Postnatal depression

Postnatal depression

Although the birth of a child is a reason for happiness, joy, fulfillment for his mother, however sometimes problems arise (and we do not refer here to strictly medical ones).

Who would have imagined that immediately after the birth of a beautiful and healthy baby, a young mother whose birth had passed in good conditions, who wished her child, who is surrounded by the family, could cry with bitter tears, could it be filled with guilt, sadness or even panic?

We are talking today about these negative psychological states that appear after birth, in the post-natal period.

The first and least serious is known "baby blues", which is felt about the third day after the birth.

It is determined by the major changes that have occurred in the woman's life, both from a biological and a psychological point of view.

It can be easily recognized by the tears flowing "for no reason", sadness even bad opinion after the "lost" tummy.

Mothers are scared at the thought that this condition will worsen, that they have no reason to have it, that "something is wrong". But the condition disappears spontaneously in a few days, so that apart from a few good words and a little rest, there is no need for anything else!

From the psychological point of view the appearance of this condition is the moment when the woman "realizes" the step taken, having the reason to look around to see that their life has changed, that the baby that was until recently hidden in her tummy always makes her presence felt and needs .

The next, in order of gravity, is "post-natal or post-partum depression". It appears in the first year after the birth of the child and does not disappear by itself.

It is a more serious form of depression dominated by feelings of guilt, the feeling of the mother being unable to properly deal with the baby, sadness, nightmares and loss of interest. Sometimes, the woman experiences an acute sensation of emptiness, the sexual desire is greatly reduced and even panic attacks can occur.

The help of a specialist is needed for both diagnosis and therapeutic help. Due to the fact that it is the breastfeeding period, drug treatment is excluded.

What remains to be done after finding out that the condition persists even after the family and friends have tried with good words, encouragement, walks, jokes or pleasant surprises!

At this moment it is clear that inside the woman, something is happening in her psyche, "something" about which she sometimes feels the need to speak, "something" which is not exactly cheerful or pleasant, thoughts, moods, which she has tried to remove them, to hide them considering that he will get rid of them in time.

To put into words what she feels, as she feels, with the words that come freely to her can be very useful, that is to give a shape to the "something" inside her, which she perceives as troubled, upset, scared.

The worst but the rarest form is "post-partum psychosis" which is felt in the first 2 weeks after birth. It is a severe pathological condition in which the woman loses contact with reality.

Delusional ideas, extreme hyperactivity, self-closure, ambivalence towards the child or even suicidal or infanticide ideas can occur. In these cases the mother is most often separated from the child and treated in a psychiatric service in order not to endanger her life and because she cannot afford the necessary care.

The negative effects of postnatal depression on the development of the baby. If it is not about something transient and the mother really goes through a difficult period from a psychological point of view, the child is affected in terms of emotional development.

The attachment that forms in the first months of life, the emotional relationship with the mother, the affective exchange between the two has to suffer in the conditions in which the mother is depressed, sad, devoid of interest or energy. In babies whose mothers are suffering from depression, somatic disorders such as insomnia, colic, vomiting and psychological (crying, agitation, lack of smile, ganguritis, etc.) are found.

What to do? The first thing would be to detect this condition as early as possible. When the woman realizes that "something is wrong", when the first nightmares, anxiety, anxiety, sadness can consult a specialist, ask what happens to her, what is happening with her.

When depression is diagnosed, there is a choice of treatment, ie how a woman can benefit from a psychotherapist. When she can move from home and agree to come to the office, the best option is to have a "dyad" therapy, that is, with her baby.

In this way, the woman does not feel like a negligence or an absence from her near the child to go to the psychologist. In addition, the very small baby "also" benefits from improving the condition of the mother, her words, the warmth of her arms.

In the conditions in which the woman cannot come to the psychologist, there is also a variant of a psychological intervention, such as counseling at home or through indirect "mail" or "online" variants.

So we intend to talk on Monday, March 24 about postnatal depression.

Anca Munteanu
Psychologist - Child psychology

Center of Action Psychology and Psychotherapy