Motherhood, as all would agree is the most beautiful and blessed moment a woman will have in her lifetime.
We have read countless women gushing over their experience of ushering in another life into the world, and have heard numerous women referring to this experience as life-altering. The feeling of bringing another individual into this world, who owe their existence completely to you, is perhaps, legitimately, precious.
The popular narrative that everyone hears or that is being picturised to everyone is that image of a mother, blissfully happy in motherhood and playing with her child. This has been one that we have grown up watching, and one that validates what we feel about the experience.
The alternative to such a reality is starkly different and evidently less rosy. Postpartum depression, or clinical depression a woman undergoes after giving birth to a child, is a rampant phenomenon.
Postpartum depression, much like depression, is a manifestation rather than a cause and is deeply embedded in psychology. Though the condition is person specific there are certain common symptoms.
One of every three women cries incessantly after giving birth or are overcome by a general sense of apathy towards life. They exhibit perceptible traits of aggression, irritation, and sometimes even complete refusal to take care of the child.
The cruel tragedy of the situation remains that many of the women going through PPD remain unaware of their actions and their repercussions. Their thought process is completely subconscious. Causes of postpartum depression can be many both physical and emotional issues may play the role.Certain risk factors also play a role in it.
Physical changes can be, after childbirth, a dramatic drop in hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) in one’s body may contribute to postpartum depression. Other hormones produced by their thyroid gland also may drop sharply — which can leave one feeling tired, sluggish and depressed.
Emotional issues can also cause this with one’s is sleep deprived and overwhelmed, one may have trouble handling even minor problems.One may be anxious about their ability to care for a newborn. They may feel less attractive, struggle with their sense of identity or feel that they’ve lost control over their life. Any of these issues can contribute to postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression can develop after the birth of any child, not just the first. The risk factors can affect one such as: if they are suffering from mental illness in the past, have an anxiety problem, have a financially unstable family, no support from the family, if it is an unwanted pregnancy, had fertility issues, have a history of stillbirth or miscarriage etc.
Symptoms of postpartum depression includes excessive crying, depressed moods and mood swings, difficulty in bonding with their baby, withdrawing from family and friends, inability to sleep, loss of appetite, feeling fatigue, fearing that they are not a good mother, intense irritability and anger, panic attacks, thoughts of harming their baby, suicidal thoughts.
Untreated, postpartum depression may last for many months or longer.
For those who are suffering from postpartum depression they could consult a doctor and could take antidepressants, also the family must be there to support the mother and baby, so as they could overcome the fear and strain, also they could have psychotherapy which helps find better ways to cope with their feelings, solve problems, set realistic goals and respond to situations in a positive way. Sometimes family or relationship therapy also helps.
With appropriate treatment, postpartum depression usually goes away within six months. In some cases, postpartum depression lasts much longer, becoming a chronic depression. It’s important to continue treatment after they begin to feel better. Stopping treatment too early may lead to a relapse.