Depression Screening: Invasion Of Privacy Or A Good Preventative Measure?

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Very soon your Doctor may be asking you some questions to determine whether or not you are suffering from depression. The U.S preventative task-force has two recent recommendations in this regard.

The first one being that every person eighteen years and older should be screened, and not only at clinics where systems are in place to connect at-risk individuals to mental health care.

The second recommendation is that women who are pregnant or who have recently given birth also be screened by their primary care physician – two specific groups not mentioned in previous recommendations. Primary care physicians include gynaecologists and obstetricians who give women care while pregnant and during the months following delivery of their babies. I think this recommendation is great as untreated depression in pregnant and new moms is not good for both Mom and baby.

The task force also provides advice about treatment of pregnant and breastfeeding women. Since there are still questions surrounding the safety of antidepressants for foetuses and breast-feeding babies, they recommend that Doctors first try treating women with therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy.

Depression in new moms is commonly known as Post-Partum Depression which is triggered by child birth and is associated with feelings of sadness and hopelessness. It is often paired with extreme anxiety and is caused by a combination of hormone changes after pregnancy and sleep deprivation.

Is it possible to reduce the risk of Post-Partum Depression?

There are things a woman and her family can do during pregnancy and shortly after giving birth that will lessen her chances of a postpartum mood and anxiety disorder like post-partum depression, or that may, at least, play a role in the reduction of symptoms such as:

1.Nourishment is important to ensure that new moms maintain good energy levels through this tiring time. The family can help out here to ensure that she is getting adequate nutrition and proteins which is required for optimal well-being. Drinking enough water and taking a time-out now and again is important.

2.Rest – While having a newborn surely does make it difficult to get the same quality and quantity of sleep than before, sleep deprivation should be monitored. For women with a prior mental health concern, (especially bipolar disorder), adequate sleep can make the difference in preventing relapse.

3.Support – Instead of seeking advice online, where there is a mix of information not always based on professional opinions, rather seek help from a therapist who is qualified and who will be able to provide proper guidance.

Remember that even women who do the above can still suffer from a disorder like post-partum depression.   Doing everything possible to take care of one’s self isn’t a guarantee that you won’t have any form of depression or anxiety, however it can feel incredibly empowering to do your best to care for yourself.

RELATED: Adele’s Hello For Stressed Out Moms


  1. Val

    February 16, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    I thought that this was routinely done after giving birth. When I gave birth to my twins I was screened and the mother in the bed next to me was also screened. I can’t see any mother having a problem with being screened. What would be the reason for not wanting to get screened? Invasion of privacy? Privacy of what?

  2. Yvonne

    February 17, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    I recently had my fourth child, I did not have post-partum depression I am saying this because some of you ladies may say she probably doesnt have any children because what I have to say is … I think this screening for depression should have always been part of a womens prenatal and post-pardon care. Most women dont wven know that their depressed. Great udea I hope this depression screening becomes part of womens health.

  3. Crystal

    February 17, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    I was asked if I thought I was depressed but never screened. Sure enough I did have postpartum with my 3rd child, but didn’t realize that’s what it was. I only knew I was suffering once I happened to catch a documentary on TV about postpartum. It would have been nice to have been screened and monitored. Maybe it could have prevented the severity of it for me. I think it should be mandatory that for at least 6 months new mom’s chat with someone so they can, not only, be monitored, but also have the positive and neutral support system in place. It’s tough being mom. We need all the support we can get!

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