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Postpartum Depression Essay

1167 words - 5 pages

Postpartum Depression
I always thought that Postpartum Depression was not a real condition, until I had my second son, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was so overwhelming to suddenly realize that this was a very real condition and that it was happening to me. Postpartum Depression is a depressive disorder that can occur any time after your baby is born, up until one year after the birth. It can vary from mild symptoms, to severe symptoms, to suicidal thoughts and actions. It can affect women and men from all walks of life. Postpartum Depression is a very serious condition and should be treated as such.
Postpartum Depression can be defined as; postpartum: occurring in or being the ...view middle of the document...

If you have any of the following symptoms of depression for more than two weeks, you should call your doctor: feeling restless or moody, feeling sad, hopeless, and overwhelmed, crying a lot, having no energy or motivation, eating too little or too much, sleeping too little or too much, having trouble focusing or making decisions, having memory problems, feeling worthless and guilty, losing interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy, withdrawing from friends and family, having headaches, aches and pains, or stomach problems that don’t go away (http://www.womenshealth.gov).
Postpartum Depression affects women and men from all walks of life. There is no discrimination between culture, income level, age, or race. Between 10% and 20% of new mothers experience Postpartum Depression (Postpartum Depression and Relationships: Stress After Baby Is Born. http://www.webmd.com/depression/features/postpartum). There is also a 20% to 30% chance of Postpartum Depression reoccurring, if you have experienced it after a previous birth. They say that up to 10% of new fathers also experience this condition. Men show all the classical symptoms of depression, but for them researchers have recognized that men don’t always acknowledge these feelings, so they often go untreated.
The history of Postpartum Depression goes back to the 1850’s when psychiatric professionals first recognized the disorder, although as early as 700 B.C., Hippocrates wrote on the emotional difficulties many women faced in the postpartum period (http://www.itsamomsworld.com/moms_room_health_postpartum_depression.html).

There are both biological and psychological causes of Postpartum Depression. When you are pregnant the levels of estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, and aldosterone are very high in the body and when you deliver the baby these levels drop, which research shows to have an association with Postpartum Depression. They have also shown that thyroid levels falling and insulin levels falling, after birth, have a connection to Postpartum Depression. Another association that has been made is an increase in the prolactin levels. Some psychological factors may include women who didn’t want to get pregnant in the first place, women who have suffered a miscarriage or still birth, personal or family history of Postpartum Depression or other mental illness, poor support system or problems within the family unit, stress about your delivery and recovery, and worry about physical changes to your body.
Certain receptors located on the surface of nerve cells in the brain-specifically, those for the inhibitory neurotransmitter y-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-change during the ovarian cycle and pregnancy. The changes are ovarian...

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