Just Pregnant or Depressed?
Updated: Sep 24
You’re growing new life and that’s great and all but growing that life isn’t always easy! You’re not sleeping or you’re sleeping a ton. You’re eating until your heart’s content or not having the stomach to eat much at all. You can’t move around like you used to, can’t enjoy an alcoholic beverage, can’t eat certain foods, it’s a lot of changes! Can we just be real here? Pregnancy can be depressing! But does this mean you are actually, clinically depressed? Let’s explore this. The clinical term for depression during pregnancy is Antepartum depression and the official disorder from the therapist bible is Major Depressive Disorder with peripartum onset (pregnancy and in 4 weeks following delivery). It can be very difficult to detect because pregnancy symptoms do tend to merge with symptoms of depression. Here are some signs of Depression:
-loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed
-depressed mood (sad, hopeless, tearful)
-feelings of worthlessness/guilt
-loss of concentration/indecisive
-thoughts of death or even suicide (if currently, please call the National Suicidal Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255)
Other signs that are also common pregnancy symptoms:
-significant weight loss/gain
-fatigue/loss of energy
-increased sleep/decreased sleep
(American Psychiatric Association, 2013)
Here are some important questions to ask yourself; are these symptoms interfering with your daily life? (i.e. are you missing days of work/school? Not socializing as much?) Have you experienced these symptoms for more than 2 weeks? If you have some symptoms above and answered yes to the above questions you may want to seek some assistance. Please consult with a licensed mental health professional for a formal diagnosis. Don’t let others convince you that, “it’s just pregnancy.” Pregnancy is your season to receive help; you don’t have to suffer any longer.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).Washington, DC: Author.