Getting Out of the Black Hole
Postpartum depression, also referred to as postpartum non-psychotic depression is a serious condition afflicting mothers who have just had a baby. It interferes with a woman’s ability to care for the baby, and the condition attacks all mothers regardless of whether it’s their first, fifth or twentieth child. Some medical researchers believe that this condition may be caused by the fluctuation of hormones during pregnancy and after childbirth. While it is natural to feel stressed out, tired and anxious about childcare, such feelings should disappear quickly after childbirth. Postpartum depression may present itself with symptoms that include tearfulness, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts, trouble sleeping, fatigue, appetite problems, inability to enjoy pleasurable activities, feelings of inadequacy as a parent, and impaired concentration. Some women with postpartum depression may worry incessantly about the baby’s health and wellbeing, feeling that they cannot cope with the baby for fear of causing physical harm while having negative thoughts about him or her. Some confuse postpartum depression with a condition known as the “baby blues,” because they have similar symptoms, which contributes to the reason why so many frequently dismiss their feelings. But the baby blues is a passing state of heightened emotions peaking around three to five days after giving birth and may last from several days up to two weeks. If a woman experiences a prolonged period of experiencing these negative thoughts and emotions then it is possible that they have postpartum depression instead. Unfortunately, while women can recover naturally from the baby blues, postpartum depression needs medical attention. Some treatments for postpartum depression may be as simple as taking care of yourself and your body. Depression has been linked to sleep deprivation, and because you need to be up when the baby is, you also need to sleep when he or she does as well. Because most women are conditioned from childhood to expect that pregnancy and childbirth is a natural process, you often feel too ashamed to seek help for what may be seen as a made-up affliction. It is not shameful to ask for help or advice from family and friends who are also parents themselves or have experience with childcare especially if you are a new mother. Support is very important for women during this time, and talking often helps alleviate the sufferer’s feelings of fear and anxiety, reassuring them that they are not alone in experiencing such a distressing condition. Remember that you are not Superwoman, and that during this time of great upheaval in your life, juggling the responsibilities of work, family and running the household will be impossible without help. Medical treatment may differ from a case to case basis, depending on the severity of the condition. Many doctors may refer you to a psychologist for individual or group therapy or encourage you to join a support group. They may be helpful in making family and friends to understand that this is not a trifling or made-up condition. In more severe cases, doctors may prescribe antidepressant drugs such as Paxil (paroxetine hydrochloride) to help you manage your condition. Whatever treatment is prescribed, it must be one that is the most beneficial to you. The most important thing is that you seek help before its too late.
Getting Out of the Black Hole
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