Pregnancy Depression

Two odd things to talk about in one afternoon, right? But, I don’t want to be all negative and stuff. So I thought I would combine a serious topic with a totally frivolous one. If you want to skip this one and go straight to stripping Fuzzi Bunz, go ahead ;)

Isn’t it interesting how you don’t really realize you’re in a depression until it begins to lift a little? That’s how it is for me lately. And I wrote about the issue of pregnancy depression last time I was in this boat. After some pondering I realize that I’ve had this issue in EVERY pregnancy, no matter what the circumstances. Whether the baby was a surprise or totally planned, it didn’t matter.

I feel that pregnancy depression is a huge taboo, and probably under-diagnosed. Women are probably ashamed to admit they’re depressed, especially if they’re happy about the baby! (And I am very happy about the baby :-) Pregnant women are “supposed” to glow, be bastions of bliss and all that. But for some – and the reasons are likely as varied as the woman herself – something I talked about in my earlier post on the subject, pregnancy is difficult emotionally.

I’m very, very fortunate in that I’ve never experienced Postpartum Depression. But if I had, I would know the signs to look for, there would be more awareness on the part of my loved ones and health care practitioner, and I would know how to treat it naturally. There isn’t as much knowledge about pregnancy depression.

After pondering this for a long time I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, the cause mainly comes down to two things:

  1. Seasonal mood changes (because I’ve usually spent the first trimester of pregnancy during the winter when my mood is lower anyway) plus
  2. Chronic sickness (severe, prolonged pregnancy nausea)

With perhaps a little vitamin or mineral deficiency thrown in (probably as a result of thing 2).

These two things together pack a double whammy. When I’m so sick, and when it’s cold and grey and rainy out, I won’t be doing the things I normally do to manage my mood. Things like: daily walking/exercise, daily outdoor time, having a monthly outing with my “girls”, taking my supplements (cod liver oil and such that feed the brain).

The combination of: social isolation, a messier house, a lower standard of personal productivity, and just feeling so sick for months on end is just plain depressing!

Have you dealt with this issue? Were the causes similar to mine, or totally different? How did you manage it? (Just the passage of time, or something more aggressive?)


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