It’s not uncommon for women to experience the “baby blues” following birth. This pertains to feelings of anxiety, stress, sadness, loneliness, and tiredness. But there are women who experience a more serious form of mood disorder – postpartum depression.
What is postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression is a type of depression a woman could develop after giving birth. Although it can start anytime during the baby’s first year, it usually occurs during the first three weeks after birth.
About 1 in 7 women experience postpartum depression. Unlike the baby blues, postpartum depression doesn’t go away on its own. When left unmanaged, it can last for weeks or months.
The Risk Factors
Some women are more prone to developing postpartum depression. These include those who have a family history of depression or mental illness, previous experience of depression or anxiety, first time mothers, and those who are facing additional stressors after birth (e.g. financial problems, having a child with special needs, emotional stressors).
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of postpartum depression can be different for everyone but the most common ones include:
- Loss of interest or pleasure on things one used to enjoy
- Panic attacks
- Feeling worthless
- Racing thoughts
- Mood swings (excessive irritability, anger, or agitation)
- Inability to sleep
- Eating too much or too little
- Difficulty concentrating
- Fear of being alone with the baby
- Fear of not being a good mother
- Thoughts of hurting one’s self or the baby
Treating Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is usually treated through psychotherapy, antidepressants, or a combination of both. However, if you have tried these and have not see any improvement in your symptoms, there is an alternative therapy – transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS.
TMS is a minimally invasive and FDA-approved treatment for mood disorders like anxiety and depression. If you want to find out how this form of therapy can help you manage your postpartum depression symptoms, you can contact us to schedule an appointment.
Postpartum depression can be treated and you don’t have to face it alone. We can help.