Relatable Frustrations Of Moms With Postpartum Depression

 

“If I hear you say that one more time, I will throw you off a bridge,” the depressed mom thought with a huge, agonizing grin on her face. She nods and pretends to listen through the tedious, unhelpful monologue from her relatives that have no clue whatsoever about what postpartum depression is and how it actually feels.

 

Source: cdn.mtlblog.com

 

The Painful Reality

According to Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH, “Women with PPD usually have low mood, prominent anxiety and worry, disrupted sleep, feelings of being overwhelmed, and can also feel very guilty that they are not enjoying their experience of motherhood.”

It’s no secret that the majority of people will give out silly comments, opinions, or advice that are mostly directed to people who are suffering from mental illnesses. Having a baby and being depressed at the same time does not exempt the mother from being a vessel for unwanted remarks and superficial concern. In fact, it’s after childbirth that depressed women receive the most attention and criticisms.

Now this: You are not the only person who struggles with your frustrations of being a depressed mom. There are a lot of women with postpartum depression who are now victims of flimsy, unnecessary acknowledgments.

Side note: If you think you have postpartum depression, the most important thing that you should do is seek professional help to avoid distressing complications not only for you but for the baby as well.

“PPD is a serious illness that requires professional help. It’s highly treatable with psychotherapy and medication,” says Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

 

Source: neuropsychiatrichospitals.net

 

Relatable Annoyances

Somehow, there will be a specific situation below that you will find relatable. These frustrations are laid out not to perpetuate or normalize these cases but to recognize it and possibly lessen its existence.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m supposed to feel a surge of maternal instinct, right? I’m supposed to love my baby. Why am I so overwhelmed and uninterested?” Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D. says that these are the common words of women going in her office for therapy with their PPD.

  1. You Are Just Dramatic

Telenovelas are dramatic, people with depression are not. Depression is a mental illness that does not go away overnight. It is as real as any other physical illness that requires medical attention. Telling a mom with postpartum depression that she is just over-reacting is similar to telling a person with chest pain that he is just climactic.

 

  1. Your Baby’s Supposed To Take The Sadness Away

With postpartum depression, the baby somewhat becomes a trigger; not because the mother despises the child but because whenever the mom sees her baby, some uncontrollable thoughts and feelings start to arise. The worst part is that moms know that their babies are a source of happiness, which is why asking someone with PPD to be happy because of the baby makes that person suffer even more because part of their brain makes them hard to do so.

 

  1. Visitations Are Agonizing

There are three classifications of people in this world – the ones who genuinely care, the ones who don’t give a crap, and the ones who pretend to care. The last one is the worst. Visitations are part of having a baby, but somehow, moms with PPD hate having people come over especially those who act like they care but in reality, they just want to pry and prove that they know what’s happening when in fact, they don’t.

 

  1. Calling Out For The Weight Loss

Just to set things straight – depression leaves people with no desire whatsoever to do enjoyable, healthy activities that they used to do. Therefore, mothers who have PPD lose weight not because they are engaged in weight loss activities but because they have lost the appetite to take in the recommended nutrition.

 

Source: parents.mdpcdn.com

 

  1. Snap Out Of It

If depressed moms would have a dollar for hearing this from friends, family members, or even co-workers, she would’ve had a lifetime supply of depression medications and will have enough money to subscribe to an unlimited session with her therapist.

Again, if moms with postpartum depression could just “get over it,” they would have done so even before the condition worsened, but they can’t. And if you are experiencing PPD, it is comforting to know that other people can relate to your struggles and are willing to listen and understand.

 

 

Dear Future Dads, You Can Also Get Postpartum Depression

You’ve heard about postpartum depression in moms. But, are you aware that dads can suffer too? Depression really does not choose a side or a gender. Though the numbers are not as high compared to the females, probably because only a few could bring it up, data is consistent in showing that PPD in men can happen and is happening.

“A new study discovers prenatal or postpartum depression is not limited to mothers. About 10 percent of fathers experience these forms of depression, with rates being highest in the three- to six-month postpartum period,” says Rick Nauert PhD, clinical psychologist.

