Today is World Health Day and this year the theme is Depression: Let’s Talk
WHO estimates that over 300 million people worldwide are living with depression. With the news of suicides and attempted suicides in Nigeria, it is not difficult to believe these figures.
A couple of days ago, I had posted on depression, symptoms, triggers and treatment options available. Today, we will explore another type of depression: postpartum depression.
In our African environment, mothers with post-partum depression feel ashamed to admit the fact that they are finding it difficult to bond with their babies, feel inadequate and just feel withdrawn from everyone. You’re not alone J
Post-partum depression (depression after having a baby, sometimes called baby blues) can occur within 6 weeks of having a baby but often times becomes obvious only around 6 months. It usually announces its presence with persistent tearfulness, moodiness and irritability. It could be due to the physical, psychological, mental, emotional, financial and other stress involved with having and looking after a baby. It could also be linked to the hormonal changes that happen after having a baby. People at risk of this are those who have experienced it before, people who have a history of depression before or during pregnancy.
Treatment is focused on the cause. Counseling may be used to discover the root cause of your depression and proffer better ways of coping/dealing with the issues raised. Hormone replacement therapy may be used to deal with depression related to decrease in estrogen (a hormone) level after having a baby. And then, anti-depressants are also an option.
Having a strong supportive group in church or a supportive group of friends or family can also be helpful at a time like this.
For subsequent pregnancies, this can be prevented by eating well, exercising, creating me time and ensuring that you praise yourself for achievements, while setting goals that are realistic. And try not to bottle up your issues…air them out with the caring people in your trusted circle.
As you would see in this post too, focus is always on talking`: the person in question seeking out people to talk with and/or people around sensing something is wrong and initiating a discussion.
Whatever we do, we must keep the conversation lines open, seek to help and not judge.
For more on this topic, please click on the links below:
Have a good night y’all…and let’s keep talking J