Post partum depression needn’t be devastating

Simply put, it is depression that occurs after having a baby. Most sufferers prefer to call it the dark, grey cloud that envelopes them on their worst days

Is there a certain type who is prone to PPD?

Some people think that postpartum depression could and would mostly manifest itself after childbirth if you already have instances of depression before. Some believe that, people who have not been depressed before, usually do not experience postpartum depression post childbirth. But these beliefs are not true. No one can really predict who gets postpartum depression.

But how does this occur? 

Most people who suffer from postpartum depression usually don’t get treatment because most of them don’t even know they have it. Most sufferers are unaware that the extreme despondency they face in their lives every day might be postpartum depression. They do not understand that if they are unable to feel happy and enjoy their role as a new mother, it is not because they are bad mothers. It is because of possible postpartum depression.

The diagnosis is usually the difficult part, because the symptoms vary from person to person. But the usual symptoms are when you are unable to get out of bed, unable to go about your daily activities with the same fervour that you used to have, when you are threatened by tears and a nervous breakdown for some silly, inconsequential mistake of yours, when everything seems like a monumental task to do, then you could be suffering from postpartum depression. 

Is postpartum depression curable?

Yes, say people who have actually done it. It is a long-winded process and takes time, but with treatment  and proper guidance and support, postpartum depression can be fought. It is very hard to talk about, but people who have suffered through it say they have been able to get out of it sooner with the right kind of support. It is important to recognize it for what it is, accept it and fight it.

When you notice the above mentioned symptoms, it is time to talk to your obstetrician, who might refer you to a mental health professional. The doctor will talk to you and guide you appropriately. The usual approach to treatment is psychological counselling, starting medications and having regular follow-ups to assess the improvement. Taking care of yourself, regular exercise, having someone to support you through these difficult times will help you deal with postpartum depression and overcome it.

It is important to remember that depression can be fought if identified and worked with. The dark hole (as referred by people who suffer from postpartum depression) one retreats into and finds hard to climb out of, doesn’t have to be a part of your life. By fighting it, you are putting yourself in a better place to handle life and that should be incentive enough.

This article is written by Celes Care – India’s first Online Health Clinic for Women.

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