 

source: sweetlilyou.com

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Dealing with Depression Caused by Infertility

Often, depression and infertility are in accord with each other.

“As her symptoms begin to define her, the feelings of sadness, fatigue, exhaustion, inadequacy, uncertainty and suicide permeate her day. Under the best of circumstances, even with sufficient support and excellent healthcare, this is a distressing picture,” Karen Kleiman MSW, LCSW talks about a woman who is suffering severe depression.

Though a lot of notions lean towards the realization that infertility can cause depression, you might be surprised to know that people who have undergone depressive symptoms have higher chances of experiencing fertility problems. Additionally, it might strike you to realize that those who have postpartum depression are couples who have previously struggled with conception problems.

“The researchers remind us that stress is the one consistent factor that shows an effect on how long it takes to get pregnant, of all the lifestyle factors studied to date. More surprising is that even low levels of stress can have an impact on conception,” Connie Shapiro PhD talks about the correlation of stress and fertility in respect to a study conducted by Dr. Alice Domar.

 

source: commons.wikimedia.org

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Red Flags Indicating How Infertility has Seized Control of Your Life

Dealing with infertility can be daunting for affected couples. While some people have no problem with reproduction, some are having a hard time trying to make a baby.

“Although 1 in 8 couples struggle to get or stay pregnant, infertility feels rare. The more severe the case of infertility, the more unique the suffering can feel. There aren’t many people who truly appreciate the gravity of not having the eggs required to reproduce,” says Jamie Long Psyd.

Source: thebluediamondgallery.com

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Types of Mental Health States During Pregnancy

Source: en.wikipedia.org

 

The medical literature described other clinical states that can happen during pregnancy. It is important to differentiate and identify the clinical state of the mother as each may require a different approach. Some may need psychotherapy, medications, or none at all.

Baby Blues. Considered as the most common form of mood imbalance occurring as early as Day 5 following delivery period and will last until 10 or 14 days. If the symptoms are mild, the mothering role is not compromised, and treatment may not be needed. However, if symptoms worsen, this can lead to a full-blown PPD.

“A new baby is the most exciting event on earth, but caring for the baby is a major new life adaptation. Baby blues is very common – crying and irritability To deal with it, one needs loving support, and others on hand to share in the care,” psychiatrist Dr. Robert Berezin M.D. explains the condition.

Post-partum Depression is a psychological state involving depressive episodes in some mothers occurring during pregnancy or after giving birth. Treatments may include psychotherapy or administration of certain medications to manage or treat the psychological imbalance. Experts believe that this can happen to mothers whose pregnancy is a result of rape or sexual abuse, lack of support from families or the husband, history of mental illness in the family, and hormonal imbalance that happens during pregnancy that may affect the brain functioning to regulate mood and effect.

Postpartum Panic Disorder. Presenting almost the same clinical features of a panic attack, the condition does not primarily display depression but fear or being scared to death. Medications can be given immediately to help the mother get over with panic symptoms. SSRIs or Serotonin reuptake inhibitors can alleviate symptoms of heightened anxiety levels, and CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy can be used as the panic attacks become frequent.

 

Source: health.mil

 

Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (PPOCD). Another mental health state that does not clinically portray depression as the primary problem, but the intrusive thoughts and compulsions following feelings of anxiety over the new role or experience. This is very common for new or young mothers and fathers alike. Being new to the parenting role, they possess the state of fear that they will do harm than good to the infant thus a cycle of obsession and compulsive actions are developed. The good news is that this condition is treatable and only temporary.

Postpartum Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PPPTSD). Giving birth can pose life-threatening situations both to the mother and the infant. Condition or circumstances like undergoing birth trauma such as forceps delivery, prolapse of the cord, or bleeding can lead to a traumatic experience for the mother and may eventually develop into post-traumatic stress disorder. This is also a temporary state and resolves once the mother has fully grasped the situation and with the help of mental health professionals and significant others.

