“Severe Anxiety and Hyperemesis – Talk About a Tough Pregnancy: Part Two” – with Brianna Barclay

By on March 29, 2024

This blog post is based on part 2 of the Healthful Woman Podcast episode during which Brianna Barclay shares how her pregnancy experience helped relieve some of her fear of seeing doctors and the impact that mental health struggles have had on her life. She also explains why she and her doctor chose to proactively treat postpartum depression. Read part 1 of this blog here.

Broaching the Topic of Mental Health

Following Brianna’s tough pregnancy experience, she notes that, despite her struggles, she does believe that her health-related OCD has improved.

“I do think it’s better,” she said. “I’ll willingly make a doctor’s appointment, but I’m also fortunate that I still go to my OB… if I need anything like getting my medication adjusted I go to her.” Brianna shared that when she was younger she had some bad experiences with doctors, which contributed to her OCD and anxiety. However, she is grateful for her OB, Dr. Katie Shannon in Jeffersonville, Indiana, whom she feels comfortable with. While she has not reached out to a primary care physician yet, she does feel she has a better understanding that there are great doctors out there who are kind and compassionate.

Dr. Nathan Fox contributed to the topic by reiterating that mental health is an important talking point.  “We doctors, we in health care, we in society, all of us, we, have to accept the fact that mental illness is something that’s real and it’s not the person’s fault that they have it, it’s not something they’re trying to do,” he said. “We have to be reasonable, accommodating, and caring, and kind just like we would for someone with any other health struggle.”

As someone who lives with anxiety and OCD daily, Brianna shared that she feels strongly about the fact that mental health is not spoken about enough. “People kind of have a very specific idea of the type of person who has OCD or the type of person who has depression or anxiety,” she said. She hopes that, as a society, people can be more understanding.

Proactively Treating Postpartum Depression

Brianna said she is still working through the trauma she experienced with her pregnancy and birth. Her biggest fear was having surgery, and when she received the news that she needed a C-section, it was very hard for her to deal with. She also struggled with postpartum preeclampsia.

While Brianna is now taking medication to help treat her OCD and anxiety, she shared that she does still experience symptoms, especially regarding her baby. Because of her mental health history, her OBGYN explained that Brianna was very susceptible to postpartum depression, and therefore wanted to be proactive regarding treatment. Her doctor prescribed her medication which Brianna shared is very helpful.

“I can’t imagine what I would be like if I didn’t have it,” Brianna said. “It feels like a lot of times like I just have ‘regular people’ anxiety now.”

Brianna’s Message to Listeners

When asked if she had anything she wanted to share with listeners, Brianna said that she hoped that her story could help someone else dealing with a similar situation to hers.  She reiterated the importance of finding a good provider that you trust. “If your provider isn’t giving you what you feel like you deserve or if you don’t feel like you’re being treated the right way, you can always find somebody else,” she said. “You don’t have to stick with somebody who is making you uncomfortable.”

Ultimately, she wants others like her to know that they are not alone and encourages them to be brave enough to find a provider that is right for them because they are out there.

Schedule an Appointment

If you are experiencing mental health symptoms or issues, do not hesitate to reach out to a healthcare provider to discuss your treatment options. MFM Associates partners with Carnegie Women’s Health to ensure both the mental and physical health of our patients. To learn more, fill out our online contact form on our website, and we will find the best treatment for your needs.

Maternal Fetal Medicine blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace certified professional care. Medical conditions vary and change frequently. Please ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your condition to receive a proper diagnosis or risk analysis. Thank you!