Depression is a problem that affects both men and women during different stages of their lives. One of the most common types of depression is postpartum depression which is mood disorder associated with childbirth and mainly affects women but can also be experienced by men. Unlike baby blues whereby, women feel a sudden change of hormones for several days, postpartum depression is a condition that may go even for months. According to Çapik and Durmaz (2018), the condition has significant impacts on women lives as it only interferes with their ability to take care of the baby but also affects how they handle their daily activities. In this regard, postpartum depression is one of the major health issues especially among women nurses, and other health professionals have to deal with regularly. The birth of a child can trigger several emotions from excitement, joy, fear, anxiety, and even depression.
Causes of Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is a problem that can affect any new mother regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, educational levels, or social status, among others. This kind of depression mainly results from a combination of several physical, physiological, and financial factors. One of them is a drop in levels of hormones (estrogen) after childbirth resulting in chemical changes in her brains triggering mood swings (Smith & Segal, 2019). More so, the inability to get enough time to recover from childbirth may significantly affect women. Notably, lack of sleep can result in physical discomfort and exhaustion which often result in postpartum depression (Smith & Segal, 2019). Additionally, physical changes like pain from the delivery or difficulty in losing weight can lead to women feeling unattractive and depressed (Smith & Segal, 2019). In some cases, financial problems related to matrimony, lack of support from others, and baby’s needs are lifestyle changes that lead to symptoms of postpartum depression (Çapik & Durmaz, 2018). In this sense, postpartum depression is usually attributed to several interrelated causes and risk factors.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
There are several symptoms mostly related to mood swings that act as indicators that a woman may be suffering from postpartum depression. Women with postpartum depression usually inhibit the similar features that all women tend to experience following childbirth. They include: difficulty in sleeping, loss of appetite, excessive fatigue, decreased libido, and regular mood changes, among others. However, women with postpartum depression tend to portray other additional depression-related symptoms which are not usually common following childbirth (Smith & Segal, 2019). Some of the unique symptoms of postpartum depression among women include: delusions, feelings of hopelessness and worthiness, reduced motivation, concentration problems, a feeling of inadequacy, frequent irritability, and panic attacks. Notably, the condition can worsen to the point of thoughts of committing suicide and hurting other people and even hatred towards the baby. Therefore, postpartum depression is a condition characterized by women portraying signs and symptoms which are usually common following the birth of a newborn baby.
Prevention and Treatment of Postpartum Depression
The best approach to dealing with postpartum depression is consulting a doctor or mental health professional. Notably, postpartum depression is not a permanent condition and can be dissipated without necessarily taking any remedial measures. Some of the approaches of restoring normalcy include: visiting a psychiatrist for counseling services, undertaking a hormone therapy in case the depression is caused by a drop in levels of estrogen, and use of antidepressants, among others (Stewart & Vigod, 2016). Subsequently, postpartum depression is a condition that can be treated if the necessary corrective actions are undertaken.
Postpartum depression is a major health condition whereby women, and in rare case men, tend to experience abnormal mood swings following childbirth. Postpartum depression is different from baby blues as it can persist for long durations. The condition is attributed to a combination of several physical, emotional, and financial factors. However, persosn suffering from postpartum depression are usually treated if they undertake necessary corrective actions. In this regard, postpartum depression is one of the conditions that nurses and other health practitioners regularly witness as they deal with women who have recently given birth.
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