Depression Help
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Postnatal Depression

Postnatal depression is a type of depression experienced by mothers after they give birth. Postnatal depression is not the same as having the 'baby blues', which most postnatal women experience to some degree within the first few days/weeks of their baby's birth. However, if the 'baby blues' continue for a prolonged period they could develop into full-blown postnatal depression, and a consultation with a doctor will be necessary. Sometimes postnatal depression is difficult to recognize because it may be many months since the baby's birth. Symptoms can include feeling tearful and miserable for no obvious reason, being unable to enjoy the new baby or life in general, feeling anxious, irritable, unable to cope and even suicidal.

The good news is that once diagnosed postnatal depression is treatable. Experts believe that successful treatment of postnatal depression should combine practical support and advice, psychotherapy or counseling , and when necessary antidepressants. If the diagnosis comes early enough, establishing a support network may be all that is required. Yet for more severe depression, antidepressants are usually required. These can take up to three weeks to work and are usually continued for a minimum of six months to ensure that a relapse of the illness doesn't occur.

The most important thing for somebody who is suffering from postnatal depression is that they recognize it as an illness and know it is not their fault. Having postnatal depression does not make them a bad mother and they shouldn't feel guilty or think they are being judged. Therefore, the sooner help is sought, the sooner the support and therapy will help bring an end to the illness.