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Understanding Postpartum Depression and its Symptoms

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Understanding Postpartum Depression and its Symptoms

Understanding postpartum depression and its symptoms
Becoming parents is one of the most significant milestones in anyone’s life. Even those fond of being a parent can feel overwhelmed sometimes. First-time parents may feel some of the common signs, including anxiety or self-doubt. However, if you start to feel extreme loneliness, sadness, and extreme mood swings, then you may have developed postpartum depression.

Addressing Peripartum Mental Health is essential for ensuring the well-being of mothers during pregnancy and after childbirth. This article is a perfect guide to understanding postpartum depression and its signs.

What is postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression is a mental illness that comes under the type of depression that occurs in women after giving birth. Understanding the side effects of postpartum depression is crucial for new mothers seeking to maintain their mental health and well-being. In addition, postpartum depression doesn’t just affect the birthing female. It can also impact surrogates or adoptive parents. After the birth of a baby, people often experience changes in their finances, emotions, and social relations. These specific changes can trigger the onset of postpartum depression.

What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?
Some people experience stigma due to postpartum depression. As a result, they think they are not good parents. Hence, it is important to understand that postpartum depression is very frequent among women.

You may have postpartum depression if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Having low mood, the feeling of worthlessness, hopelessness, and guilt
  • Worrying excessively or feeling on edge
  • Lack of interest in activities that you used to have a passion for
  • Changes in appetite or not eating
  • Lack of energy and drive
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Crying for no reason or excessively
  • Difficulty thinking or focusing.
  • Thoughts of suicide or wishing you were dead
  • Lack of interest in your baby or feeling anxious around your baby.
  • Thoughts of hurting your baby or feeling like you don’t want your baby

What are the types of Postpartum depression?
There are two major types of Postpartum depression:

Postpartum blues or baby blues:
Baby blues is experienced by 50% – 75% of females after giving birth to a baby. If you are suffering from baby blues, then you will often have lengthy spells of crying, especially with no plausible cause, extreme sadness, and anxiety. The condition typically starts within the first week (one to four days) of childbirth. The symptoms, however, are distressing, and the condition generally resolves within two weeks. The only thing that one should do is try to find support from friends, relatives, or a partner and turn to them for help.

Postpartum Psychosis:
One of the most severe forms of postpartum depression is postpartum psychosis, which requires appropriate medical treatment.  This condition is relatively uncommon and is reported in approximately 1 per 1000 women in the postpartum period. The postpartum depression symptoms while pregnant are most commonly observed within the first weeks. Postpartum psychosis symptoms include anxiety, despair and guilt, inability to sleep, paranoia, hallucination, psychomotor agitation, increased rate of speech, or even a manic state. Postpartum psychosis is a severe condition that must be treated since it is marked with a high risk of suicide and danger to the newborn baby.

What are the leading causes of postpartum depression?
Some factors can be leading causes in increasing the risk of postpartum depression:

  • Having a history of depression, postpartum depression, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
  • Limited social support.
  • Marital conflicts
  • Uncertainty about the pregnancy.
  • Complications in pregnancy
  • Younger age pregnancy or a single parent.
  • Having a baby with special needs

How is postpartum depression diagnosed?
Your mental health provider will start the evaluation of your current postpartum depression symptoms, talking to you about your feelings and thoughts. This will help the mental health provider determine if you are suffering from short-term postpartum baby blues or a more severe form of postpartum depression. Most importantly, do not feel embarrassed about your postpartum depression symptoms. Ensure to share your symptoms with the mental health provider so that they can develop an appropriate treatment plan for you.

How long do postpartum depression symptoms last?
The duration of postpartum depression is until one year after the birth of a child.

However, this does not mean you should feel cured in one year. Discuss your symptoms and your therapy with your mental health professional. In addition, report any changes in your mental health to your mental health professional so that they can make the changes accordingly.

How are signs of postpartum depression treated?
Treatments for signs of postpartum depression differ based on the type and severity of the symptoms. The most commonly used treatment methods are anti-anxiety or antidepressant medicine and psychotherapy.

Your mental healthcare provider may prescribe you an antidepressant based on the severity of your mental health issue. It is important to know if you are breastfeeding, then any psychiatric medication you take will enter your breast milk. However, primarily, antidepressants are safe to use during breastfeeding. Ensure to share every change in your body or mental health with your mental health provider to prevent any negative outcomes due to antidepressants.

Other psychiatric medicines:
There will be times when your mental health provider may add more medicines to your mental health treatment to enhance the outcomes such as if you suffer from postpartum depression, including severe anxiety and depression, then an antianxiety medicine may be prescribed to you for some time to balance the associated brain chemicals.

Talking to a mental health provider about your mental health issues can be beneficial for a sufferer. In addition, psychotherapy helps better understand the problem, underlying causes, and ways to cope with it. Some of the most commonly used therapies are cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy.

What are ways to cope with postpartum depression?
Parenting is like a rollercoaster, with its highs and lows. Dealing with a newborn baby is not easy. The complications that postpartum depression brings with it can be distressing for you. However, you should not suffer alone and seek assistance from a mental health provider.

Here are some things you can do to help cope with postpartum depression:

  • Talk with your family members or friends
  • Be a member of support group for new parents
  • Adopt a healthy eating routine
  • Rest as much as you can
  • Prioritize self-care

Postpartum depression is a mental illness that affects your mood. Postpartum depression affects 1 in 7 people after they have given birth to a baby. It is not your mistake, and you did not cause it. It doesn’t mean that you are a bad parent or you are a bad person. Predisposing biological, physical, and chemicals that lead to postpartum depression are factors that are out of your control. The symptoms of postpartum depression are generally those of depression, loss of appetite and fatigue, lack of pleasure in activities that were once enjoyable, frequent crying, and change of moods. Brainpower’s mental health services can aid you in attaining relief from postpartum depression symptoms. We have a team of competent mental health experts with years of experience in treating postpartum depression. Take a step now and cherish every moment of your life with Brainpower’s mental health services.

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