Having a baby and bringing it into this world is commonly a time of joy. But as new parents, you may not feel this joy right away. Often, they experience a phase of fatigue, stress, and worry after giving birth to their baby and may gradually feel weepy and sensitive as they come to accept this major life change.
This phase, usually known as the baby blues, is not uncommon for new parents and typically lasts for one or more weeks. However, for others, baby blues progress into a much profound and longstanding type of depression called postnatal depression.
Let’s talk more elaborately about postnatal depression here.
Postnatal depression is a state that typically progresses within the initial year after having a baby, either abruptly or slowly. The NHS reports that it affects one in ten women and one in ten men. Postnatal depression tends to be caused by a mix of factors that are brought about following childbearing. Symptoms are somewhat similar to those that are seen in general depression but might differ in intensity.
Sadly, many moms, or dads, are not aware that they do have postnatal depression, and they cannot get the support required to heal and recover. Other people find it hard to seek support, but management for postnatal depression is vital for enhancing life quality and regaining the fun of being parents.
Postnatal depression impacts each individual differently. Like generalized depression, postnatal depression differs from minor to major. Some individuals may feel several signs, while others may merely feel very few. In most situations, signs of postnatal depression will begin right after giving birth, and it’s because of this, they go unnoticed. Nevertheless, there are blatant distinctions between feeling anxious, miserable, depressed, and overly emotional after giving birth.
Here are some relevant symptoms to watch out for if you think you have postnatal depression.
- Lack of interest in the things previously loved doing.
- A constant feeling of low mood and misery. You may experience extremely low moods when you wake up or before going to bed.
- Feeling fatigued and exhausted all the time.
- Getting weepy for no valid reason.
- Inability to cope with your feelings.
- Always annoyed and irritable.
- Feeling indifferent to your baby and your partner.
Changes In Function
- Trouble focusing and making sound decisions.
- Trouble sleeping, feeling sleeping the whole day, or difficulty sleeping at night.
- Decreased sex drive.
- Decreased self-esteem.
- Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm.
- Withdrawal from family and friends.
Postnatal Depression Management
There are numerous methods to managing postnatal depression, and your doctor should provide you with the information you require to make the right choice. Counseling and medication are common treatment regimens and are given to individuals based on the degree of postnatal depression.
Medication. For individuals with major cases of postnatal depression, doctors prescribe antidepressants to help alleviate their symptoms and gradually allow them to surpass the condition. There are many forms of antidepressants, and all of them work sufficiently well and take at least two weeks to begin working. Side effects will also differ, and some are formulated especially for breastfeeding mothers.
Counseling. Postnatal depression counseling offers a respite for those who want to talk about their feelings and ideas with the help of a qualified counselor or therapist. Specific therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy are utilized to work clients through their issues, allowing them to decipher the kind of depression they have and how they can change their thought and behavioral patterns to achieve their optimum potential and live the life of being a parent.
Other counseling methods can assist clients in understanding their depression with regard to their relationships and past events. Ultimately, counseling for PND enables people suffering from PND to feel safe enough to talk about their condition without feeling criticized or humiliated.
What To Look For In A Counselor
There are presently no rules written about specific qualifications or training a counselor must acquire so that he could officially treat postnatal depression. But according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has created a set of rules that offer counsel about suggested treatments.
If you experience depression while you are pregnant or after delivering a baby:
- If you are diagnosed with mild depression but have had a major bout of depression before, you might be prescribed an antidepressant if you do not want to go through counseling or psychological management.
- If you are experiencing minor or moderate depression, your doctor may offer an exercise regimen, counseling, and self-help strategies.
- If you are experiencing a moderate type of depression and you have suffered from depression in the past, or you have had extreme depression, you may be provided psychological management or perhaps an antidepressant if you wish. If, however, all these do not work independently, you might need to try both simultaneously.
These interventions typically help. However, if they do not, you may be prescribed electroconvulsive therapy or a different drug.
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