While the arrival of a baby is regarded as a joyful occasion, sometimes it can peculiarly trigger bouts of depression and gloominess in the mother. Although it is quite rare, one in every seven women can suffer from postnatal depression. The most common symptoms include feelings of guilt and anxiety, which are often accompanied by chronic insomnia and loss of appetite. Some mothers may even feel emotionally drained and inefficient.
Postnatal depression can set in at any time, even after the baby is days, weeks or months old. It is significantly distinct from antenatal depression or the “baby blues”, which affects about 10 percent of expectant mothers and occurs mainly because of hormonal changes taking place during pregnancy. In Australia, physicians and psychologists are of the opinion that one in every 16 new mothers suffer from postnatal depression. These women may feel unprepared to meet with the demands of their newly achieved motherhood, and the expectations of people around them. At times, even a feeling of lost identity can prevail and make the sufferer seem unconnected with the world. Some women even tend to withdraw themselves from their loved ones, including their spouse and child. This can further worsen the situation by souring the relationship between couples, and increase emotional tension amidst already tough circumstances.
Although no conspicuous influencing factor has been found so far, many experts believe that postnatal depression may result due to the hormonal changes which take place during pregnancy as well as childbirth. Moreover, the duties that are thrusted onto a woman when she enters motherhood can also be responsible. According to latest research and studies, it has been found that women going through unexpected pregnancies are more likely to suffer from postnatal depression.
If a woman is suffering from postnatal depression, there are several ways by which she can be treated effectively. The most popular treatment methods are support counselling and talking therapies. Both of them can be very helpful in cases of mild to severe postnatal depression. Such treatments usually make use of many different techniques for identifying and managing the associated negative thoughts, behaviours and feelings. This is done by allowing the patient to share her personal experiences that may help her to feel understood and supported.
Jade Couquax is a reputed French psychologist practising in Bondi Beach. She uses her expertise in the fields of counselling, mental health & women’s health for treating a wide range of psychological disorders. If you are suffering from postnatal depression, book an appointment with Jade today.