Post Partum Depression Essay
Most women expect to feel elated after their child is born. Nine months of anticipation are coming to an end. Relatives and friends have all provided their support and words of encouragement to help you pass the time of carrying the child more pleasurable and easier. Who would have thought that there is now another obstacle to overcome? But the question would remain to most new mothers what this new task would be. And the answer would quickly become visible. Post Partum Depression. According to Wikipedia, Post Partum Depression is a condition which only affects new mothers after the birthing process.
This depression cycle is affecting to the mothers both physically and emotionally shortly after giving birth. There are three classifications of Post Partum Depression. Baby Blues, Post Partum Depression and Post Partum Psychosis. The first of these is “Baby Blues”. This stage is characterized by sudden mood swings, which could make the mother feel either very excited or very sad for long periods of times. With this individual case of Baby Blues, doctors tend to remain lax on prescribing prescriptions and suggesting that this case of depression be treated by a physician.
The second type is Post Partum Depression. This condition can be described as being very similar to baby blues, only much of its symptoms are much more severe. This case of depression has been labeled as popping up not only after the first child, but after several child births. With this case of depression the mother has also the chance of suffering from irritability, restlessness, and also an inability to enjoy liked activities. As far as the symptoms longevity, these cases have been known to last as long as a year long. And treatment by a physician is usually warranted.
To add to the list of these very complicated and unwanted cases of depression, there is another case which has the most severe mental and psychological set-backs. This case is known as Post Partum Psychosis. This is an extreme form of PPD. Known by physicians to occur usually during the first three months after delivery. It is marked with high levels of hallucinations, both auditory and visual. And the patient may lose touch with reality and can also suffer from a lack of sleep known as insomnia, anger, agitation, and may exhibit odd or abnormal behaviors that vary often. Post Partum Psychosis is rare.
It occurs in 2 out of every 1000 births and usually begins the first 6 weeks post partum. Post Partum Psychosis always requires treatment due to the severity of its symptoms. Difference between “Baby Blues”, Postpartum Depression, and Postpartum Psychosis The Baby Blues can happen in the days right after childbirth and normally go away within a few days or weeks. Symptoms are not severe and treatment is not required to deal with the affects of this form of depression. Postpartum Depression can happen anytime within the first year after childbirth. A woman may have a number of symptoms that may affect her in all of her daily tasks.
The difference between Postpartum Depression and baby blues is that Postpartum Depression often affects a woman’s well-being and keeps her from functioning well for a long period of time. Postpartum Psychosis is the most severe of the three. Although Post Partum Psychosis is very serious it is also extremely rare. During this stage of PPD is often when the mother actually harming her children often comes into play. As in the case of Andrea Yates, who actually killed all five of her children after suffering from Postpartum Depression after having her first child.
After leaving the Depression untreated it turned into Postpartum Psychosis. Symptoms of Post Partum Depression Feelings of despair and worthlessness often accompany Post Partum Depression. In the National Mental Health Association’s article Recognizing Post Partum Depression, Post Partum describes a range of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that many mothers experience after childbirth. When a woman suffers from Post Partum Depression, not only is she affected extremely but, it may very well affect all who surround her. Her partner may be affected in ways of attention, including sex.
Her older children, if any, may be affected as well. They may have a hard time coping with her unusual ways and behaviors and, may become very agitated due to her continuous request or demands. Overall, the whole family unit may suffer from Post Partum Depression’s symptoms. Possible causes of Post Partum Depression Emotional factors There are many opinions why Post Partum Depression may exist, but none which have been labeled to be truly acceptable. In the article Depression During and After Pregnancy on womenshealth. gov they list a few things that might contribute to PPD’s emotional factors.
Some of the things are: a feelings of loss: This may include a loss of identity, loss of control, or a loss of body image, stress related to a woman’s job, responsibilities outside and inside of the home, a resurgence of sad feelings about past losses, the womans’ past history, and feeling about being the “perfect mother”, and the financial worries of being a parent. Physical Factors Some of the most stressful times of the Post Partum Depression process may be the physical aspect of it all. This includes shifts in levels of hormones like progesterone, estrogen, and thyroid during pregnancy and after birth, sleep deprivation and exhaustion.
This usually occurs after a cesarean section delivery, and confinement indoors for long periods of time. Diagnosing Post Partum Depression According to the article, Recognizing Post Partum Depression from Medline Plus, to help make diagnosis of Post Partum Depression a doctor will usually ask the patient questions regarding how they feel and whether or not they have noticed any change in their normal activities. For example, the doctor may ask if the mother is able to sleep when the infant sleeps. Or is she able to taste food to its proper taste and does it appeal to her.
The article A diagnosis of Post Partum Depression generally requires at least five of the Postpartum symptoms to be present over a two week period, with one of the symptoms being a depressed mood or a deteriorating interest or pleasure in all activities. Some of the symptoms are: difficulty concentrating or making decisions, poor personal hygiene- poor hygiene also causes more lack in self-confidence, forgetfulness, fatigue- this is one of the most stressful phases of PPD and changes in appetite Self help Strategies Although it is not easy, in the article Depression During and After Pregnancy on the website womenshealth. ov it recommends that new mothers try their hardest to get as much rest as possible and to remain relaxed for long periods throughout the day. This article also recommends that new mothers not be afraid to ask for help and to not wait for anyone to offer their services. They should also be very assertive about their needs and discuss with their partners a daily routine schedule to allow sufficient time to gather the things the new mother may need to feel more comfortable. Seeking treatment for Post Partum Depression Many people have trouble asking for help when they need it.
This is more so the case when we talk about depressed individuals. A depressed individual finds it almost impossible to ask for help because the lack of self confidence. In most cases Family and friends are the ones who initiate the help process when they notice certain symptoms. Treatment for Post Partum Depression can be as varied as the symptoms in most cases. In the article How to Find Help Through Psychotherapy from the American Psychological Association the most common treatments for Depression are antidepressants, psychotherapy, self-help, and participation in a support group.
Some medical and childbirth associations train and certify postpartum volunteer workers who, in addition to providing information and resources to the patients, also provide physical and emotional help as well. These individuals are also known as Post Partum Doulas. The may also provide services to the new mothers which may included massaging the mothers, offer one on one care at home, run errands, and also may provide meals. Post Partum Doulas, however, do not provide clinical care.
Their role is strictly non-medical. Each person may need to experiment for themselves how they might want to the care provided from their physicians and if they would like to use the help at all. Just because help is suggested and available, some doctors don’t always recommend that their patients take the help from the Doulas because the lack of self motivation which might be obtained through continuous help. This may cause the new mothers more damage and stress than if they help themselves