Postpartum Depression Help Postpartum Depression Therapy

Before a woman suffering from postpartum depression can get proper medical treatment, she needs to first be diagnosed with postpartum depression by a doctor. Prior to a diagnosis, a woman suffering from symptoms of postpartum depression may not even realize she is ill.

Admitting that she potentially has postpartum depression can be difficult for a new mother. A number of factors make it difficult for a woman to get postpartum depression help, including:

  • Fatigue and disrupted thought processes caused by depression make it difficult to recognize symptoms.
  • Postpartum depression signs can be mistaken for the baby blues.
  • Women experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression may fear they will be labeled unfit mothers if they admit to their symptoms.
  • Women may experience shame or guilt for feeling depressed.

While women may hide symptoms of postpartum depression, an early postpartum depression diagnosis will lead to early treatment, including prescription of postpartum depression medicine, so women do not need to suffer from depression for extended periods of time.

When to Seek Postpartum Depression Help

The baby blues are common in the days following childbirth, and produce a number of symptoms consistent with depression, including crying spells, mood swings, anxiety and irritability. Most cases of the baby blues resolve without treatment within a week or two of giving birth.

If symptoms of the baby blues persist for longer than two weeks, or if symptoms get worse instead of better, or if you’re considering harming yourself or your baby, talk to a doctor immediately. She will be able to determine if a postpartum depression diagnosis is appropriate.

Symptoms of postpartum depression may develop months after delivery. Postpartum depression signs include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty performing daily tasks
  • Fatigue
  • Social withdrawal.

All such symptoms should be reported to a doctor.

Severe symptoms of postpartum depression include thoughts of self-injury, suicide or harming the baby. Women suffering from severe postpartum depression may try to hide their symptoms, so it’s important for partners, friends and family to also be aware of postpartum depression symptoms, so that they can help a woman get help, if needed.

Postpartum Psychosis

Postpartum psychosis is a serious mental disorder that affects a small number of women after childbirth. Symptoms of postpartum psychosis include:

  • Confusion
  • Delusional thinking
  • Hallucinations.

Delusional thinking may lead women suffering from postpartum psychosis to harm themselves or children in their care.

Because delusional thinking is a hallmark of postpartum psychosis, partners, family or friends may become concerned by the affected womanÕs behavior and seek help. Postpartum psychosis is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment to ensure the safety of both the mother and her child.

Postpartum Depression Diagnosis

While women may shy away from seeking postpartum depression help, thereÕs no reason to suffer from the illness. Treatment for symptoms of postpartum depression is very effective, and can include postpartum depression medicine and postpartum depression therapy. These treatments can help women cope with the challenges of being a new parent and enjoy their childÕs first months of life.

Resources

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Staff. (2009). Postpartum depression. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website: www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp091.cfm.

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2008). Postpartum depression: When to seek medical advice. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from the Mayo Clinic website: www.mayoclinic.com/health/postpartum-depression/DS00546/DSECTION=when-to-seek-medical-advice.

Postpartum Support International Staff. (n.d.). Frequently asked questions. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from the Postpartum Support International website: www.postpartum.net/Get-the-Facts/Frequently-Asked-Questions-about-the-Facts.aspx.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Staff. (2009). Depression during and after pregnancy. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from the WomenÕs Health website: womenshealth.gov/faq/depression-pregnancy.cfm#g.