“The major reason why many women do not seek help is because they don’t even know they are depressed.”
A young mother from Shropshire was denied from joining an NHS support group because they said she would “bring down” other mums who were suffering the same condition that she had- post natal depression (PND). It crushed her world. But now, she has a support group of her own for mothers who want to cope with PND.
Causes of Post Natal Depression
Post natal depression is a depressive illness which affects 10-15 in every 100 women who deliver a baby. Just like any other kinds of depression, symptoms include anxiety, low mood, nausea, headaches, inevitable tiredness, sleep disorders, changes in appetite, and loss of libido. A mother who is going through PND may find managing simple tasks very difficult and the symptoms may last for a week up to one year. Men may also suffer from PND but the prevalence rate is very minimal; about 5-25%.
The major reason why many women do not seek help is because they don’t even know they are depressed. Other reasons are the worries of what other people may think of them and not being able to cope with being a mother. Other mums do not even realise that they are going through PND. Post natal depression is an illness that can be easily hidden from anybody else but many are too ashamed to tell their families and friends.
Unhappy Mums Need Counselling
Counselling has remained to be an effective way to treat depression. Having somebody to listen and understand the real cause of anxiety is the best way to deal with emotional and mental distress. Unlike anti-depressant drugs, counselling focuses on the root cause of anxiety. The counsellor comfortably talks to the patient and helps her evaluate herself as a mum. Post natal depression can greatly affect the couple’s relationship even though the depression already subsided. What women with PND needs is basically someone to talk to for them to get realistic perception and eventually relinquish the disappointments and other hard feelings brought by PND.
Basically, it is the role of the woman’s partner, relatives and friends to help her figure out that she needs help. Often, a mother with PND has manifestations that she is unhappy but the thing is she wouldn’t talk about it. Fortunately, there are health visitors are the best people to help women with PND. A health visitor can provide support to mums in their own homes to make them feel comfortable to express how they feel. The therapist talks with the patient in an open discussion and helps her assess the reasons why she is feeling depressed. Aside from health visitors, there are many support groups dedicated to bring back the morale of these unhappy mums. One can ask for referrals or recommendations to her community health team that has the expertise in treating PND.
Unhappy Mums CAN fight PND
A mum with PND may think that her world has no meaning at all and that she’s stuck with a world of feeding and tending her family. There’s an extreme feeling of hopelessness. The counsellor or GP helps the patient realise the areas in her being a mum that affects her. On the other hand, women with severe PND may avail of mental health services.
Mums are supposed to be happy with their new-born babies. But it isn’t always the case. While the rest of mums in the world are celebrating a gift that they waited so long to have, some are struggling to be happy. Still, so long as there are people ready to help and with the aid of counselling, these mums can get over PND.