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What is Postpartum Depression, and How Does One Recover?

 In Mental Health, Recovery

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a form of major depression that occurs in some women after giving birth. Women with postpartum depression may be mistaken for baby blues at first, but the signs and symptoms are more intense and last longer and may interfere with the ability to care for themselves or their baby and handle other daily tasks. A single cause has not been pinpointed. However, studies have led doctors to believe that the dramatic shift in hormones and emotional struggles may contribute. With no treatment, PPD can last for months. The symptoms of postpartum can be intense for the new mother and can disrupt daily life. If you have been diagnosed with postpartum depression, and need help recovering, reach out. There are many resource centers available to help you begin recovery. 

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

Life with a newborn is hard enough, even without the effects of a mental illness. The struggles of new motherhood are why it is sometimes hard to detect PPD. Some of the symptoms to look out for may include the following:

  • Sleep issues 
  • Change in appetite  
  • Weight loss
  • Poor self-image
  • Extreme exhaustion 
  • Change in sex drive 
  • Frequent mood swings 
  • Lack of interest in your baby 
  • Excessive crying, often without a reason 
  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Agitation and aggression 
  • Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, etc. 
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors 
  • Poor concentration
  • History of depression or substance abuse

These symptoms can be intense, especially when also caring for a newborn. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek help. A residential treatment center may be beneficial in helping you regain stability in life. 

Co-occurring Disorders 

It is common for those battling PPD to also suffer from other mental illnesses. Some of those may include bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, other mood disorders, substance abuse, etc. 

Postpartum Depression Treatment Programs 

Postpartum depression treatment is dependent upon the severity and kind of symptoms. In most cases, medication, psychotherapy, and support groups are enough for depression treatment. However, in more severe cases, an inpatient or outpatient treatment program may be necessary to provide the needed care. In an inpatient rehab center, health professionals will treat your diagnosis, teach you coping mechanisms, teach you postpartum depression prevention, and give you the time and resources required for healthy living. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with postpartum depression and needs help managing the symptoms, contact a mental health professional to discuss the best course of action for you. Postpartum recovery is possible. Don’t ignore the signs of postpartum depression. Get the treatment you need to care for your baby and yourself.

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