If you are an expecting parent and you don’t feel the way you expected to then it’s important to talk to someone. You might simply be having a little trouble adjusting to the changes that come with pregnancy. Talking to a loved one or a trusted health professional can help.
If your feelings are worrying you or stopping you from functioning normally for more than two weeks, you may be experiencing antenatal anxiety or depression. This is nothing to be ashamed of. It is fine to talk about it. In fact, it is better that you do! The sooner you seek support, the sooner you can begin treatment and start feeling better.
Treating antenatal anxiety and depression
We know that everyone experiences antenatal anxiety and depression differently. The way it can affect you depends on a range of factors, from your own physical, emotional and mental make up to external factors that might be having an impact.
There are also different degrees of the illness. Some people experience milder symptoms of antenatal anxiety or depression, while others have more severe symptoms. The common factor is that the illness is affecting your ability to enjoy your pregnancy and potentially impacting your ability to function at all.
This means there is no one-size-fits-all treatment. Everyone responds to treatment differently. One treatment for antenatal anxiety or depression might work for one person, but not the next. You are unique, and so is your treatment. It’s important to remember that antetnatal anxiety and depression is temporary and treatable.
If you are an expecting parent worried about your emotional and mental wellbeing it’s important to seek support from a trusted health professional. Here at PANDA we recommend you see your GP. Your GP should be able to help you understand what is happening and direct you to the best treatment options. These might include counselling, methods of self-care, medication or direction to appropriate information and resources.
'My advice to anyone in this position, is to seek help, don't suffer alone.'
It’s also important for a GP to rule out any other physical conditions that we know can contribute to feelings of depression, anxiety, low energy or lack of motivation. If these are identified and treated the feelings that are worrying you may stop. Other health professionals like maternal and child health nurses can also provide you with advice and information. It is important to remember that if anyone, whether a health professional or anyone else, brushes off your concerns and suggests you are exaggerating and need to get on with things, it is worth seeking a second opinion.
If you are in any doubt, call the PANDA National Helpline. Our telephone counsellors will listen carefully to your concerns and direct you towards the most appropriate steps to take from there.
If you are concerned that you or someone in the family is at risk of suicide or being harmed, it’s vital that you seek immediate help by contacting either a GP or your nearest hospital’s emergency department. If you believe that someone’s life is at immediate risk, then call 000.