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Effects, Symptoms and Treatments of Postpartum Depression

by Lori Ramsey |
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Traditional Medical Treatments for PPD

Two of the most common treatments for depression are the use of antidepressant medications, and psychological therapy. In the case of depression resulting from a medical condition such as hormonal imbalances, the imbalance is treated, and depression will cease.

Antidepressant medications are given if the depression is caused from emotional stress or chemical imbalances in the brain. These medications can be habit forming, and close monitoring is required. Usually, it's in the more moderate cases that these medications are administered, and therapy is often used in conjunction with antidepressants.

Psychological therapies are used when emotional stress or personal problems are the root of depression. Therapy helps the patient to better cope with situations, allowing the patient feel more control over their life. In mild cases, therapy alone can combat depression.

There are more radical treatments used for the treatment of depression, but these are used in very rare instances. Most often, medications, therapy, or a combination of the two, will successfully release a patient from the grip of depression.

Natural Treatments for PPD

For some women, just recognizing where the depression stems from, postpartum hormonal imbalance, can be enough to help them understand why they are experiencing the depression and thus allow it to ebb away on its own. Postpartum depression usually hits in spurts or small time frames. For me it was in the evenings and lasted a couple of hours for about two weeks. Knowing when this hits helped me to cope. Finally, one day I experienced it no more.

Other natural remedies can be used to combat the baby blues. Perhaps having Daddy or someone to watch the baby for an hour or two a day will be enough to bring about happy thoughts. Simply being allowed to venture out without baby in tow for a short time of self- pampering can be just what the doctor ordered. Do things that make you feel good, a walk in the park, shopping or shop-looking at the mall, a dessert with a friend, even a movie.

Another way of combating the blues is to go outside for fresh air. Spending a bit of time in the outdoors will help to clear your head and possibly stave off those depressive feelings. If it's winter time, put on a heavy coat and brave the brisk air anyway. Enlist the help of your household members to ease you through this. If Daddy is unavailable, enlist the help of relatives and friends. Even if you don't want to ask, chances are, if you do ask most people are more than willing to help. Sometimes just having company is enough, other times perhaps you need help with the care of the baby, or of older children or with household duties. Don't be afraid to ask for the help if you feel you need it.

There are also herbal and other natural remedies that may help to ease the symptoms of depression. As always, be sure to check with your Doctor first before taking any medications, including herbals.

Talk to your Doctor

It's always important to seek the advice of your healthcare provider if you suspect you may be suffering from postpartum depression. The advice listed in this article is for informational purposes only and should not replace the advice and care of your physician. If you suspect you may be suffering from depression, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. S/he will better be able to help you understand and diagnose depression, and what you can do to treat it.

Remember that depression is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. It is an illness that needs to be treated-and can be!. In the case of postpartum Depression (PPD), hormonal imbalances may be the cause, and can be detected and treated by your healthcare provider. Do not, under any circumstances, allow the condition to progress simply because you feel that it is your fault. PPD is a very real, very treatable condition that needs to be brought to your doctor's attention.

Lori Ramsay is a freelance writer and contributing writer for Baby Corner.

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