Inside Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression (PPD) is defined as “depression suffered by a mother following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue (PPD Definition).”
After doing research, I found that postpartum depression is most common anytime during the first two months after birth. Most women that are experiencing or experienced PPD have symptoms starting with anger, guilt, sadness and fatigue, but the list goes on. If you struggle with postpartum depression, you could also struggle with postpartum anxiety (PPA). More recent research shows that 10% of PPD moms suffer from clinical anxiety too, except PPA symptoms come usually two or three weeks after giving birth. (Postpartum Depression and Anxiety)
Reading more about postpartum depression, Katherine Stone compared the 5 stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) to PPD/PPA, she writes “I was thinking about the experience of going through postpartum depression as seen through the lens of the famed “5 Stages of Grief,” the process people go through when dealing with grief and tragedy. Developed by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss psychiatrist who wrote the book On Death and Dying…Could we look at the process of going through postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety in a similar way? I think so. And I think it might help moms understand what they’re going through a little better.” (The 6 Stages of Postpartum Depression)
Two years ago I knew nothing about postpartum depression, until my best friend Liz* gave birth to her daughter. I knew that when you’re pregnant your hormones change, but I didn’t know that after you give birth they can change again quite significantly. Liz got pregnant when she was only 19, and she gave birth when she was 20. The father of my friends child was with her for about two years, and then half of Liz’s pregnancy. He left because he could barely help take care of his girlfriend, let alone a baby. Liz moved back in with her mom, who helped her with the rest of the pregnancy, and also let her and the baby live there afterwards. After giving birth, the stress kept piling onto Liz. Her mom was always at work, and Liz had no help except from me whenever I could. Even though I gave her as much help as I could, I was juggling school and my full time job as a waitress, so as you can imagine I wasn’t the help she needed. When she finally got professional help, things started to slowly get better. Talking to someone that is willing to listen and care at the same time can change things for the better. Sometimes medication is needed, but either way communicating is key, it at least was for Liz. Everyone with postpartum depression has a different story to tell, because everyone is different. I think one leading cause for postpartum depression is being a single mom, sometimes doing things on your own could be not only depressing but nearly impossible for some people under certain circumstances. If you think you are going through PPD, please know that no matter who you are, someone out there wants to help you. No matter if it’s a friend, family member or even a professional, someone will listen and try to help. Also, know that you’re not alone, plenty of women deal with PPD even if you suspect them not to, most women (including my friend Liz) don’t even suspect themselves to get PPD, they usually think nothing but good can come from having their baby, almost like starting a new life but the complete opposite could happen. If you have a friend or a loved one who has symptoms of PPD after giving birth, talk to them. You never know what goes on behind closed doors, and you could be the person to get them help.
*Name was changed
What are your thoughts on this topic? Can any of you ladies relate to this? I would love to hear your stories.
Media of Mother and Baby: Retrieved September 22, 2016 from http://www.newbornhub.com/images/ppd.jpg
Media of PPD Statistics: Retrieved September 22, 2016 from http://www.acog.org/Womens-Health/Depression-and-Postpartum-Depression
Postpartum Depression and Anxiety. (2016). Retrieved September 22, 2016, from http://www.babycenter.com/0_postpartum-depression-and-anxiety_227.bc?page=2
Postpartum Depression Definition. Retrieved September 22, 2016, from https://www.google.com/#q=postpartum+depression+definition
Stone, K. (2015). The 6 Stages of Postpartum Depression | Postpartum Progress. Retrieved September 22, 2016, from http://www.postpartumprogress.com/six-things-the-6-stages-of-postpartum-depression