Easing Depression Without Medication

I am four months pregnant. I miscarried last year at around nine weeks. I live in a state where we have an unusually long winter, with many gray days and lots of snow. I am currently in counseling for depression and it seemed to be worse since I have been pregnant. Are there ways to ease depression that don't involve medication?

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

There is nothing harder than living with depression. When you add the hormones of pregnancy to this and the grief of a miscarriage, it must feel more than you can bear sometimes.

My opinion is that you cannot do this alone. I hope you have the support of someone who loves you and also a good therapist who is experienced in working with pregnancy.

One book, which I found helpful for some of my clients is "The New Mother Syndrome: Coping with postpartum stress and depression", by Carol Dix, Doubleday, 1985. I know this is directed at the postpartum period, but it does offer some good assistance for anyone dealing with depression. Another book, "Speaking of Sadness" is a very good book on depression.

In a nutshell, light, exercise, diet and support are the keys to the management of pregnancy-related depression. Even if you feel that the depression is not the result of a seasonal affective disorder, you might want to look into the positive effect of light. Some interesting research has been done in this area.

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