Epidemiology Of Postnatal Depression

Epidemiology Of Postnatal Depression

Epidemiology Of Postnatal Depression

Postnatal depression, also known as postnatal depression, is a form of depression that occurs in the days, weeks or months after childbirth. It can have profound effects on parents, infants and wider family. The prevalence of postnatal depression has been estimated in recently delivered women at between 10 and 15 percent internationally, though far fewer women than this receive treatment. Identifying postnatal depression is a key concern for maternal healthcare professionals. Depression, as a mental health disorder, is defined as persistent feelings of sadness that interfere with daily functioning. Depression is a continuum of mood disorders that include major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, psychotic depression, postpartum depression, and seasonal affective disorder. A related disorder, biopolar disorder, includes extreme mood swings that cycle from depressive to maniac states. Females outnumber males in major depressive disorders at a ratio of 2:1 during a woman’s childbearing years. However, both prior to puberty and after menopause, rates of depressive disorders between males and females are similar.Epidemiology Of Postnatal Depression

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Postnatal depression can affect women in different ways. The symptoms can begin soon after the birth and last for several months. Approximately half of all cases of postnatal depression start within the first three-and-three-quarters months within the first six months after childbirth. There is some evidence to suggest that its initial onset may occur beyond six months postnatal and extend well past one year. Symptoms fall into three groups: physical, psychological, and behavioral. Physiological symptoms include difficulty sleeping, low mood for prolonged periods of time (i.e., a week or more); tearfulness; and physical signs of tension, such as panic attacks, headaches, stomach pains, or blurred vision. A mother’s psychological symptoms can include lack of interest in herself and the new baby; difficulty concentrating; lack of motivation; feeling trapped, lonely, guilty, rejected, or inadequate; and feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope. Finally, behavioral symptoms may include irritability and becoming withdrawn.Epidemiology Of Postnatal Depression

Postnatal depression can be distinguished from baby or maternity blues, which have milder symptoms, such as feeling sad, anxious, or overwhelmed, having mood swings, crying spells, loss of appetite, or trouble sleeping. These usually begin a few days after birth and end within a couple of weeks without the need for treatment, though women who suffer them are at higher risk of developing postnatal depression than women who do not. Postnatal psychosis, also known as postnatal or puerperal psychosis, is a rare but very severe form of postnatal depression. It develops in about 1 or 2 out of 1,000 mothers. Symptoms can include irrational behavior, confusion, hallucinations, and delusions, as well as suicidal or psychotic thoughts. Recently, men have been increasingly identified as suffering from postnatal depression though opinion is divided as to whether their symptoms should be described as such.Epidemiology Of Postnatal Depression


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