Post Natal Depression; who gets it and why?
Post Natal Depression (PND) is, as suggested by the name, a depressive illness affecting 10-15% of women after having a baby. Symptoms are similar to those in diagnosed depression, and include low mood and other struggles with functioning lasting at least two weeks. Depending on the severity, you may struggle to look after yourself and your baby, and or find simple tasks difficult.
Sometimes there is an obvious reason for PND, but not always. Some of the more obvious reasons are; a particularly difficult or traumatic birth, previous physical, emotional or sexual abuse, multiple births, previous difficult births, lack of support, difficult life events such as an illness or death of a close family member, and previous struggles with mental health and emotional wellbeing.
You can feel distressed, or guilty for feeling like this, as you expected to be happy about having a baby. However, PND can happen to anyone and it is not your fault.It's never too late to seek help. Even if you have been depressed for a while, you can get better and it doesn't always have to feel like this.
Being diagnosed with PND or thinking you might be can be very frightening, but mental health like physical health is on a sliding scale and can be significantly better or worse at given periods of our life. With some help and support you can absolutely get yourself back on track and moving more positively forward with your life and your baby.