Monday, 20 November 2017 06:08

Post Natal Depression Featured

Post Natal Depression

Post Natal Depression

All new parents will experience fatigue and extremes of emotion at some point but how can you tell the difference between simple tiredness and Postnatal depression (PND)?

It is common for new mothers to experience the baby blues in the first few weeks after birth. This can be crying and feeling low, but if these symptoms persist after the first month, or occur in the year after birth, this may be postnatal depression. 

Other signs that this may be postnatal depression are feelings of anxiety, feeling fearful, withdrawing from things you enjoy, a change in appetite, feeling guilty and feeling you aren’t doing a good job. In some cases parents may have thoughts of self harm, or of harming the baby, or a sense of wishing to escape from life.

If you recognise any of these feelings it is important to seek help. Your GP will be able to listen and diagnose post natal depression, and check for other causes too.

Speak to friends and family. You may find that friends have been feeling the same way but have been reluctant to ask for help, or have had post natal depression themselves. 

In mild cases postnatal depression can be treated with support from your GP, child health nurse, friends and family. Having an understanding of what is happening can go a long way to helping someone suffering with PND. Trying to do some daily exercise, such as a brisk walk and eating well can be beneficial. Sometimes simply reducing expectations of ourselves can help.

In other cases psychology input can really help, especially if there are past life events such as the loss of a parent, isolation or previous episodes of depression. There is a role for medication too and good evidence for its use in moderate to severe cases. Postnatal depression is very treatable.

If you are interested in more information there are good resources on line. Have a look at https://healthyfamilies.beyondblue.org.au/pregnancy-and-new-parents/maternal-mental-health-and-wellbeing/depression.

If you feel worried for your own safety let your GP know, or call Rurallink 1800 552 002

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