Research published in January’s Harvard Review of Psychiatry showed evidence that although symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) decrease over time, without treatment, clinical levels of symptoms can remain for many women leading them to experience chronic depression.
The criteria for diagnosing PPD states that symptoms have to begin in the first year after having a baby. The study authors performed a critical review of the research on postpartum depression from 1985 to 2012 and found that 30% of mothers who had been diagnosed as having PPD were still depressed up to three years later. They stressed that because parental depression can adversely affect children’s long-term development it is important to engage in treatment before depression becomes chronic.
I think that a mothers’ own quality of life is also very important. Women feel very alone and there are many reasons why women don’t undergo treatment but it is important to stress that help is available and very effective and so we have to make sure women are able to access treatment.
If you want to read more about maternal mental health download the FREE Guide To Pregnancy & Postpartum Stress, Anxiety & Depression. It is full of information about symptoms, different types of maternal mood disorders and advice about what to do to start feeling like yourself again.
Dr. Sarah Allen has 20+ years experience as a psychologist helping women transition to being the mom they want to be. She is also the Director of the Postpartum Depression Alliance of IL, a non-profit offering info and support to pregnant and postpartum moms and their families.
If you have questions after reading this article or the Guide To Pregnancy & Postpartum Stress, Anxiety & Depression or have any questions about how counseling can be useful to your particular circumstances please contact me at 847 791-7722 or on the form below.