How is Postpartum Depression treated?
Motherhood can be very stressful as you learn to navigate your new role as a parent. It is important to balance care for yourself, infant, and family members. This new role as a parent can be demanding, exhausting, and overwhelming.
If you are a new mother with feelings of anxiety, and depression; it is common that you may feel guilt or shame in your new emotions. It is important to know that postpartum depression is not your fault. Postpartum depression is a medical condition, mood disorder that can be treated.
Sharing your feelings with a medical professional will help you be on your way to making positive changes, and a quick recovery. Seeking treatment will have a big impact on your daily well-being, and emotional stability. If you are having symptoms of postpartum depression, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional immediately.
Your doctor may recommend that you meet regularly with a counselor, or that you start taking antidepressant medications; often both types of treatment are recommended. While PPD does, at times, go away on its own, symptoms usually go away more quickly with the help of medication, and psychotherapy.
Common Treatments for Post Partum Depression:
- Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
- Therapy counseling (prenatal psychiatry or support groups)
Mood stabilizers or Antipsychotic medications
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) can help you identify the negative thinking processes that affect your mood and behavior. This therapy focuses on taking the negative predisposition a mother might have and replacing it with more positive forms of thinking. For instance, if you have a habit of avoidance due to negative thoughts or feelings your medical therapist would have you focus on confronting avoidance issues head on, and in a positive manner.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on your past in references to anxiety triggers or bad memories. Most of the time in this therapy your mental health professional will ask you to keep a journal of stress triggers or of past memories that might be particularly be disturbing you. As depression can be associated with loss or inability to manage conflict keeping a journal and becoming more self aware and accepting can help you cope.
Antidepressant Medications is a form of medical treatment used when psychological treatments may have not been productive in recovery. Antidepressants can ultimately help you manage your symptoms of depression so you can put your time and resources into recovery, and get back to your old self. There are many antidepressant medications that are safe for the baby, so you are able to take them even during your pregnancy term and after childbirth.
Personal Lifestyle Goals that can help (PPD)
Lifestyle changes can also help to reduce some symptoms of postpartum depression. The following practices and lifestyle changes may help you manage the increased stress that accompanies new motherhood.
- Regular exercise
- Regulating sleep patterns
- Surrounding yourself with a support network of family, or friends
- Regular eating habits and Nourished meals
- Taking Personal time; asking others to watch your child
It is important if you, or a family member experiences any of the mood changes, or depression occurrences discussed that you seek a mental doctor’s care. Counseling and other coping mechanisms can help a mother get through their ordeal. It is also very important to try and be patient with your spouse, or family member during this time; support of family and friends is an important structure to practice, and proves very helpful to recovery.