Having a miscarriage is an intensely emotional experience. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that approximately 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Of course, some women miscarry before they even realize they’re pregnant. But if you’ve experienced a miscarriage after knowing you were pregnant, that’s a different story.
While miscarriage is relatively common, that doesn’t make it any easier for you. Whether you’ve experienced one miscarriage or several, lost a baby in the first trimester or second, or were forced to undergo a stillbirth – none of it is easy.
You can endure an extensive range of emotions after a miscarriage. Rest assured, that is entirely normal. With that said, those feelings aren’t going to go away on their own, and you shouldn’t have to face them alone. Getting help for depression after miscarriage is crucial to your health and relationships.
Can You Experience Postpartum Depression After Miscarriage?
Some people may think postpartum depression only occurs after giving birth. While that’s true, you can also experience postpartum depression after a miscarriage, whether in the first, second, or third trimester. No matter when you experience pregnancy loss, you still deal with rapid hormonal shifts and the loss of an infant you were expecting.
Losing a baby is emotionally traumatizing and can cause significant stress, anxiety, and depression, sometimes postpartum depression after miscarriage. If you are feeling intense sadness, experiencing suicidal thoughts, or exhibiting other symptoms of postpartum depression after a miscarriage, it’s crucial you seek professional help as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Depression After Miscarriage
When your pregnancy ends in miscarriage, it can be an incredibly lonely experience. Sure, you may have a strong support network, but nobody feels the way you do – nobody feels the mother’s bond like you. So it’s not unusual that you would feel many emotions.
Some of the things you experience when going through depression after miscarriage include the following:
- Extreme grief and sadness: Obviously, losing a baby isn’t easy. Most of the time, miscarriages are unexpected, so you have to deal with the sudden loss of a baby on top of the fluctuating hormones. The sadness you feel after miscarrying can be persistent and overwhelming, making it challenging to focus on daily activities.
- Guilt or shame: While it is likely unwarranted, you may feel like your miscarriage was your fault in some way. If you feel this way, please understand that while these feelings of guilt and shame are typically not rational, they are typical emotions to experience.
- Resentment or anger: You may resent your partner, health care providers, or even yourself after pregnancy loss. These emotions often exacerbate guilt and shame and are challenging to understand.
- Anxiety: Pregnancy loss alone is challenging enough. But many women who experience depression after a miscarriage often deal with the anxiety of their ability to conceive again. If you choose to get pregnant again, you may have a higher level of anxiety than during your previous pregnancy. Of course, this is a catch-22, so it’s crucial to get professional help for your depression and anxiety so you can navigate your subsequent pregnancies with as little anxiety as possible.
- Social isolation: As stated earlier, pregnancy loss can feel lonely and isolating. When you experience depression after a miscarriage, you may feel driven to separate yourself from your friends and family even further since you may assume they don’t understand your struggles. This is especially true if you don’t receive the support you need.
- Trouble sleeping: Postpartum depression after a miscarriage often leads to sleeping problems. And when you can sleep well, you don’t get the rest you need which often exacerbates feelings of depression, sadness, anger, and anxiety.
6 Tips for Getting Through Depression After a Miscarriage
Let Go of the Guilt
There is a very high probability that your miscarriage was not your fault. There was likely nothing you could have done to prevent it, and you did nothing to cause it. Many women feel guilty and want to pin a reason on their pregnancy loss. Wanting a reason is perfectly understandable, but just try to remember that you are not the reason.
Allow Yourself To Grieve
Losing a baby is a devastating traumatic experience, no matter how briefly you carried your little one. You are allowed to grieve and go through a cycle of emotions in the grieving process, which can be unpredictable and messy. But that’s okay. Give yourself permission to spend as much time as you need grieving the loss of not only your pregnancy but also mourn the loss of a future you may have imagined with them.
Confide in Others
While pregnancy loss can feel incredibly isolating and lonely, you are not alone. When you are ready, connecting with others who’ve experienced similar struggles can be helpful in your healing. Of course, you wouldn’t wish your experience on anyone else, but it’s beneficial to feel the support and empathy of others.
It’s also crucial to confide in your partner (if applicable). Don’t forget, you’ve both suffered a loss. And while you have endured the loss on a deeper level, remember that your partner is experiencing pregnancy loss from a different perspective. Confide in one another, express your feelings, and do your best to support one another through this challenging time.
Take Care of Yourself
Whether you experienced a miscarriage earlier in your pregnancy or endured the pain of a stillbirth, your body will go through changes as you heal from the loss. When you experience postpartum depression after a miscarriage, taking care of yourself can easily be the last thing you worry about.
But caring for your mind, body, and spirit is crucial.
As you recover from the hormonal and physical changes after your miscarriage, you are forced to deal with depression and a slew of emotions simultaneously. For this reason, you need to do what you need to practice some gentle, loving self-care through nutritious eating, resting, journaling, or doing something for yourself, like taking a walk or a bath.
Ask for Help and Support
Not only is it a good idea to find miscarriage support groups (online or in person), but it’s also essential to ask your support network for help in everyday things. Recovering and healing from a miscarriage affects your mind and body. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help with laundry, shopping, driving other children places, etc. You need help and support during this time, so don’t hesitate to ask for it.
Seek Professional Help
Experiencing depression after a miscarriage isn’t something you should endure alone. And it’s certainly not something to be ashamed about. Reaching out to a mental health professional with experience in perinatal mood disorders, including depression, anxiety, and postpartum depression, can help you work through and overcome your feelings of sadness, guilt, anger, and fear.
Compassionate, Empathetic Depression Treatment in San Diego
Getting professional help and support for depression after a miscarriage allows you to grieve, face your mental health struggles, and reclaim the hope you have for a bright and fulfilling future. Our team of experienced mental health clinicians at BOLD Health includes therapists and psychiatrists with extensive backgrounds in treating depression following pregnancy loss.
We provide several options for depression treatment in San Diego, including the following:
- individual therapy
- group therapy
- medication management
- intensive outpatient program (IOP in San Diego)
We’ll ensure we curate the ideal treatment plan tailored specifically to your needs. Whether you need one clinician’s individual support or want to enroll in a more rigorous treatment method like our IOP in San Diego, we’ve got you covered.
Take the BOLD step in your recovery, and contact us today for more information about our options for depression treatment in San Diego. Let’s get you feeling better sooner.