Pregnancy Loss Depression

Devastation and Loss

The loss of a pregnancy is enormous and devastating, regardless of which stage of the pregnancy the loss occurs.  Many women who suffer the loss of a pregnancy go on to have successful future pregnancies, while others continue on the painful road of miscarriages and more losses.  As with most things, time heals the pain and people move on.  The feelings incurred along the way to healing are many and often very confusing.

The Emotions of Grief

Anger, shock and disbelief are the initial emotions which often accompany a miscarriage.  After the shock wears off, the feelings of anxiety, depression and often marital issues rise to the surface.  Multiple studies have confirmed that there is a link between lost pregnancy and depression with one study finding that 35% of women went into depression following a miscarriage and six months later, 26% of those women were still depressed - only 3% of them sought help to deal with the depression.  Most people need to be able to grieve before they can move on, but women who experience an early pregnancy loss often don't feel they're entitled to grieve.  There are several suggestions as to why they feel this way such as they often blame themselves, there is a lack of "tangible memory", or there's pressure to get back to being normal long before they're ready to do so.  It's so important to grieve the loss of the pregnancy.  Women who suppress their grief often endure suffering for a longer period of time.

Anxiety, A Dangerous Companion

There are several studies which now link anxiety and miscarriage.  It is reported that elevated levels of anxiety are often found in women who miscarry, especially immediately following their loss.  It can take up to a year to recover from the tension, irritability, distraction and lack of concentration as well as the muscle tension and inability to sleep.  While it can be true for many couples that another pregnancy will ease the suffering, women fight fear and anxiety in future pregnancies, which also takes a toll.  Each twinge brings with it horror and the reliving of the previous loss.  These feelings can, along with depression, set the stage for another missed pregnancy.

Mars & Venus

A lost pregnancy has profound effects emotionally on both the man and woman in the relationship.  If the loss is early on, the man tends to be less likely to suffer anxiety and depression, which are more often found in women.  Though they deeply care about their partner's state of mind and health, they sometimes have a harder time being supportive post loss.  The reactions and end results are very different for men and women.  These differences can lead to trouble in the relationship and strain on the marriage.

Sometimes engaging the help of a professional counselor goes a long way to helping couples get back on the road to health and hope.


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