Postpartum depression (PPD) can cause debilitating mental health symptoms. Increased awareness of PPD can lead to optimal treatment. Experienced psychiatric nurse practitioner Andrea D. Skrocki, NP, provides both education and compassionate mental health support to adult patients throughout Colorado via virtual telehealth visits.
Today’s blog covers 5 things every woman should know about postpartum depression.
“Baby blues” is a common term that many women hear when they’re struggling with their emotions shortly after giving birth. It’s not unusual to feel a bit sad, melancholy, or empty after birth, no matter how much you love your baby. Up to 80% of women have baby blues, but those feelings usually fade within two weeks.
PPD is a mental health disorder that affects your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It significantly interferes with your daily life in a way that baby blues does not. PPD may make you feel disconnected, tired, angry, hopeless, or frightened of harming yourself or your baby.
One major misconception about PPD is that it always starts after giving birth. While that’s the case for many women, it’s not unusual to experience symptoms while you’re still pregnant. In fact, PPD is sometimes referred to as peripartum depression to recognize this fact.
Many women feel guilty and angry at themselves when they learn they have PPD — but, you should never feel that way over something you did not cause. PPD isn’t your fault, and it doesn’t mean that you’re weak or a bad person. You’re still the same unique and special person you’ve always been, but you’re dealing with a treatable mental health disorder.
PPD is a complex disorder that likely has biological, environmental, and social causes that experts are still working to unravel and truly understand. Fortunately, understanding of PPD is increasing every day.
PPD symptoms can fluctuate over time, but, for most women, they don’t go away spontaneously. In fact, a long-term study reported by the National Institutes of Health showed that about 5% of women experienced severe PPD symptoms even three years after giving birth.
Treatment can disrupt the trajectory of your PPD and save you months, years, or a lifetime of frustrating symptoms.
PPD treatment options are constantly evolving and improving, so there is no reason to suffer any longer. As an experienced psychiatric nurse practitioner, Andrea specializes in medication management tailored to your needs.
Medications, such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs, are typically very successful in treating PPD. Andrea considers every aspect of your health and lifestyle (including breastfeeding) to find the ideal medication for you.
Medication management can help you return to feeling like yourself, allow you to connect with your baby, and greatly improve your quality of life.
Andrea usually recommends psychotherapy alongside medication management to give you a full understanding of your PPD and how you can overcome your symptoms.
If you’re struggling after having a baby, you’re not alone, and you don’t have to suffer in silence. With Andrea’s extensive PPD expertise, she provides the personalized support you need to understand and overcome PPD. Call Andrea’s office or book your appointment through online scheduling now.
Andrea offers mostly telepsych visits but does have an office in Glendale, CO.