Although many people may fantasize about the joys and emotional well-being of pregnancy, for some women, particularly those with a history of psychiatric illness, pregnancy can be an emotionally vulnerable time. Studies show up to 20% of women suffer from depression or anxiety during pregnancy. This can be difficult to discern since symptoms of depression and anxiety can be confused with some of the dramatic changes that normally take place during pregnancy. For this reason, it is important for women to trust their instincts and let their doctor know if they do not like the way they are feeling.
Women who experience symptoms of depression or anxiety during pregnancy will find relief with appropriate intervention and support. For women who are concerned about the way they are feeling, it can be reassuring to be evaluated by a professional who can help determine what is okay and what may need to be treated or supported.
This is a non-scientific tool we use in our practice to increase our awareness of the factors that may put a woman at risk for depression. We find that it includes questions that are rarely asked during a routine medical exam yet the answers to these questions may alert the practitioner to cases where early intervention is indicated. Please bring this to your doctor so they can fully understand any risk factor you may have for PPD.