Confession 32: A Matter of Salt

At my ob/gyn visit yesterday, I asked my doctor about the possibility of taking Zoloft again to help manage some overly active emotional activity. I explained to him that I’d been feeling extremely frustrated, overwhelmed, and a bit anxious over some various things. He told me that new studies are showing a potential risk to unborn children from anti-depressants, and that doctors are more hesitant now to prescribe them to expectant mothers. I was, actually, having done some of my own research on the matter, fine with that. Although there are some cases where it can’t be avoided and women with severe depression should definitely stay on their medication, I don’t really fall into either of those categories. So, I’m going to work on controlling my temper, cry whenever I want, and try not to worry about all of the bad things that could happen to my son which I can’t control anyway. (This last one, I think, stems from the fact that I’m realizing our time with just Garrett is ending.)

One of the more interesting parts of the conversation with my ob/gyn was when he explained to me all that is physiologically going on with my body right now. Apparently, a part of the emotional overload which comes during many pregnancies is really an issue of salt. Pregnant women retain salt more than those who aren’t. The retention of that salt puts pressure on the various organs of your body, including the brain. And, those pressure points from the salt tend to really push against the emotional control center of the brain, making one (me) a little nutty. That, combined with the increased levels of estrogen in your system (especially during a second pregnancy when the hormones build much quicker than the first) are enough to send anyone over the edge at times. So, he told me to lessen my salt intake, increase my fluids, and maybe try some vitamin B. He also told me to keep him posted on how I was feeling.

This whole discussion got me thinking about Lot’s wife, you know, the pillar of salt. I know there’s no direct correlation here, but there’s something to the fact that in her inability to let go emotionally she was turned into salt, and that salt can have such an impact on the emotional sensibilities of (at least) pregnant women. I always kind of thought Lot’s wife got a raw deal, I mean, change is hard. But if we keep looking to the past, we can never move forward. If we’ve got too much salt on the brain, we can’t look beyond ourselves to see what God has in store. So, what’s the point? I don’t know… maybe Lot’s wife should have had a big glass of water before setting off into the desert. In any case, it’s an interesting theory, and one that demonstrates the continually fascinating aspects of the human body.

Blessings and Peace,

** A little disclaimer– although I can be somewhat flippant about my own emotional roller coasters, I really believe that anti-depressants are a wonderful invention and do great things for people who truly suffer from anxiety disorders and depression, which, I know for a fact, are very real.