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Shouldn't I be Happy?

"Shouldn't I be Happy?"
An Interview about Pregnancy-Related Depression
by Cherie Thiessen

Focus On Women - May 1997

"Depression is a genetic thing, not an environmental one. Many things in the culture might correlate but they don't actually cause the depression. If you have members of your family who suffer from it, then your chance of having depression when you're pregnant is high. Parts of your brain become exquisitely sensitive to changes."

So says Dr. Shaila Misri and it explains why women who have never had any emotional problems may suddenly find themselves catapulted into depression at exactly the time when they expected to feel most happy and fulfilled.

Shouldn't I be Happy? Emotional Problems of Pregnant and Postpartum Women is the title of Dr Misri's recently published hard-cover book, (The Free Press, $31.00). She's a clinical professor of psychiatry and obstetrics/gynecology at the University of British Columbia, the director of the Reproductive Psychiatry Program at St. Paul's Hospital and co-director of the Reproductive Psychiatry Program at B.C. Women's, a Vancouver maternity hospital.

I caught up with Dr. Misri when she was in Victoria doing research. I asked her: what's special about her new book? "There isn't another book like this yet on the market. Recently I had several women come up to me and say how validated they felt because their problems had now been written up. You know pregnancy-postpartum is supposed to be a happy time, so for women who suffer depression, to talk to their doctors is hard."