Part 1: Who is susceptible to postpartum depression, causes and effects of the disease
Postpartum depression, also known as postnatal depression, is a condition that affects the mindset and feelings of fatigue, depression and anxiety that arise after birth. Women with postnatal depression often have a state of fear for their children to be harmed and of themselves as bad mothers.
Postnatal depression can be mild, moderate or severe, possibly transient or prolonged. The disease can be treated and in some cases can be prevented.
1. Those who are susceptible to postpartum depression
– For women with precedent postpartum depression, risk of repetition is 50%; with precedent depression not related to pregnancy nor to giving birth, risk of postpartum depression is 25%. Stop using antidepressant during pregnancy, 68% fall into depressed state, if continue to take drugs, 25% depressed.
– Age >18.
– Stressing episodes in the past: disease, infertility, unemployment.
– Lack of help, sympathy sharing of relatives, especially husband.
– Conjugal conflict, conflict with mother in law.
– Unwanted pregnancy.
– Complications of pregnancy: still-birth , miscarriage.
– Depression can occur easily in a case of first child however, it can still occur in the case of the latter children.
2. Causes of postpartum depression
– Endocrine changes:
After birth, the sudden drop in estrogen and progesterone can contribute to postpartum depression of women. Thyroid hormones diminished rapidly causes feelings of fatigue and depression.
– Changes in blood volume, blood pressure, immune system and metabolism lead to fatigue and unstable mood.
– Family conflict, financial problems, lack of help from relatives.
– Difficulties in child care. Many mothers feel stressed, sleepless, worried about their ability to care for their baby. Since then, she can lose interest in and control over her life.
– Genetic factors: if in the family there is someone suffering from depression (mother, sister, father), the risk of disease is high.
3. The effect of postpartum depression
Postpartum depression affects the mother herself
– Physical: weight loss, malnutrition.
– Spiritual: nervous breakdown, paranoid, dangerous behavior.
Postpartum depression affects family of the mother
– Mild: Husband and son are not well looked after. Family not happy.
– Severe: People with postnatal depression have thoughts or suicidal behavior (41.2%). Some people with mental disorders, always feeling hurt, should seek revenge or coping. There are mothers who think their children are being haunted by evil spirits and try to oppose it; it is very dangerous for child’s life. Even the other relatives in the family may be mistaken for bad spirit and the mother can attack them (even with weapon like knife) because of persecutory delusions.
Postnatal depression can be detected early. If the disease is found early and the preventive or curative measures are taken in the early stages of the disease, the therapeutic effect will be higher and the patient will soon recover or suffer from unfortunate complications.
It is possible to diagnose early postpartum depression on the basis of many clinical symptoms, such as: Asthenia, Worry, Panic, Stress, Feeling obsessed, Loss of concentration, Sleep disorders, Disorders in Sexual life and Psychological symptoms.
Details about early diagnosis of postpartum depression are presented in the next article.