Mind Ur Mind: Depressed while Pregnant
Depression is often misunderstood as just feeling sad, the myths and shame surrounding depression leads to denial and ignorance which can cause confusion and unnecessary pain. Depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.
Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.
Depression can affect anyone, so when engaging in a dialogue about mental illness we must also include pregnant women. According to the society bringing a child to the world must be a joyful period for the mother, so therefore she must not be sad, unhappy, depressed or insecure. If she was a robot then this form of societal expectation would have been perfect. But back on earth, where pregnant humans experience crazy levels of hormone imbalance and major or minor unavoidable and unhealthy life experiences and situations such as poverty, domestic abuse, extreme stress, exposure to violence, migration, history of depression, having a long standing illness, family history of depression, personality traits such as being overly self-critical, lack of friends and family support or even natural disasters, all these factors and so much more could easily trigger depression in pregnant women and it is absolutely okay because life happens, the next best thing to do is recognise the symptoms and get help.
According to World Health Organisation about 10% of pregnant women and 13% of women who have just given birth experience a mental disorder, primarily depression. In developing countries this is even higher, i.e. 15.6% during pregnancy and 19.8% after child birth. In severe cases mothers’ suffering might be so severe that they may even commit suicide. In addition, the affected mothers cannot function properly. As a result, the children’s growth and development may be negatively affected as well.
First we need to know some of the symptoms of depression:
- You can’t concentrate or make decisions
- You don’t enjoy life
- You feel irritable and don’t want to be with other people
- You are having sucidal thoughts
- You lose your self-confidence
- You feel down most of the time
- You feel worthless
- You feel guilty
- You lose your appetite
- You lose interest in things you used to enjoy
What you should probably do if you are experiencing any or all of the symptoms:
- Instead of trying to pray it away, seek professional help!
Tell your midwife or doctor about how you feel, do not be ashamed or feel guilty, everyone expects you to be happy but it is literally not about anyone else, just you and your baby.
- Speak out, talk to friends or/and family about how you feel.
- Keep a diary to show your midwife.
- Eat well, more vegetables fruits and balanced diet.
- Meditation before medication (although there are medication to help,speak to your midwife for options and information).
- Keep yourself busy, take up a new hobbies, maybe painting or cooking etc.
For further help
PANDAS: Helpline 0843 2898401. Provides telephone support, online information and local support groups for pregnancy depression and postnatal depression.
MIND: Helpline 0300 123 3393. Mental health charity providing information, support, local groups and an online chatroom
Mind ur Mind: Depression and Healing Event
Why don’t you join us on the 18th of November, we will be holding Mind Ur Mind: Depression and Healing event highlighting the importance of addressing Mental Health.
Health and well being Professionals will be available to answer all of your questions
Our Guest Speakers are Nadia Nwuanga an NHS Primary Care Psychology Service Therapist.
Lyna Ndagire Kawalya Exercise and Healthy eating Business woman.
Alice Leigh Mindfulness and Yoga teacher.
Mental Health professionals from Mosiac Club House will be available to provide advice on how to seek advice and help.
Ayo Awotan Motivational Speaker and coach.
The event also aims to challenge common misconceptions about depression and anxiety within the Black Community and support them in identifying common triggers.