Mental illnesses are not dependent upon any outside life conditions or events. Somehow I let that lesson slip after the birth of my daughter, despite having dealt with depression and anxiety for most of my life. Knowing I was susceptible and thinking that I knew what to look out for still didn’t keep me from missing the signs of PPD. At first, I tried to reason my depression and anxiety away. If you’ve ever tried that tactic, you know it doesn’t work.
Postpartum depression (PPD) and postpartum anxiety (PPA) don’t have qualifiers like how well your birth went or whether or not you have an “easy” baby. While difficult births, limited support, a history of depression, and even having more than one child contribute to risk factors, PPD can happen to anyone. It’s thought that at least 1 in 7 moms will have PPD. PPD symptoms can affect men too, 1 in 10 will experience depression before or after the birth of a baby.
Adoptive parents are also at risk for post-adoption depression. There are also other postpartum conditions that are being more understood such as postpartum psychosis (PPP), postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder (PPOCD), and postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PPTSD). Not one of these parents did anything to cause their depression and they are no less loving to their babies. Seeking help is just another sign that they, that we, care deeply for our children.
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