- How To Detect It +Ways To Get Over It
Post Natal Depression is what many parents experience after having a baby. It’s a common problem, affecting more than 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving birth. It can also affect fathers and partners, although this is not common.
It’s important to seek help as soon as possible if you think you might be depressed, as the symptoms could last months or get worse and has a significant impact on you, your baby and your family.With the right support, which can include self-help strategies and therapy, most women could make a full recovery. It is a very common disorder and there are more than 1.5 million cases per year in Nigeria treatable by medical professionals, it could be resolved within months. It requires a medical diagnosis, Lab tests, while imaging is not required.
Those who develop postpartum depression are at greater risk of developing major depression later in life. Many women don’t realise they have postnatal depression, because it can develop gradually. Its symptoms might include insomnia, loss of appetite, intense irritability and difficulty bonding with the baby.If left untreated, the condition may last months or longer.
Its treatment can include counselling, antidepressants or hormone therapy. There are so many symptoms of postnatal depression, which can be easily seen,Many women feel a bit down, tearful or anxious in the first week after giving birth. This is often called the “baby blues” and is so common that it’s considered normal. The “baby blues” don’t last for more than two weeks after giving birth. If your symptoms last longer or start later, you could have postnatal depression. Postnatal depression can start any time in the first year after giving birth.
The common signs that you are depressed after child birth include a persistent feeling of sadness and low mood, lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in the wider world, lack of energy and feeling tired all the time, sleeplessness at night and feeling sleepy during the day,difficulty bonding with your baby, withdrawing from contact with other people, having problems concentrating on what you are doing and making decisions, frightening thoughts – for example, about hurting your baby. Okay.
Here we go, in a simpler listing,you may have postpartum depression if you have had a baby within the last 12 months and are experiencing some of these symptoms: You feel overwhelmed as a new mum, things are hard.” More like “I can’t do this and I’m never going to be able to do this.” You feel like you just can’t handle being a mother. In fact, you may be wondering whether you should have become a mother in the first place, You feel guilty because you believe you should be handling new motherhood better than this.
You feel like your baby deserves better. You worry whether your baby can tell that you feel so bad, or that you are crying so much, or that you don’t feel the happiness or connection that you thought you would. You may wonder whether your baby would be better off without you.
You don’t feel bonded to your baby. You’re not having that mythical mummy bliss that you see on TV or read about in magazines. Not everyone with postpartum depression feels this way, but many do. You can’t understand why this is happening. You are very confused and scared. You feel irritated or angry. You have no patience. Everything annoys you. You feel resentment toward your baby, or your partner, or your friends who don’t have babies.
You feel out-of-control rage.You feel nothing, emptiness and numbness. You are just going through the motions.You feel sadness to the depths of your soul. You can’t stop crying, even when there’s no real reason to be crying.You feel hopeless, like this situation will never ever get better. You feel weak and defective, as a failure.
You can’t bring yourself to eat, or perhaps the only thing that makes you feel better is eating. You can’t sleep when the baby sleeps, nor can you sleep at any other time. Or maybe you can fall asleep, but you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep no matter how tired you are. Or maybe all you can do is sleep and you can’t seem to stay awake to get the most basic things done. Whichever it is, your sleeping is completely screwed up and it’s not just because you have a newborn.
You can’t concentrate. You can’t focus. You can’t think of the words you want to say. You can’t remember what you were supposed to do. You can’t make a decision.You feel disconnected. You feel strangely apart from everyone for some reason, like there’s an invisible wall between you and the rest of the world.You might be having thoughts of running away and leaving your family behind. Or you’ve thought of driving off the road, or taking too many pills, or finding some other way to end this misery. You know something is wrong. You may not know you have a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, but you know the way you are feeling is NOT right.
You are afraid that this is your new reality and that you’ve lost the “old you” forever.
You are afraid that if you reach out for help people will judge you. Or that your baby will be taken away.
WHAT CAUSES POSTNATAL DEPRESSION?
The cause of Postnatal Depression isn’t completely clear. Some of the common factors it has been associated with include:a history of mental health problems, particularly depression, earlier in life, a history of mental health problems during pregnancy,having no close family or friends to support you,a poor relationship with your partner,recent stressful life events, such as a bereavement,experiencing the “baby blues”
Even if you don’t have any of these symptoms, having a baby is a life-changing event that can sometimes trigger depression.It often takes time to adapt to becoming a new parent. Looking after a small baby can be stressful and exhausting.
CAN POSTNATAL DEPRESSION BE PREVENTED?
Although, there have been several studies into preventing postnatal depression, there is no evidence that there’s anything specific you can do to prevent the condition developing, apart from maintaining a healthy lifestyle as you can for yourself.
However, if you have a history of depression or mental health problems, or if you have a family history of mental health problems after childbirth, tell your GP or mental health team if you’re pregnant or thinking of having a baby. This is so they can offer you appropriate monitoring and treatment, if necessary.If you have had a mental health problem while pregnant, your doctor should arrange for you to be seen regularly in the first few weeks after birth.What are the treatments for postnatal depression?Postnatal depression can be lonely, distressing and frightening, but support and effective treatments are available which includes
SELF-HELP – THINGS YOU CAN TRY YOURSELF
These include:talking to your family and friends about your feelings and what they can do to help; making time for yourself to do things you enjoy; resting whenever you get the chance and getting as much sleep as you can at night; exercising regularly; eating a healthy diet.psychological therapy – your doctor may be able to recommend a self-help course, or may refer you for a course of therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), antidepressants – these may be recommended if your depression is more severe or other treatments haven’t helped; your doctor can prescribe a medicine that’s safe to take while breastfeeding.
Local and national organisations, such as the Association for Post Natal Illness (APNI) and Pre and Postnatal Depression Advice and Support (PANDAS), can also be useful sources of help and advice. On how to get get help, Speak with your doctor or health visitor if you think you may be depressed. Many health visitors have been trained to recognise postnatal depression and have techniques that can help. If they can’t help, they’ll know someone in your area who can,Encourage your partner to seek help if you think they might be having problems. Don’t struggle alone hoping that the problem would go away.
Remember that a range of help and support is available, including therapy,depression is an illness as any other. It’s not your fault you’re depressed – it can happen to anyone. Being depressed doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent,it doesn’t mean you’re going mad,your baby won’t be taken away from you – babies are only taken into care in very exceptional circumstances. So seek help when you notice these symptoms.
–Tayo Fajorin Oyediji-with additional info from NHS