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A patient’s truth: First to be treated with drug approved for postpartum depression

From Tiffany Loesch, UC Davis patient who was treated with Zulresso

“When I became pregnant, it was the happiest and calmest I had ever felt. I joked and called my baby the little “zen” baby. After giving birth, it was like all the happiness I once felt was stripped away and turned into a dark hole of despair. As the months went by, things became unbearable to the point I almost tried to admit myself to a psychiatric facility on multiple occasions. I felt like a shell of the person I once was. I was so desperate to feel better I tried multiple mom groups, multiple therapists, acupuncture, massage, sense deprivation tanks (float pod), anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications, supplements, meditation, I ate a very healthy diet, and on most nights I was getting eight hours of sleep because somehow I ended up with a baby that likes to sleep throughout the night. Nothing worked.

At my worst point, four months after giving birth, I was no longer able to leave the house by myself, I had severe panic attacks daily. I cried for hours on end. I no longer felt like I was in reality. I could no longer make decisions for myself. I lost my appetite. I stopped cooking. It was hard to be around people/have basic conversations. I felt so overstimulated/overwhelmed by the smallest things. I was no longer able to drive. I was no longer able to breastfeed. Insomnia became severe. All that was keeping me in this world was that beautiful smile on my baby’s face. I lost all hope and my biggest fear was I’d be stuck like this forever and how could I make it another day. I realize now that PPD/anxiety is very real and scary. It should be taken seriously.  PPD feels nothing like the depression I had as an adolescent. There are no words to describe the pain/suffering I felt. It robbed me of enjoying the first four months of my baby’s life.

Within 24 hours after starting my Zulresso infusion, almost all my anxiety had lifted. My appetite returned. My mood was elevated, and I began to feel happy again. I was more talkative. I felt more like myself. I felt no side effects from the medication during the infusion, except feeling more relaxed which was great for me. I’m nearing the end of my infusion and feel so much better, like a reset button was pushed and I am hopeful for the days to come.

There are no words to express how appreciative I am to Dr. Clark and Roxanne in her office for making this happen. Thank you for everything you are doing to advocate for moms with PPD. I feel like I can be the mom I always wanted to be for my son Liam. I really feel blessed and grateful for my experience and the UC Davis Medical Center staff for making this all possible for me. Everyone was so kind and supportive. My nurses were great!

I think Zulresso is a very good option for moms who feel like nothing else has worked for their moderate-severe anxiety/depression and they have exhausted all avenues. Thoughts of suicide are very real, and they don’t make sense for a new mom who feels like she has so much to be grateful for. I felt like my hormones were off balance and were controlling my thoughts. I think this drug will give a lot of moms their life back. Hopefully take away months and months of suffering, and possibly even save lives.”