I have found through trial and error before, during, and after a major depressive episode, that it is best to be proactive. It is important to maintain my mental well-being, even when I am doing relatively well. That is why I jumped at the chance to be one of the six members of my therapist’s inaugural mindfulness for depression group; this group starts in two weeks, I will be sure to share the experience at the end of the 7-week run. Maintaining my mental well-being is also why I continue to see my therapist weekly, and my psychiatrist bi-monthly.
It is important to me that I do everything I can to stave off another major depressive episode. As I have mentioned in a previous post, my husband and I are in the process of purchasing our first home. After everything has calmed down, we look forward to starting a family. The planning of this will be more difficult than it is for many, due to my mental illness. By working on building my resiliency and learning new coping skills, I am taking the first steps to work toward a safe pregnancy, for both me and the baby.
I have already started talking with my psychiatrist and ob/gyn about having a healthy pregnancy while maintaining my mental illness, and have been told by both that it is okay to stay on medication; however there are risks. I am lucky to live in Baltimore and therefore close to one of the continuously top ranked hospitals and medical schools in the country: John Hopkins. While my psychiatrist is going to work with me and help to educate me about the risks and benefits of staying medicated, he has also recommended a consult with a doctor at Hopkins who specializes in pregnancies in which the mother has mental illness.
Once life has settled down after the move, my husband and I will start gathering the answers to our spreadsheet full of questions. Until then, our fur babies, Sammie and Seamus round out our little family of four.