Postpartum depression is a condition that is primarily seen in women who have just given birth. While it may also be present in men, it is not as extensive. This disorder is considered to be a type of major depression, and there are a number of ways it can be treated. Postpartum depression is experienced by over 70% of women who have recently given birth. The symptoms for this condition may last for hours or days, and patients will be irritable, unable to concentrate, and may also experience a loss of sleep or headaches.
The diagnosis for postpartum depression is similar to other forms of major depression. However, the difference between PPD and other forms of depression is that those who are suffering from PPD will typically begin having symptoms a month after they have given birth. In addition to this, the condition may also develop during the pregnancy as well. Many of the causes of PPD are not well understood. However, there are a few factors that are believed to cause the disorder. One cause is the prenatal depression that may be experienced during pregnancy. A woman who has a low self esteem is also at a higher risk for developing PPD.
Women who are not receiving social support, or who are in a bad relationship with their spouse will also have higher chances of developing PPD. In addition to this, women who have previously suffered from depression are also likely to develop postpartum depression after they have given birth. Many women who given birth do not have the support of the father, and this person may not be present. In situations like this, the development of PPD is likely. Some studies also indicate that hormone changes in the body of a woman who has just given birth may cause PPD, but there are currently no concrete facts to support this.
When a child is born, both parents will be responsible for altering their lifestyle in a way that will benefit the child. In a situation like this, some believe that the radical changes that may need to be made to support the infant may play a role in the development of PPD, but there have been now studies which have found that this theory is accurate. While it is rare, some women can develop extreme forms of PPD, and this can lead to delusions or other severe mental health problems. It should be noted that only about 0.1% of women experience this, and most women only have moderate forms of the disorder. However, a women who has a mental illness before you gives birth is very likely to develop an extreme form of this condition.
Studies which have been conducted on animals indicate that a parent will not invest in the well being of their young when costs involved are higher than the benefits. Some animals have even been observed killing or abandoning their offspring. Because human babies require so much care, a mother who is forced to care for the child on her own may not have the necessary tools to care for the child, and may risk harming herself. Many of these women may begin to have negative fews of their children, and may not be responsive to the needs of the child.
About the Author: Michael Colucci is a writer for Postpartum Depression which is part of the Knowledge Search network