“Postpartum PTSD is very different from Postpartum Depression. The former occurs as a result of trauma (or perceived trauma) during delivery, while the latter happens because of hormonal changes in a woman’s body as a natural result of giving birth,” according to Susanne Babbel MFT, PhD.

 

Source: health.mil

 

Postpartum Psychosis. The most serious and warrants hospital admission as the mother can be a threat to the infant or herself. The mother will be presenting significant signs of psychosis such as thought process deviations like hallucinations, illusion, and delusions. Since inpatient admission is required, the mother is prescribed with antipsychotic medications and psychotherapy in the later stages

 

Mothers need all the support, assistance, and care they need during pregnancy and after giving birth. The presence of the husband or father is very crucial during the whole pregnancy stage. Family support coming from first-degree family members is very significant to the mother while undergoing this phase of her life. One thing to remember is a happy pregnancy can lead to positive outlooks in the future.

To close, Robert J. Hedaya MD, DLFAPA, ABPN, CFM remind moms and dads: “I encourage child-bearing women to thoroughly discuss any mood disturbances with their physicians and their partner. Your emotional well-being is essential to your health, the health of your child, and the stability of your family.”

PCOS Causes That You Need To Know About

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In my 25 years of existence, never have I ever pictured myself out dealing with an ovarian-related problem. My lifestyle is no different from my same-aged peers. I have a nine-to-five job that I neither love nor hate; I party and date when the opportunity arises. Of course, I also dream of becoming a mom of not one but three kids in the near future.

However, a few months back, I realized that I missed two cycles consecutively. Missing one period used not to bother me; I was told at a young age that it happens sometimes. But when a couple of months passed without menstruating, I thought, “Am I pregnant?” Multiple pregnancy test kits said ‘no,’ so what could it be?

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Signs Of PCOS That You Shouldn’t Miss

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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormone-related issue that people hardly think about even if it’s staring at them in the face. The reason is that we all lack awareness about the existence of this illness. It does not come with painful symptoms either, which are usually the indications that push women to consult an OB-GYN. Despite that, PCOS is as real as any other disease you can think of.

“The symptoms of PCOS start when your pituitary makes too much leutinizing hormone (LH) and/or your pancreas makes too much insulin. This causes your ovaries to make more testosterone than your body needs, which helps explain the extra acne and body hair. Too much testosterone can also cause cysts in your ovaries which aren’t so much cysts as they are immature follicles which started to develop but stopped before they could release an egg,” according to Paul Joannides Psy.D.

In truth, the polycystic ovarian syndrome can be your worst nightmare, especially if all you have ever dreamed of is to become a mom. Having PCOS entails that cysts form outside of your ovaries, preventing the egg cells from getting released. Even when you are trying to conceive with your husband, the sperm cells will eventually die because they don’t have eggs to fertilize.

Considering you have not been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome but still unsure whether you have it or not, here are some signs that you should not miss.

Irregular Menstrual Cycle

The first sign of PCOS is an irregular menstrual cycle. Some women go through a month or two without getting their period while others can go as far as six months. At times, the flow is heavy, and the duration lasts up to seven days; other times, it’s a miracle to reach the third day. You cannot overlook this indication because the irregularity can lower your chances of getting pregnant in the future.

Weight Gain

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Source: pixabay.com

Although not all PCOS patients are either obese or overweight, most of them are. The reason is that the syndrome reduces your body’s ability to make use of insulin, the hormone to transform carbohydrates into energy. As a result, the sugars turn into fats, and your love handles will not go away regardless of how much exercising and dieting you do.

When an OB-GYN diagnoses PCOS, they usually prescribe metformin. You may have heard of this drug from people with diabetes before, but it can also be useful for women with the polycystic ovarian syndrome. Not only can metformin reduce your blood glucose, after all, but you can count on it to normalize your cycle as well.

Acne

You should have been able to get rid of your acne problem once the puberty stage is over. However, considering you still see zits on your face, back, and other body parts, it may indicate that you have PCOS.

