Women inflicted with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety PPDA often wonder how long they must endure their symptoms.
It’s normal to hope that there is some magic cut-off date for these symptoms – to hope that their mood goes back to normal and the condition itself is completely temporary.
Bear in mind though, a PPD/A episode is no easy thing, and there’s no one reason why a woman suffers with it.
Still, it’s important to look at the range of normal experience to get a better idea of why it happens.
PPD/A is noted as being depression or anxiety that can occur within the first six weeks after giving birth.
Read more here: [Postpartum Depression and Psychosis]
However, newer research has learned that this is an unrealistic timeframe.
According to the latest research, the condition can occur anytime during the first year of a baby’s birth and last for several years.
Maternal depression is common when children turn four years of age.
The key point is that researchers are finding out that PPD/A isn’t just associated with a baby’s birth; that it can start at any time and take a long time to be resolved.
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What Causes Postpartum Depression?
The majority of experts are in agreement that PPDA is the result of four things:
While experts firmly believe hormones are the largest culprit of the four, they know both adoptive moms and new dads can experience the disorder too.
Therefore, it’s not just a hormonal problem.
Since some women have a higher chance than others to experience PPD, it’s imperative they understand the condition and symptoms.
How Do You Know if You’re More At Risk? PPDA
- You or somebody in your family has suffered with or is suffering from depression or other mental health problems.
- You’ve had intense times of depression or anxiety while pregnant.
- You had an unplanned pregnancy and weren’t thrilled with the idea of being pregnant.
- You have no support system from your spouse or significant other.
- You’ve recently gotten divorced or are separated from the child’s other parent.
- You suddenly had a life change – job loss, big move, death in the family, etc.
- You’ve previously had obstetric complications
- You experienced some type of early childhood trauma, were abused or have a dysfunctional family.
It’s important to understand that even with none of these risk factors, you can still suffer from PPD, and having them, doesn’t mean you’ll suffer with it.
Many women may never be depressed, and some women can have just one risk factor and suddenly find themselves on the serious end of a major depression.
What Affects Your Recovery Process Timeframe?
There are all kinds of factors to take into consideration when trying to determine how long you’ll suffer from PPD/A such as:
- PPD/A case severity
- How long it took to get help
- History of depression and anxiety
- What home atmosphere is like
- Amount of support being given
- Dedication to treatments and self-care methods
There’s a universal idea that PPD/A is over by the time the baby is a year-old.
And, there’s very little research on this issue, but what is known is that the symptoms are persistent even as a child ages.
That’s not to say a person with PPD/A isn’t ever going to feel normal.
However, it’s important to understand that these feelings will come and go, but that they may be persistent for quite some time.
You can check out an article from Scientific American about how postpartum depression should be noted as being maternal depression to eliminate the thought that only mothers who have young babies deal with these mood disorders. Read this here.
Understanding PPD/A Symptoms & How Long They Can Last
It’s extremely important – regardless of how long the symptoms last – that the symptoms get better.
And, that’s only done by getting the right kind of help and treatment.
What can help you to lessen the degree and time of your PPD/A symptoms?
Recognize them and ensure you get help right away:
- Do some self-care exercises
- Attend support groups
- Talk with your doctor about possible prescription medications
- Have a support system in place – partner, parents, friends, etc.
- Get involved with private counseling sessions
When you have PPD/A, it may feel like you’re never going to get better – than the journey is never going to end.
However, you need to understand that you must look deep inside yourself and develop a support system that will help you to overcome them.
Most importantly, you need to be nice to yourself!
Look at the PPD/A period as a chance to explore yourself.
Thomas Moore authored “Dark Nights of the Soul” and tried to re-frame depression as a point of the self-reflecting journey, allowing a person to make amazing discoveries about one another and who they will be destined to become.
PPD/A is a time when you’ll experience a major transformation, and it’s quite possible that there’s a positive aspect to it all.
Women with PPD/A have been quoted as saying the condition has allowed to be stronger and get in touch with themselves deep inside – to focus, convictions and desires.
It can be difficult to see the light when you’re deep into depression.
However, you need to understand that there’s more for you to see and experience.
The world really is a beautiful place to be.
Nearly 80 percent of all new moms will experience baby blues, which is a kind of depression that starts shortly after the baby’s delivery and lasts up to two weeks.
Any symptoms that begin six weeks or longer after the birth is mostly like to be postpartum depression.
PPD affects up to 20 percent of all new moms.
Besides the symptoms that mimic baby blues – anxiety and weepiness – you may also be short-tempered and moody.
It’s not uncommon for PPD sufferers to lack the will to eat or sleep.
Some sufferers are inflicted with panic attacks.
A number of women are unable to properly care for their child. And, some women have reported they were suicidal or had thoughts of harming their baby.
The Real Underlying Issue With PPD
The real problem with PPD is the lack of understanding of the issue from the medical community.
Remember, it can come on at any point after a woman has given birth – immediately after the birth, days after the birth or even months after the birth.
And, many healthcare providers don’t take the condition seriously, often saying the problem is with the hormonal shifts occurring within the body along with difficulty handling being a new mother.
Another problem with new moms asking for help is society.
Society makes it harder for women to admit their having difficulties adjusting to motherhood or their baby.
And, when they do express such feelings – like rage, anger, fear, etc. – they can scare themselves and the people around them.
You can read more here about getting help and finding other women who can relate to you… you are NOT alone.