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Getting Out of the Black Pit of Depression

Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore, avoid undue elation in prosperity,
or undue depression in adversity.
– Socrates

Every single day, Cindy (not her real name) felt utter, total despair that could be compared with the kind desperation that drove the famous grunge band singer Kurt Cobain to commit suicide. According to Cindy, she was only 23 years old when she got married and had a baby early in the marriage. She said that the first time she held her baby, she did not feel the joy and excitement that were usually felt by first-time mothers. In fact, she said that she felt numb… as if she was stuck in a proverbial black hole. She could not explain the sadness that she felt. Even if she was afraid to admit it, deep inside, she did not feel that she wanted to take care of her baby. Her emotional instability strained her relationship with her husband, family, and friends. She tried to hide it from her husband but she felt really miserable about her situation as a new bride and new mother. To make it worse, she felt guilty about having all those melancholic feelings. The medicines she took to alleviate her sadness did not work. She suffered side-effects like nausea, migraine headaches, muscle spasms, and cramps.

Upon the prodding of her husband and family, she went to another doctor who gave her a complete examination. Unlike the usual medical check-up, the doctor spent more time speaking with Cindy about how she felt and though about her new situation as a young mother. After some time, the doctor finally identified what was wrong with Cindy. He said that Cindy was suffering from Postpartum Depression.

Beyond the Blues

Postpartum Depression (PD) is caused by a number of factors that vary from individual to individual. First-time mothers experience some degree of depression during the first weeks after birth. This happens when hormonal changes takes place and affects the emotions. Experiences may vary but some of the most common symptoms of PD are:

l anxiety panic attack
l persistent low mood
l helplessness
l exhaustion
l insomnia
l not eating or overeating
l inability to cope with routine task
l withdrawal from the outside world

Coping with Post-Partum Depression

Postpartum Depression (PD) cannot be determined through a simple diagnostic test. It takes a lot of experience to know if a woman is suffering from PD. The key is to convince the woman to undergo a treatment method or therapy such as counseling, group sessions, and psychotherapy. Alternative therapies such as constitutional homeopathy and acupuncture also work for some women.

Being a new mother could be very stressful for the few months but it won’t last forever. In addition, to the available medications and therapies, here are more useful tips to cope with postpartum depression:

l Make your day as simple as possible. Don’t do heavy tasks that leave you feeling so exhausted.
l Avoid undue pressures.
l Involve your partner in taking care of the baby.
l Divide the household chores between you and your partner.
l Get some sleep or rest when the baby is sleeping.
l Schedule some time out to go to the park. Have a picnic or watch a good movie.
l Have a good time with your best friend or group of friends.
l Have a good laugh.
l Get some exercise.

With enough love and support from your husband, family, and close friends — you can overcome your postpartum blues in no time.

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