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Nine Signs of Post-Partum Depression

Nine Signs of Post-Partum Depression

Early detection and treatment of post-partum depression can improve the chances of full recovery

The clinical condition known as depression has gained much understanding and recognition in recent years. With new methods of diagnosis and treatments available, people who suffer from this ailment can once again maintain a normal and productive life.

What Is Post-Partum Depression?

Post-partum depression is a type of clinical depression that appears in a number of new parents a few weeks after the birth and may last as long as a year. Although women are the ones affected the most, a small percentage of fathers experience this condition too.

However, it should be understood that post-partum depression is different from the exhaustion felt after childbirth or as the result of taking care of the newborn. These nine signs of post-partum depression can help new parents detect it and treat it promptly.

1)      Low levels of energy – This is not normal tiredness, but a constant state of exhaustion even after resting or despite keeping a good diet

2)      Self-esteem issues – Developing low self-esteem, being overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy or inability to take care of a baby

3)      Eating disorders or difficulties – Often loss of appetite leading to malnutrition, but also binge eating in some cases to try to feel better

4)      Sleeping disorders – As in other types of depression, insomnia or sleeping too much is a common sign of post-partum depression

5)      Lack of motivation or desire – Losing interest in activities that once were enjoyable to the person, such as sports, hobbies, leisure time, etc.

6)      Sadness with crying episodes – This type of sadness can be driven by needless guilt followed with unstoppable crying episodes

7)      Mood changes – Commonly include frustration, anxiety, and hopelessness

8)      Decreased desire for sexual activity – Sex drive can be limited or non-existent

9)      Isolation – Withdrawal can be from family interactions or society in general

These signs are only indications of what might be a bigger problem. A prompt diagnosis from a certified physician can be followed by appropriate treatment, which can include counseling, therapy, increased support from the partner, and other health-inducing options. Medication might be necessary in difficult cases.

Please be aware that some severe cases of post-partum depression can include psychosis, hallucinations or dangerous reactions. While not every case of post-partum depression includes psychosis, it is important to be aware that this may also be part of the hormone shifts and diagnosis of post-partum depression in some cases. Post-partum psychosis is a very serious condition and requires immediate assistance in order to protect both mother and child.

Post-Partum Depression and Addiction

Addiction is a real danger for anyone who is suffering from depression without receiving any kind of treatment or support. The desire to feel better can be so overwhelming that individuals begin to use drugs or alcohol as a quick way out. We must also remember that childbirth triggers chemical changes in the brain and body of a woman, and that even the best mothers need assistance to carry out their new responsibility.

Help to Understand and Overcome Post-Partum Depression

Help for new parents can be found in non-professional programs, such as support groups. Further help can be obtained in therapy sessions and couples counseling with a trained professional. Medical assistance can be found to deal with problems of mental health issues or substance abuse caused or aggravated by depression.

To learn more about these resources and receive the help of capable counselors, call our toll-free helpline, anytime, 24 hours a day to get the advice you need.

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