Guest Author - Jacqueline Kilpatrick
Pregnancy is supposed to be an exciting and happy timeÖ but what if it isnít? What do you do if you just canít shake that down feeling you get sometimes? How do you know if itís something to be worried about or just ďhormonesĒ? Letís take a look at depression during pregnancy.
First of all, anyone can experience the symptoms of depression, no matter who they are. Secondly, it doesnít determine who you are or what kind of mother you will be. Depression in pregnancy is just like any other type of clinical depression. Depression is a mood disorder that is thought to be caused by hormone changes that cause an imbalance with the chemicals in our brain. Life issues, difficulties in pregnancy and health problems can make the situation worse if you already struggle with depression or teeter on the line of becoming depressed.
Some of the signs of pregnancy depression are:
-Trouble making decisions
-Sleeping too little or too much
-Headaches or stomach pains that donít go away
-Loss of interest in things that you once enjoyed
-Recurring thoughts of death, suicide or hopelessness
-Withdrawing from friends and/or family
-Feeling guilty or unworthy
-Change in eating habits
If you experience any of the symptoms above and they last for two weeks or more, you may be experiencing some depression during pregnancy. It can be hard to tell whether you are struggling with depression or just having a bad day. The most important thing to remember is that there is help out there.
If you think that you may be dealing with depression, you may be wondering if you need to just ride it out and see if it will get better on its own or if you should get help. Dealing with pregnancy can be hard, your body changes, your hormones are all over the place and there is a big change in your family dynamic. All of these challenges can contribute to having trouble dealing with your emotions. When looking at whether or not you may need help with depression, think about the potential problems that could arise by not handling it now. By not taking care of your mental health during your pregnancy, you are potentially harming your unborn child. Most women that are depressed are more likely to eat poorly, giving poor nutrition to both the mother and baby and are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol or struggle with other suicidal thoughts. All of those factors can lead to premature birth, low birth weight, developmental problems and can take a toll on the others around you, like your spouse or other children that depend on you.
There are many options available. The first thing you should do is talk to someone. Find a friend, relative, spouse or an online support group to talk through things. The biggest struggle in life, especially in pregnancy is trying to deal with everything and having nowhere to go and sometimes, no one to take care of you. Talk with your doctor, he/she is there to help you along this journey and they have the experience and resources that you may find beneficial. Look for a support group. You are not alone in this and the area you live in may have local support groups full of women that are struggling as well. Other things you may find beneficial are visiting with a private therapist, light therapy and possibly medication if needed.
One of the most important aspects of pregnancy is your total well being. Take these nine months to spoil your emotional, physical and spiritual health. Depression is not the end of the road, but it can be a bump on the way to meeting that little one that will change your life forever.
Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to take the place of medical advice. Any attempt to diagnose or treat a condition should come under the direction of a qualified practitioner. If you think you may be dealing with depression, you should contact your health care provider at your earliest convenience.