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Postpartum Depression and Anxiety: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Postpartum Depression and Anxiety: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
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Health & Wellness
Health

By Manjiri

Postpartum depression and anxiety is a phase in a new mother's life that should never be ignored, especially by her family and close ones. It is important to know the symptoms of postpartum depression as well as its causes and treatment so that you can always help new moms, who you think are going through postpartum depression, or even if it is you going through a similar phase, this article can be of great help

A few days ago my friend delivered an adorable baby boy. We all quite naturally expected her to be full of joy and happiness. After all, motherhood and the feeling of holding your baby is priceless, isn’t it?

However, what we found her to be instead was anything but happy, and that shocked us! She was feeling too low to take care of her little bundle of joy. Often, she was full of tears with an unhappy face. We ignored it initially. However, soon we found her blabbering that ‘How will my baby grow up?’ and she seemed to be confident that there would be no one to take care of the baby.

And one day to our utter shock, with a depressed mind she attempted suicide. When her parents took her to the doctor to treat her, the doctor said that she suffered from postpartum depression and since her initial mild symptoms were ignored, it aggravated the ill-impacts of her condition and resulted in an attempt of suicide.

So, let’s have a look at what exactly postpartum depression is along with its causes, symptoms, and treatment.

What is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is kind of mood disorder that new moms may suffer from, post delivery. The affected new mom may experience mood swings, anxiety, difficulty to sleep, unhappiness, and crying spells.

Prominent causes of Postpartum Depression:

Physical and emotional changes after the childbirth can make you suffer from postpartum depression.

Physical Causes:

A drastic drop in hormones, such as progesterone and estrogen, can cause postpartum depression. Also, hormones that your thyroid gland produces can drop significantly and may make you feel depressed, exhausted, and dull after delivering your baby.

Emotional Causes:

If you may be overwhelmed, deprived of sleep, and anxious after your delivery, this may prevent you from managing simple, minor problems relating to parenting. You may feel being turned less attractive after delivery. With the baby and baby care, you may turn less efficient to control your life as you used to initially. And, all these emotional factors may make you suffer from postpartum depression.

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression:

Postpartum symptoms may range from mild to severe. Let’s have a look at them.

Initial postpartum baby blues that may last for a couple of weeks or few more can be:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Sadness
  • Decreased concentration
  • Deprived sleep
  • Crying
  • Appetite issues

Severe Symptoms of Postpartum Depression include:

  • Severe mood swings
  • Withdrawn from family and friends
  • Excessive crying
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Reduced interest in joy and happiness
  • Loss of energy
  • Panic attacks
  • Feeling worthless, guilt, and shame
  • Thoughts of harming your newborn
  • Repeated thoughts of suicide

4 types of Treatment for Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression can be effectively treated in various ways. Some of the most effective treatments include:

1. Psychotherapy

One-to-one interaction with an expert psychiatrist can help you overcome the troubles of postpartum depression. Psychologists can help you cope with your negative feelings, set realistic goals, solve all problems, and lead life positively. At times, family and friends too can help you to combat postpartum depression.

2. Medications

Your doctor may recommend antidepressants that can effectively treat symptoms of postpartum depression. Prescribed mood stabilizers and antipsychotic medications too can help you deal with it. However, if you are breastfeeding your little one, you need to check the safety regulations of the medications before going for them.

3. Hospitalization 

In case the new mom suffering from postpartum depression abstains from eating, suffers from insomnia, and turns paranoid, then hospitalization can help deal with these symptoms and provide a great relief.

4. Electroconvulsive Therapy

If your postpartum depression is severe, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) can help you have relief. The therapist applies a small amount of electric current to your brain to generate brain waves identical to those occurring while seizure. Chemical changes developed due to electric current can minimize the symptoms of depression. This treatment is most effective when all other treatments fail to give positive results.

Did you suffer from postpartum depression after delivering your dear little angel? How did you tackle it? Share your experience with other new moms by leaving a comment below or simply by downloading the Parentlane App from Google Playstore Now.