Postpartum depression more common than thought

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

Postpartum depression can be neglected, being mistaken for maternity blues, but is a psychological disorder that up to 20 percent of women who gave birth suffer.

It may become chronic and can have negative effects on the psychological development of babies in the long term as it influences the mother and baby relation. Furthermore, it is not limited by puerperium.

Psychiatrist Dr. Gökşen Yüksel Yalçın explains "Maternity blues start after birth. There are some complaints, like an increase in sensitivity and susceptibility; it's lighter than a depression, and the symptoms will disappear within two or three weeks at the latest. However, women should be careful since these signs may be the prelude of a heavy depression."Loss of attention and desire: New mothers cannot enjoy the things they liked before in postpartum depression. They avoid socializing and meeting their relatives or friends. In this unhappiness, they cannot get close to their new-born baby and are unable spend quality time with them.

Feelings of inadequacy and guilt: In this process, mothers who cannot take care of their babies satisfyingly may feel inadequate and guilty and have a mistaken perception that they will not be able to look after the baby later on. These thoughts make mothers more unhappy and introduces problems into their social relations.

Omissions in self-care: Self-care decreases prominently in mothers in this depressive mood, and they generally do not brush their hair or teeth and take a shower through the day. Even if they pull themselves together temporarily following reactions that they got from their social circles, the neglect in self-care is repeated.

Intensive weeping: Although weeping can be normal in maternity blues, the weeping of postpartum depression weeps more frequently and can be a serious concern for both the patient and her relatives. If the patient cannot cope with these cries, the situation can transform into crying for any trivial cause. Disorders in sleep and appetite: With new-born babies, it is expected that the sleep routine of mothers is disturbed but in the postpartum depression they either cannot sleep even if they want to or suffer hypersomnia. As for appetite, they can either eat too much or have a poor appetite.

Thoughts about death: The most frightening thing in the postpartum depression is the thought of their or their babies' death in mothers. The presence of these thoughts along with subsequent intentions require urgent treatment.

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