Having Severe Depression Symptoms While Pregnant And After?
How To Get Help
Both men and women can have difficulties adapting to the idea or presence of a baby in the family. Typically the biggest adjustment is to having a first child but depression and anxiety can affect people during or after any pregnancy. If you are having severe depression symptoms, get help!
If you are the Person Who is Experiencing Difficulties
- Do not be afraid to ask for help – from professionals (e.g. Dr., midwife, mental health professionals), family or friends. You may be in need of emotional or practical support. Unsure what are signs of depression? Ask!
- Look for support groups. Ask your Dr. or midwife. If you have older children, their school may know of resources for parents.
- Look for Places to Connect with other Parents. This could be playgroups, parks, music groups etc. Start a conversation by asking about another child that is there – how old are they? Comment on something cute they are doing.
- Continue taking any prescribed medications. Consult your health professional if you are concerned about the effect they might have on your baby.
If you are a Support Person
- Listen and empathize
- Ask how you can be of help (rather than suggesting things you could do). If the person can’t think of anything, make suggestions but do not push anything on them
- Ask if the person would like some time to themselves and how you can help make that happen
- Encourage the person to seek further help
If you, or someone close to you is concerned that you may act on feelings of wanting to hurt yourself, the baby or someone else, you should go to your nearest emergency room.
- Feeling depressed? Get help!
- Connect with others that have been through it
- Severe depression symptoms? Go to the nearest emergency room asap!
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Dr. Jemma Helfman is a child and adolescent clinical psychologist. She works at Kidcrew, providing assessment and interventions for children with a variety of presenting difficulties. Jemma also provides consultation and training to schools and daycares.