Severe postpartum depression, and it is its symptoms, according to statistical indicators, are found in 12% of new parents. The situation is also complicated by the fact that the environment and the mother herself on maternity leave do not always consider this phenomenon a serious disease. Nevertheless, a depressed mood after childbirth is a pathology, and if left to chance, it often leads to dire consequences for both the mother and the children.
At the end of the third trimester, many women begin to worry about themselves and, above all, about the child. Anxiety arises due to some loss of control over the situation, not always pleasant emotions and feelings. Anxiety increases even more when a mother realizes that she cannot conform to the image of an “ideal mother”. Most likely, many had an idealized idea of mother on maternity leave: a small pink hide, a newly created mother, sparkling with happiness, and a proud head of the family nearby. Imagine what happens to the psychological state of a woman in the first month after childbirth, when a child is born makes major changes in her life.
What is postpartum depression in young mothers?
Despite the ambiguous attitude to this phenomenon in society, in medicine he is considered a rather serious disease – a form of depressive disorder that develops in the first months of the mother’s interaction with the newborn. Depression is inherent in approximately 12% of mothers who have given birth, but only 2-4% receive qualified support after diagnosis. In fact, experts say that mild episodes of postpartum depression occur in nearly half of women on maternity leave. Spleen or postpartum depression? It is necessary to separate the depression from the usual spleen, dullness that occurs in the first month after childbirth. A gloomy woman sometimes describes her feelings with the same words (“crying,” “I can’t sleep,” etc.), but she is happy to have a child in her life. Dullness and anguish usually go away after a month or two, in addition, these conditions do not require any specific help.
What are its characteristic differences?
Postpartum depressive disorder usually occurs within a few months after the birth of a newborn, but its symptoms can also appear up to a year from the moment of birth. Symptoms of postpartum depression not only lasts significantly longer (from 5-6 months to a year or more), but also differ in the severity of all manifestations and the inability to do anything. Symptoms are very similar to signs of other types of depressive disorders. The spleen usually completely disappears after a month (a little more), and postpartum depression often becomes chronic. This “disguise” arises from a woman’s non-recognition of this condition and unwillingness to ask for help (the mother should play the socially approved role of a happy and caring parent). A fifth of women with depression do not notice improvement even after 2-3 years! Psychologists believe that postpartum depression leads to a rethinking of the role of the mother of her own parents in raising children. Such identification becomes the cause of the activation of various problems and conflicts that were not worked out in childhood. In addition to the aforementioned symptoms, postpartum depression is characterized by a woman’s categorical refusal of medical or psychological help and an inability to cope with the problem on her own. The reason for this is guilt: “I can’t take care of the baby, so I’m a bad mother.” The situation is constantly deteriorating, and it falls into the hands of everyone: the child, husband, the rest of the family and other relatives who do not understand the reasons for the low mood and reproach the newly-made mother for insufficient attention to child and maternal responsibilities. Forms of postpartum depression. Postpartum depressive disorder can occur in various forms, each of which has special signs, their severity and duration. Let’s look at them in more detail.
Neurotic Depression This type of postpartum depression usually occurs in mothers who had certain neurotic disorders before birth. Since the birth process is a stressful situation, exacerbation of existing disorders occurs. In this case, the woman observes: irritated state, anger and aggressiveness; hostility to loved ones; constant panic; more frequent; increased sweating; impaired appetite; insomnia and other sleep disorders; sexual problems; fear for one’s health, especially acute at night. In addition, mothers tend to experience their own lack of independence. Her self-esteem drops sharply, as a result of which she begins to depend emotionally on surrounding people.
This type of postpartum depressive disorder has its own characteristics. Thus, mothers in this state are characterized by feelings of guilt, lethargy, loss of orientation in certain situations and inability to recognize relatives. In especially severe cases, a woman may have obsessive thoughts after childbirth related to the idea of suicide or the desire to harm her newborn baby. Postpartum psychosis is rare in newly minted mothers — in four out of a thousand women in labor. Its symptoms appear in the first month after the birth of the child – within 10-14 days. It is impossible to say exactly how long this will last, because sometimes its prerequisite is manic-depressive psychosis in the mother. Prolonged postpartum depression This is the most common form of postpartum depression. However, it is rather difficult to determine it, since it is “disguised” as a whole series of problems associated with caring for and raising children. Prolonged postpartum depression develops gradually and begins with the usual spleen, which continues after returning home. Women are constantly tired, but relatives associate this condition with the birth process. Distinctive features are constant irritation and tearfulness.
