Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Prescription Drug Abuse and Postpartum Depression

Prescription Drug Abuse and Postpartum DepressionPostpartum depression (PPD) is depression that occurs after pregnancy or miscarriage. This mental illness is the most common complication for women who have just given birth. It is not unusual for a woman to struggle with PPD, and having PPD does not mean the mother is crazy, too emotional from the birth or a bad mother.

What Is Postpartum Depression?

PPD is much more than just the “baby blues,” and it is caused by dramatic changes in hormone levels. Symptoms of postpartum depression include the following:

  • Constantly feeling tired, exhausted or lethargic
  • Problems sleeping too much or too little
  • Inability to bond with the baby or feeling disconnected from the child
  • Severe mood swings involving sadness, crying, anxiety or irritability
  • Trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Inability to find joy or pleasure
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

If a woman is experiencing these symptoms post-pregnancy, she must seek treatment help immediately for both her and the baby’s future.

What Is the Treatment for Postpartum Depression?

Treatment for PPD often involves individual therapy and or counseling sessions with a mental health professional. Support groups, group counseling and family counseling are also options for treatment. Another treatment aid may include taking antidepressant medications such as a selective serotonin repute inhibitor (SSRI). The most common medications for PPD include the following:

  • Zoloft
  • Paxil
  • Select
  • Prozac

Antidepressant drugs can provide much needed relief, but they are not a solution in and of themselves. Antidepressant or other prescription drug use, when not combined with counseling and therapy, will not provide a long-term solution and can lead to drug abuse or addiction problems.

What Happens If Postpartum Depression Goes Untreated?

An untreated or improperly treated case of postpartum depression can cause lifelong detriment to both a mother and her child. A new baby brings about many changes, sleepless nights, and new worries and anxieties about being a mom. These changes are balanced by the joy of a new addition to the family, but untreated PPD will prevent a mother from feeling any amount of joy in the experience. Mothers with PPD will develop mood imbalances, poor self-esteem, cognitive impairment, depression and suicidal tendencies. If left untreated, PPD can lead to prescription drug abuse or alcohol abuse as an unhealthy method of coping with overwhelming emotions. Substance abuse will only add more risk to the situation and increase difficulties with being an attentive and loving parent. Untreated PPD can devastate a mother and child, but professional help is available for any struggling parent.

Help for Postpartum Depression and Drug Abuse

If you or a loved one is having trouble managing emotions or substance use before or after becoming a parent, call our toll-free helpline. We can help you find the treatment that will best meet your recovery needs. We are here 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have and to provide you with endless information on treatment and recovery services. By making the decision to get help for addiction and mental health issues you are making the decision to better care and provide for your child. If you want a better future for both you and your child, pick up the phone and call us today.

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