What Is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that can occur in women following childbirth. Postpartum depression can occur due to the rapid hormonal changes in a woman’s body following childbirth. These hormonal changes can trigger chemical changes in the brain that lead to feelings of sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that can make it difficult for the mother to bond with the baby, or complete the daily care activities for themselves or others. The sleep deprivation associated with a newborn can also contribute to feelings of depression and have a detrimental effect on a person’s mood. It is very important to note that postpartum depression does not occur because of something that the mother did or didn’t do and no new mother should feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help.

How Can I Tell if I Have Postpartum Depression?

A Remedy psychiatric provider will complete a psychiatric evaluation before completing a diagnosis. However, if you have recently given birth and are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, it is possible that you are experiencing postpartum depression and should make an appointment for assessment and treatment.

Symptoms can include, but are not limited to:

  • Feelings of sadness, apathy, hopelessness, or being overwhelmed
  • Crying frequently and with no apparent reason
  • Anxiety
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Anger or rage
  • Problems with concentration, memory, and decision making
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Avoiding friends and family
  • Extreme self-doubt, in particular about ability to care for the baby
  • Trouble bonding with the baby
  • Thinking of harming yourself or the baby

How Is Postpartum Depression Treated?

Following a thorough psychiatric evaluation, a Remedy psychiatric provider will create an individualized treatment plan for each patient with postpartum depression as every patient has a unique experience and specific needs to be addressed. The prescribed treatment plan will depend on the patient, the severity of the disorder, and how he or she is currently responding to therapy or medication.