Postnatal Depression Symptoms – Signs and Treatment Options

Postnatal Depression Symptoms – Signs and Treatment Options

Postnatal depression  (or postpartum depression), just as the name implies is a psychological problem faced by women shortly after giving birth to new babies. It is a very common disorder which occurs as frequently as in 1 out of every 5 women. It is thought that this problem occurs as a result of the various hormonal changes occurring in women at this period. One of the most common types of postnatal depression, known as the “baby blues” usually manifests between the 3rd and 5th days following parturition and resolve completely by the 10th day. Postnatal psychosis is another psychological problem which affects women just after parturition, but is less frequent than postnatal depression (it occurs only in 1 out of every 500 women). In this article, the various postpartum depression symptoms as well as the best postpartum depression treatment methods shall be discussed.

Postnatal depression symptoms can be classified under three categories viz – those related to mood, those related to thoughts and those related to body physiology.

Postnatal depression symptoms related to mood include: worthlessness, pessimism, sadness, hopelessness, guilt, anger, unnecessary fear, fatigue, loss of appetite and loss of sexual desire. All of these are due to the accumulation of certain chemical substances (known as stressors and endomorphins) in the body system. If these substances are not reduced to their normal body levels, then these problems will persist.

As for the postnatal depression symptoms which are related to thoughts, they include loss of concentration, hallucinations, recurrent thoughts of causative occurrence (i.e. the person keeps thinking of the sad event which brought about the depression in the first place such as the death of a loved or the loss of a job or a huge amount of wealth or property) and poor memory retention.

Physiologically, a depressed person is affected in various ways. These include: sleeping too much or not being able to sleep (insomnia), feelings of pain and tightness in chest, back and other parts of the body and overeating.

Many cases  have been reported of women, who, after giving birth to new babies manifest all the aforementioned signs (such as anger/hostility, sadness, loss of appetite, indecision and so on) even when their relatives are celebrating and jubilating over the birth of the new baby. These are cases of postnatal depression. So, when this happens, such women need urgent help. So, how is depression treated?

As for the cases of “baby blues” described above, the feelings of depression will subside naturally after 9-10 days. However, depression may persist in many other cases. When this happens, various natural treatment options should be adopted. These include:

–          Leaving affected women in company of relatives at all times (i.e. they must not be left alone)

–          Making such women engage in those activities which they enjoy

–          Healthy eating (such women should regularly take natural anti-depressant foods such as vegetables, fruits, omega-3 fatty acid foods and dietary fiber.

–          Making such women engage in adequate and regular exercise.

–          Opting for the use of anti-depression herbs rather than prescription drugs, most of which have only short-term effects, have side effects, could be addictive and are sometimes very expensive.

By adopting the aforementioned treatment measures, depressed women will get their moods back in good states within a very brief period of time.