Reproductive Causes of Depression

Reproductive Causes of Depression

Depression is a serious emotional disorder with major implications for a person’s overall mental and physical health. The underlying cause of depression is an imbalance in the chemicals that the brain uses to manage mood, motivation and other emotional functions. These imbalances may be caused by external factors such as substance abuse or trauma, or may be the result of congenital or hereditary factors. Some of the most common causes of depression in women are hormonal changes and anxiety disorders that surround the process of getting pregnant and having a baby.

Reproductive issues can contribute to depression in any of the following ways:

  • Women who try unsuccessfully to become pregnant frequently feel inadequate or intensely disappointed
  • Women facing unexpected and unwanted pregnancy experience extreme stress
  • Hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy and immediately after birth can cause depression
  • The anxiety of parenthood can cause depression in both men and women

Any emotionally intense experience can contribute to potential depression and few things in life are as intense as having a baby.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression has been covered, and in some cases sensationalized, in the media over the years. The idea that a new mother could harm her newborn baby is so shocking that it captivates the attention of parents everywhere. In the vast majority of postpartum cases, however, the mother is never at risk of hurting her child. The following symptoms of this form of depression should be brought to the attention of a doctor or counselor as soon as possible:

  • An inability to feel connected with the newborn baby
  • Emotional numbness
  • Lack of interest in previously important and enjoyable activities
  • Significant changes in sleep, eating or activity levels
  • Frequent crying or emotional outbursts
  • A fear or fixation that something bad will happen to the baby
  • A mother fearing that she may hurt her baby

Many new mothers feel an undue sense of shame or embarrassment as a result of these feelings or fears that prevents them from seeking help. Postpartum depression is about chemical changes in the brain, not character or qualification issues. This disorder does not mean that you are a bad mother. It simply means that you need some help.

Help for Depression and Addiction

If you are experiencing symptoms of depression that may be connected to issues related to pregnancy or childbirth, please call our toll-free helpline at any time. Our counselors are ready to answer any questions you may have and to connect you with the exact help you need. Depression is a serious condition. If left untreated it may become worse and may complicate issues related to substance abuse and addiction. Call now and let us help you find your way out of this terrible disease.