Have you given birth in the last year? New mothers often experience a form of depression after the traumatic and exciting life event. However, if the effects don’t subside after a few weeks, then you may be dealing with the onset of post-natal depression, (PND.)
Post-Natal Depression Explained
Postnatal depression, otherwise known as postpartum depression, occurs after giving birth. It’s critical that you don’t confuse this condition with the “baby blues.”
The disorder primarily affects women who have gone through teenage pregnancy, and individuals will experience different symptoms of the condition. If you have a previous medical history that includes mood disorders, then you may be at higher risk of developing PND. Other contributing factors include the onset of depression during pregnancy or difficult labor.
Causes of Post-Natal Depression
Medical science is at a loss to explain the reasons for PND. However, contributing factors to the development of the condition include;
• Sleep deprivation from caring for a newborn baby.
• Shifts in hormone balance after giving birth.
• The physical and mental stress associated with caring for an infant.
• Financial worries or personal turmoil.
This list is far from a comprehensive, and it’s important to note that you can experience PND, even if you have no previous medical history relating to depression or anxiety.
Symptoms of Post-Natal Depression
PND has a wide range of symptoms, and affected mothers may experience a few or all of the following issues;
• Persistent low mood and depression.
• Low energy and a sense of being tired all time.
• Insomnia or broken sleep.
• Cognitive problems such as impaired concentration.
• Low self-esteem and poor self-confidence.
• Reduced appetite.
• Guilt, and suicidal tendencies.
• Panic attacks.
• Low sex drive.
• Digestive pains, blurred vision, and headaches.
As with most other mental health disorders, anxiety can be muddled up with the symptoms, and it’s common for women suffering from PND to confuse the two diseases. If you’ve given birth recently and find that you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, visit your doctor for a consultation.
Treating Post-Natal Depression
Your physician runs you through a questionnaire designed to look for the typical effects of PND. These questions include;
• Do you no longer experience pleasure from activities that would usually bring you joy?
• Are you optimistic about the future?
• Do you feel depressed and hopeless?
If your doctor diagnoses you with PND, they typically recommend a course of treatment that includes;
• An assisted self-help course.
• Anti-depressant medications, such as SSRI’s.
• Exercise and a healthy diet.
• Behavioral therapy.
Steps to Relieving the Symptoms of PND
1. Seek Medical Assistance
Your doctor has seen your condition in countless women beforehand, and they know how to treat the disorder. Modern medicine has numerous medications that can remove your suffering. It’s important to note that using SSRI’s (anti-depressants,) while breastfeeding will not harm the health of your child.
Many women avoid medication because society has told them they’re evil drugs. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Anti-depressants help millions of people overcome their mental illness. Life may be suffering – but it doesn’t have to be hell. Try an SSRI for thirty days, and you’ll know if it works for you, or if it’s a waste of time.
2. Find a Support Group
Visit social platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, and look for PND support groups in your area. It helps to talk with people about your feelings. It may surprise you to learn that there are millions of other women dealing with a similar situation as yourself.
Finding the right support structure is essential in your recovery from PND. Lean on your partner during your tough time and ask them for help. Life is a balance of challenge and support. When we feel that the problems are overwhelming – it can create feelings of depression and anxiety.
3. Keep Your Recovery in Mind
The most important thing to remember on your journey back to mental health is that PND will eventually come to an end. With the right treatment and support, you’ll make it through this unfortunate time in your life. Set daily goals for yourself and record your thought s and feelings in a journal. Reflect on your mental state every day and ask yourself what you can do improve your mental health.