Depression in Pregnancy : Many assume that pregnancy will automatically bring feelings of joy and happiness right from the onset. This, however, isn’t the case for every woman. Some women feel quite the opposite and maybe even fall into depression along the way. It may be difficult to convince someone else that the impending bundle of joy doesn’t make you feel so joyous and so you keep it to yourself. The more you keep it inside the more you feel guilty for even feeling it. Quite confusing and draining!
You may at first confuse what you are experiencing with regular pregnancy symptoms because some of them are similar. There is a slight difference though and if you look closer you will see it.
Signs of depression
Some women experience all of these while some experience just a few of them but that doesn’t make their depression any less real. If you’ve experienced some of these in the last few weeks, there is a possibility that you are suffering from depression.
- Feelings of failure or guilt
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling hopeless, sad or that life is bleak
- Difficulty sleeping, sleeping too much or not sleeping through the night
- Trouble concentrating
- Not deriving pleasure or a lack of interest in any activity
- Having little energy or generally feeling tired
- Speaking and moving rather slowly or fidgeting too much
- Reduced or complete lack of appetite or overeating
- Suicidal thoughts or those of self-harm
Some symptoms may indeed be similar to pregnancy symptoms like changes in eating and sleeping patterns and tiredness. If they however go on for weeks or months continuously and get in the way of your daily activities it may just be depression.
Pregnancy in itself can be overwhelming enough to cause depression. Some women get pregnant when they are already downcast for different reasons and pregnancy serves as a trigger for deeper depression. You are also more likely to get depression if there is a history of depression in your family or if you’ve previously experienced a mental condition and the use of drugs.
Other factors that could contribute to depression in pregnancy include:
- Physical discomfort
The first thing pregnancy comes with is morning sickness followed by pelvic pain, crazy hamstring pain, backaches and the list goes on. These symptoms can do a number on your mental health.
- Financial worries
It is no secret that babies are expensive to maintain and worrying about how things will work out after the baby comes can take a huge toll on your mind and cause a lot of stress.
- Previous miscarriage or infertility
Difficulty getting pregnant or having gone through a miscarriage can leave you worried about the baby you are carrying at the moment.
- Complications in previous pregnancies
A troubled pregnancy or birth never really leaves your mind. It is therefore natural that you would be nervous this time around.
- Worries about relationships
Relationships between partners sometimes change for the worse and you could worry about that happening to you. You could also worry about how the new baby will affect relationships with your older children if you have any.
- Domestic abuse
Domestic abuse is bound to lead to depression both during and after pregnancy. It is a very unfortunate occurrence but happens a lot. The worst part is that many victims have a hard time asking for help but it is essential that they do.
Dealing with it
You need to realize that depression isn’t something to be ashamed of or feel guilty about because it’s an illness. Talk to someone about it, including your GP when you go for checkups. They should be able to direct you to professionals who can help you get through this situation and help you have a smoother and safer pregnancy.