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Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression Counselling

This type of depression comes in a variety of forms that vary in severity.  The most common Postpartum Depression is known as “The Baby Blues” and typically affects new mothers a few days after giving birth.  The symptoms may include mood swings, weepiness, and sleep interruptions.  Some estimates suggest that at least half of all new mothers will experience some version of The Baby Blues and usually the effects will pass within a few days.

Postpartum Depression is a more severe form of this disorder and may even interfere with a woman’s ability to bond with and care for her child.  The symptoms include guilt, anxiety, irritability, and a profound fear of being unable to fully care for her newborn.  Postpartum Depression will show up anytime between a few days after birth to six months later.  It is very important that support and treatment be sought for new mothers struggling with this type of depression.  The sooner that help can be obtained, the less upsetting Postpartum Depression is for mothers, their partners / families, and infants.

WHAT TO DO?

While it may seem inevitable that Depression will sneak up on most of us at some time in our lives, surrendering the best parts of our lives to this challenging disorder is not a given.  There are many ways to take an active approach to understanding and treating Depression for ourselves and the people we love.

TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION

There are several proven treatments to help with depression.  There is no need to struggle along all alone, hoping that things do not get worse.  Help is available and can alleviate symptoms relatively quickly, even if full recovery takes a bit of time, the beginnings of relief are not far away.

Talking to someone is the best first step.  There is a good chance that talking to almost anyone about depression will reveal an understanding response, often with a shared story of another experience of depression.  Almost all of us have connections with some form of depression or love someone who has struggled with depression.  When we begin talking about depression, we learn that we are not alone and that help is out there.

Many medications are available to help treat depression and a conversation with your doctor will allow you to discuss the options.  While medication is not necessary to treat most depression, in some cases, it is absolutely essential to starting to get well.

Counselling and, in particular, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, have been proven to be very effective in treating most forms of depression.  Some clients prefer to learn ‘skills’ rather than simply take ‘pills’ to deal with depression and the right counselling can definitely make a big difference.  In most cases, a counsellor will help to identify problematic patterns in thinking, assist in building new skills, and provide a supportive environment to explore the root of depression.  In all cases, a positive relationship with a counsellor, where you feel heard, understood, and accepted will improve how you feel, almost immediately.

Generally speaking, a combination of medication and counselling will result in the best outcomes in the shortest amount of time.  Should clients prefer a counselling approach that does not use medication, this is certainly an option that can be discussed with your counsellor and / or your doctor.