Depressed or Just Pregnant?

I just wrote a paper called 'Drinking the Pregnancy Lemonade: Medical and Societal Denial of Prenatal Depression'. Part of the paper discussed the challenges of diagnosing depression in pregnant women, because of the overlap of symptoms. I thought you might find this interesting.

DSM-IV TR: Major Depressive Disorder vs. 

What to Expect When You're Expecting

Criteria: dysphoria and anhedonia...

Normal mood swings of depression can take your emotions places they've never gone before, both to exhilarating highs and depressive lows... Pregnancy can be a time of high anxiety... a certain amount of worry is normal, and probably unavoidable. (p.165)

..and four of the following every day for at least two weeks, combined with distress/impairment in functioning: Significant weight or appetite change,

From the fourth month on, start watching your weight
to make sure it begins to move upward at the appropriate rate...
(p. 181) 

Insomnia or hypersomnia,

Sleep problems are common in pregnancy, and...
may be good preparation for the sleepless nights that lie ahead once your baby arrives... (p. 204)

Psychomotor retardation or agitation,

15 percent or so of pregnant women...experience restless leg syndrome... (p. 289)

Fatigue or loss of energy,

Physical or mental fatigue can... exacerbate the symptoms of morning sickness
(conversely, severe morning sickness can increase fatigue). (p. 131)

Feelings of guilt or worthlessness,

Dreams of... being unprepared for the baby when he or she arrives can reveal the common fear that you're not up to being a mother... Dreaming about becoming unattractive or repulsive to your spouse...expresses the common fear that pregnancy will...
make you unappealing to your partner. (p. 292)

Reduced ability to think or concentrate,

Like numerous other symptoms, forgetfulness is caused by the hormonal changes of pregnancy. Sleep deprivation can also play a role (the less you sleep, the less you remember)... (p. 215)

Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

Topping the list of most common concerns, understandably, is a fear of miscarriage.
Fortunately, most expectant worriers end up worrying unnecessarily. (p. 140)

1 comment:

  1. wow those are some good comparisons, kind of scary though that some women may be falsely labeled with depression, while others are truly suffering and are told it's normal and to get over it.