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Taboo Topic: Postpartum Depression

By Jenna

This week, a horrific tragedy hit very close to home and has left many completely heartbroken. I feel that the best way to deal with a tragedy is to help others and offer information to help spread awareness on the issue—and that’s why I’m dedicating this blog post to postpartum depression.

Shockingly, a lot of women have never heard about postpartum depression because it’s a taboo topic that doesn’t come up in normal conversation, and women going through it have an extremely hard time dealing with it, let alone admitting to it. It can affect your family, marriage and work life and can sometimes lead to suicidal or homicidal feelings. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Brooke Shields, Courtney Cox, Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, Lisa Rinna, Amanda Peet, Kendra Wilkinson and Marcia Cross have all experienced it. Some have even spoken out on the topic postnatal depression.

“Post-partum depression is hard to describe—the way the body and mind and spirit fracture and crumble in the wake of what most believe should be a celebratory time. I cringed when I watched my interview on television because of my inability to share authentically what I was going through, what so many women go through. I fear more often than not, for this reason alone, we choose silence. And the danger of being silent means only that others will suffer in silence and may never be able to feel whole because of it.”

–Bryce Dallas Howard

Source: Flickr User Conorwithonen

Having a baby is supposed to be one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. Feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, irritability, depression, hate and angst aren’t what most women expect to feel after giving birth. However, 1 in 8 women experience “baby blues” after labor which can affect up to 80% of women and normally subsides after about a week or two. What most people don’t know is that 10% to 25% of women are blindsided and slump into a very disturbing and dark mood disorder called postpartum depression that can last from weeks to months.

Postpartum depression is a form of clinical depression which affects women after childbirth. The cause is still being debated among professionals, but most doctors think that it is chemical and the surge of hormones changes from pregnancy are responsible for the illness. It’s not your fault. It can hit you right after or months after having a baby and symptoms can last up to a year. Postpartum depression symptoms are severe and frightening for someone to go through. You may have sleepless nights and feel like daily tasks like dressing and cooking are impossible. Thoughts may include harming your baby and fits of rage on others or intense anxiety can happen. Most women are often afraid to express these thoughts and pains to others because of fear of repercussions, but keeping quiet is not the answer. You HAVE to talk to someone; you HAVE to utilize the loving and caring people around you because you NEED them. With professional and personal help, almost all women are able to overcome their feelings and get back to being the loving mothers they’re meant to be.

Tom Cruise aside, it’s extremely important to get professional help as soon as symptoms of PPD are recognized to help you, your baby and your family—and I cannot stress this enough. Treatment choices like counseling for you and your partner are available, as well as antidepressant medicine which will effectively relieve symptoms for most women. Since breast-feeding is very important for your baby, there are options available for safe antidepressants that you can use while breast-feeding. There are also part time or full time helpers available and is highly recommended for treatment. Having caring people around you is a must, and they’ll understand to what’s going on. A support network is key and it’ll help you tremendously in getting better because this isn’t anything that you can ignore.

Besides professional help, these are the most important steps you can take:

  • Don’t be isolated.
  • Try to find a support network.
  • Ask for help from partner or friends and family when feeling overwhelmed.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to doctors.

If you or someone you know is struggling with postpartum depression there is help available and you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to talk about it or ask for help. Why is this related to skin care? It’s not. But at DermStore we strive to spend time giving back, empowering women, and educating people on real conditions, self improvement and coming together to help others.



One Comment

  1. Ingrid Adel
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Glad to see that we are talking about this “silent” disease. Would like to see more not only about postpartum depression, but about depression in general, which affects many of us, yet it is a forbidden subject.

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