An Often-Overlooked Mental Issue
The birth of your first child is an essential step in your life. However, there are things you must know beforehand as not to have any type of unpleasant surprise. One of the issues that affect many women, and fathers too, but it is often-overlooked is postnatal depression.
What Is It And What Are The Symptoms
As the name implies, PND or PPD (postpartum depression) is a type of mood disorder that affects many parents after the birth of one of their children.
Not to be confused with “Baby Blues.” which is much more common in women who have given birth and makes them tearful and anxious. This only last for a week or two and is considered a standard part of the postnatal depression.
However, if the symptoms of “Baby Blues” prolong themselves or you experience, later you might have postnatal depression. It develops gradually, and many women do not even know they have it, making it vital to be accompanied by specialized doctors over the course of your postnatal experience.
As such, if you suspect that your partner might have postnatal depression consider the following symptoms that are associated with it: Sadness and low mood, lack of interest and energy, permanent tiredness, insomnia or difficulty sleeping, social seclusion, difficulty in bonding with the baby or problems concentrating and making decisions.
The symptoms of “Baby Blues” and of postnatal depression can be confused due to the two causing a surge in sadness and lack of interest, but with PPD the feelings of sadness and anxiety can be very severe interfering with the women’s ability to care for herself, her baby and her family.
I think I might have PND, what should I do?
Don’t underestimate depression as it is an illness like any other and, likewise, your search for medical help and advice. It is a regular thing to happen to women who have given birth and doesn’t mean you are a bad parent or you are going mad.
So, if you suspect you have postnatal depression, you should firstly search for specialized help and therapy so your illness can be treated by a trained professional.
Two of the most efficient methods in leading with postnatal depression is Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IT). The first helps people recognize and change their negative feelings and behavior, and the second helps people deal with problematic personal relationships.
Moreover, you should also try to self-help by talking with your loved ones about what you’re going through, by resting and sleeping well, by exercising your body regularly and also to have a healthy diet. All of this can help you deal with the depression.
Apart from being as healthy as possible, there isn’t a specific way to prevent postnatal depression, however, if you have a background of depression or mental health problems you should inform your doctor so we can advise you and help you.
The causes of PND are not clear yet, but there have been some factors associated with it such as lack of robust social-net of family or friends, a bad relationship with your partner, experiencing “Maternity Blues” or “Baby Blues,” recent stressful events and, finally, a history of depression or mental health problems as I have said in the previously.