Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression

“When I had postpartum depression (PPD) with my first child, I blamed myself for feeling the way I didI felt it was my fault that I had it, that my weak character, my inability to be strong, had brought on my postpartum depression. When I began therapy for my PPD, my therapist helped me realize that I did not cause my PPD. I couldn’t have predicted it or prevented it. And I needed to forgive myself for having it”.

Every pregnant and new mother, regardless of her geographical location, race, marital status, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status should have the right to enjoy, as the World Health Organization states, the highest attainable standard of mental health. PPD is a part of it.

The average prevalence rate of non-psychotic postpartum depression based on the results of a large number of studies is 13%. Prevalence estimates are affected by the nature of the assessment method (larger estimates in studies using self-report measures) and by the length of the postpartum period under evaluation (longer periods predict high prevalence). The strongest predictors of postpartum depression were past history of psychopathology and psychological disturbance during pregnancy, poor marital relationship and low social support, and stressful life events. Finally, indicators of low social status showed a small but significant predictive relation to postpartum depression

There are many options for support: talk therapy, medication of many types, new mama groups, other support groups, friends, yoga … Bring Your Own Baby (BYOB) yoga, on yoga mat with your newborn is always an exciting experience taking you out from depression.

Its awareness of this issue which needs everybody’s attention.

~ Amir A., Humans of Depression Representative

#LetsTalkD #postpartumdepression #yoga

Remember to follow Humans of Depression on the following platforms:

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Reference:

http://www.postpartumprogress.com

Rates and risk of postpartum depression—a meta-analysis 1996, Vol. 8, No. 1 , Pages 37-54

Michael W. O’hara, and Annette M. Swain: International Review of Psychiatry

http://bloomablog.com/walk-postpartum-depression-anxiety/

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A friend in need is a friend indeed

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Remember this saying? Well, we are needed.

Not just friends, family members may also be able to lend a hand, when it comes to depression. Depression is a serious illness that should not be ignored or underestimated. Please do take it seriously and be aware that it can happen to anyone. So what COULD we do when someone we know goes through depression?

First of all, as much as we may feel urged to, we should not ask why. Basically, it is never that simple! We may find it helpful on the other hand to learn more about depression to be better equipped for the situation. We may help that person to get a check up if we suspect they are depressed, we may even need to book an appointment for him/her (if we are that close, of course).

We should not to judge or belittle their pain, even if it seems trivial to us, it is definitely not for them. Instead of guessing how depression feels, check out this article, to get an idea. It lists how fifty humans of depression describe it: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/danny-baker/depression_b_5267263.html

It might be hard at times to help, because they do their best to alienate themselves. To overcome any awkwardness that may arise, we need to remind ourselves that it is not WE that they are pushing away. It is their disconnection from the whole world that drives them further away. We could always try to minimize this gap.

We could encourage them to eat well, sleep enough, and exercise often even if it is the least of their worries.

Throughout the process, we need to be careful about warning signs of worsening conditions, such as thoughts on suicide.

We discussed this in detail in one of our earlier blogs, in the link below, so please keep it in mind: https://humansofdepression.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/suicide-ideation/

The most important thing you can do for anyone suffering from depression is to be there, which may be all they need from you!

While doing our best to help, we should not neglect ourselves. We often get carried away in other people’s pains especially if they are important to us. We need to be careful. While it is noble of us to be supportive, it will not be helpful to anyone if we lose track of our own lives. So it is essential to constantly remind ourselves to spare time for US. It is also important to not feel guilty about someone else’s depression, which is a trap caregivers often fall in.

You can help, so do your best!

Today’s blog marks the end of our detailed uptake of the different aspects of depression. We started with defining it, then we learned about its causes, which was followed by an introduction of all the signs and symptoms that happen because of it. We also delved into associations of depression such as complications, most dangerous of which being suicide. We ended with an exploration of management, which included prevention, treatment, self-help, and helping others.

The last part of our campaign, which will take part over the next 4 weeks, will be about depression in special situations. It will also include stories which may be relevant to many. So stay tuned, its going to get personal!

