Finding out your pregnant as a teenager can feel disastrous. Suddenly you may think your future plans are gone. You may even have thoughts of suicide. Here are some ideas of what you should do if you find yourself pregnant and suicidal.
First of all, any depression, whether or not it is associated with your pregnancy, should be addressed. However, with pregnancy, your mood swings can go crazy as your hormones change in preparation for having a baby. In fact, almost 20 percent of women will experience some from of depression while pregnant with 10 percent of these women experiencing major depression. Any depression, but especially major depression can lead to suicidal tendencies. If you were prone to depression before getting pregnant, you are more likely to experience depression while pregnant.
But as mentioned above, sometimes your hormones will bring on the emotional distress or even depression. If your mood swings cause you to get depressed or feel down enough to think about suicide, you need to do something soon. Getting help is so important! You not only have to think about yourself now, but the baby inside of you. Here are a few places to get help:
- Your family
- Your doctor
- Your local hospital
- A counselor (school counselors can help you find the right kind of counselor)
- A religious advisor
- Your community health center
Treating depression in pregnancy can be hard as the medications available may hurt the baby. There has not been a lot of research done in this area as even those promoting research are not sure if the baby would be harmed during the research. However, check with your local hospital or community health center for information concerning women who have been depressed and pregnant and see if they have any resources or can point you in the right direction. This information can point you in the direction of getting the medical and emotional help you need.
Interestingly enough, some professionals have found a connection between pregnancy and low suicide rates. For example between 1990 and 1993, 315 New York women committed suicide. Only 6 of these women were pregnant. Some professionals believe a increase of chemical in the brain that is linked to pregnancy, serotonin, helps women who are pregnancy not act on their suicidal tendencies, even if they are experiencing depression.
A final thought: there is also a connection between suicide and postpartum depression. So again, if you are feeling down and thinking about suicide after you have the baby, get help from any of the above outlets as soon as possible. Keeping yourself emotionally and physically healthy can help you get on with your future plans.
Teen Suicide Sources:
- Family Doctor, “Pregnancy: Taking Care of You andYour Baby” [online].
- PsychGuides.com, “Major Depression During Conception and Pregnancy: A Guide for Patients and Families” [pdf online].
- Pshchology Today, By Dinha Kaplan, “Is Pregnancy a Suicide Shield? Pregnancy may be proof against depression” [online].
Click the link for more information on teen suicide.