Pregnancy And Depression ?
Q: I've been lurking in this group for awhile and I finally have the guts to
ask y'all for some help. Have any of you suffered from depression (in a
clinical sense, pre-pregnancy) and had a successful pregnancy? I
understand the emotional ups and downs can be pretty wild and this worries
me. My depression is being treated very successfully and I would really
like to have a baby. I would love to hear from anyone with any experience
in this area.
A:Yes, I too have suffered with clinical depression for which I have been successfully treated and after which I became pregnant. I was also in treatment during my first pregnancy due to depression. I am happy to say that everything has gone well for me and all of us not only survived, but thrived. Unfortunately, depression is an illness which runs in my family and which I will probably always have to fight against. However, I now have a very good support network and I now know the warning signs and when I need to get help. I wish you the best in your recovery and I say - Go For It! Yes, it's a wild rollercoaster, but you can get through it and there are places and people that can help you. This group is a great support network in and of itself. You might be interested in an article in the jan/feb issue of _Mothering_ on treatment of depression -- it focused on post-partum but I think one of the authors went on to have a 2nd child while being treated. I have clinical depression and have just had a baby girl. I won't go into my pregnancy now - it was hell, but I got through it and I'd do it again tomorrow to get such a wonderful little baby . My main advice, apart from trying to manage with psycotherapy and no drugs, if at all possible, is to get as much support as you can. In fact, there was no support group for this in my area, so I started my own, and we are doing really well. Actually, I ought to point out that emotionally, my pregnancy was tolerable. I was a bit unstable at times (alt.support.depression proved a godsend) but I was less depressed than normal. I don't know if that was because I felt I was achieving something with my life, at long last, or if the hormones make you happier. There is no evidence, btw, that pre-pregnancy depression makes you any more likely than most to get post-natal depression. My pregnancy was hell because of severe nausea, anaemia, pelvic problems and kidney infections - my depression was the *least* of my problems!
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