Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Can Meds Save Your Mental Health?

Shalom Feinberg, M.D. & Dov Finkelstein, LCSW

Not sure whether to consider taking an antidepressant? Don’t know how to proceed after your date reveals he’s seeing a psychiatrist? Discover the answers to pressing questions about psychiatric medication.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mindy, a 23-year-old Bais Yaakov graduate, was excitedly anticipating the birth of her first child. After having the baby however, she became paralyzed by a sense of doubt and was constantly getting stuck on trivialities. Everything she did needed to feel perfect for her to be able to move on. She found herself doing the same things over and over again, like washing the baby’s bottles repeatedly until she felt confident they were clean. Making small decisions such as what the baby should wear became overwhelming — it would take half the morning.

It had become difficult for her to get out of the house.

Despite help at home, Mindy still wasn’t functioning. She was clearly in the throes of deep emotional pain. She began seeing a therapist who diagnosed postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Although the therapist tried to talk to Mindy about treatment, her anxiety was so high that she was unable to focus. The therapist suggested meeting with a psychiatrist to evaluate whether medication might diminish her anxiety so psychotherapy would be more useful.

At first Mindy and her family were very resistant to the idea of psychiatric medications, afraid they might be addictive or that, once started, she’d have to take them for the rest of her life. The therapist encouraged her to bring up these topics when she saw the psychiatrist.

The psychiatrist recommended beginning on a low dose of medication to reduce her concerns. Fortunately, Mindy experienced no problematic side effects, so the psychiatrist then raised the dose to an effective therapeutic level that was beneficial in reducing her nonstop doubting.

With her anxiety lowered, Mindy was able to focus on understanding cognitive-behavioral therapy and implementing skills for overcoming her anxiety. As Mindy progressed, she was able to better care for herself and her baby. With time, motivation, and hard work, she was finally able to function freely again. After a number of months, Mindy and her psychiatrist discussed the pros and cons of tapering off the medicine. They decided to slowly lower her dose until she was totally off the medication.

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you