But the mother’s tears are extremely unpleasant for her mother, and she blames herself for this and insufficient care. Guilt also arises because caring for a child does not bring happiness to a woman. The prolonged course of postpartum depression is most often observed in two types of mothers: women with hysterical manifestations or with obsessive fears are doing something wrong, especially when it comes to the child. Persons who in childhood were deprived of maternal tenderness and affection. How long the depressive state will last cannot be determined. Typically, the time period does not exceed 10 months or a year. However, in especially severe cases, the self-closing process can last 2-3 years. General symptoms As you can see, different types of postpartum depression are distinguished. However, experts identify several symptoms that are found in all varieties of such a psychological state. Among them: despondency, changeable mood; constant fatigue; tearfulness; devastation, unwillingness to act, to struggle with one’s apathy; increase or decrease in appetite; sleep disturbances (problems falling asleep or waking up); sense of worthlessness; constant guilt; disorder of the processes of memorization (in severe cases); indifference, apathy, unwillingness to do what you love; regularly recurring somatic problems (indigestion, migraine, etc.); isolation from communication with friends and family. Somewhat less often in moms, the above traits can be combined with suicidal thoughts or with the desire to harm the baby. Such thoughts often arise simultaneously with the reluctance to approach the newborn at all. A woman’s health is particularly deteriorating over a period of three to 10 months after giving birth. When the child reaches the third month of life, the mother is actively progressing irritability and anxiety.
10 causes of depression
The emergence of postnatal depressive disorder in a newly minted parent by many experts is explained by changes occurring at the psychoemotional, social, physiological level. Despite the fact that there is still no clearly proven connection between depressive mood in mothers and hormonal levels, this factor is not discounted. The assumption has the right to exist, since in women the level of certain hormones changes in the situation. When carrying a child, the amount of female sex hormones increases almost 10 times, and already after childbirth there is a significant decrease in such indicators – almost to the level at which they were before conception. In addition to hormonal changes , colossal changes in all aspects of life with a child are also threatening mom .
The psychology of giving birth to women is changing; changes occur in social status. Such “transformations” seriously increase the risk of postpartum depression. In addition, experts identify several factors that can provoke the development of symptoms of a depressive state in mothers who have given birth: a hereditary predisposition. By these words they understand the features of the nervous system that a woman adopts from her parents. More specifically, a mother with a weak nervous system inherited from the older generation tends to react more sharply to various stressful situations, and there are many of them after the appearance of the child. In addition, the birth process itself is one constant stress. Changes at the physiological level. In addition to jumps in female sex hormones, the mother has a change in the volume of thyroid secretion. As a result of this decline, fatigue begins, mom must do everything through “I can’t”, and this can end in depression. After pregnancy, metabolism, blood volume and even changes in blood pressure, all this affects the psychological health of the mother. Fear of not matching the “title” of the mother. Some excited people strive to become a kind of “super-mother” who manages to care for a child, enjoy life, be a good wife and friend and look good. In fact, the mother cannot come close to such an ideal, as a result of which her self-esteem decreases, a feeling of helplessness arises.
And from here not far to a depressive disorder. Lack of free time. The natural desire of any mother is to restore moral and physical strength after childbirth. However, almost immediately she had to do household chores, take care of the child. These chores are often combined with the process of uterine contraction, restoration after suturing the perineum or cesarean section. Such temporary pressure often results in depression. Problems with breastfeeding. The process of lactation formation brings mom not only pleasant emotions, but also a variety of difficulties. For example, the weaker sex after childbirth often expresses milk, feeds the baby at night (because of this it is difficult to fall asleep). The lactation period is often accompanied by cracks in the nipples, pain during feeding. In addition, there is a temporary decrease in milk volumes, recurring after a few months. We must not forget about the probable lactostasis – stagnation of milk secret. Selfishness of a woman. An unexpected factor, but the fair sex does not always like to share the attention of others, even with their children.