Depression during pregnancy
How to tell if you have antenatal depression
Antenatal depression is more common than you think. Studies in recent years have shown that depression during pregnancy may be more common than postnatal depression. It’s hardly surprising with high levels of hormones flying around your system, not to mention the secret worries and fears that you may have about becoming a parent. You need to allow yourself to make mental as well as physical changes at this time.
What can help trigger antenatal depression?
The following are all things that might trigger a negative emotional state and should be acknowledged:
- Moving house
- Relationship break-up
- Anxiety about miscarrying
- Physical illness
- A past history of depression
If you do not have the support of a partner, for example, this time can feel very lonely and isolating. Often, couples tend to make all the big life changes at once. So if you have recently tied the knot, fallen pregnant and moved house, chances are you are not alone! A trio of huge life changes can send stress levels soaring through the roof at the one time you should be slowing down and trying to take life a bit easier.
Symptoms of antenatal depression
The classic symptoms of antenatal depression are:
- Apathy or feeling constantly tired and unable to enjoy anything
- Sleeping too much
- Lack of interest in anything
- Overwhelming feelings of sadness or despair
- Compulsions (like constantly cleaning or washing your hands repeatedly)
- Being unable to concentrate
- Feeling irritable
- Excessive crying
What to do if you think you have antenatal depression
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, don’t struggle alone. Depression is an illness and you need to get help as you would the flu or a broken leg. Talk to someone you trust and make an appointment to see your GP or midwife who will be able to provide you with adequate support.
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