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Postpartum Depression: More Than Just The Baby Blues?

Westside Behavioral Care / Blog - Anxiety  / Postpartum Depression: More Than Just The Baby Blues?
Postpartum Depression: More Than Just The Baby Blues?

Postpartum depression (also known as postnatal depression or PPD) is a mood disorder that arises after childbirth. While postpartum depression can occur at any time within the first year, symptoms typically appear between two weeks to a month after delivery. Symptoms can include anxiety, lack of interest in activities, decreased energy, fear of being unable to care for the infant and many other feelings and/or behaviors that vary from one’s normal state of being.

Who Suffers From Postpartum Depression?

What people often don’t realize is that postpartum depression can actually affect both sexes and not just the mother of the child. The exact cause for PPD is uncertain and likely varies from person to person; a sudden onset is largely dependent on a combination of biological and emotional factors. For the mother of the child, hormonal changes are at play, while both parents may be battling the effects of sleep deprivation. The stress of having a newborn child is usually felt by most families, so it can sometimes be tricky to differentiate between postpartum depression and what is sometimes called the “baby blues” — a mood disorder with less severe symptoms than postpartum depression. If unpleasant feelings are continuing to persist after two weeks, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor or set up an appointment with a licensed therapist.

Treatment for PPD

Treatment for diagnosis of postpartum depression is similar to other mental health and therapy related issues: counseling, medication or both. Effective therapy treatments include EMDR, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, traditional cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy and more. Seeking help for PPD may be more difficult for new parents due to the idea that having a new baby should be a “happy” time. Additionally, it can be a challenge simply because of how much time and energy it takes to care for a newborn – it may feel overwhelming to add another appointment on an overcrowded calendar. However, the welfare of a child is best achieved by having healthy parents.

If you believe you may be suffering from postpartum depression, the best thing you can do is reach out to a loved one you trust and to seek the advice of a medical professional and/or a therapist. Many therapists have flexible schedules, and some even offer teletherapy for remote treatment.

The following therapists at Westside Behavioral Care specialize in treating postpartum depression:

Bonnie Mucklow – CAC III / LMFT / LPC

Karen Hauser – LCSW

Lynda Hilburn – CACII / LPC

Annie Hutt – LPC

Annie Hutt

Janet Coutts – CAC III / LPC

Dr. Jo Wessel – LPC / Ph.D.

Laura Shipman – CAC II / LCSW

Julie Bahl – LCSW

AnnMarie Mullins – LPC

Lisa Dorner-Zupancic – LPC

Sue Medeiros – LCSW

Stacie Aden – LCSW

Kristy Davis – CAC III / LCSW

Diem Phan – Ph.D.