~ Faten B., Humans of Depression Representative

#LetsTalkD #wordsmatter #BeKind #DontJudge

Remember to follow Humans of Depression on the following platforms:

http://twitter.com/HumansofD

https://www.facebook.com/HumansofDepression

http://instagram.com/humansofdepression/

Reference:

http://chealth.canoe.ca/channel_section_details.asp?text_id=1092&channel_id=11&relation_id=27878

Prevention is Better than Cure

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It is common to check the mirror before going out, to make sure we look good. It is common to watch what we eat, to make sure our body remains healthy. But it is not common to take the time, to make sure that our mood is on the right track. Depression, as some describe it, may feel like a well of darkness. It is easier to stay away rather than slipping into it. So why don’t we all watch out for depression and try to prevent it? Is that possible?

Yes, we can always try. To prevent depression is to take care of ourselves holistically, not just our exterior.

Taking care of our bodies by eating healthy and exercising could positively affect our mood, as we learned in our last blog. Getting enough sleep is one of the important basic steps to many illnesses prevention not just depression. We can also take care of our mood by keeping our loved ones close. Finding our passions to serve as an ‘outlet’ to our stress and being thankful for what we have may also protect us from depression. We could always try avoiding blaming ourselves and focusing on having a positive attitude. It is also beneficial to have a balanced routine, to fill our time with meaningful activities whether it is work, social engagement, or fun. Getting counselling if we feel overwhelmed during times of grief, stress or low mood is another depression prevention tool.

It may seem tedious, taking care of our mood, but it is an essential step to ensure our mental well being. It may be hard at first, but making it a habit will lead to an easier sustainable good mood.

Depression is a serious illness, which we should not take lightly. It is not just being sad or lonely; it is a complex illness involving symptoms that affect our general physical and social well being, not only mental. Thus, it is imperative to learn about and be aware of depression because by reading more about it and educating ourselves, we make it easier to prevent and recognize.

Taking care of YOURSELF is important, we all owe it to ourselves!

~ Faten B., Humans of Depression Representative

#LetsTalkD #preventioniswellness #boosturmood

Remember to follow Humans of Depression on the following platforms:

http://twitter.com/HumansofD

https://www.facebook.com/HumansofDepression

http://instagram.com/humansofdepression/

Resources:

http://chealth.canoe.ca/channel_section_details.asp?text_id=6141&channel_id=11&relation_id=27878

http://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/10-key-questions-about-depression/what-is-depression.aspx

http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Depression

Food Affects Mood!

food_and_your_mood

Depression can affect ones eating habits and a common sign for depression is changes in appetite and weight. Eating healthy while being a university student can already be hard as it is, as many may not have the time to prepare healthy alternatives. I think everyone can relate, especially during exam season. As you can imagine, bad eating habits tend to intensify depression among individuals already suffering or it can lead to eating disorders such bulimia and anorexia nervosa1.

Some may have a decreased appetite and can lead to irregular eating patterns or others may have an appetite for unhealthy foods and gain weight. How do particular foods affect ones mood you ask? There are certain food items that directly affect the chemicals in your brain (neurotransmitters), eating patterns that affect blood sugar levels, which can both affect your mood levels1. This in turn can create vicious mood cycles and contribute to ones depression symptoms to reach its high.

Here are a few things to know that can help improve mood:

  • Eat regular meals, especially breakfast (having a stable intake of blood sugar levels helps stabilize your mood and can prevent those unhealthy cravings!
  • Carbohydrates (i.e., whole grains, fruits, vegetables), vitamins and minerals help the update of serotonin in the brain, lifting your mood
  • Make sure you have a balanced intake of omega 3 & 6 oil, it also helps with mood
  • Avoid crash dieting or over eating (especially very sugary foods!), it contributes to a vicious mood cycle
  • Be aware of side effects of medications, some may increase or decrease ones appetite
  • Exercise! This is the best way to stay fit and increase serotonin levels

Want more tips on healthy eating? Check out our colleagues at http://healthyu2015.blogspot.com/

~Joti, Humans of Depression Representative

Remember to follow Humans of Depression on the following platforms:

http://twitter.com/HumansofD

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http://instagram.com/humansofdepression/

References:

(1) http://www.minddisorders.com/Kau-Nu/Nutrition-and-mental-health.html.