When we think of maternal mental health, we automatically think Postpartum Depression, and yes it is the most common type of postpartum mental health disorders. But would it surprise you to know there is a whole spectrum of disorders. They include the Baby Blues and Postpartum Stress Syndrome. Both tend to pass quickly and don't require intervention. The rest of the spectrum includes; Anxiety and Panic Disorder, Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Postpartum Depression and the least common Postpartum Psychosis. All of the later aspects of the spectrum tend to respond well to a combination of medication and talk therapy. Postpartum Psychosis will require serious swift intervention.
It is important to know if you are at risk. Talk with your partner and family members before giving birth, know the warning signs, make sure the people around you can identify the signs if you are displaying them, as you may not be thinking your clearest. Approximately 15-20% of women will find themselves on this spectrum in the weeks and months after giving birth. I was part of the 15%. I am not embarrassed, I did not cause my Postpartum Depression, it was not my choice to cry more than my baby. NO WOMAN causes a Postpartum Mental Health Disorder, it happens to you. The causes are complex. You don't have to figure out the why, you do have to be honest with the people around you and to yourself. Be brave, get help, it is not your fault. With treatment you can and will get better. You and your family can THRIVE:)