How to Deal with Pregnancy Depression: Helpful Tips for Expectant Mothers!
It has been reliably established that the woman is much more likely to suffer from depression while pregnant is called prenatal, and this is due to both their physiology and psycho-emotional constitution. In fact, this can affect almost every woman, and this is indeed a frequent occurrence. We decided to help you with this if you are worried about this. In this article, we will describe how to treat prenatal depression and other important factors that will probably be useful to you.
What Is Prenatal Depression?
The prenatal depression definition is quite simple, which has in its understanding depression, which can appear in every woman around the third trimester or almost before childbirth. Physiological factors play a huge role in the development of this disorder: mood changes are often associated with hormonal fluctuations, and depression is just a mood disorder. By the way, such a “purely feminine” property as tearfulness is also associated with female hormones ー it has been proven that the desire to cry provokes estrogen.
However, a prerequisite for the development of depression in women can be a dramatic life event, and a sharp reduction in social contacts, or any other “genderless” reason. For example, it has been proven that depressive states usually develop under the influence of certain difficult experiences in the woman, predisposed to neurotization.
Nevertheless, the development of the risk factor for prenatal depression in women is significantly associated with fluctuations in hormones, which in this regard, experts separately consider such common conditions as prenatal depression and postpartum depression.
Signs of Prenatal Depression
With the development of depression in a woman’s condition, changes in mood, a decrease in cognitive functions (memory impairment), changes in eating behavior and/or sleep disorders are noted. The following signs of depression are more common in women:
- Blues, melancholy, sadness;
- Extreme fatigue;
- Feelings of emotional numbness;
- Extreme irritability;
- Inability to concentrate;
- Difficulty memorizing;
- Sleep deficiency or, conversely, excessive sleepiness;
- Decreased or increased appetite;
- Loss of interest in sex;
- Fear, usually unfounded;
- Thoughts of suicide or death.
It should be remembered that self-diagnosis of depression is unacceptable, as is self-treatment. The diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM), which is used by all practicing psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists, is described in the DSM. By the way, this psychiatric “reference book” is so authoritative that it is even called the “bible of psychiatrists”: on its basis, practically all diagnostic criteria and approaches are developed, which are published in other documents. They are used by doctors not only in identifying or treating depression, but also in the case of other mental disorders, as well as in assessing the signs of recovery from depression.
Prenatal Depression Symptoms
If postpartum depression is suspected, differential diagnosis is usually done to rule out a milder, transient mood disorder known as baby blues. “Baby blues” are much more common than postpartum depression, with some experts claiming that “maternal sadness” develops in 85% of young mothers. The first symptoms of postpartum depression are usually observed 1-4 weeks after the birth of the baby. As a rule, it is:
- the feeling of constant anxiety;
- the feeling of loneliness, “abandonment” to the mercy of fate;
- the feeling of hopelessness;
- confidence in their own inability to cope with difficulties;
- the feeling of constant tiredness;
- a decreased motivation to perform daily routine activities;
- a lack of interest in the newborn.
It is easy to guess that many manifestations of postpartum depression can directly affect the condition of a newborn child, which increases the importance of timely diagnosis and treatment of postnatal depression.
How to Deal with Pregnancy Depression?
In the treatment of prenatal depression help, combination therapy is best suited: psychotherapeutic counseling and antidepressant medication. The choice of a treatment strategy for postnatal depression depends on the severity of the disease and the individual characteristics of the course of the disease in a particular patient.
Alternative treatments for the disorder (light therapy, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids) are being explored. However, these methods haven’t found wide application due to the inconsistency of the data obtained at the moment regarding their effectiveness.
It should be noted that with each subsequent birth, a relapse of postpartum depression may occur, and prompt treatment reduces the risk of developing this disorder in the future. We are sure that now you can apply prenatal depression treatment if this situation arises during your pregnancy. We recommend that you don’t drive yourself into a worse state and ask for help from loved ones, if you need it. And if you want to take care of this in advance, then in order to know how to avoid prenatal depression, just start using our tips a little earlier than the period when it comes.
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