I know that there are many women that find trying for a baby difficult not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. When a woman has a miscarriage or stillbirth it can be extremely painful emotionally. Depression is quite often found in women in this situation. Postnatal and antenatal depression is also far more common than most of us realise too.
It was particularly brought home to me when a friend of mine recently committed suicide. She had struggled with depression for quite some time. Her depression had been triggered by other circumstances, which I won’t go into here. But it got me to thinking about how I felt after I had a miscarriage, how it affected me and my husband. I’d be lying if I said that I had no depression back then. It was hard to accept that the little life inside me was no more. I felt guilty, wondering if it was my fault, angry that something like this could happen when all I ever wanted was to give love to this baby.
If you are one of the many women struggling with similar feelings please, don’t suffer them alone. Contemplating suicide is never the answer. Speaking to trusted family, friends or a health professional is a far better option. If anyone, male or female, ever feels they cannot cope anymore, I would urge them to at least seek the support of a listening ear. Samaritans is a charity offering confidential support and are always willing to listen no matter what the time of day or night. They are only ever a phone call away.
David Richards, professor of mental health services research at the University of Exeter, offers the following tips for coping when you’re depressed (excerpt taken from UK National Health Service article).
1. Be more active
Don’t withdraw from life. Socialising can improve your mood. Keeping in touch with friends and family means you have someone to talk to when you feel low.
Take up some form of exercise. There’s evidence that exercise can help lift your mood. If you haven’t exercised for a while, start gently by walking for 20 minutes every day. Find out more about exercise for depression.
2. Face your fears
Don’t avoid the things you find difficult. When people feel low or anxious, they sometimes avoid talking to other people. Some people can lose their confidence in driving or travelling.
If this starts to happen, facing up to these situations will help them become easier.
3. Don’t drink too much alcohol
For some people, alcohol can become a problem. You may drink more than usual as a way of coping with or hiding your emotions, or just to fill time. But alcohol won’t help you solve your problems. It could also make you feel more depressed.
4. Have a routine
When people feel down, they can get into poor sleep patterns, staying up late and sleeping during the day. Try to get up at your normal time and stick to your routine as much as possible.
Not having a routine can affect your eating. You may stop cooking, eat snacks instead of proper meals or miss breakfast because you’re still in bed. Find out more about healthy eating and depression.
“We all know what it feels like to be down,” says Professor Richards. “Most people who feel low will start to feel better after a few days or weeks. But if these feelings persist or get in the way of everyday life, it’s time to seek help.”
If you’re still feeling down or anxious after a couple of weeks, talk to your Doctor or medical professional.