Pregnancy Anxiety You\u2019re having a baby! Oh, the joy ... or not? You may be wondering why, when other expecting women seem to be glowing with happiness, you\u2019re feeling nothing but incredibly anxious. Dread, worry, and all sorts of fears are overshadowing your pregnancy, and it feels awful. Is pregnancy anxiety normal? What should you do? Well, the good news is that some anxiety \u2013 especially if this is your first baby \u2013 is not abnormal at all. However, if that anxiety is consuming significant amounts of time, interfering with your ability to function normally, or seriously disrupting your sleep night after night, then you may have a full-blown anxiety disorder. There are many things you can do on your own to both manage and reduce your anxiety. They do take some effort, but taking good care of your emotional and mental health will benefit both you and your baby. Challenge the \u2018Scary Story\u2019 of Pregnancy Anxiety Pregnancy anxiety is almost always fueled by a \u201cscary story,\u201d and in most cases, this scary story is exaggerated and irrational. For example, someone with social anxiety tells herself that she\u2019s going to be embarrassed or make a complete fool of herself in social situations. Her \u201cscary story\u201d is that something is going to go wrong and it\u2019s going to be horrible. Similarly, you may be telling yourself a scary story (or several scary stories) related to your pregnancy. Perhaps it\u2019s that you\u2019re going to be a terrible mother, that your baby will be born with a serious health issue, or that you\u2019re going to lose the baby. You can challenge your scary story in several ways. For example, when an anxiety-provoking \u201cwhat if\u201d (what if I\u2019m a terrible mother, what if my baby has problems, etc.) keeps coming to mind, challenge it by remembering that the \u201cwhat ifs\u201d we fear very rarely actually happen. And IF they do occur, challenge that scary thought by remembering that you can and will handle it \u2013 when the time comes. Not to mention, you can\u2019t control the future, and worrying won\u2019t change that fact. Another way to challenge the scary stories is to ask yourself, \u201cWhat evidence is there to support my fear?\u201d For example, what proof do you have that you\u2019ll be a terrible mother? Has your doctor said there\u2019s a high risk of losing the baby? Much of the time, there\u2019s nothing to back up the scary story \u2013 except other scary stories. Stay in the Present The scary stories you tell yourself are always in the future tense; your pregnancy anxiety is about what might or could happen. In other words, you\u2019re borrowing trouble because you don\u2019t know what the future holds \u2013 none of us do. But the more you play those stories over and over in your mind, the more you feed the anxiety. And the stress you\u2019re creating for yourself is not healthy for you or your baby. Always remember: You can\u2019t be anxious when you\u2019re truly living in the present moment. Right now there\u2019s a tiny human growing inside you; at this moment, its heart is beating, yours is beating, and all is well. Could something go wrong tomorrow, or next week, or 3 months from now? Certainly. That\u2019s life. Even if all isn\u2019t well at the moment (for example, the doctor has said there\u2019s a fair risk of XYZ happening), that doesn\u2019t mean XYZ will happen. Life is full of risks, but risks are \u201cmaybes\u201d not \u201cdefinitely wills.\u201d The present is all any of us has for certain. Focusing on that (easier said than done, of course) is one of the keys to quelling your anxiety. Practice Positive Self-Talk People who struggle with anxiety (and depression) often have very negative self-talk. Self-talk is the inner dialogue that goes on in your mind throughout the day.\u00a0 For example, anxiety-provoking self-talk typically includes statements such as: \tI can\u2019t do this. \tI can\u2019t handle this. \tWhat if I fail? \tWhat if something terrible happens? \tWhat if it doesn\u2019t work? It takes a conscious effort to change your self-talk, but it can be done.\u00a0 Following are positive versions of the above statements: \tI can do this! \tI can handle whatever comes my way. \tI will succeed (or \u201cI am a success\u201d). \tIf something bad happens, I\u2019ll be able to handle it. \tEverything will work out as it should. The second set of statements is empowering and instills a sense of confidence and hope, whereas the first set fosters anxiety and dread.\u00a0 It\u2019s a powerful difference that comes from simple changes in your self-talk. Therapy Can Help With Pregnancy Anxiety Lucida Treatment helps treat pregnancy anxiety through therapy. Therapy tackles the psychological roots of pregnancy anxiety. At Lucida Treatment, we offer a wide variety of therapies professionally designed to help you overcome pregnancy anxiety. Therapies offered at Lucida Treatment's anxiety treatment center include: \tCognitive Behavioral Therapy Program \tDialectical Behavior Therapy Program \tEye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy Program \tFamily Therapy Program \tGestalt Therapy Program \tGroup Therapy Program \tIndividual Therapy Program \tPsychodrama Therapy Program \tTrauma Therapy Program When to Seek Treatment Many of the above techniques are often used by therapists to treat anxiety-ridden individuals. If your anxiety is mild to moderate, you may do just fine practicing them on your own. However, in some cases, professional help may be warranted when it comes to managing your anxiety. If you feel your anxiety is excessive (e.g., the troubling thoughts are constantly or very frequently on your mind, or are extreme in nature), or if it\u2019s negatively impacting your sleep, appetite, concentration, energy level or any other aspect of your life, then an evaluation with a mental health professional is warranted. There are several different types of anxiety disorders, including Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder, to name a few. While medication may help reduce symptoms, it should not be the sole source of treatment for your anxiety \u2013 especially when you\u2019re pregnant. Therapy, especially when combined with many of the above tips, can be very effective without medication in many cases. Even just a few sessions with a skilled therapist can help you find healthy ways to cope and reduce (and possibly eradicate altogether) troubling symptoms of anxiety. If you\u2019re pregnant and battling anxiety, know that there is hope. If you\u2019ve tried implementing several of the suggestions listed above and they\u2019re not helping, contact a mental health professional today for an evaluation. You can also ask your ob-gyn for a referral. Working with a skilled therapist can make all the difference in the world when it comes to reducing and managing anxiety during your pregnancy, helping you and your baby. If you want to end your pregnancy anxiety, Lucida Treatment can help!\u00a0 Contact us online or call us today at !