It was previously believed by experts that pregnancy hormones could protect against depression, therefore leaving women more vulnerable to the illness only after giving birth to the baby, thus resulting in a plunge in the hormone levels. However, that belief has now reversed as experts are starting to believe that the rapid increase in hormone levels at the start of the pregnancy can in fact disrupt the brain chemistry and lead to depression.
Depression can be experienced both during and after pregnancy which is known as antenatal and postnatal depression respectively. Depression is a mood disorder which can affect health of both the mother and baby. It is much more intense than mood swings and can affect daily activities such as sleeping, eating, working and interaction. Women who have had a past personal history or family history of depression are at risk of suffering from it during pregnancy. Depression is quite common among pregnant women and at least twenty percent of them suffer from it.
Symptoms such as fatigue or insomnia are common for women, who are having a healthy pregnancy, but at times they get combined with the feeling of sadness and hopelessness and then this causes trouble to your daily life. You will feel that you are unable to handle daily responsibilities and are having dangerous thoughts of self harm, and this by no means should be avoided. You must call your doctor and get necessary help.
If you think that you are suffering from depression go ahead and discuss it with your doctor. Sometimes it might be plain anxiety which is bothering you but it is always better to rule out depression at the earliest. Treatments include psychotherapy or counseling and medications such as antidepressants.
Depression during pregnancy could range from mild to severe, and it is entirely upon the woman and her family to make sure that she sails through this time well.
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