The time following birth is normally filled with anticipation and joy over getting to know the new family member.
For women that experience this horrible illness it is a time of worry, misery and hopelessness.
It is important to recognize and deal with this type of depression as soon as possible.
Recognizing postpartum depression is probably the biggest hurdle to overcome when facing this disease.
Many women have what is called the baby blues a few days after giving birth.
It is a mixture of anxiety and feeling blue in the days following birth.
Many women experience this mood swing and it is considered normal.
However, if the depressed mood continues for more than two weeks it could be something more.
Some women mistake the depression and anxiety for the baby blues.
Others may feel that they are a failure as a mom and think that the depressed feelings are a result of that failure.
A new baby brings about a lot of change so many women feel that they are not coping with the change well.
In any case, the longer the problem goes untreated the worse it gets.
Symptoms of postpartum depression include loss of interest in previously interesting activities, hopelessness for the future, loss of appetite or a gain in appetite and a change in sleep habits.
Some women may not bond with the baby or may feel that the baby is the cause of the bad feelings.
Some women will find it hard to sleep while others may sleep excessively.
Thoughts of suicide are common as well.
If these symptoms last for more than two weeks, the mothers doctor should be notified.
Treatments vary depending on each individual situation.
Medication such as antidepressants and tranquilizers may be used in mothers that are not nursing.
Counseling may be in order as well and helps women understand what is happening and how to deal with it.
Many times both medicine and counseling are used.
Most women respond well to treatment although recovery can be a long road.
Postpartum depression is a serious condition that requires treatment in one form or another.
The sooner it is diagnosed the the better.
Untreated depression usually only gets worse and recovery is greatly lengthened.
The good news is that it is treatable and most women are able to take care of the little one with much more joy afterward.