My husband and I have always been reluctant to have kids of our own. The truth was that we wanted to plan everything in our lives. We do not want to do something that will place us in a compromising situation. However, things had changed when we started to volunteer in an organization that caters to the needs of the children. During the charity works, we learned to be close and open to the kids in the center. That was the reason why we changed our plans and decided to be pregnant.
One of the common issues these days is mental health. As you can see, many individuals are starting to suffer from mental health illnesses. Some studies reveal that the rate of suicide has increased in many countries. According to the researchers, the cause of this includes anxiety, depression, stress, and other mental health issues. Because of this, it is essential for everyone to spread awareness about this concern. In this article, we are going to talk about depression and psychiatry.
What Is Depression?
Depression is not sadness over loss. But people can become depressed from persistent and unremitting stress, or as the outcome of trauma, or they may have neurobiology that makes it likely that they will become depressed at some time in their lives for no obvious reason.” —Margaret Wehrenberg, PsyD.
This refers to a mental health sickness that is characterized by negative emotions, loss of hope, despondency, and despair. Another common term for this is “major depressive disorder.” This disorder affects a person’s feelings, acts, and thoughts. Once a person is considered to be clinically depressed, he will show signs of extreme sadness and lack of interest in pursuing daily activities. Most of the time, this person also starts to withdraw from his relationships with others.
What Are The Symptoms?
Take note that the symptoms of depression may range from mild to severe conditions. It is highly recommended to seek professional help instead of creating a self-diagnosis of this disorder. For the purposes of sharing information, the typical symptoms are as follows:
Having an erratic mood
Change or loss of appetite
Increase turmoil in relationships with others
Exhaustion or over-fatigue
Feeling guilty about something
Constantly thinking about death or suicide
Experiencing insomnia or trouble in sleeping patterns; and
Withdrawing from hobbies.
The items mentioned above are not exclusive. If you think that a close friend or family member is depressed, do not hesitate to call a therapist or a psychiatrist as soon as possible. Avoid creating diagnoses without the assistance of a professional.
“People often don’t realize that depression isn’t just one thing. It can have different causes and presentations. Some people look sad, others are more irritable, some withdraw, and others seem restless.” —Lisa Moses, PsyD, licensed clinical psychologist.
Can It Be Treated?
The good news is that depression is treatable. Luckily, many organizations and institutions focus on studying this disorder. Because of their efforts, therapists and psychiatrists already have several ideas on how to treat or deal with major depressive disorder. According to these individuals, the approach depends on a case-to-case basis. To create a practical approach, the patient must undergo a diagnostic evaluation. During the evaluation process, the health professional will identify the existing symptoms, family history, medical records and environmental factors that could have contributed to the occurrence of the depression.
“Many therapists love to dive in and help you find out who you are on a deep level, helping you uncover the passions buried under the busyness of life. A desire for this time to self-reflect may mean that,” says By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
Does Psychiatry Play An Important Role?
The answer to this question is in the affirmative. As you probably know by now, a psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health. As such, he has the authority to prescribe certain medications to his patients. For this reason, it is proper to conclude that psychiatry plays an essential role in the treatment of depression. There has to be a combination of psychiatry and psychotherapy to ensure that the clinically depressed person could recover soon.
Depression is a serious issue that you have to take into consideration. If you notice that someone has symptoms of depression, be sure to talk to that person and make a suggestion about his possible treatment.
“Depression is a disorder that develops from environmental and biological issues that are unique to each person. Misinformation about mental illness shames and discriminates those suffering with depression from getting professional help.”
—Deborah Serani, PsyD
A recent study shows that there has been an increase in the reported cases of depression. Based on the findings of experts, more people have suffered or are suffering from the adverse effects of depression. A quick look at the statistics of different countries would reveal that a lot of these depressed individuals have decided to take their own lives. All this information tells us one thing: depression is dangerous.
One of the primary concerns of married couples is raising a family of their own. Most couples want to have children as they progress in life together. However, there are also some who prefer not to have babies at all. If you are one of the individuals who want to have kids in the future, then it is crucial that you understand the significance of infertility in every marriage. Unfortunately, there are some instances wherein women are incapable of giving birth or experience difficulty in getting pregnant. On the other hand, there are also some men who have problems concerning this area.
Jamie Long PsyD has the same problem, and she said: “It’s been five years since I learned of my own infertility. The diagnosis that makes it all but impossible to conceive (Premature Ovarian Failure), came after eight months of trying to start our family. The news that I ran out of eggs before I was ready to bear a child was the most dumbfounding and heart-wrenching reality of my life. When acquaintances, extended family, and strangers asked me when I’d have children, I could barely muster a response more than a shoulder shrug.”
“The experience of shame can interact with depression in important ways that can maintain or worsen the severity of clinical depression. Classically, the depressed person engages in behaviors that they aren’t proud of,” says Erin Mendoza, PsyD.
A lot of people think that depression is just a state of mind. Because of this, they do not take the issue of depression as a serious one. For these people, those who are clinically depressed are only having emotional problems and nothing more. Unfortunately, this has become common in different places all over the world. Because of this, it is no wonder why many individuals do not take post-partum depression as a life-threatening mental issue.
“Post-partum depression is common. Ten to twenty percent of women experience significant depressive symptoms after the birth of a child. Of these, 5 to 10% experience severe depressive symptoms, meaning that about 1% of women develop a severe depression after childbirth,” according to psychiatrist Eugene Rubin M.D., Ph.D.
