The Reality of Postpartum Depression
Depression is one of the leading mental health issues in the world. At any one time, the World Health Organisation estimates that 4% of the world’s population (around 300 million people) suffer from depression.
Even though this is a staggering statistic many people may not know about postpartum- the depression that can affect new mothers. Postpartum depression is a particular form of depression which affects women who have recently given birth. They suffer with it at a time when they should be happy with their newborn, but instead, it causes them to feel disconnected from the infant, thus leading them to resent them.
Please keep reading to learn more about the reality of postpartum depression, what the symptoms are and who it affects, as well as how therapy can help you surpass these emotions. If you think that you suffer from postpartum depression, don’t feel like you are alone; by reading this blog post, you will have the answer to seeking the support that you need.
What is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression causes intense feelings of sadness, depression and anxiety which can often interfere with a woman’s ability to care for herself and her newborn. Also, mothers who suffer from this specific type of depression can feel exhausted, making it hard for them to complete regular daily duties.
The depression couldn’t hit at a worse time – in the weeks following birth when a mothers care is most important for a child. The depression makes this feel almost impossible, pushing a mother to not give their baby the nurture and affection that a newborn desires.
However, this form of depression can be mistaken for the ‘baby blues’ which can affect up to 80% of mothers. The symptoms for this condition are often lesser than postpartum depression and only last for one or two weeks before disappearing completely. Postpartum depression sufferers face more severe symptoms and often need outside support and help to overcome it over a long period of time.
What Are the Symptoms of Postpartum Depression?
Some of the most common symptoms of postpartum depression include feelings of sadness, hopelessness and emptiness. As a result, new mothers lose interest in hobbies and spending time with their friends and family; two things often correlated with reducing or ridding depression.
Other side effects which can arise include feeling panicked, as well as worry and anxiousness. Physical symptoms associated with postpartum depression include restlessness, oversleeping and insomnia. It can also cause head, stomach, or muscle pain, as well as a lack of appetite or increased appetite. However, which symptoms a new mother face and the severity of them differs from person to person.
Who Can Postpartum Depression Affect?
Answering this question goes beyond just ‘mothers’ in general. Postpartum depression can affect anyone who has recently given birth, but some are more inclined to suffer from this specific form of depression than others.
Postpartum depression occurs in nearly 15% of births and can begin shortly after childbirth, though it most commonly presents itself between one week and a month after delivery. Risk factors can increase the likelihood of a new mother suffering from postpartum depression; they can include a family history of depression, financial issues, lack of social support, stress, fatigue, traumatic childbirth or a personal history of depression/anxiety. But then again, a new mother can still suffer from postpartum depression without any of these risk factors present.
How Can Therapy Help Postpartum Depression?
Therapy is an essential outlet for supporting the mental health of every person, but it is especially helpful for those facing depression. Postpartum depression can often make new mothers feel detached and hopeless; because of this, therapy is exceptionally helpful for overcoming these feelings so that their first few weeks as a new mother aren’t riddled with anxiousness or resentment. Rather than being unable to sleep – or sleep too much – they can balance their emotions and help raise their new child while maintaining their mental health.
Therapy is more than just talking to a stranger; a therapist helps new mothers understand their emotions, looking at why they might be facing depression. When you know the ‘why’ and ‘how’ behind depression, you can look towards overcoming these factors. A therapist can provide you with tried and tested advice on how to manage your symptoms when they arise; this will help you to see the positives behind bringing a new life into the world.
Check out my website to learn more about my services as a therapist and how it can bring light the reality of postpartum depression. With a new baby, you will want those first few months to be dedicated to them, but if postpartum depression hits, this can sometimes feel impossible. Therapy can help you understand these pressing emotions and look towards finding peace as a new parent.