With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things. -William Wordsworth
Postpartum Depression is a form of depression experienced by some women after giving birth. As with all forms of depression, Postpartum depression is characterized by feelings of extreme anxiety, sadness and exhaustion. The impact of postpartum depression extends beyond the individual, as postpartum depression may cause the new mother to have difficulty managing the daily care activities both for herself as well as her baby.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
Not every woman who suffers from Postpartum Depression exhibits every symptom of depression. Like all forms of depression, new mothers may experience few or many of the following symptoms:
Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
Decreased energy or fatigue
Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
Appetite and/or weight changes
Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment
Treatments for Postpartum Depression
Even the most severe cases of Postpartum Depression can be treated, and treatment is most effective when it is started early. Postpartum Depression can be treated with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both.
Every woman is affected by postpartum depression in their own way, and treatment must be customized to the individual. In other words, there is no single pre-defined postpartum depression treatment that works for everyone.
Psychotherapy, sometimes referred to as “talk therapy” or counseling, is a vital component of treating postpartum depression. There are a variety of specific psychotherapeutic approaches that can be explored in the treatment of postpartum depression, including:
Medication, specifically antidepressants, may help improve the way the brain manages chemicals that control mood or stress. Every woman will react to various medications in her own way, and several different medications may be tried before finding one that improves symptoms with manageable side effects.
Get Help for Postpartum Depression
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms and wish to seek treatment for postpartum depression, please contact me for an evaluation.