We often talk about treating postpartum depression to prevent it from continuing on for too long. But another reason to treat postpartum depression is because, even when postpartum depression goes away, the effects of it can continue onward.
About Postpartum Depression (PPD) in the Long Term
Postpartum depression – depression that occurs after childbirth in women, related to issues like hormones, stress, lack of sleep, and other factors – occurs in some form in a lot, if not a majority, of all women. Sometimes it is just the “baby blues.” Sometimes it is considered so severe that it becomes a form of psychosis. But no matter how intense it is, many women will experience PPD after having a baby.
But most PPD will spontaneously recover. While many psychologists do recommend that you consider treatment so that you can both overcome PPD faster and potentially avoid any risk of long term postpartum that extends beyond several months, most cases of postpartum will eventually go away on their own.
Yet there’s a problem…
Postpartum depression, even after it goes away, can still have a lasting impact if it’s not addressed in therapy. That is because PPD can feel so severe and so heavy, that patients that experience it will adjust future behaviors as a result of this experience.
Some women, for example, will factor in their risk of postpartum depression when deciding if they should have another child. Other women will experience negative thoughts about their partners that occurred with PPD that will affect them for years to come. Others will look back at their time with PPD with a considerable amount of shame and regret, as they feel like they missed out on their child’s early weeks.
These are all examples of how postpartum depression, even if it goes away on its own, may not always truly go away. It can have a lasting impact, and that lasting impact is something that we try to address in therapy.
Therapy for Postpartum Depression
PPD will affect as many as 20% of all women after they give birth, and estimates put the number of women that experience the “baby blues” as more than 50%. That is a lot of women that are alone, trying to handle the emotions of PPD while also learning to care for a new baby. If you need someone to talk to, or you’d like to consider therapy, please contact our team at Long Island Counseling Services, today.