Understanding Postpartum Depression – The miracle of birth involves a lot of complex body system changes including hormonal and emotional changes. It is rather common for women to feel the “baby blues” after having a child. However, it is crucial to recognize when those depressed feelings and behaviors are something more severe that could be postpartum depression according to one local Raleigh based psychiatrist.
Postpartum Depression & the Need for Proper Treatment
Postpartum depression is more than just those fleeting baby blues that sometimes plague new moms from time to time. Also, postpartum depression is considered a major depression that occurs within four weeks of giving birth. This signs and symptoms are more severe than just ordinary feelings that are on the low side.
It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression, and if suspected, seek help for yourself or the new mom from a professional mental health professional and/or a gynecologist/obstetrician or family doctor as soon as possible. This should be considered a medical emergency.
Understanding Postpartum Depression Occurs in Some Women & Not Others
When women give birth, there are many chemical changes in the brain that can impact the body and emotions. There are also severe shifts in hormones that can also impact mood, thoughts and behaviors. The severity and length of time that these symptoms go on are part of what a mental health professional will be looking at when diagnosing this condition.
Whatever the outcome, women should understand that it is absolutely not their fault that this happens to them. There are a number of theories as to why some women develop this issue and others don’t, but there is yet to be a definitive sole cause of the condition as of yet.
There can be a possible link between other family or personal history of mental or emotional health issues that might be a factor. New moms are often tired and worn out from staying up doing round-the-clock feedings and baby care while still recovering from a major physical event themselves. This can all make someone more prone to mental health changes.
Common Signs & Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
Some of these symptoms are going to be common among all new mothers. However, if the severity of the symptoms seems greater than average or the symptoms do not get better, contact your health care provider immediately.
If the person is feeling suicidal or feels like she could harm the baby, call a hotline and get to the nearest emergency room right away for a prompt mental health evaluation for the protection of all involved.
Common signs and symptoms of postpartum depression include:
- Overwhelming fatigue
- Depressed mood
- Changes in appetite
- Expresses or shows feelings of low self-esteem, hopelessness or apathy
- Thoughts of hurting oneself or committing suicide
- Thoughts of hurting someone else
- Decreased libido
- Mood swings sometimes severe
- Excessive crying
- Behavior changes not normal for the person – anger, sadness, anxiety etc
- Acting out behaviors – suicide attempt, possible aggression towards child or harming oneself by cutting or hitting etc.
- Lack of interest in things previously enjoyed
There Is Hope & Effective Treatment for Postpartum Depression
The good news is that there are effective treatments that have been proven effective for postpartum depression. There is hope for those new moms struggling to understand these scary feelings, thoughts and emotions.
Some of the strategies for effective treatment includes mental health counseling, certain medications, medical care to treat the hormonal and chemical changes and techniques that can ward off panic attacks, help promote better sleep and improve overall appetite and general feelings of well-being.
There Is No Shame in Being Diagnosed with Postpartum Depression
Many, many women develop this condition after giving birth. There should be no shame or stigma in seeking the proper help and treatment. Also, there have been promising results with newer postpartum depression and mental health treatment that should be encouraging to all new moms and their family members dealing with this difficult issue. We hope this article has helped in understanding postpartum depression.
Learn more by contacting MedPsych Integrated in Raleigh, NC, at https://www.medpsychnc.com online or via phone. Lastly, if symptoms are severe or someone is suicidal or wants to harm others, call for help immediately for everyone’s safety.