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Postpartum Major Depression Essay

977 words - 4 pages

Postpartum Major Depression
Postpartum major depression is a type of depression that affecting as many as eighty percent of new mothers at some point in their childs first few weeks of infancy. Scientists have categorized their findings on postpartum depression into three basic categories. These include: the conditions surrounding the birth of the child, diagonosis and treatment of the disease, and the the long term affects of postpartum depression on the mother`s child. Postpartum major depression is not to be confused with Postpartum Psychosis, which is a rare condition with some bizarre symptoms including: confusion and disorientation, hallucinations and delusions, paranoia, and attempts to harm oneself or the baby. One mother who suffered from postpartum major depression accompanied by postpartum psychosis was convinced that the world was to evil to raise children in and proceeded to drown her five children.
The environment the mother was in when the birth occured and the circumstances surrounding the birth play a massive role in developing postpartum major depression after birth. For example, women who have a cesarean section have the highest risk of developing postpartum major depression, while women who give birth naturally at home have the lowest risk. Chantel Haynes, in her article The Issues Associated with Postpartum Major Depression states that, " Women who give birth surgically show signs of grief and loss similiar to the mourning that occurs after the loss of a loved one." (Haynes 44). Places where incidences of postpartum depression were lowest occured where the mothers receieved special treatment from other members of the family for the first several weeks after giving birth. For example, women who waited longer before returning to work spent more quality time with their babies and had lower chances of developing the disease. Additionally, women who had a strong presence of other females, such as their mothers, sisters, and grandmothers, who could provide extra help with the baby as well as moral support to the new mother, also had lower instances of postpartum major depression.
While often misdiagnosed as minor depression or as a bipolar or schizophenic eposide, when diagnosed and treated correctly, postpartum major depression is successfully treatable in eighty to ninety percent of women. Some of the symptoms of postpartum major depression include a loss of appetite or overeating, loss of feeling joy and happiness, guilt, loss of interest in the baby, and even thoughts of death. Doctors recommend that mothers seek help if the aforementioned symptoms do not fade after two weeks or are getting worse, if your symptoms make it harder for you to care for your baby or to complete everyday tasks, or include thoughts of harming yourself or the baby. Treatment for a woman who has been properly diagnosed with postpartum major depression generally will include psychotherapy, group therapy or possibly some other form of counseling and...

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