Postpartum Depression Treatment

Postpartum depression should not be taken lightly. You might have heard already of the “baby blues.” It is a term for new mothers that feel a little sad, worried, or fatigued. It is completely normal and usually fades in a few weeks. However, postpartum depression is a lot more powerful and lasts longer. It can cause severe mood swings, exhaustion, and a sense of hopelessness. The intensity of those feelings can make it difficult for you to care for your baby or yourself.  It is a serious disorder, but it can be overcome through proper postpartum depression treatment.

Postpartum Depression Treatment
We Level Up NJ is an accredited treatment center

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

It is normal to feel moody or fatigued after having a baby, but postpartum depression goes well beyond that. The symptoms of postpartum depression vary from person to person and even day to day. Below are the indicators If you have postpartum depression:

  • Being sad or cry a lot, even when you do not know why
  • Sleeping too much
  • Cannot stop eating, or you are not interested in food at all
  • Do not know why you are irritable, anxious, or angry
  • Moods change suddenly and without warning
  • Feeling out of control
  • Have difficulty remembering things
  • Cannot concentrate or make simple decisions
  • Disconnected feeling from your baby and wonder why you are not filled with joy like you thought you would be
  • Everything feels overwhelming and hopeless
  • Guilty about your feelings
  • You cannot open to anyone because they will think you are a bad mother or take your baby, so you withdraw
  • Wanting to escape from everyone and everything
  • Have intrusive thoughts about harming yourself or your baby

These symptoms are most likely to start within a few weeks of delivery. In addition, postpartum depression sometimes does not surface until months later. Without postpartum treatment, these symptoms may continue to worsen.

Causes of Postpartum Depression

Firstly, the exact cause is not clear, but there are some factors that may contribute to postpartum depression.

Physical Factors

The moment you are pregnant, your levels of estrogen and progesterone are higher than usual. Then, within hours of giving birth, hormone levels drop back to their previous state. As a result, this abrupt change may lead to depression. Some other physical factors are:

  • Low thyroid hormone levels
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Drug and alcohol misuse
  • Inadequate diet
  • Underlying medical conditions

Emotional Factors

If you have had a mood disorder in the past or if mood disorders run in your family, you may be more likely to develop postpartum depression. Some emotional stressors may also include:

  • Recent divorce or death of a loved one
  • You or your child having serious health problems
  • Social isolation
  • Financial burdens
  • Lack of support

Postpartum Depression Treatment Options

There are two main postpartum depression treatments: medication and therapy. It may take a few tries to find out what treatment works best for you. This type of depression can be treated with antidepressant medications, either alone or with therapy.

Medication

Antidepressants alter the chemicals that regulate mood. However, they will not work right away. It can take several weeks of taking the medication before you notice differences in your mood. You may have side effects while taking antidepressants as well. Side effects may include fatigue, decreased sex drive, and dizziness. If side effects are making your symptoms worse, tell your doctor right away.

In fact, some antidepressants are safe to take if you are breastfeeding, but others may not be. Be sure to tell your doctor if you breastfeed. For instance, if your estrogen levels are low, your doctor may recommend hormone therapy as well.

Therapy

A psychiatrist, psychologist, or several mental health professionals can provide counseling. In cases where both parents show signs of depression, couples counseling or family counseling may be good options.

For Men

Similarly, to new mothers, these “baby blues” are normal in men and tend to fade away as everyone makes the transition. Also, men can develop a type of postpartum depression too, called paternal postnatal depression.

Symptoms of depression are similar in men and women, but for new fathers, it is harder to recognize. New fathers do not have follow-up exams with doctors like new mothers do, so depression can go unnoticed. Another factor is that men are less likely to report symptoms of depression, even though first-time fathers tend to have a higher level of anxiety in the weeks following birth.

Postpartum depression in men may be related to lack of sleep, stress, and the changing family dynamics. Another risk factor is having previous depression or other mood disorders. If that is the case, you should talk to your doctor before the baby is born.

There are numerous potential risk factors that can also contribute to the development of postpartum depression in men.
According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Some of the risk factors are the history of depression, marital discord, poverty, maternal depression, and unintended pregnancy. [1]

Further Postpartum Treatments

New fathers, like new mothers, should also try to get a support system such as joining a depression support group or spending time out with friends or family.

For instance, you are having postpartum substance abuse, it could also cause postpartum depression. Postpartum substance abuse is a continuation of drug or alcohol use that occurred prior to or during pregnancy. Seek out professional aid to help you get out of this dangerous situation, for you and for your family.

We Level Up NJ Treatment Center provides world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope. All working as a team providing different types of mental illness treatments, including postpartum depression treatment, for successful recovery.

Sources:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6659987/ – US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health