The effect of panic disorders in pregnancy is still being studied from two vantage points. Some women have panic disorder before getting pregnant and some develop it after getting pregnant or during post partum. In the first case, the impact of pregnancy on the panic disorder is studied. In the second case, the influence of the pregnancy in the development of panic disorder is studied. Approximately 6% of pregnant women don’t develop panic disorder until the post partum period.
Stress can result from both positive and negative events in our life. Changing jobs can be positive, but it’s still high on the list of stress producing activities. Getting pregnant is normally a positive and joyous experience, yet it’s also probably the most life altering activity you’ll ever experience. This can create a lot of tension and stress which manifest themselves through panic attacks.
The effects of panic disorders in pregnancy may include an increase in the physical panic reactions. They can also include a heightened sense of loss of control or loss of self-esteem. All of this occurs during a time when self-esteem should be at a high level due to impending motherhood.
During the late stages of pregnancy, the brain produces more serotonin. This is the chemical which the body produces during times of fear or worry. With the increase in serotonin, the panic attacks may increase in severity. The effect of panic disorders in pregnancy can include a direct impact on the woman’s ability to cope with family during pregnancy and the birth of the baby. It’s no secret that having a baby is very stressful, and for someone who already experiences panic attacks the additional stress can generate more severe attacks.
It’s important for a women to understand the effects of panic disorders in pregnancy. A woman experiencing panic attacks when the body is already under extreme stress due to the physical demands of pregnancy, can find herself unable to cope. These women often decide they can’t be trusted to make good decisions, get more tired due to the effort to maintain control and develop self doubts about abilities to be good mothers.
The physical effects of panic disorders in pregnancy are very similar to the effects in everyone else experiencing panic attacks. For example, there may be shortness of breath, racing heartbeats, hot flashes and dizziness. But there are also psychological effects which include fear of losing control, fear of dying and fear of inadequacy.
Any pregnant woman experiencing panic attacks should talk to her doctor. Sometimes a mild medication is prescribed if the panic attacks are severe enough. The effects of panic disorders in pregnancy can be debilitating and should not be left untreated. But you can also take responsibility for your own treatment plan also in order to reduce anxiety. Relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga are particularly suitable for pregnant women to do. In addition, the woman can learn to change thinking patterns from negative to positive, and reduce the distorted thinking that lowers self-esteem.