What is postnatal depression?
Postnatal depression is a type of depression that parents can experience after having a baby. While it mostly affects mothers, it can also affect partners and fathers too.
If you think you’re suffering from postnatal depression, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible because the symptoms can have a significant impact on you and your baby. With the right treatment, most people are able to make a full recovery.
What are the symptoms of postnatal depression?
- Persistent feeling of sadness or low mood
- Loss of interest in the world around you and no longer enjoying things
- Lack of energy and feeling tired all the time
- Feeling that you are unable to look after your baby
- Problems concentrating and making decisions
- Loss of appetite or increased appetite
- Feelings of guilt, hopelessness and self-blame
- Difficulty bonding with your baby with a feeling of indifference and no sense of enjoyment in his or her company
- Frightening thoughts such as wishing to hurt your baby. These can be very scary and disturbing but they are rarely acted upon
- Thinking about self-harm and suicide
Treatment for postnatal depression
Therapy is usually recommended for postnatal depression. However, if your symptoms of depression are severe, it might also be helpful to consider antidepressant medication. If you think that you or a loved one is suffering from postnatal depression, please get advice from your GP.
Following your initial assessment, we will match you with a psychologist we believe can best support your needs. Your psychologist is likely to work closely with your GP and family to ensure that you have the most appropriate care package to meet both your needs and the needs of your baby.
Frequently asked questions
When should I get help for postnatal depression?
Having a baby can be a challenging experience and it can sometimes bring up experiences and memories from our early life. But just because you are struggling with becoming a parent doesn’t necessarily mean that you have postnatal depression.
Some of the most common signs of postnatal depression are: difficulties sleeping, lack of energy, feeling low in mood and tearful a lot of the time… Likewise, it is important that you seek help if you are noticing that you don’t feel attached to your baby in the way that you expected to before they were born and if you are no longer finding enjoyment in the things that once gave you pleasure.
What are the best treatments?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) and Schema Therapy are generally the most effective treatments for postnatal depression.