POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION (PPD) (POSTNATAL DEPRESSION) (PND) is a type of clinical depression which can affect women after childbirth!!!
Symptoms may include sadness, low energy, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, reduced desire for sex, crying episodes, anxiety, and irritability. While many women experience self-limited, mild symptoms postpartum, postpartum depression should be suspected when symptoms are severe and have lasted over two weeks. In about 1 to 2 per 1,000, postpartum depression results in POSTPARTUM PSYCHOSIS (PPP) (PUERPERAL PSYCHOSIS).
Although a number of risk factors have been identified, the causes of PPD are not well understood. Hormonal change is hypothesized to contribute as one cause of postpartum depression. The emotional effects of postpartum depression can include sleep deprivation, anxiety about parenthood and caring for an infant, identity crisis, a feeling of loss of control over life, and lack of support from a romantic or sexual partner. Many women recover with treatment such as a support group, counseling, or medication.
Studies report prevalence rates among women from 5% to 25%, but methodological differences among the studies make the actual prevalence rate unclear. Among men, in particular new fathers, the incidence of postpartum depression has been estimated to be between 1% and 25.5%.
In the United States, postpartum depression is one of the leading causes of the murder of children less than one year of age - which occurs in about 8 per 100,000 births.
At the beginning of spring in 2013, Mary Guest, a lively, accomplished 37-year-old woman, fell in love, became pregnant and married after a short courtship. At the time, Mary taught children with behavioral problems in Portland, Ore., where she grew up. Her supervisor said that he had rarely seen a teacher with Mary’s gift for intuiting students’ needs. “Mary was a powerful person,” he wrote to her mother, Kristin. “Around Mary, one felt compassion, drive, calmness and support.”
Mary had struggled with depression for much of her life. Starting in her 20s, she would sometimes say to Kristin that she just wanted to die. “She would always follow up by saying, ‘But you don’t need to worry, Mama,’ ” Kristin told me. “ ‘I don’t have a plan, and I don’t intend to do anything.’ ” In recent years, Mary and her mother went for a walk once a week, and Mary would describe the difficulties she was having. She was helped somewhat by therapy and by antidepressant and antianxiety medications, which blunted her symptoms.
As the months went on, she became gripped by the idea that something was wrong with the fetus, despite genetic testing and multiple ultrasounds that showed it was healthy and strong. Some nights, she spent hours online, poring over descriptions of everything that could go wrong. “We could see her spiraling downward,” Kristin said. “The really irrational obsession, the inability to see otherwise, tormented her. Her doctor tried to reassure her. But that was being rational, and rational wasn’t where she was.” One autumn day, Mary told Kristin: “I just can’t imagine being a mother.”
By Thanksgiving, Mary, though still functioning at work, was too tired to do anything on the weekends. Her husband cared for her at home, Kristin said, and sometimes Mary would go to her parents’ house and just sit there. She was sleep-deprived because she often woke up in a panic, terrified that there was something wrong with the baby. Near the end of her fifth month of pregnancy, she finally, reluctantly, resumed taking an antidepressant.
On Dec. 9, Mary went over to sit with her mother for a while. The next day, after school, she had a therapy appointment scheduled, but she left a voice mail message, saying: “I can’t make it.” Then she went to the 16th floor of the building where her parents lived and jumped to her death, six and a half months pregnant.
Six years before he actually became a father - in 2001, NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE Journalist/Author ANDREW SOLOMON wrote The NOONDAY DEMON: An ATLAS Of DEPRESSION.
In his book, the NATIONAL BOOK AWARD Winner/PULITZER PRIZE Finalist tells the story of his own experience with the illness, along with those of many others, and that explores questions of resilience and of how people build their lives in the face of depression’s cruel devastation.
He is now Dr. ANDREW SOLOMON, and for over a period of nearly six years, Dr. Solomon extensively researched and interviewed 24 women in NEW YORK on their experiences with MOTHERHOOD - including the weight, pain, shame, and trauma of DEPRESSION to present The SECRET SADNESS Of PREGANCY With DEPRESSION.