My Journey With Depression Through Pregnancy..
Yes you can have depression through pregnancy, brought on by pregnancy and it's a lot like postpartum except for the fact that it comes BEFORE you deliver your precious bundle of joy. This can happen to any woman. A woman who has a great support team and significant other is just as susceptible to maternal depression as a woman who is on her own struggling to find means. Depression plays no favorites and takes no sympathy upon its victims.
Today I want to share with you my personal struggles with prenatal depression and how I cope with it in healthy and the not recommended unhealthy ways that I'm working on changing.. I'm learning through this so I encourage you to do what works for you and take my advice for what it is and not the gospel!
Prenatal Depression Definition- A mood disorder just like chemical depression. Mood disorders are biological illnesses that involve changes in brain chemistry.
So now that we have an actual definition, let's talk about what it means.
"During pregnancy, hormone changes can affect the chemicals in your brain, which are directly related to depression and anxiety. These can be exacerbated by difficult life situation, which can result in depression during pregnancy." -American Pregnancy Organization
Well in my case I've struggled before hand with anxiety/depression since 6th grade and I've also been planning my wedding since the same time I found out about being pregnant..if that's not stress, then what is right? Oh but wait then lets add in that I had a tumor a year ago that changed my job status, left me relying solely on Matt to provide financially and the stress of feeling inadequate in this relationship and feeling like I can't ever overcome this tumor (Lord knows I've tried and am still trying), the thoughts of how we will maintain our lifestyle or keep our home and other necessities afloat and the cherry on top the fear of giving birth and the uncertain future...yep I'd say that makes me a great candidate..
WAYS TO NOT DEAL WITH PRENATAL DEPRESSION:
So I've learned that my go-to way of dealing with depression is to isolate myself putting distance between myself and others. I've also been known to lash out on the people I love most and say things I don't mean. It's like another human overtakes my brain, my emotions, my everything when this happens. This is the #1 way I would suggest you to NOT handle your battle. My poor fiancé is going through hell and back and all I have to say is sorry..it breaks my heart!
Don't hold this secret in a turn a blind eye! #2 unhealthy way to handle this common problem! That's what I've been doing for months now even when I knew something was off! I just kept telling myself that I have overcome this before and I could do it again, alone. I didn't need medicine or counseling, yet I've known deep down that I have but just couldn't admit it to myself in fear that Matt would leave me and turn his back on me. But I knew that wasn't true either when I really thought about it, it's just the depression talking! Prenatal depression is WORSE in my opinion than normal depression, and since I've experienced both I feel qualified to say that.
GREAT WAYS TO OVERCOME PRENATAL DEPRESSION:
You should be open and talk to others. When I started asking questions to my blog followers on Facebook, I was pleasantly surprised of how many women who look to me for advice could actually give me advice and share their own stories! And the fact that they were brave a willing to help me has been so eye opening! The #1 way to beat this disease is to be HONEST with yourself, spouse, friends and family!
#2, seek help from your doctor before it's too late into your pregnancy! It's okay to be embarrassed but I can promise you that your doctor sees this more often than not! It's so common so no shame momma! Your doctor can give you some pregnancy safe medicine or even recommend you to a therapist!
Now this brings me to my third and final way to deal with prenatal depression, counseling! #3 GO TO COUNSELING! You will be shocked at how much sharing your thoughts with someone who doesn't know you will relieve your pain, anxiety and stress. You will immediately feel a huge weight lifted off your shoulders and want to go back!
If you ever find yourself needing to talk or in this position, please don't hesitate to reach out! Even if you don't know me!