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Postpartum Depression (PPD)
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a condition mostly associated with women as opposed to men. In most cases, among those who are infected with this dejection, it has been established that PPD becomes evident within the first four weeks after childbirth and in some instances after a miscarriage. This paper will focus on three main objectives, which are to determine (1) the causes of PPD, (2) the most explicit symptoms of the condition, and (3) the treatment or remedial actions that could be taken to avert or alleviate PPD. Below is a detailed synthesis of each objective.
2.0 Causes of PPD
According to an investigation by Mayo Clinic, the PPD condition is not ascribed to any particular cause. There are, however, beliefs that the despondency could result from physiological changes, emotional factors and lifestyle influences underpinning around a woman after giving birth or a miscarriage. Physiological changes pertain to the rapid drop in the levels of estrogen and progesterone in a woman’s body after childbirth, thus causing effects such as bodily weakness and drainage. The new sense of being a mother and the worries of how to take care of the child constitute the emotional factors. Finally, financial problems attributed to matrimony and a demanding baby is a part of the lifestyle changes that could cause the devastation of PPD.
There are several characteristics, mostly mood swings, which could serve as potential indicators of the presence of the PPD condition in a woman. Nonetheless, the presence of fewer than three of these symptoms is not enough support to warrant leaping into the conclusion that a person is suffering from this kind of dejection. Only a combination of more than three symptoms, usually after childbirth, could be a true manifestation of PPD in a person. Below are some of the major symptoms of PPD, but the list is not exhaustive:
- Emotional drainage and exhaustion,
- Recurrent thoughts to commit suicide,
- A feeling of worthlessness,
- Consistent insomnia and sleep deprivation,
- Hatred towards the baby, and
- Lack of food appetite.
4.0 Treatment for PPD
Postpartum depression is not a permanent condition and can even dissipate without any remedial measures taken. This own dissipation can take years and hence there is a need to curb this condition for those who cannot withstand the long waiting. The followings are some of the recommended healing practices in restoring normalcy.
- Counseling. The patient should visit a psychiatrist for counseling and advice on how to manage the condition. This could be very effective in correcting the feeling of worthlessness and hatred towards the baby.
- Hormone therapy. This approach could prove effective where the cause of the depression is established to be a rapid drop in the level of estrogen in the body, where the hormone could be replaced, thus averting the condition. However, it is important to note that the success of this method is limited and may not guarantee absolute success.
- Antidepressants. The use of antidepressants requires carefulness because, though it is a proven treatment, breastfeeding mothers can pass the drug to the child. Moreover, antidepressants should only be taken after visiting a physician. This helps to avoid a self-prescription that is not in tandem with the level of depression suffered.
Postpartum is a manageable condition that could be easily averted if a corrective action is taken immediately. The right action involves visiting a health professional and avoiding the habits of self-diagnosing and prescribing.
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