I've always equated the medication game to that of throwing darts on a dart board. One might do OK, but might not be close enough to the bullseye, while another might not even make it on the board as being helpful.

Stay hopeful while figuring out meds

You might find the first one you try will do what you need it to. But you might not. You might need a little extra so maybe a dosage change. Or you might need a lot more help and so the doctor might change the medication entirely. Or you might end up on a combination of things that will all work together to help you cope with your symptoms.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

All of this is totally normal. Don’t feel like you'll never feel better or that you'll never find something that helps. It's a process of elimination, essentially, to find the right drug.

Keep an eye on worsening symptoms

With any prescription you might try you want to continue to monitor your symptoms to ensure that the medication is doing as it is supposed to or whether it may be making things worse. Some medications, if they don't work, can actually make things harder. So it is good to keep an eye on how you are doing and keep in touch with your physician so that they can know whether something needs to be changed.

One thing that I do is talk to a couple of my closest people and let them know what to look out for as far as worsening symptoms because sometimes when we are in the midst of the struggle, we can’t see ourselves clear enough to know what’s happening. That way they can help monitor things as well and help you address things if needed.

Zoloft and other medications for postpartum depression

For a long time I took Zoloft and it worked for me. Then I got pregnant and my doctor at the time thought it best to take me off all my medications for the pregnancy, but it soon became apparent that I needed something to treat my depression.

So she put me on something that was supposed to be more safe for the pregnancy, but it actually made things harder for me rather than better. Then we tried another one and it just made me have manic highs and lows and my poor husband had no idea what kind of day we might be having until I emerged from the bedroom every morning.

I switched doctors and we moved me back to the Zoloft but it was no longer working for me so we began the search for what would work.

The rollercoaster of looking for the right prescription

It took many different medications before we finally found something that helped me enough to get through, but it wasn't perfect.

After a little while we added another medication to my routine that added a boost to the other and I felt better for a time, but then things began to go south again so we started back at square one and tried a new combination of medications and we've finally settled on one that seems to be doing the job that I need it too.

But it took a lot of trial and error and a ton of communication with my doctor and my husband to know where I stood at all times with my PPD.

Postpartum depression still lingers

Even so, I still have days that I struggle hard with the PPD. I'm in the trenches right now with 2-year-old twins and a 4-year-old that constantly need me. So it's hard to cope every day, and while things are better, brain-wise I'm still trying to cope all the time.

I know things can be better and my aim is to get there. I'm not giving up hope that one day I'll be able to look back and think, "Dang, look what I made it through."

Remember: there is hope for treatment

Right now, you might be at your lowest of lows, or you might just be a little down. But I'm here to remind you that there is hope.

While it might seem super overwhelming to think about all the medication options out there for PPD but, so long as you are willing to communicate with your doctor you will be able to find the one or ones that work for you. It might take a lot of trial and error, like it has for me, but there is still hope that the next one might be the one that helps.

You're not alone with postpartum depression

You're not alone, momma. We're in the trenches of this war together. We just have to do what we can to not let the postpartum depression win. It might seem discouraging to think about, but you want to remember why you're doing this in the first place.

We want to be the people that we know we are capable of being for our children and families. We can be happy and still have a zest for life. It just might take a little extra help.

This or That

When something is bothering you, what do you tend to do?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Postpartum.Mental-Health-Community.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.