Recent surveys show that 1 in 3 women will suffer with some form of postnatal depression, so if you think you might be one of them, you’re definitely not alone
The term postnatal depression is used to describe a range of symptoms of depression and anxiety experienced by women in the months or years after having a baby. A large proportion of women experience ‘baby blues’, feeling tearful or worried in the days after giving birth. It’s thought that this is caused by the hormonal changes, and usually goes away after a few days. Some women, however, develop more severe feelings, which don’t quickly fade, and if this happens to you it’s possible that you have PND.
PND can affect anyone who’s had a baby. Because the reasons for it can be different in every case, there’s no ‘type’ of person that’s more likely to get it, although there are some factors that can increase your risk:
• If you’ve suffered from depression before
• If you have a family history of PND
• If you’ve had a particularly difficult birth experience
• If you have other stresses in your life, such as relationship problems.
Interestingly, increasing numbers of men are suffering from PND, and also women who have adopted babies. This suggests that there are other factors at play than simply hormonal changes.
Some of the symptoms of PND seem to be the opposite of each other – for example, some women may have insomnia, some may want to sleep all the time - because depression affects each individual in different ways, and you may have several of these symptoms, or only a few:
Test for postnatal depression - Edinburgh Scale Test
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk