Pregnancy & Postpartum Depression
Therapy Is a Proven Solution for Depression during Pregnancy and Postpartum – You Don’t Have to Suffer Alone
Everyone says that it will be okay. That this is only a phase, that it will pass. That it’s natural and you have nothing to worry about. But fear and panic gnaw at you. You are pregnant and experiencing terrible sadness, a paralyzing fear of becoming a mother, and the feeling that life as you know it is over. You just want someone to stop the inner turmoil so you can breathe again.
Or maybe it’s after the birth: everyone is congratulating you, smiling, saying how happy they are for you; you nod and feel somehow defective. Social media is filled with pictures of mothers and their toddlers with captions like “no greater love” and “I’ve never known happiness like this”. And you? You are miserable, unable to fall in love or bond with your baby, wondering if you’re damaged; and quietly, without telling anyone, you just want to disappear.
Depression during pregnancy and postpartum depression are two of the most common experiences that women face, but they are still taboo, surrounded by a culture of silence and a terrible sense of guilt that gnaws at the women struggling with them. But this suffering and the existential loneliness it brings are not a weight that you are doomed to carry all your life. On the contrary, countless women have discovered that therapy eases the painful feelings and provides relief.
Breathe Easy After Just a Few Sessions
The emotional responses of postpartum women range from despondency to depression and, in rare cases, to psychosis. About 80% of women experience low spirits and mood swings in the first two weeks after giving birth. 12-15% of them will develop postpartum depression, making it a very common phenomenon.
The main signs of postpartum depression are: feelings of sadness for most of the day and an impaired ability to experience pleasure of any kind, lasting for over two weeks; trouble sleeping even when another person is caring for the baby; taking no joy in caring for the newborn; feelings of despair and emptiness; general anxiety and anxiety relating to the baby; and difficulty forming an emotional attachment to the baby.
Also common are crying spells, feelings of helplessness, low energy, exhaustion, anger, restless sleep, a sense of incompetence, and the mother experiencing a real struggle to take care of herself and the infant. Mothers also report feelings of worthlessness, thoughts of self-harm, and, in rare but detectable cases, thoughts of harming the baby.
In a course of therapy that is considered relatively short-term, we will learn how to make room for your feelings, understand exactly what is happening to you, and replace the experience of struggling by yourself – often accompanied by unbearable self-flagellation – with the understanding that you are not alone, and that these emotions can be processed and overcome.
Helping Yourself Is Helping the Baby
So many women turn the blame toward themselves and do not properly process the physical and mental trauma involved in pregnancy and childbirth. In my experience, therapy helps the mother adapt to the new reality and the new baby, soothes anxieties, and gradually reduces depression.
In some cases I recommend a psychiatric evaluation to see whether medication is necessary, which, when combined with therapy, can accelerate the improvement in mood. From my experience treating many women suffering from postpartum depression, a significant improvement in mood can be achieved with a relatively short course of treatment.
In addition, immediately getting help for the mother is critical for the baby’s development, which is greatly affected by the mother’s emotional state.