Wonder Years, with years of experience under our belt, offers in-depth examinations, therapy, and second opinions on a myriad of mental health issues. This includes postpartum depression, which affects women who have recently given birth. Keep reading to find out more about postpartum depression.

Learn More About Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression (PPD) is usually caused by a complicated mix of emotional, behavioral, and physical changes in women that follow the birth of their child. PPD is a form of major depression that afflicts mothers within 4 weeks of delivering their baby, according to the DSM-5. Diagnosis of PPD depends on the length of time between delivery and onset of depression, as well as the severity of the symptoms, and can be managed with counseling and medication. 

The symptoms of PPD can be difficult to discover because many mentally-healthy women also experience similar symptoms due to the chemical changes and hormones post-delivery. These include:

  • Difficulty in sleeping 
  • Severe fatigue 
  • Lowered libido 
  • Frequent changes in mood
  • Changes in appetite 

However, people with PPD will experience additional symptoms that are typical of major depression, such as:

  • Feeling depressed
  • Disinterest in or difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Trouble in focusing or decision-making
  • Irritation, anger, and sadness
  • Having suicidal thoughts
  • Crying frequently without a particular cause

Comorbidity may also occur, with PPD patients suffering from panic disorder or OCD symptoms simultaneously. If left untreated, PPD can be detrimental for mother and child alike. If a new mother is experiencing difficulties in functioning or coping with daily activities, having thoughts of harming themselves or others, or perpetually feeling hopeless, anxious, or panicked throughout the day, professional help is recommended. 

There are many causes that are linked to PPD, and the reasons for developing PPD vary for different people. Factors that increase the risk of developing PPD include:

  • A history of mood disorders, depression, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Experiencing a stressful event, like job loss or a health crisis
  • Lack of social support
  • Marital conflict
  • Age at time of pregnancy
  • Having a child with health problems or special needs

Emotions and physical changes play a large part in contributing to the onset of PPD as well. These include:

  • Hormones: Giving birth causes a steep drop in the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Hormones produced by the thyroid gland may also rapidly decrease, which leads to feelings of depression and fatigue.
  • Not Getting Enough Sleep: Sleep deprivation may lead to feeling overwhelmed and the inability to handle even small problems. 
  • Anxiety: You may be experiencing anxiety over your ability to care for a newborn. 

The common treatments for PPD are anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications, psychotherapy, and support group participation, although severe cases may require an IV of brexanolone (Zulresso) administered by a health care provider. 

How Wonder Years Can Help with Postpartum Depression

Here at Wonder Years, we provide thorough psychiatric evaluations for postpartum depression to help you and your loved ones better understand and manage PPD symptoms.

Why Choose Wonder Years?

At Wonder Years, we believe that close collaboration with patients, family members, psychiatrists, therapists, and other care professionals is crucial in the treatment of psychiatric conditions. This is paired with encouraging treatment adherence and education regarding diagnosis, medications, and treatment alternatives.

Looking for diagnostic assessments and second opinions? Book an appointment with us today!