Postpartum Depression Overview
PPD is considered to be moderate to severe depression in women who have recently given birth, otherwise defined as the occurrence of major depressive disorder (MDD) within 4 weeks of delivery (DSM-V 2013) or up to a year after giving birth (Okun 2013). PPD is common and has devastating consequences for the woman and for her family (Fihrer 2009, Verbeek 2012). Perinatal depression is reported to be the most underdiagnosed obstetric complication in America (Earls 2010). Furthermore, it is the most common psychiatric illness to occur in the puerperium (O’Hara 2014). A meta-analysis of 30 studies (Gaynes 2005) found that the point prevalence of major and minor depression ranged between 6.5% and 12.9% at different times during the first postpartum year. Overall incidence is estimated at around 15% to 20% with up to 10% being considered severe.
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Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
Helpful information to know about symptoms of depression:
- Your “baby blues” don’t get better. It’s common to have a dip in mood during your baby’s first 2 weeks. After that, you should feel better. But if you’re still sad or even hopeless weeks later, and the feelings are growing intense, that’s more than the blues.
- Sadness or guilt consume your thoughts.Feeling upset once in a while is normal. But if you have crying spells, or you often feel unhappy about being a parent, or you’re often “down on yourself” as a mom, these may be among the first signs of postpartum depression.
- You lose interest in things you enjoy.
- You have trouble making decisions.
- You worry you won’t be a good mom.Having constant doubts about yourself as a mother could mean something else.
- Your sleep patterns have changed.
- You’ve had big, stressful changes in your life.
- You think about harming yourself.
Helpful information to know about our research studies:
- No insurance needed to receive medical care (if you qualify for a study).
- Obtain medical care and a free psychiatric evaluation and physical exam
- No-cost medications
- Gain access to research treatments before they are widely available.
- Receive compensation for time and travel (at least $50 per visit).