Postnatal Depression Treatment
Postnatal depression or PND is sometimes confused with the baby blues. However, unlike baby blues, it is an illness or psychological disorder which requires medium to long treatment.
According to a report by Centers for Disease Control, in USA, 11 to 20% of newborn babies mum’s develops signs of postnatal depression. Likewise in UK, approximately one among eight mums take advice of GP for postnatal depression conditions. The trend across other countries are also somewhat similar to this. In Sydney and Australian subcontinent over 1 in 5 mums are diagnosed as depressed. A research statistics reveals that the city of Sydney has a growing trend of losing productivity due to postnatal depression.
Signs of Postnatal Depression
The signs and symptoms of postnatal depression differs across patients. The patient may may feel sad or low, unable to enjoy anything, feel extremely tired with no energy, hopeless, experience a sense of guilt, lack appetite, feel miserable, tearful or anxious. If these symptoms persist over a normal recovery duration, then a diagnosis of postnatal depression is made. Postnatal depression is usually diagnosed within first few month of child birth, but it can be diagnosed till the baby is about 1 year old.
Causes of Postnatal Depression
No conclusive reasons for postnatal depression have been identified. Experts believe that it may be caused by multiple factors, instead of just one. Psychologists have identified certain situations or circumstances which may precede the onset of postnatal depression:
- History of depression or mental health issues prior to the current pregnancy, such as depression in previous pregnancy.
- Lack of supportive partner
- Lack of social support
- Challenging circumstances on financial, housing, work or relationship fronts
- Health issues resulting from a difficult labour
- Premature birth of the baby
- Baby ill on birth or immediately after birth
- Difficulties with breastfeeding the baby
- Loss of family members or friends
Treatment for Postnatal Depression
Effective treatment and support can be provided for postnatal depression if it is diagnosed early. Delays can stretch the duration of treatment and aggravate the problem.
The first step towards managing postnatal depression is identifying the root cause and then preparing a treatment plan that addresses it. Recovery greatly depends on the support the patient receives from their partner, family and friends in their recovery.
Doctors commonly suggests mood uplifting self-help strategies, such as reading a book, for mild postnatal depression. For moderate to severe conditions psychotherapy, medications, or both psychotherapy and medications may be recommended.
Among psychotherapies, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy (IPT) and effective for postnatal depression. CBT helps the patient understand the link between cognition and behaviour and helps the patient to correct their negative self-talk and cognitive distortions. IPT approaches the problem from a relationship perspective, ie, is there any problem in patient’s relationships with others which could have caused the depression symptoms and then looks for a fix to those problems using the tenets of IPT.
Doctors may also prescribes antidepressants such as SSRIs or SNRIs to address depression symptoms. Antidepressants increase serotonin in blood which reduces depression symptoms, uplift’s their mood, help them sleep, and reduce irritations.
Healthy sleep and well-balanced diet is also recommended. Exercise, yoga, relaxation, music, mindfulness etc are known to help in depression and lifting the moods.
Postnatal Depression Treatment at Potentialz
At Potentialz, a significant percentage of female clients between 20-45 years of age are referred for postnatal depression treatment. We use APS approved evidence-based to provide effective treatment to these patients.