Postpartum depression causes and symptoms

Depression is not caused by a single factor and is normally a result of one or more causes. These are not only changes in the state of mind but also physical changes in the brain. It is caused due to the imbalance of a certain kind of chemical in the brain that carries signals to the brain and nerves which are called neurotransmitters.

Postpartum depression or peripartum depression occurs after a woman gives birth. Within a few hours of giving birth the amount of the two female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, return to their pre pregnancy levels. Many researchers feel that this drop in hormone levels, much like the smaller changes in hormone levels can affect a womans mood just before her menstrual cycle, is one of the causes of postpartum depression.

Postpartum Illness

Unfortunately, the nature and underlying cause of postpartum depression as a disease remains unclear. The term ‘depression’ is a rather vague and often imprecise blanket that has been commonly used to describe an entire range of (possibly unrelated) postpartum disorders, including the mild and very common temporary syndrome (which is characterized by feelings of sadness, emotional instability, weeping, irritability, and fatigue), as well as much rarer, more severe psychotic reactions.

Postpartum Psychosis

Most medical and psychiatric literature is preoccupied with this severe, but relatively rare disorder whose symptoms are similar to general psychotic reactions. Onset is rapid and debilitating; 80 percent of all cases occur within three to fourteen days after a symptom-free period. Symptoms include:

Extreme confusion, memory loss, incoherence, bizarre hallucinations, refusal to eat, inability to control behavior, frantic excessive energy, irrationality and unfounded suspiciousness.

Symptoms of Depression

Some of the major symptoms are as follows:

Always undergoing feelings of sadness, irritability and tension

Loss of interest in activities of pleasure or lack of libido

Feeling fatigued even though you may not have done anything

Having appetite problems which may lead to increased or decreased diet

Changed sleeping habits, which could translate into too much sleep or too little of it

Always feeling restless or feeling slowed down

Lack of concentration and difficulty in making decisions

Feeling worthless, hopeless and experiencing emotions of guilt

Causes of Depression

There has been awareness of postpartum emotional problems throughout recorded history. Although pregnancy and the difficulties surrounding motherhood are far from new, and despite our so-called advanced modern medicine, we as a society have a shamefully meager understanding of the postpartum experience, and in general, we pay astonishingly little attention to new mothers.

Some of the common causes of depression are given below:

Family History: Sometimes depression runs in the family and if the parents have depression the likelihood of the children also getting the same increases.

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