The arrival of a new baby can be absolutely wonderful, but many women struggle with post-natal depression. The fact that everyone seems to be telling them how happy they should feel when they can’t shake their sad mood just makes the situation that much worse. “I cried for weeks after my baby was born and nobody warned me that would happen” says a friend of Dr Becky Spelman our clinical director.
If you feel that you might be suffering from post-natal depression, there is absolutely no need to be ashamed, or to resist reaching out for help. As many as one in ten women suffer from the recognised condition, across the whole spectrum of ages and ethnic backgrounds. It usually develops during the first six weeks or so after the baby is born, but can even come on at any time during the first six months.
While it’s completely normal to feel a little overwhelmed at first, if you find that mood swings, irritability, difficulty sleeping and other distressing symptoms persist after the first few weeks of the baby’s life, you might have post-natal depression, especially if you have been bothered by feelings of hopelessness and the inability to enjoy things that usually cheer you up. This is the point at which it might be a good idea to reach out for help, because help is very much available, and there is absolutely no need for you to suffer on your own. Most women with post-natal depression recover very quickly with the right sort of support.
Treatment for post natal depression
While medication can be useful in the very short term, the most effective treatment for post-natal depression is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This helps by providing you with proven strategies to start managing your thoughts and responses to the things happening around you in a more positive, useful way. Rather than denying the difficult emotions you are dealing with, CBT can help you to acknowledge them and then work towards creating a happier, healthier way of moving through this difficult period of your life.
If you would like to talk to someone about counselling or therapy for post-natal depression, please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 020 81507563 or book online by clicking below: