- Causes of the Postpartum Depression
- Symptoms of the Postpartum Depression
- Diagnostics of the Postpartum Depression
- Treatment and Prevention of the Postpartum Depression
What is Postpartum Depression
The birth of a child is one of the most wonderful events in life. This joyful, but complex event can also be frightening. After the labor, the young mother can experience senses of fear and even hopelessnesses. She can, for example, have a fear not to cope with new responsibilities or turn out to be devastated by the increased responsibility.
After the labor, many women experience the symptoms of a depression, which can be shown by short spells of sadness. The majority of young mothers (about 80 %) have a mild form of a depression, which starts several days after the labor. These symptoms usually go without treatment 7-10 days later.
The deeper postpartum depression affects approximately from 10 % up to 20 % of young mothers. Even the women, who never experienced it earlier can have the depression. The postpartum depression can come at any time within the first 6 postpartum months.
The postpartum psychosis is the severest form of the postpartum depression. This is relatively rare disorder, which requires an immediate consultation with a qualified specialist in the field of mental health.
Causes of the Postpartum Depression
Earlier doctors explained the depression only by a hormonal alteration of an organism.
Actually, many factors, can be the cause of the postpartum depression, inter alia:
- hormone fluctuations;
- frustrations related to experience of the labor;
- degree of the marriage satisfaction;
- newborn care;
- absence of the family support;
- mental and physical exhaustion;
- social isolation;
- other mental complications and problems (social anxiety, bulimia, anxiety disorder).
Symptoms of the Postpartum Depression
After the labor, many women experience feeling of sadness, anger, alarm, become irritable. The absence of credibility to oneself in the mother's new role can contribute to the emergence of these feelings. The young mother can begin to sob without an apparent significant reason.
Negative thoughts about the child can appear. Although these feelings and thoughts are unpleasant, they are absolutely normal and the woman must not feel guilty for them.
Sometimes the postpartum depression is severer and lasts longer. In this case, the symptoms described above can add the following ones:
- persistent weariness;
- absence of joy in life;
- inertia, a feeling of a decline of strengths;
- formal social exclusion (refusal to see the family and friends);
- absence of interest to oneself or a newborn;
- a severe insomnia;
- a fear to cause harm to a child;
- inability to center on;
- losing of any interest in sex;
- mood swings;
- appetite fluctuations;
- thoughts about the suicide.
Actually, the postpartum depression is like many other forms of the depression with an exception that some its symptoms are associated with thoughts about a child. For example, a woman can be too concerned by a child or, may not at all be interested in him. Or these can be thoughts about infliction of harm or pain to a child.
Diagnostics of the Postpartum Depression
The postpartum depression often remains unnoticed, because the majority of young mothers spend a large part of time alone with their newborns; and some time goes by before someone understands the woman is in a depression and professional help of a psychologist is required. Because of lack of sleep, the majority of young mothers are exhausted and tired and the relatives and friends justify the strange behavior by weariness and the necessity to care of a newborn.
If you are a young mother and you experience any of the above described symptoms during two-three weeks, address the psychologist as soon as possible. The psychologist will help to determine if your state is a postpartum depression. The psychologist will discuss symptoms with you and, if it is necessary, you can undergo a course of psychotherapy.
Treatment and Prevention of the Postpartum Depression
If you suffer from the postpartum depression, you must look after yourself: rest enough, feed well, perform exercises in a moderate number and support the contact with the surrounding world and society. Listen to yourself and react in a matching way to your requirements. If it is possible, try to rest a little during the day when a child sleeps. Do not be shy to ask your friends or family members to help you to care of a child so that you could relax. You could, possibly, hire a nanny or a housemaid to make your life easier.
If you suffer from a severer form of the postpartum depression, you are also to turn to the psychologist for treatment and recovery. The methods of treatment of the depression are diverse. Some psychotherapist and psychologists use hypnosis and psychotherapy for treatment of the depression.
Antidepressants and the drugs against psychic tension can penetrate into breast milk and do harm to the health of your child. It is pleasant that the effectiveness rate of the postpartum depression treatment is very high. Notwithstanding, some symptoms of the depression can continue to torture few women, the majority of them experience improvement already after 3 or 4 sessions.
Video: What is Postpartum Depression?