Prenatal anxiety and depression
September 15, 2020
During pregnancy and after delivery, your body undergoes many hormonal changes. You will also have feelings of anxiety as you face new challenges, a sense of alienation as you forego your usual lifestyle and physical discomforts as your bod grows and adapts to the new life growing within. All these may sometimes become too much and you may slip into perinatal depression.
Perinatal depression refers to the mood disorder that affects women during pregnancy and after childbirth. They will experience severe feelings of sadness, anxiety and fatigue, and will be unable to carry out their normal activities. If you or someone you know experience these symptoms, get medical help as soon as possible.
Perinatal depression can be treated
Perinatal depression has to be treated at the earliest to protect the health and well-being of the mother and baby. With timely and correct treatment perinatal depression can cured completely. Treatment options include therapy and medications.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Group or Individual counselling sessions with experts will help you overcome your feelings of anxiety and depression. They will give you a different perspective and help you change your way of thinking and reacting. You will learn to challenge harmful thoughts and behaviours. This will help you emerge from your negativities and face life with confidence and happiness.
Interpersonal Therapy: This therapy will help you improve your communication. It will help you get back your relationships on a good footing and form social support systems you can rely on when you require help. You will develop realistic expectations while learning to deal with negative issues that contribute to depression.
Antidepressants are medicines used to treat depression. These will influence the chemicals in your brain that control your mood. Special antidepressants that do not harm your foetus when you are pregnant or your baby when you are breastfeeding will be prescribed. It will take about 6 to 8 weeks of regular medication for you to notice positive changes. Improvement of your appetite, sleep and concentration are signs that the medication is effective. Your depression will soon lift.
It is very important to note that you should not stop your medicines when you feel better. This can lead to a relapse into depression or a withdrawal symptom. When it is time to stop your medicines, your doctor will plan a gradual decrease to help your body adjust to withdrawal.
If you are suffering from depression, you should not be alone. Medications may aggravate your symptoms, sometimes to the extent of causing self-harm, before you find the best medicine and dose that suits you. Ensure you have someone with you, someone you can rely on to get you to your doctor if your develop such tendencies
Perinatal depression is often first noticed by family and friends.
This is a medical condition that can be completely cured with treatment. The role of family and immediate circle of friends is vital. Their support, both emotional and physical, is required to help the mother get over her depression. When a mother overcomes her depression, it is not just she, but her also her baby, husband and family that are saved.