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Depression in Women

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How are PMS and PMDD treated?

Many women who suffer with depression along with PMS or PMDD find improvement through exercise or meditation. For individuals with severe symptoms, medicine, individual or group psychotherapy, or stress management may be helpful.

Does depression in women occur during pregnancy?

Pregnancy has long been viewed as a period of well-being that protected women against psychiatric disorders. But depression in women occurs almost as commonly in pregnant women as it does in those who are not pregnant. The factors which increase the risk of depression in women during pregnancy are:

  • A history of depression or PMDD
  • Age at time of pregnancy -- the younger you are, the higher the risk
  • Living alone
  • Limited social support
  • Marital conflict
  • Uncertainty about the pregnancy

What is the impact of depression on pregnancy?

The potential impact of depression on a pregnancy includes the following:

  • Depression can interfere with a woman's ability to care for herself during pregnancy. She may be less able to follow medical recommendations and to sleep and eat properly.
  • Depression can cause a woman to use substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and/or illegal drugs, which could harm the baby.
  • Depression can make bonding with the baby difficult.

Pregnancy may have the following impact on depression in women:

  • The stresses of pregnancy can cause depression or a recurrence or worsening of depression symptoms.
  • Depression during pregnancy can increase the risk for having depression after delivery (called postpartum depression).

 

What are my options if I'm depressed during pregnancy?

Preparing for a new baby is lots of hard work. But your health should come first. Resist the urge to get everything done, cut down on your chores, and do things that will help you relax. In addition, talking about things that concern you is very important. Talk to your friends, your partner, and your family. If you ask for support, you will find you often get it.

If you're feeling down and anxious, consider seeking therapy. Ask your doctor or midwife for a referral to a mental health care professional.

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What's your treatment of choice?