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What is Postpartum Depression - Causes and Treatment

Do you know what is postpartum depression? If any of the given points are seen then you should contact your doctor right away and talk about its treatment

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Postpartum Depression

From delight and excitement to dread and anxiety, the delivery of a newborn can stimulate a wide range of strong feelings. But it can also lead to depression and various causes of anxiety, which is something you might not expect. Most new mothers have postpartum "baby blues" after giving birth, which commonly includes mood swings, sobbing outbursts, anxiety, and difficulties sleeping. Baby blues often start two to three days after delivery and can linger for up to two weeks. However, some new mothers experience postpartum depression, a more severe and enduring kind of depression.

Postpartum depression is neither a shortcoming nor a weakness. It may occasionally be only a side effect of childbirth. If you're experiencing PPD, please know that you're not alone, it's not your fault, and treatment is available. You can manage your symptoms and feel better with the aid of your healthcare professional. So don’t panic and read on to find out more about how to deal with postpartum depression and help yourself by identifying the symptoms and getting treatment at the earliest.

What Is Postpartum Depression

PPD, also known as perinatal depression, is a severe form of depression that usually manifests four weeks after childbirth and can affect your mental health by making you feel bad about yourself and you might not be able to comprehend how to stop hating yourself for something that is not even your fault in the first place. Affecting up to 1 in 7 new moms after giving birth, it is a moderately common yet serious medical condition. Signs of postpartum depression include apathetic, empty, and depressed feelings post-birth. Long after birth, it may still result in mood swings, tiredness, and a general feeling of pessimism. In addition to considering the interval between birth and the commencement of the depression, the diagnosis of postpartum depression also takes into account its severity. The physiological, psychological, and social changes that take place when a baby is born are associated with postpartum depression. Various physical and mental changes that many new mothers go through are also included in the term. It is important that family members always support the mother and help her out by identifying symptoms before it gets too late.

Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression

Signs of postpartum depression can vary from mother to mother and even day to day. Although symptoms can appear any time following childbirth, they frequently appear between one and three weeks after giving birth. You might feel estranged from your child if you have postpartum depression. You can think that you don't care for your child. You are not to blame for these feelings and understand how to stop hating yourself because this is not your fault and having this disorder does not mean that you are a bad mother. Other signs of postpartum depression include:

Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Changes in appetite
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Reduced libido
  • Recurring mood swings

When PPD is prevalent, these also coexist with additional serious depressive symptoms that can hinder your process of understanding how to boost your self-esteem after giving birth and are unusual following childbirth, such as:

childbirth

  • Feeling disconnected from your baby or as if you aren't developing a bond with them
  • Frequently crying uncontrollably and without cause
  • Gloomy attitude
  • Irate and grumpy to the extreme
  • Feelings of being at a loss of determination, hope, and helplessness
  • Thoughts of harming someone else 
  • Suicidal or dying thoughts
  • Difficulty with decision-making or concentration

When Is The Right Time To Go See Your Doctor For PPD?

You might be reluctant or ashamed to admit it if you're experiencing postpartum depression. But if you show any signs of postpartum depression or the postpartum baby blues, call your doctor and make an appointment because the right treatment can help you understand habits that will change your life and help cope in better ways.
If any of the following characteristics are present among the signs and symptoms of depression, you should contact your doctor right away and talk about getting postpartum depression treatment:

Right Time To Go See Your Doctor For PPD

  • symptoms don’t fade away even after two weeks
  • are becoming worse
  • make it difficult for you to take care of your child
  • make it challenging to finish routine chores
  • Including thoughts of hurting yourself or your child

How To Deal With Postpartum Depression

Depending on the kind and severity of the symptoms, postpartum depression is handled in various ways. Medication for anxiety or depression, counseling, and joining a support group for education and emotional support are all possible solutions to how to deal with postpartum depression. Moderate postpartum depression may be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. Its goal is to cultivate more optimistic ways of thinking and discover fresh approaches to and interpretations of circumstances.

Deal With Postpartum Depression

Spending time in the hospital may be beneficial if symptoms are severe and other treatments are ineffective. A doctor might advise electroconvulsive treatment in some rare and gravely serious circumstances. Family and friend support, attending a mom's support group, healthy eating, exercise, and understanding ways of how to boost your self-esteem can all be beneficial. Additionally, you should try to get as much rest as possible (sleep when your child does) and schedule a time to go out or see friends help you cope with peripartum depression.

1. Look Out

It is advised to not automatically assume that since you are nursing, you can't take medicine for sadness, causes of anxiety, or even psychosis. Consult your physician. Many women use medicine while nursing when under a doctor's care. You and your doctor should decide on this together and discuss the habits that can change your life for good and help you cope with postpartum depression.

Conclusion

Depression following childbirth is a frequent and potentially dangerous mental health problem. If left untreated, the symptoms may worsen, making it more difficult for the person to take care of both the baby and herself. In this situation, the other family members should always support the mother and help her out by listening to her, being with her, and comforting her by letting her know that she is not alone in this and this is not her fault. Anyone who has a depressed mood for at least two weeks within the first year of birth should contact a doctor. The correct postpartum depression treatment can have a major positive impact. Nearly everyone who suffers from postpartum depression can get better with skilled assistance. Additionally, you can also opt for professional anxiety counseling if the symptoms get worse as counseling might help you find more productive and healthy ways of coping. So speak up today to ask for help and choose a happier and healthier motherhood for you and your baby.

FAQs

1. Can fathers experience postpartum depression?

The signs of postpartum depression can indeed affect both partners. If you exhibit symptoms of anxiety or depression after bringing your child home, you and your partner should seek medical attention. In the first year following their child's birth, 4% of spouses are thought to experience depression.

2. Do I have postpartum depression or anxiety?

Despite being separate conditions, postpartum anxiety and depression have some similar symptoms. The symptoms of postpartum anxiety include excessive worry, irrational anxieties, and panic attacks without apparent explanation. It's crucial to disclose all of your symptoms to your healthcare professional.

3. How long can one suffer from postpartum?

The first 4 to 6 weeks following delivery are considered to be the postpartum phase, and this is also when many PPD symptoms start. Avoid ignoring your emotions if they appear outside of the typical postpartum period because postpartum depression can also happen during pregnancy and through to a year after giving birth. 

4. Is postpartum depression a mental condition?

This condition is not regarded as a mental health disorder and symptoms often last no longer than a few weeks. However, if a person experiences mood swings or depressive sensations for longer than two weeks after giving birth, the condition may be more serious and might require medical attention.

5. After having a baby, how does a woman change?

Giving birth is a medically and physically life-changing occurrence and so a few bodily changes are common in women after birth. After delivery, there may be brief physical changes. Pregnancy causes transient bodily changes including afterbirth pains, vaginal soreness, body aches, hemorrhoids, nocturnal sweats, swelling breasts, and hair loss.

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About Author
Dr. Neha Mehta

Dr. Neha Mehta

Consultant Psychologist Hisar, India
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Dr. Neha Mehta

Dr. Neha Mehta

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Area Of Expertise : Child Counseling, Couple Counseling, Marital Counselling, Parenting, Self Improvement, Sleep, IQ Testing, ADHD, Adolescent Counselling, Stress Mgt.

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