And How Talk Therapy Can Help
Throughout our life, most of us will see and hear beautiful stories of childbirth. In today’s world of social media, a picture of a perfectly posed baby alongside a glowing mother often accompanies these stories. What we don’t hear about as often, unfortunately, is the fact that some new mothers are overcome by feelings of anxiousness, depression, loneliness, or even rage after giving birth to a child. These types of feelings after childbirth are known as postpartum depression. Because stories of postpartum depression are not shared as often and openly in our society, the women suffering from it may feel completely alone and be afraid to speak up.
The truth is, they are far from alone.
According to the American Psychological Association, as many as 1 in 7 women experiences postpartum depression. Postpartum depression, sometimes called PPD for short, can occur days or even months after giving birth, and in some cases it can last for several weeks or months.
In addition to knowing and recognizing the symptoms, it is crucial for women to know they did nothing wrong, they aren’t alone, and that multiple treatment options that range from therapy to medication are available. In fact, talk therapy is often hailed as the first-line treatment to help women recover.
Postpartum Anxiety and Depression: Recognizing the Signs
If you or someone you love has recently given birth and been struggling with any of the following symptoms, consider speaking with your OB/GYN, family doctor, or a therapist about postpartum depression: fatigue, loss of interest in activities or food, guilt, anxiousness, depression, fearful or repetitive thoughts, panic attacks, mood swings, insomnia or fatigue, difficulty connecting with the baby, anger or rage.
Recognizing the signs and acknowledging that something “feels off” can help you get one step further on the road to recovery.
Overcoming Postpartum Depression Through Talk Therapy
Talk therapy is one of the most useful tools in helping women who are dealing with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. The key is finding a knowledgeable therapist who you feel comfortable discussing intimate thoughts and feelings with on a regular basis.
The goal of postpartum therapy is for you to find a safe, nurturing environment where you can gain insight into where these feelings are coming from and which tools and techniques can help you cope. Your therapist may help you learn how to change your perspective on your environment and current situation, as well as help you alter current habits so you start feeling better.
When speaking with a therapist about postpartum depression, you will explore a variety of topics. These may include how you are currently feeling physically and mentally; your current behaviors; how your life has changed and your feelings toward these changes; and your personal history that will provide a therapist with greater insight about your life prior to the baby.
Which Postpartum Anxiety Therapy Approach is Right for You?
Studies and research have shown that numerous therapy techniques are effective for someone dealing with postpartum depression. Let’s take a closer look at three options to consider:
Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT): With CBT, you and your therapist will work to discover negative patterns of thinking about yourself and the world around you. These patterns will then be challenged in order to eliminate these behaviors and replace them with healthier behaviors, thoughts, and emotions.
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): In IPT, you and your therapist will focus more on your social roles and relationships, examining any conflict or significant life/role changes. In this type of therapy, you will identify problems, learn how to express your emotions in a healthier way, and use certain techniques and skills to improve your relationship with those around you.
Couple’s Therapy: Couple’s therapy is a great option when both partners are willing, and recognize the enormous stress both pregnancy and postpartum depression or anxiety can put on a relationship. In this type of therapy, both parties will feel supported and can work through a variety of issues together including communication, parenting techniques, role changes, and how to strengthen a relationship that is in the midst of a new life season.
Speaking with a therapist during this difficult time can help you feel better and more hopeful about the future ahead of you. Talking openly about your feelings in a safe environment is a crucial step in your recovery. Just remember to be patient with the process, and be honest about how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. Armed with the right support and therapy options, you will begin to feel better.
Learn more about postpartum depression and anxiety therapy options at www.lightmindcounseling.com