The truth is that many new mothers have this kind of mental condition. At the same time, this form of depression also causes death to women involved.
The loss of a child through miscarriage is perhaps the most heartbreaking experience for any expectant mother. Unless they’ve been through it, nobody can really understand how to deal with the grief that comes with losing an unborn child. “Sadness over loss is not depression. Grief must be experienced, not stifled or medicated. The misconception is that grieving should be brief, not too obvious, and quickly dispensed with,” according to Margaret Wehrenberg, PsyD.
Unfortunately, many families go through this every year. According to statistics:
“There’s the feeling of being damaged, with intensely painful shame about that. There’s the loss not just of the pregnancy, but of one’s hopes and dreams for that child into the future. There’s guilt over inflicting childlessness on the one they love. There’s the feeling you’ve lost control over your life,” says a psychiatrist Monica N. Starkman M.D.
The previous blog titled “Things That You Should Know About Grief And Depression After A Miscarriage” talked about thoughts. These thoughts will help mothers who have experienced a miscarriage or losing their unborn babies to move on from the traumatic experience. Now, with this blog, more ideas will be shared. For the benefit of those who are undergoing the pain of a lost child, think about these:
“Suicidal thoughts can be shorthand for “I feel ashamed, alone, helpless, depressed, guilty, angry, hopeless, and fearful.” Suicidal thoughts can remind people that they are in ultimate control of their lives during times when they feel out of control and scared,” says Melissa Welby M.D.
The rate of suicide has skyrocketed in the past few years. Many people decide to cut their own lives. They are the ones who have lost hope and faith. These are the same persons who were not able to get the right help they need when they were struggling with depression and other mental health problems. No one was able to remind them that life is worth living and that they can survive it all.
Simply put, postpartum depression is the presence of a clinical depression during the postpartum period. In that way, postpartum depression is exactly like any other depression that is unrelated to childbirth. But there’s more to it than that,” says Karen Kleiman MSW, LCSW.
There are common misconceptions that add further insult to injury.
It’s quite funny and distressing, at the same time, to hear things that clueless people say about postpartum depression(PPD) or depression in general. A lot of people believe that the condition is not real or is just something that came along with the pregnancy which will eventually go away once the beautiful baby is born.
“Women with peripartum major depressive episodes often have severe anxiety and even panic attacks during the peripartum period. Moreover, studies examining women pre-to-post-pregnancy demonstrate that those with anxiety or the “baby blues” during pregnancy are at increased risk for postpartum depression,” says John Grohol PsyD. Depression can manifest even before the mother gives birth.
The signs and symptoms of the condition are apparent that they’re not hard to miss.
How does one figure out if she is experiencing postpartum depression? According to research, about 20% of women who gave birth might show signs of having postpartum depression. Furthermore, PPD may not be immediately noticeable right after childbirth. Instead, it could manifest a year after the baby was born.
The statistics technically means that as a woman who is planning on getting pregnant, there is a chance that you might suffer from postpartum depression. On the other hand, if you just recently had a baby and are somehow curious if you are currently experiencing depression, there are specific indications that you might recognize.
Unraveling The Telltale Signs
“Different women react differently but normal baby blues are usually accompanied by moments of joy and wonder and happiness about the baby and motherhood. The emotions settle down after a couple of weeks and the routines and rhythms of new parenting get established,” says licensed marriage and family counselor Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.
Though not all women will experience the same signs and symptoms, there is absolute consistency in the theme. While one mom can suffer from one or two symptoms, others will be overwhelmed by all of it. It is important to recognize that depression can take on many forms. Amongst others, here are some indicatory signs that you have PPD.
Choices Terrify You
When faced with a dilemma, mothers who have PPD will be severely anxious, especially if the decisions are regarding their babies. They will feel frightened and stifled with the thought that any choice can turn out badly. Moms would also feel the need for constant reassurance just to ease their worries and make sure that they are doing fine.
Sleep Is Elusive
Even if the baby is fast asleep, a depressed mom will find it hard to acquire a decent snooze at night. In the beginning, it is normal to lose sleep since mothers are wired to look after their newborns that tend to have irregular sleeping habits. Moms who do not get adequate sleep at night will experience significant health issues and find it hard to focus on regular daily tasks.
Despondency Does Not Go Away
Stress and exhaustion are normal in moderation; this is termed as “baby blues” and is prevalent during the first few weeks after childbirth. However, if the feeling of despair does not get relieved after a month or so, the sense of melancholia may have had evolved into depression.
Thoughts Of Hurting You And Your Baby Has Come To Mind
This occurrence might be one of the most horrible feelings that a depressed mom could endure. Though these hurtful visions and thoughts(like dropping the newborn in the tub) will occasionally cloud the mom’s mind, acting upon them is less likely. However, these visions and thoughts might make the mother feel bad about herself and is ashamed that those horrid ideas ever came to mind.
Disconnect From The Baby
Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH said “They are able to function in their roles but have significant anxiety and mood symptoms that rob them of the joy of being a mother and interfere with their ability to develop good attachment and bonding with their infants.”
Moms who have this particular level of disconnect from their babies – who feel that the motherly attachment is absent – may be experiencing postpartum depression. Being disheartened by the sight of the baby is considered one of the most common signs of PPD. This may lead to an insufficient amount of love, care, and nourishment given to the baby.
Do not be remorseful if you ever felt one or more of these signs and symptoms. However, it is advised to seek immediate medical attention once you’ve recognized that you are dealing with these manifestations for the sake of you and your baby.