So you’ve recently been diagnosed with prenatal depression or you think you may have it and you want to know what it means, what will you feel like, what will happen to you and have lots of thoughts racing around in your head?
Yes, I hear you and don’t worry it’s a lot scarier at the beginning when you don’t know what to expect. I can tell you this from first-hand experience that the anxiety mixed with the inability to get things done feels totally overwhelming. Here’s what to expect when suffering from prenatal depression.
This is probably obvious to you and to those around you that you are low or flat in mood, finding no enjoyment in things or activities and feeling generally sad for no apparent reason.
Losing Interest in Activities
If you find that you are losing interest in things you usually enjoy such as hobbies, exercise, cooking and interacting this will be because you are suffering from depression.
Becoming tearful on a regular basis is cause for concern and is a good indicator that you could be suffering from depression. Obviously, while you are pregnant your hormones can make you emotional too but if your experiencing other symptoms listed here too then it is a good indicator.
Constantly putting yourself down, feeling hopeless and worthless are also symptoms. If these symptoms worsen and you start to contemplate attempting suicide please seek medical attention immediately.
At the moment your probably finding it hard to concentrate on anything and everything – even reading this article, am I right? That’s why I’m keeping it short and snappy to the point to give you the facts you need. Every time I picked up a book to read I read the same sentence about 10 times and still didn’t manage to retain the information.
Altered Eating Habits
You are bound to have altered eating habits. You will either be eating everything in sight or like me, eat not much at all and need constant reminders to eat meals.
You will feel overly anxious about everything and anything. I felt anxious about going to work in case anything happened to my bump, I felt anxious about my baby and everything to do with my baby. Constantly worrying if something would be wrong with the baby, if my birth would be too traumatic for my baby, I constantly worried that one of us would die during the birth. I worried that the house wouldn’t be clean enough the baby would get poorly and the list goes on and on.
Constant Negative Thoughts
Constant negative thoughts are another cruel symptom to look out for. If your putting yourself down all the time and telling yourself your not a good person then this is probably the reason why. If you think about harming yourself or your baby you must seek medical attention immediately.
Decreased Sex Drive
Avoiding sex when you usually wouldn’t? This is another symptom of depression and it’s usually hard to admit to your partner but if you make them aware that this is part of your illness then it could help to keep your relationship healthy.
Feeling Like You Haven’t Bonded With Your Unborn Baby
Another biggie is not feeling attached to your baby- it’s important to discuss this with your midwife or GP so they can work with you and monitor closely for any deterioration.
Don’t expect many people to understand what you're going through without telling them- lots of people do not know about prenatal depression or any of the symptoms you will be experiencing. It’s important to let those close to us in and tell them exactly how your feeling. They might not fully understand but they can empathise with you when your irritability becomes to much and your shouting at them all the time, or when you can’t seem to “be bothered” to make dinner being “ lazy” with the housework or when you turn down ever social event that you get invited to until your friends give up and don’t bother with you anymore. I can tell you this makes you feel even worse than you already do so please just tell them how your feeling.
Just in case you've missed it, have a look at the first article in the Prenatal Depression series, Stay strong you got this!