The team of psychologists and gynecologists at Paras Bliss successfully treated a 28 yrs old woman for Post Pregnancy Depression. Suneeta had just had her first child and a little stressed about giving birth and how the same would affect her life. Though she showed no signs of depression at birth, the symptoms began to flare up post 2 months of delivery.
According to Dr. Ruchika Sharma Das, Consultant Psychology, and Psychotherapy at Paras Bliss Hospital, “Post Pregnancy Depression is a common issue. However, it becomes hard to notice the symptoms and most importantly distinguish it from the normal stress, exhaustion of new parenthood. Suneeta’s husband shared that her attitude was changing towards the baby and she used to avoid feeding the child or holding it. Her bond with her baby was becoming weak and she would often miss out on important aspects associated with the baby’s care. She not only became distant with her baby but also became exceptionally isolated from her family. In the beginning her family thought that it is just a change in attitude due to the new baby’s birth, however, when the arguments became a routine affair, he decided to seek professional help.”
Initially, Suneeta denied speaking to any specialist and made it clear to her husband that she is not facing any issue. However, the proactive and persistent attitude of her husband succeeded in convincing her to see a psychologist in Paras Bliss. Dr. Ruchika shares, “She denied feeling averse to her child but on little pressure, she confided that she blamed her baby for a number of changes in her life. Her controlled and restricted lifestyle, the constant need for caring and the sleepless nights. We made her understand the cycle of motherhood and simply asked her to open her heart and talk. Psychotherapy is associated with treating the patient by counseling and introspection and not making the patient go to any medical management.”
Suneeta responded well to the psychotherapy sessions that included accepting that she had an issue, understanding the reasons for her frustration and facing the reality. The most important aspect was formulating solutions herself for the issue at hand. “It is critical that the patient not just accepts but also becomes a part of the solution. Until this doesn’t happen, the patient shall always blame others for their issues and not work to make their situation better. Remember this is a mental issue and on numerous occasions, the issues are also in the minds of the patients only.”
Today Suneeta after 2 months of rigorous sessions understands the gaps and has come back to her earlier self. She shares, “I felt as if there was a maze in which I was trapped and there was no escape from the troubles that I was facing. The birth of a baby changes numerous facets of your life. It is important that you are mentally strong to accept the changes and align yourself. I am thankful to my family and my husband that supported me in this ordeal.”
Dr. Ruchika shares, “Post Partum or Post Pregnancy Depression usually begins post 2 or 3 months of the delivery. The usual signs and symptoms associated with the ailment are difficulty sleeping, appetite changes, excessive fatigue, decreased libido, and frequent mood changes. However, these are also accompanied by other symptoms of major depression, which are not normal after childbirth, and may include depressed mood; loss of pleasure; feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and helplessness; thoughts of death or suicide or thoughts or hurting someone else. It is important to recognize these signs and consult a specialist at the earliest. In India more than 40% of the women post-pregnancy experience depression, hence it is nothing to be afraid or ashamed of. However, ignoring the symptoms may complicate the issues.”