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Indicators of Post Partum Depression

Causes of postpartum depression cannot be isolated.

sadnessPost Partum depression is a form of clinical depression experienced by women following pregnancy. It is differentiated from the frequent experience of the “baby blues” by its tendency to last a month or more after the end of pregnancy and by the severity of its symptoms.

The exact causes of postpartum depression cannot be isolated. Many researchers believe that the condition is spurred by a combination of factors including genetic traits and hormonal shifts in the body. Even though we may not know exactly what causes postpartum depression, recent research has evaluated a number of factors that tend to help in predicting a subsequent case of illness.

Note that these are indicators, or predictors, not causes. Their relationship with Post Partum depression is a matter of correlation, not causation. Nonetheless, they do give us an idea of who is most likely to experience the problem.

One of the strongest predictors is experiencing depression during pregnancy. Other statistically significant indicators include a measurably low sense of self-esteem, having experienced prenatal anxiety, and suffering from other significant life stressors.

This could lead one to conclude that Post Partum depression is most likely to affect those who are already candidates for a depressive disorder or who are already manifesting some of depression’s symptoms.

Other predictors of Post Partum depression include a lack of social support and a poor marital relationship, providing some reason to consider that the nature of one’s life is a key factor. That possibility seems even more likely when one notes that research has also flagged a low socioeconomic status and being a single parent as indicators of Post Partum depression.

Does this mean that everyone with a history of mental illness who happens to be poor and/or single will invariably experience some depression after childbirth? Not at all. Again, these are only predictors – their exact relationship to the illness is impossible to discern. What can be understood, however, is that these traits seem to be present in women who experience a severe and intensified version of the “baby  blues?”

Thus, any pregnant person who sees her current situation as being consistent with those predictors may want to learn more about postnatal depression and how to deal with it effectively. There is some chance that the disorder will never appear, but a life consistent with the predictors is more likely to attract the condition and preparation can help.

In time, the exact causes of the illness may be understood. That would certainly lead to superior treatment methods. Right now, however, we are left with an understanding that many women to experience the condition and that individuals exhibiting certain tendencies and life features are more likely to suffer from it. That evidence may not unlock the secrets of the disease, but it does give us some valuable information to evaluate when considering who is likely to suffer from PPD.

Critiques of Depression Medication

The use of depression medication in the treatment of mental illness is at an all-time high.

Depression MedicationThere is no reason to believe it will decline in the foreseeable future either. Depression diagnosed with increased frequency and antidepressants are the most popular means of treating the disorder. Antidepressants are extremely popularly. There are those, however, who are against using depression medication.

Some argue that the research support the effectiveness of the pharmaceuticals is over influenced by the financial interests of large pharmaceutical companies. They maintain that any statement of depression medication effectiveness should be disregarded because of the corrupt nature of the medical industry. Some may temper that perspective, arguing instead that the effectiveness of the pills is heavily overstated and over prescribed.

There are strong arguments to be made that the medical-governmental-industrial complex tends to be self-perpetuating and may not always have the greater good at the forefront. However, the wholesale rejection of available evidence based on bias is not particularly compelling to most analysts.

Even those who think less conspiratorially may oppose the use of depression medication. One common argument raised by objectors is that the medicines do not get at the root of the disease and instead act merely to mask its symptoms. They may state that it will be more difficult curing the disease and eliminating its triggers by masking the effects. They recommend therapy-based treatment programs to get to “the heart of the problem” instead of treating the issue with medication.

Others maintain that depression medication is simply too mysterious to be embraced. They argue that no one truly understands why the medications work and that, thus, there is reason to be concerned about what they may be doing to the mind of the patient. It is true that no one truly understands exactly why all antidepressants tend to produce the results they do. However, scientific research is beginning to reach more solid conclusions, which may render this objection outdated, in the near future.

Others opposed to the use of antidepressants base their arguments on religious beliefs or assessments of the severity of potential side effects associated with the use of drugs.

Critics of antidepressants offer alternative means of treatment. They often support aggressive therapy-based solutions, the use of improved nutrition and other acts in order to fight off the symptoms of a depressive disorder. Many advocate non-traditional treatment methods or more ancient practices designed to improve mental health.Healing in Present Moment

Despite a large chorus of detractors, however, the use of antidepressants continues unabated. The best available scientific evidence indicates that they are among the most successful treatment options, and doctors are prescribing the medications in increasing numbers every day. It would appear as though there is little likelihood that, in the near future, critics will restrict the use of depression medication.