There’s no need to be surprised if it happens. As you know, both acne and polycystic ovaries are brought about by hormonal changes. You cannot treat your pimples adequately if you have no idea about the condition that causes them to appear.

Final Thoughts

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Source: pixabay.com

Helena Teede MBBS, PhD, FRACP said, “Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is key in the management of PCOS and needs engagement and support for affected women in lifestyle modification.”

Have you noticed some or all of the signs mentioned above in you? If not, it most likely means that you are safe from PCOS. If you have, however, you should go to your OB-GYN to confirm it. This way, you can see your treatment options and figure out a way to at least regularize your period or get pregnant despite having this syndrome.

Therapy is also the best resort for your mental health. “Counseling and support may help make this goal more attainable to patients with PCOS, perhaps saving them the heartbreak and expense of infertility and its treatment,” according to Joann P. Galst Ph.D.

Good luck!

Coping With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

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People say that when life gives you lemons, you are supposed to make lemonade. It entails that you need to see the situation in a positive light, no matter what. However, can you still do the same if life gives you polycystic ovaries?

“This is a hormone imbalance that can result in irregular periods, unwanted hair growth, acne, extra weight gain, baldness, and patches of dark skin on the back of your neck and inner thighs that weren’t caused by some guy giving you a hickey,” says Paul Joannides Psy.D.

The latter is the question that I kept on asking myself after I got diagnosed with PCOS. At the time, I had not gotten my menstruation for three months straight. I was not sexually active, so it was easy to rule out pregnancy. There were no other symptoms as well aside from the lack of bleeding each month. Hence, I asked my mom to book an appointment for me with her OB-GYN.

When the doctor was already using an ultrasound, I saw little spots covering my ovaries. From what I heard, the image should be smooth if everything’s fine. Due to the new picture, though, it allowed the OB-GYN to deduce that I have the polycystic ovary syndrome.

I admit that I moped a bit after learning about my PCOS. That was especially true in the next months when I was taking pills to boost menstruation. But I knew that there was no one to blame for it except for myself.

If you want to know how to cope after finding out that you have PCOS, here’s what you can do.

Accept The Condition

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The first thing that you should do is to accept that you have polycystic ovary syndrome. There’s no denying it – the ultrasound undoubtedly says so. You may visit another OB-GYN to get the second opinion, but if the results are similar to what you have received from the first one, you have no choice but to accept the condition.

In truth, acceptance will always be the key to coping and possibly healing. You cannot do anything if you cannot cross this initial step.

Lessen Your Stressors

I am not a doctor, but I can say for sure that your lifestyle can affect your PCOS. When I got diagnosed with it, after all, I had weeks of sleepless nights. I was doing my thesis and writing full-time back then, so I did not have enough hours of rest. The situation only improved when I lessened my workload and slept a lot and ate healthily.

It will also be helpful if you can stay away from people who always stress you out. Stressors are not your best friend; they can aggravate your condition. If you want to have regular cycles, you need to let go of stressful folks in your life.

Keep An Open Mind Regarding Treatment

PCOS is technically easy to treat. Some people regularize their menstruation by exercising and eating well; others get prescribed with progesterone pills or injections. In case either will not work, though, the OB-GYN may tell you to take birth control pills for up to six months at max. I suggest staying open-minded when it comes to treatments.

“The key take home messages are that while lifestyle management is the first and most important step in the management of PCOS, addition of metformin to lifestyle modification appears to provide additional advantages in improving BMI and menstrual cyclicity in the medium term,” says Helena Teede MBBS, PhD, FRACP.

Therapy can also provide relief, mentally.

“Counseling and support may help make this goal more attainable to patients with PCOS, perhaps saving them the heartbreak and expense of infertility and its treatment,” according to Joann P. Galst Ph.D.

Final Thoughts

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Remember that polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal condition. Meaning, any action that deviates from how your body is supposed to be can take your hormones out for a spin and activate your PCOS. You may never be able to overcome the disease, but you can learn how to cope with it.