If you have been a parent you would know everything about postpartum depression. This is a phase that most parents would go through in their lives. Also known as ‘baby blues’, postpartum depression is a condition of depression and anxiety that occurs sometime after new-found pregnancy and parenthood.
While doctors can’t explain the exact reasons for postpartum depression, they established its symptoms. They include depression, extreme mood swings, fatigue, drastic changes in routines of sleep and meals and so on. It is imperative that every person about to become a parent should know everything about this problem.
Causes Of Postpartum Depression
Even with the advent of the commonly used postpartum depression test, doctors and psychologists are still looking for what really causes this problem. It is well understood that pregnancy and subsequent parenthood causes major shifts in the normal life routine for a couple. For a mother, there are also drastic physical alterations and changes that take place. A mother experiences the most direct consequences of pregnancy and parenthood, including significant changes in her constitution and the physical toll needed to take care of the child.
A father, on the other hand, experiences changes that occur in his normal daily routine of both work and leisure. These experiences, while ultimately rewarding, can also take a physical and psychological toll on the male.
It is these consequences and changes that can be attributed as the direct causes of postpartum depression. They can include both hormonal imbalances as well as more palpable physical consequences like lack of sleep or rest and visible signs of irritability and depression.
Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression
Parents can undergo the following symptoms for their emotions, thought processes and behavioral aspects:
- Pervasive feelings of sadness and depression
- Fluctuations in mood without any strong reason
- Frustration and irritability
- Palpable lack of interest and enthusiasm
- Reduced levels of appetite, energy and sexual activity
- Social withdrawal and isolation
- Diminished memory and concentration in work
The above symptoms are the most well-known of all the actual changes and adversities with postpartum depression. In many cases, the relationship between the affected parent and a child might suffer to the point of apathy on side of the parent.
Overview Of The Postpartum Depression Test
Doctors and experts recommend that pediatricians and obstetricians should conduct at least a basic level of postpartum depression test. There are quite a few screening tests and exams conducted by psychologists that will help to reveal the real nature of any existent case of postpartum depression.
One of the main screening tools to find out postpartum depression test is the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. The test asks some vital questions to the respondent. There are a total of 10 questions in the test. All the questions deal primarily with understanding the emotional, psychological and cognitive factors at play here.
Questions ask the respondent about their choice of responses in different situations as well as their reactions in different situations. Extreme mood swings like being happy, scared, depression and even suicidal feelings are also probed. Finally, there are a few questions that deal with common physical adversities and side effects of pregnancy and motherhood.
Treatment After Postpartum Depression Test
After the results of the postpartum depression test, it will be possible with the rating scale method to diagnose a case in any mother. Treatment includes both medication and therapy sessions. Many doctors consider serotonin uptake inhibitors ideal by for treating depression. However, there is no concrete evidence for this to be effective. Doctors use anti-depressants to cure depression and anxiety-related effects of postpartum depression.
Therapy sessions are more effective to cure postpartum depression. Individual therapy sessions will make use of screening methods and help to solve the problems selectively. Group therapy and home visits are also available as alternatives to mothers and parents who would prefer to be attended to exclusively in consideration of personal health as well as care for children.