Experts state that depression and anxiety disorders are common during pregnancy, and that the untreated mental illness in the expectant mother negatively affects the mother-baby health and relationship. Emphasizing that depression can be found in one out of every 10 pregnant women, experts draw attention to symptoms such as hopelessness, thoughts of worthlessness, not being able to enjoy life, guilt and suicidal thoughts.
According to experts who recommend that the expectant mother be removed from stress factors that may trigger depression, patient relatives should be included in the treatment process. Üsküdar University NP Feneryolu Medical Center Psychiatry Specialist Dr. Dilek Sarıkaya made evaluations about mental illnesses encountered during pregnancy and shared her recommendations.
Mental illnesses negatively affect the mother-infant relationship
Stating that pregnancy is a natural process in women's lives, Dr. Dilek Sarıkaya said, “Pregnancy is also a process where there are important psycho-social changes and there is a high risk of encountering many reasons that may cause stress and anxiety. In some cases, psychiatric symptoms may appear for the first time during pregnancy, while in others, an increase in existing psychiatric symptoms may be observed. Failure to treat the mental illness of the expectant mother negatively affects the mother-baby health and relationship. For this reason, it is useful to say that early diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses during pregnancy and postpartum period is very important. said.
Depression can be seen in one out of every 10 pregnant women.
Emphasizing that depression and anxiety disorders are the most common during pregnancy, Dr. Dilek Sarıkaya said, “Depression can be seen in one of every 10 pregnant women. The most commonly reported anxiety disorder during pregnancy is generalized anxiety disorder with a prevalence rate of 8.5 – 10.5 percent. In the postpartum period, postpartum blues is a condition experienced by 50-85% of women who have just given birth. Postpartum depression can be seen at rates of up to 50%. Postpartum psychosis, on the other hand, is a very serious mental disorder that emerges in the first few weeks after birth and can be seen in 1000-1 out of every 2 mothers who give birth. used the phrases.
Pregnancy depression can have serious consequences
Noting that pregnancy depression causes a significant deterioration in the quality of life along with social and occupational functions, Dr. Dilek Sarıkaya said, “This type of depression is a serious clinical picture that can present with symptoms such as unhappiness, not enjoying life, weakness, reluctance, hopelessness, guilt, thoughts of worthlessness, sleep and appetite changes, deterioration in attention and concentration, death wish and suicidal thoughts. It negatively affects both the mother and the fetus. It is stated that pregnancy depression can lead to low birth weight in the baby, fetal death, premature birth or developmental delay of the baby in the womb. Therefore, it must be treated.” he said.
Relatives of the patients should also be involved in the treatment process.
Stating that various drug and non-drug treatment options can be applied in the treatment of pregnancy depression, Dr. Dilek Sarıkaya said, “First of all, it is very important to detect and remove the stress factors that may trigger depression, and to carry out supportive psychosocial interventions. Relatives of the patient should also be included in the treatment process. Cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy or drug treatments can be considered in mild and moderate depression, and drug therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy (TMS) and hospitalization and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) if necessary, in severe depression. It is of great importance to conduct a cost-benefit analysis on drug treatments during pregnancy, to consider the severity of depression, possible risks to the pregnant woman and fetus, and to decide on the treatment together with the patient and their relatives. said.