Online Therapy for Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Q&A
At PersonALL Counseling, we understand the challenges that come with being a new parent and how it can affect the way you feel. If you’re concerned about your moods during or after your pregnancy or would like more emotional support to navigate this time, reach out to us. Our team of experienced, certified, and knowledgeable telehealth counselors is dedicated to providing the care you need to get back to feeling your best. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We serve clients from Roswell GA, Mountain Park GA, Dunwoody GA, Sandy Springs GA, Alpharetta GA, and surrounding areas.
Table of Contents:
What are perinatal anxiety and depression?
Why do anxiety and depression happen during pregnancy?
What is the difference between postpartum and perinatal depression?
When to seek help for Perinatal Depression and Anxiety?
Pregnancy and the first year of parenthood are referred to as the perinatal period. This is a unique time for new and expecting parents as life is changing in big, and often unexpected, ways. The challenges of adjusting to pregnancy, or being a parent to an infant, can cause shifts in your mental health. While some ups and downs are completely normal, feelings of depression and anxiety that affect your day-to-day life are not. This may be a sign of perinatal depression or anxiety, which should always be addressed by a licensed medical professional.
Perinatal anxiety and depression are characterized by feelings of worry, fear, dread, discomfort, sadness, hopelessness, and doubt that begin and persist either during pregnancy or in the year following the birth of the baby.
Depression refers to a mood disorder that results in a long-lasting low mood, high levels of fatigue, and low motivation. Anxiety, on the other hand, is characterized by excessive and relentless worrying that is often disproportionate to the worry or issue.
While it is normal to experience these emotions sometimes during pregnancy and parenthood, it should not be a long-standing issue. With perinatal anxiety and depression, these emotions are intense and persistent, often preventing a parent(s) from feeling normal or happy during this time.
Both of these conditions can severely impact a person’s physical, emotional, social, and psychological well-being. This may include disturbances to their sleep, concentration, problem-solving skills, stress management, and communicative abilities.
There isn’t one specific factor or event that causes perinatal anxiety and depression, as both are complex issues that can stem from a number of different areas. Research suggests that perinatal depression and anxiety may be caused by:
• Genetics, as these disorders have been shown to run in families. Having a parent or sibling with a mental health disorder significantly increases your risk of developing anxiety or depression.
• Stressful or traumatic life events.
• Previous mental health struggles, such as being diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or another mood disorder in the past.
• A previous traumatic birthing experience.
• Having a self-critical or perfectionistic personality structure.
It’s important to note that anxiety and depression can hold hands with each other, with one causing the other to develop and vice versa.
Perinatal depression can occur at any time throughout pregnancy and up to a year following the birth of your baby. Postnatal or postpartum depression specifically refers to depression that occurs after the birth of the child. It is common for doctors and nurses to use these terms interchangeably, so don’t be concerned if you hear your healthcare practitioner using different terms to describe this condition.
If you have signs of perinatal depression and/or anxiety, or you’re just not feeling quite right during or after your pregnancy, it’s important to get a mental evaluation by your primary physician or a mental health specialist. They’ll ask you questions about when your symptoms started, how often they occur, and what symptoms you’re experiencing. Your general practitioner, in many cases, will refer you to a mental health specialist such as a counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist for a more comprehensive evaluation and treatment.
If you have signs of depression or anxiety during or after pregnancy, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. If you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, you should contact emergency care right away.
If you’re looking for empathetic and professional care to help you work through your perinatal anxiety or depression, contact us at PersonALL Counseling. Our team is dedicated to giving you the support, tools, and resources that you need to overcome your emotional challenges. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We serve clients from Roswell GA, Mountain Park GA, Dunwoody GA, Sandy Springs GA, Alpharetta GA, and surrounding areas.