Postpartum depression is a type of emotional disorder related to child birth that affects men, too, but most commonly, women. While it is rather common for women to experience baby blues, mere mood swings after giving birth, postpartum depression is far more dangerous and can result from baby blues. According to the American Psychiatrist Association (APA), postpartum depression now affects up to 15% of women, so it is crucial to learn more about the subject and how to deal with it.
What It is:
Postpartum depression usually begins anytime during the first 3 months after delivery. Its most common symptoms are the overall feelings of hopelessness, sadness and loss of appetite. Those who suffer from postpartum depression also show higher levels of anxiety that may appear in their excessive worry about their babies for no reason. Unlike baby blues, postpartum depression may as well affect the mother’s concentration with the baby due to her loss of interest in anything. In some extreme cases, a mother may suffer from hallucinations and it was even found that postpartum depression is a common cause for the murder of babies under the age of a year.
While there isn’t one clear cause for postpartum depression, it has some risk factors as stated by the APA. Much like any type of depression, postpartum depression may be affected by someone’s personal history or family history of depression. Troubled marriages and lack of support from others are also two prominent risk factors of postpartum depression. A woman is also more likely to suffer from postpartum depression if she cannot or isn’t ready for taking care of her baby. Moreover, hormonal changes were found to play a role in women’s affection by postpartum depression.
How to Deal with It:
If you suspect that you have any of these symptoms, it is crucial that you resort to a doctor. That is, according to the APA, early stages of postpartum depression can easily be cured by the help of psychotherapy and prescribed antidepressants. If you’re still pregnant, you can fortunately avoid postpartum depression by preparing yourself well for motherhood either by talking to mothers and experts or by mentally preparing yourself for the difference of lifestyle you will inevitably be subjected to.
Postpartum depression can disappear in a matter of weeks with proper treatment, but can also last for months without one. This is why it is important for pregnant women and mothers to be educated about the matter and feel no shame in seeking help if they are subjected to its symptoms.