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World mental health day!! Learn about PPD.. World mental health day!

10th of October is celebrated as world mental health day. This year's theme by world health organization is suicide prevention. Mental health is often neglected by us. Though mental illnesses are more common than diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Even today mental illness is considered a stigma in many societies. Let us talk about it openly and give help and support to those in need. Today we will talk about PPD - Postpartum depression. It is a mental illness or depression that is associated with child birth. There is total lack of awareness about its existence. Most moms suffer in silence and do not seek timely treatment. Everything happening to new mom is considered normal and she is taught to adjust to the circumstances. But PPD is real. Let us know it to fight it.. New moms often feel stressed, tired, little depressed, overwhelmed, too worried about baby, more crying, sadness, irritable etc. These are called baby blues. They occur in 50 to 85 % of women after giving birth. They are more common in first two weeks and decrease after that. This is not a mental illness and do not need medical treatment. On the other hand in moms with postpartum depression symptoms are pronounced. It occurs in 10-20 % of mothers till one year after giving birth. This is a big number that means it is much common than many of us knew. A mom with PPD feels very depressed, having difficulty sleeping, excessive crying, anger, difficulty bonding with baby, no pleasure in anything, feels no social connect to other people, feels she is inadequate to care for baby, can't concentrate, feels hopeless, eating issues, thoughts to harm herself or the baby, suicidal thoughts etc... Symptoms last longer than baby blues and they are intense. The hormones of pregnancy, difficult baby care, changing body all these combine to cause PPD. It does not mean that mother is not fit to care for the baby. It is a complication of child birth, a mental disease. It is not in her control. First time moms, one who has family history of mood disorder, past history of PPD, depression in this pregnancy, adverse baby health, death of baby, marital problems, lack of social support, traumatic event in family are more likely to suffer from PPD. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms first ask for more help. Talk to your gynecologist or psychiatrist about it. Ask for help from husband or parents for baby care. Let household chores be left undone. Rest more and bond more with the baby. Psychiatrist will offer counseling and antidepressant medication. It is treatable and patients feel better within a month with treatment. If not treated it can last for many months or years and is harmful for both mom and baby. Happy world mental health day to all readers!!!

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