Baby blues, postnatal depression and postnatal psychosis
Some women are too emotional after childbirth. They experience mood swings and feel tearful. Around the third day after childbirth, some women start feeling anxiety and irritability. They are weepy and feel low. This condition is known as “baby blues”. It lasts about one week and usually does not need treatment unlike postnatal depression which develops within four weeks after lying-in. Its symptoms last longer and it is advisable to seek medical help to kill it. In some cases, postnatal depression can start even in one year after childbirth. Postnatal psychosis is severe form of this medical condition and develops very seldom. New mothers suffering from it do not understand they are ill. They have to be admitted to hospital for treatment. Hallucinations, delusions, irrational thoughts and odd behaviours are among the most common symptoms of postnatal psychosis. Women suffering from it can harm both a baby and themselves. That is why it is very important for relatives of a new mother suffering from this medical condition to seek help from the health professional.
Why is it so important to do away with postnatal depression?
Doing nothing about postnatal depression, some new mothers get better in three or six months. However, there are a few reasons to ask for help. Depression can cause problems in your career and family. Relationship with the baby can also be affected and it can have bad effect on the baby’s development. You are better to help yourself as quickly as possible, if you want your baby to develop properly. Postnatal depression is not a weakness and you should not be ashamed of it. Do not “hide” your condition.
Postnatal depression symptoms and causes
It is not clear exactly what causes postnatal depression. According to some studies it is no more common than any other type of depression. The common misconception is that it is caused by hormonal changes. But in fact, the main cause of the postnatal depression is a stressful situation such as feeling of responsibility or worry about the baby. Some women feel themselves isolated and it also can cause this medical condition. You are at a high risk of postnatal depression, if you had mental disorders in the past, marital problems and difficulties for money. You can also have it, if you suffered from depression when you were pregnant. Postnatal depression running in your family, loneliness and health problems following the childbirth can be included in the list of postnatal depression causes. Symptoms of postnatal depression are similar to those ones of any mental disorder and they last most of the time. So, what are the common symptoms of postnatal depression? They are lack of interest in the baby, low mood, irritability, feelings of rejection, inadequacy and guilt, loss of motivation, tearfulness, difficulty concentrating and losing things, thoughts of suicide and harming the child. You also can have reduced sex drive, small appetite, troubled sleep and lack of energy. If you have these symptoms, you need medical assistance.
Ways of postnatal depression treatment
The first way of treatment is counselling. According to some studies, counselling given by a skilled health professional can be very helpful. The second way is medical treatment. Women suffering from mild or severe postnatal depression are often prescribed antidepressants. Medicaments ease such symptoms as blue mood, difficulty concentrating, troubled sleep and irritability. But it takes from two to four weeks before you get better. Some women stop drug taking after a week or two, because they feel better. But it is wrong. It is necessary to follow the course recommended by the doctor. Otherwise depression will return quickly. The course of antidepressants taking usually lasts about half a year. Some drugs get into the human milk. That is why it is necessary to choose the drug which does not do any harm to the child. Today there is a wide selection of herbal antidepressants that can be very helpful in case of mild depression. They are sold without prescription, but it is not clear how well they work. Sometimes some side-effects occur, because some herbal antidepressants contain St John’s wort which may react with some drugs and cause serious health problems. Breastfeeding mothers are not recommended to take St John’s wort. The third way is psychological treatment. There are a few types of psychological treatment. They are cognitive-behavioural therapy, psycho-dynamic psychotherapy, problem-solving therapy and interpersonal therapy. Cognitive-behavioural therapy is perfect for women having mild postnatal depression, but it is not so good as antidepressants in severe cases.