Blog by Gill Houghton, Consultant Midwife For Normality, 9th May 2017
In tonight’s episode of one born Natasha and Andrew share their experiences of living with mental illness. I am sure their openness will encourage others to find the confidence they need to share any concerns they have with a loved one and a health professional. It is so important not to suffer alone.
Depression and anxiety are common and distressing conditions that affect at least one in ten women. Most women will feel more emotional than usual, a bit anxious or down at times during pregnancy and in the 2 weeks after childbirth. Symptoms of depression and anxiety however are longer lasting, affect your day-to-day life and relationships. Some common symptoms of are: feeling sad most of the time, no longer enjoying things that used to give you pleasure, feeling very tired but having trouble sleeping at night, feeling unable to look after your family or feeling no bond with baby, feelings of guilt are also common.
Unfortunately many people do not seek help at an early stage as they feel they may be judged by others for not coping or criticized for not feeling happy. If you are concerned about your own mental health follow Natasha’s example and talk to your partner, a friend or family member you trust as well as your midwife, health visitor or GP. The more support you can get the better, treatments usually focus on social and emotional support, however, a small number of sufferers are also prescribed medication.
If you are concerned you or your partner may be experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression please tell your midwife, health visitor or GP as soon as possible. More information on symptoms, support and the treatments available can be found on NHS Choices.