Dealing with Depression during Pregnancy
Am I Depressed? – Symptoms of depression are persistent negative thoughts, feelings and emotions (from sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness to suicidal) which affect a person’s personality, health, work and relationship with friends and family. General sadness and bad mood should not be confused with depression as a person is able to recover from it easily and it does not last very long. But depression is a medical condition and should be taken more seriously. A person who is depressed should be treated with proper medication and psychotherapy.
Causes of Depression in Women – It is a fact that more women fall prey to depression than men, and are at greater risk of developing depression especially during puberty, pregnancy, postpartum and menopause due to changes in hormones. Women have to face more distress in their daily lives – responsibilities towards home, profession, parenting, and lack of support, inability to cope and meet expectations makes them more vulnerable. Deficiency of vital nutrients like folate, Vitamin B6 and B12 are known to cause depression.
Dealing with depression during Pregnancy
- During pregnancy, extra care and support is required for women suffering from depression, as their ability to care for themselves is affected.
- Psychotherapy is recommended over medications which may risk pregnancy.
- If medication is necessary, lower doses or safer alternatives should be considered. Consultation with the psychotherapist and OB/GYN is extremely important before taking any medication for depression.
- Pregnant women should keep themselves in company of loving and caring family / friends. Support from family and friends helps in effective treatment of depression.
- Those suffering from depression should stay away from abusive relationships which can worsen the person’s state of depression.
- Exercise, morning walk and healthy diet can also help in reducing chances of depression.
– Encyclopedia of Motherhood – Andrea O’Reilly
– The Depression Answer Book by Wes Burgess, MD, PhD