Postpartum depression shouldn't be taken lightly. Here's how to head it off at the pass.
Kendra Wilkinson, the star of reality show Kendra, recently revealed her struggles with postpartum depression, a topic she plans on covering during Season 2 of the show (premiering Sunday, March 14). "After giving birth," she told OK! magazine, "I never brushed my hair, my teeth, or took a shower. I looked in the mirror one day and was really depressed…A couple of times, I even said, 'I just have nothing to live for.'"
The baby blues: It's a condition that has been gaining greater visibility over the years and, hopefully, its inclusion on shows like Kendra will convince even more would-be and recent parents that it's something to be both watched our for and taken seriously. So how can you tell if what you're experiencing is more than just short-term blues and irritability? Kendra Wilkinson Fighting Postpartum
A form of clinical depression, some of the symptoms associated with postpartum depression include irritability, decreased appetite, difficulty concentrating, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, feelings of isolation, lack of affect, low energy levels, suicidal thoughts, low libido levels and trouble sleeping (whew!), symptoms that are the same as those associated with major depression.
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms and feel uneasy, don't assume that you're overreacting. Contact your doctor immediately. He may have you take a screening questionnaire and a blood test, so as to rule out other medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, which has been known to cause depression, fatigue and irritability. If you are suffering from postpartum depression, there are several types of antidepressant medications that are safe for breastfeeding mothers, including nortriptyline, paroxetine, and sertraline. The best way to manage the condition is through a mix of meds, talk therapy and supportive family and friends. How Can I Find The Right Pro For Me?
Be open with your support group, be that your spouse or otherwise. Explain to them what you're going through. Ask them for help where you need it. And let them know that you don't appreciate any nonconstructive comments. If you do have people in your life who are being less than helpful, feel free to lay the smack down, or give yourself some distance. How To Handle Your Partner's Health Problems