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When you are expecting a baby, everyone naturally assumes that you are overjoyed and enjoying those magical months. But, not every pregnant woman looks at the world through rose-tinted glasses and as much as ten percent of all pregnant mothers experience prenatal depression and anxiety. If you think you are among them, do not hesitate to seek help. Prenatal depression and anxiety are nothing to be ashamed about.

What are the symptoms?

Depression is not that difficult to recognize, and we all know what are some of the characterizing features of the condition. If you feel sad, angry, lonely, and blue all the time, you might be depressed. Many depressed people feel like life is no fun any more, and lack emotions. Fatigue and irritation are frequent symptoms, and depressed people often encounter sleeping problems as well.

Are there any particular risk factors for prenatal depression?

As with "regular" depression, some people are more at risk of prenatal depression and anxiety than others. But sometimes it is nothing more than a hormonal imbalance, and prenatal depression can strike pretty much anyone. Women who have a family history of depression are also more likely to suffer from prenatal depression. And it is not a surprise that women who are exposed to large amounts of stress, having relationship troubles, problems at work, or financial worries are considered to be at a higher risk of getting prenatal depression. Expectant moms with previous miscarriages, or those whose pregnancies are high-risk, also have higher odds of getting depressed.

And the treatment?

Therapy is always recommended for women suffering from prenatal depression, but some antidepressant medication is also safe for pregnant women. Talk to your doctor, and they will refer you to a psychologist, or a psychiatrist. Please, don't hesitate to knock on your doctor's door as soon as you suspect prenatal depression.

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