Prenatal Depression: Treatment, Causes And Symptoms

Prenatal Depression: Treatment, Causes And Symptoms

Prenatal Depression Pregnancy is one of the happiest times of a woman’s life. However, for many women, pregnancy is a time of confusion, fear, stress, and even depression. 

According to The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), between 14-23% of women will struggle with some symptoms of depression during pregnancy.

What is Prenatal Depression?

Depression during pregnancy, or antepartum depression, is a mood disorder just like Prenatal Depression. Mood disorders are biological illnesses that involve changes in brain chemistry. 

Amid pregnancy, hormone changes can influence the synthetic compounds in your mind, which are straightforwardly identified with depression and anxiety. 

These can be exacerbated by troublesome life circumstances, which can result in Prenatal Depression amid pregnancy.

Also read:-Does super brain yoga work for depression

The Causes Of Prenatal Depression?

Firstly, there are no specific causes of depression. However, some issues do often trigger depression symptoms. 

  •  Relationship problems 
  •  Family or personal history of depression
  •  Previous pregnancy loss 
  •  Stressful life events 
  • Complications in pregnancy 
  • History of abuse or trauma

Diagnosis

Your doctor will perform a thorough physical exam before reaching a diagnosis of prenatal depression to make sure there are no physical reasons for your symptoms. At some point during the physical exam, the doctor will ask questions about your overall health. 

This will help to determine if your prenatal depression symptoms stem from a physical health problem. Lab tests will likely be in order.

 Blood analysis and hyperthyroidism tests can rule out faulty body functions. You’ll probably also go through a psychological evaluation so the doctor can gain insight into your symptoms and patterns of behavior. 

A mental health diagnosis will occur when the doctor determines that your prenatal depression symptoms meet the criteria for a certain mental health diagnosis. 

If your diagnosis is prenatal depression, the doctor will likely recommend talk therapy (psychotherapy) and certain medications designed to target prenatal depression. If the symptoms are severe, the doctor may recommend seeing a specialist in the mental healthcare area.

Also read:- Ashwagandha for depression: Is It Proven to Help?

Prenatal depression symptoms

Prenatal depression is a condition associated with the same feelings as regular depression is. Something becomes altered in the brain and leads to changes in your moods.

Anger and Severe Mood Swings

 Most people know that feeling sad or blue a lot of the time can be related to depression, but did you know there are other extreme emotions and moods that can be a sign? Anger or extreme irritability is a sign of depression not people understand.

 This can be complicated because anger is also associated with other things, but it can also be a sign of depression. If you find that you get extremely irritable or angry at someone or something, and it seems irrational but extreme, you just might be suffering from depression.

Increased fatigue and sleep problems 

Part of the reason you might stop doing things you enjoy is because you feel very tired. 

Depression often comes with a lack of energy and an overwhelming feeling of fatigue, which can be among the most debilitating symptoms of depression. This could lead to excessive sleeping.

Lack of Focus and Determination

 If you are someone that just tries to barely get by, not really setting goals for yourself or trying to improve your own life, it could be a sign of depression. 

This isn’t the case for everything in this scenario, but it is a potential sign of depression.

You could be someone who is used to feeling down, worthless, and hopeless, so you don’t even bother trying. 

You have convinced yourself that it will never get better and no amount of effort will make your life more meaningful. 

This often leads to low energy, lack of focus, and lack of determination to try anything new. Unfortunately, this in turn causes more negative emotions, just making your depression worse.

Anxiety 

While depression hasn’t been shown to cause anxiety, the two conditions often occur together. Symptoms of anxiety can include:

  •  Nervousness
  •  Restlessness
  •  Feeling tense
  •  Feelings of danger panic
  •  Rapid heart rate
  •  Rapid breathing
  • Heavy sweating  
  • Muscle twitching 

Looking at death 

Depression is sometimes connected with suicide. In 2013, more than 42,000 people died from suicide in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Also read:- Vitamins And Supplements To Help Treat Depression

What Is The Impact Of Depression On The Baby?

There isn't a considerable measure of good research about how depression influences babies since it's hard to isolate the impacts of depression from the symptoms of the antidepressants women take amid pregnancy. 

Depression that isn't dealt with can have potential perilous dangers to the mother and child. 

Untreated depression can prompt poor nourishment, drinking, smoking, and self-destructive conduct, which would then be able to cause untimely birth, low birth weight, and formative issues. 

A woman who is depressed frequently does not have the quality or want to sufficiently think about herself or her creating infants

 Infants born to moms who are depressed might be less dynamic, indicate less consideration and be more upset than babies destined for mothers who are not depressed. 

This is the reason for getting the correct help is vital for both mother and infant. Untreated Depression amid pregnancy is likewise connected to a higher probability of an infant being conceived early or having a low birth weight. 

Research likewise proposes that children born to women with depression will probably be irritable and may cry more than babies destined for mothers who aren't depressed.

Prenatal depression treatment

Medication

 The most common treatment for depression is the use of antidepressants. These drugs work by balancing chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters that affect mood and emotions. 

There are several categories of antidepressants. The best way to find out which one could work for you is consulting your psychiatrist or physician and obtaining a prescription. 

These drugs normally take 2 to 4 weeks before you will notice a change in your mood. Most people with depression find that medication works.

 Psychotherapy 

Today, there’s a number of effective psychosocial treatments for depression. 

Some types of psychotherapy have undergone more rigorous research than others. However, as a whole, the below treatments are helpful options. All are short-term therapies, lasting anywhere from 10 to 20 sessions.

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Behavioral activation therapy
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT)
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Problem-solving therapy (PST)
  • Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (STPP)

Meditation

Stress and anxiety are major triggers for depression, and meditation has been proven to alter your reaction to those feelings. 

When you’re stressed the body produces a hormone called cortisol, and meditation lowers cortisol. 

During meditation your brain is also producing theta waves that usually only occur when you’re asleep, and alpha waves like when you’re daydreaming

Challenging Negative Thoughts

 A lot of the work in treating depression is changing how you think. When you're depressed, you embrace worst-case scenarios and obsessively dwell on the negative. 

Challenging these negative thoughts is a common treatment for depression. You feel no one loves you, but what real evidence do you have? You think you’re a worthless horrible person, but is that really the truth? Try challenging these beliefs and ideas. 

When the thoughts come say, “no, we’re not doing this today.” When you’re telling yourself what a terrible person you are, think about how you would respond if a friend talked about themselves that way. You would probably tell them to stop being so negative. 

Apply the same logic to your own thoughts. It takes practice, but if you address the negative thoughts head on, don’t embrace them, or indulge, they’ll eventually become less persuasive.

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