What It Feels Like to Have Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression (PPD) is one of the several mental disorders, widely held to be associated with post-natal blues. Many some psychologists believe that postpartum depression differs from other types of depression only in the timing of depressive episodes. It is triggered within four weeks of childbirth and is characterized by any major or minor depressive episode, for that matter.
Various factors contribute to this bio-psycho-social phenomenon. Apart from this, many psychologists are of the opinion that unlike other mental disorders, PPD is not something which is inherent from childbirth. Instead, it is something which grows out of underlying condition.
What causes postpartum depression?
Even though all the possible causes of postpartum depression have not been outlined yet, some clinical studies were able to pinpoint some of its probable causes. These events could make some women more susceptible to this illness than other women.
Hormonal changes are probably the number one reason why mothers experience this psychological illness. Due to rapid hormonal changes, while giving birth, women could become more sensitive to those changes and get depressed.
Research also shows that mothers with postpartum depression experience large drops in their thyroid hormone levels. This leads to postnatal hyperthyroidism, which could contribute to a mother’s susceptibility to postpartum depression.
Lastly, women who do fail to meet their expectations after giving birth also experience this illness. Depression occurs when they start feeling frustrated about the added stress of taking care of a baby, lack of sleep, and changes in the family.
Factors Contributing to Gravity of it
Generally, it is the case that women with a history of mental disorders are more prone to fall victim to postpartum depression. Further, there are certain factors, conducive to the occurrence of it:
- Deprivation of a loved one because of their death
- Differences or conflicts with your partner
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Unwanted pregnancy
- A complicated pregnancy
- Series of depressive episodes during pregnancy
What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?
The baby blues are easy to detect as long as mothers and their partners are familiar with its signs and symptoms. Some of its common symptoms include drastic changes in the mother’s appetite and sleeping patterns, feeling irritable and angry for no logical reason, decreased libido, and even fatigue. Its most obvious symptom is when a mother starts feeling guilty and sad after giving birth for no apparent reason.
Some symptoms include:
- Feeling extremely anxious
- Having extreme mood swings
- Having extended bouts of crying
- Having difficulty bonding with your baby
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Having no ability to concentrate
- Having trouble sleeping
- Being overly irritable or sad
- Feeling shame, guilt or inadequacy persistently
- Having memory problems
- Feeling overly angry, for no apparent reason
- Having urges to harm yourself or your baby, and even thoughts of suicide
If you are feeling any of these symptoms yourself, or if you see them in a loved one, it is very important to seek mental attention immediately. There are indeed hormonal factors that can contribute to depression, and these are unique to women, especially pregnant women or new mothers, so it is very important to identify any stress triggers as well.
The treatment of postpartum depression
Postpartum depression is treated in a wide variety of ways. However, most physicians usually consider counseling as the most effective treatment for baby blues. By regularly speaking to a therapist and sharing their struggles as new mothers, women could find it easier to cope with postpartum depression.
Some medications are also used for this type of depression. Antidepressants can help bring the brain’s chemicals back to normal levels and help mothers overcome postpartum depression for good.
Not every woman will experience the baby blues after giving birth. Also, a woman who has had postpartum depression with one baby won’t necessarily have the same experience with the next pregnancy. The good thing about this type of depression is it is treatable, and you will get better, but you need to get help if it gets out of control. Don’t let the baby blues ruin your happiness of your new baby.