Miscarriages occur in about 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies. This loss of pregnancy can be devastating to some. In some cases, it can cause postpartum depression. This depression can be hard to deal with on top of losing a pregnancy. It only adds to the pain you may feel.
On another level, one may be wondering ‘can depression cause miscarriage?’ The answer is a little complicated. The consensus is that yes; it can possibly cause a miscarriage. It depends on how bad the depression is and how it affects you, especially physically.
Postpartum depression after miscarriage is possible.
Table of Contents
- Causes of Miscarriage
- Symptoms of Miscarriage
- Stress and Miscarriage
- Postpartum Depression After Miscarriage Symptoms
- How to Cope with Miscarriage Depression
- 3 Steps That You Go Through When Mourning a Lost Pregnancy
Causes of Miscarriage
Many instances can cause a miscarriage. Almost all of these situations are out of your control. If you are taking care of yourself and your body, there is virtually nothing that you can do to stop it from happening once it has started.
- Hormonal problems that are untreated such as thyroid or adrenal gland infection
- Bacterial or viral infections
- Uncontrolled or undiagnosed diabetes
- Lupus and other autoimmune disorders
Symptoms of Miscarriage
There are certain signs that one may be having a miscarriage.
- Moderate to heavy bleeding
- Lower back pain
- Cramping that can be severe
Stress and Miscarriage
Having a high stress level has been long thought to be a cause of miscarriage. However, there is little evidence supporting this. Some studies have shown that women with higher levels of physical or emotional turmoil have somewhat of an increased risk of miscarriage. These studies clash with others that say stress and depression do not cause miscarriage. Overall, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to this, and taking care of your emotional state is critical.
Postpartum Depression After Miscarriage Symptoms
Depression symptoms can often be mistaken for feelings of grief and sadness. However, this intense sense of loss is not part of the normal grieving process. If you notice that you are feeling like you are unable to function, there might be an underlying issue.
The symptoms of postpartum depression after a miscarriage are similar to those of clinical depression. The only difference is that there was a trigger, the loss of a pregnancy. The following are some symptoms that one may experience when dealing with postpartum depression.
- Feeling empty, sad, or hopeless
- Irritability or frustration
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Eating too much or too little
- Anxiety, restlessness, distress
- Feeling unusually tired or having lack of energy
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Feeling guilty or worthless
- Difficulty remembering things, making decisions, and focusing
- Attempting suicide
- Losing interest or not finding any enjoyment in most or all activities
- Random and persistent aches and pains
To be diagnosed with depression, you need to experience at least five of these symptoms every day for two weeks. The rate of depression is usually highest immediately after a pregnancy loss and diminishes over time.
How to Cope with Miscarriage Depression
A miscarriage does not just affect you. Your loved ones and people around you are going to be mourning your loss right along with you. There are other ways to deal with postpartum depression, and the following are just a few:
1. Gather a Support System
- Having your friends and family around you while you are going through this tough time is important. They may say insensitive things but probably mean the best. Your partner is the best source of support, but any kids that you have may be so as well.
- As a couple, you and your partner can go to counseling to help deal with this loss. It is likely your partner is feeling the loss as well, and you will both benefit from being together and getting help.
- These help to balance the chemicals in the brain and alleviate the symptoms of depression. Once you are on them, you are not on them forever. However, until your brain chemistry gets back to normal, you are probably going to stay on them. These can work wonders on your mood and feelings.
- ECT is electroconvulsive therapy that applies mild electric currents to the brain to treat severe cases of depression that do not respond to medication or psychotherapy.
5. Allow Time to Grieve
- By giving yourself time to grieve, you are allowing your body to go through the emotional and physical trials of mourning, which is healthier than holding it all inside.
3 Steps That You Go Through When Mourning a Lost Pregnancy
1. Shock and Denial
- It may feel surreal that this is happening to you. It may be hard to accept, and denying things protects your psyche from the trauma of what happened.
2. Anger, Guilt, and Depression
- You will probably be desperate to blame someone, even yourself. You may feel angry for letting this happen. This is totally normal. The guilt and sadness that you may be feeling will not last forever.
- Once you have accepted the loss, it will be easier to deal with. These steps will happen naturally, and if anything feels too extreme, it might be a sign that you are depressed.
A miscarriage can be a traumatic experience for your mind and your body. While you are going through this tough time, it is important to keep an eye on your mental state just in case there might be something else going on chemically. Your hormones are all over the place, and that certainly does not help when having to mourn such a loss.
Depression after miscarriage should not be ignored. If you are feeling any of the many symptoms mentioned above, talking to your doctor might help you get a better feel of what is going on. There is nothing wrong with getting a little help, especially if you are feeling super depressed.