Depression during pregnancy is common, affecting between 7 to 13% of women . Without effective treatment, depression can persist through pregnancy with 50% becoming Postnatal Depression.
Anxiety during pregnancy is thought to be at least, if not more common, affecting up to 13% of pregnant of postnatal women in the past year . Depression and anxiety often occur together.
There are other psychological illnesses that can occur during pregnancy, such as bipolar disorder. All carry risks for you and your developing infant.
Negotiating pregnancy can cause many different emotional responses. You may experience tiredness, or feel overwhelmed, or uncertain. You may find it difficult to know if these are normal experiences or part of a more significant problem, such as pregnancy depression or anxiety.
Some of the common signs of depression
- a loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities
- numb, or in a low mood
- inadequate, like a failure
- sad, empty, hopeless, worthless
- unable to cope with daily routine
- having difficulty sleeping, or excessive sleeping
- loss of appetite, or over eating
- excessive crying
- thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Some of the common signs of anxiety
disorders can include:
- anxiety, fear or worry that is difficult to control
- excessive worry about your baby’s health, or the birth
- feeling irritable, tense, restless, on edge
- experiencing difficulty relaxing and falling asleep at night
- muscle tension
- chest tightness, heart palpitations or shortness of breath
- fear or worry that stops you going out
- excessive checking on baby.
In many cases, a mixture of depressive and anxiety symptoms can be experienced.
There are a number of very good resources available that provide reliable, good quality information about psychological disorders during, and after, pregnancy. These are listed below.
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