Treatment Options for Postpartum Depression

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Are you curious about the available treatment for postpartum depression

There are many treatments out there.

Once you have been screened and confirmed to have the condition, options include but are not limited to, pharmacological treatment, electroconvulsive therapy, bright light therapy, omega-3s, psychotherapy, acupuncture, and massage.

This article will provide information to those who think it might happen to them, are already diagnosed, and are people who suspect postpartum depression is the issue.

People need to receive treatment for postpartum depression not just for themselves but for their families.

Keep reading to learn about treatment for postpartum depression.

Depression Therapists in Colorado

Katherine Miller, LPCC

Katherine Miller, LPCC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Marie Whatley LPCC

Marie Whatley LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Chelsea Bruntmyer, MA, LPCC, NCC

Chelsea Bruntmyer, MA, LPCC, NCC

Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Kevin Kessell, SWC

Kevin Kessell, SWC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Melody Reynalds, LPC

Melody Reynalds, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Winnie Siwa, LPCC

Winnie Siwa, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Heather Comensky, LPC

Heather Comensky, LPC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Holly Bradbury, LPC

Holly Bradbury, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021

Screening

Another option for treatment for postpartum depression, which has been proven effective and safe, is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

Now, this medical procedure is used with major depression where antidepressants have proven to be treatment refractory.

ECT causes a brief seizure through a mild electric current under anesthesia.

The anesthesia is important to cancel out discomfort the procedure would otherwise cause.

Before ECT you may have an electrocardiogram; imaging tests on your spine, brain, and skull; and/or urine and blood tests.

ECT is often portrayed inaccurately in television shows and movies, therefore please do not base your potential experience on what you have seen in them!

There is bright light therapy, an attractive option because risks to the nursing infant have not been found.

It was first introduced to treat the seasonal affective disorder.

In studies, those with postpartum depression showed serious improvement over time in their depressive symptoms.

Omega-3 is found in fish oil, and participants involved in a study where they took it experienced a significant decrease in their symptoms. 

Pharmacological Treatment

A healthcare professional and yourself may agree that pharmacological treatment is appropriate.

In this case, antidepressants would be prescribed.

Common antidepressants used for the treatment of postpartum depression include tricyclic antidepressants, serotonin, and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

The reason for antidepressants would be to regulate your mood by balancing your brain's chemicals.

If you feel frustrated while on medication, remember that it takes many antidepressants at least three or four weeks to work.

Other medicines may be needed as well.

For example, if your depression includes anxiety, then you may want to take antianxiety medicine.

If you breastfeed, medicine will enter your breastmilk.

However, it's generally a low amount of the medicine that transfers, and members of the medical community find several antidepressants to be safe.


Electroconvulsive Therapy, Bright Lights & Omega-3's

Another option for treatment for postpartum depression, which has been proven effective and safe, is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). 

Now, this medical procedure is used with major depression where antidepressants have proven to be treatment refractory. 

ECT causes a brief seizure through a mild electric current under anesthesia. 

The anesthesia is important to cancel out discomfort the procedure would otherwise cause. 

Before ECT you may have an electrocardiogram; imaging tests on your spine, brain and skull; and/or urine and blood tests. 

ECT is often portrayed inaccurately in television shows and movies, therefore please do not base your potential experience on what you have seen in them! 

There is bright light therapy, an attractive option because risks to the nursing infant have not been found. 

It was first introduced to treat seasonal affective disorder. 

In studies those with postpartum depression showed serious improvement over time with their depressive symptoms. 

Omega-3 is found in fish oil, and participants involved in a study where they took it experienced a significant decrease with their symptoms.


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Psychotherapy, Acupuncture & Massage

Talking is crucial, and that's where psychotherapy comes into treatment for postpartum depression.

One might find cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to be useful.

This type of therapy focuses on altering emotions and behaviors that cause the individual's problems.

CBT addresses and questions the thoughts behind those emotions and behaviors.

Interpersonal therapy is also an option. Whilst generally short-term is focuses on an individual's relationships.

Acupuncture is when a practitioner inserts and manipulates needles into various points of the body.

It can reduce depressive symptoms. A person wishing to try acupuncture needs to ensure that the acupuncturist has experience with postpartum depression to get the best possible care and hopefully avoid adverse reactions.

It has been found that massages have significantly improved depression in recipients.

Even infants can get massages, which would be especially helpful if the mother has been unable to care for them because of postpartum depression.

Through massages, infants have been able to improve their sleep patterns and crying habits.



What if I Don't Treat It?

If you elect to not treat your postpartum depression, then it can be dangerous.

Untreated postpartum depression will not only affect you, but those around you, and of course your baby.

Untreated individuals may have thoughts of hurting themselves, believe they can't care for the baby or themselves, are moody, lack energy, and might not be able to make decisions or focus.

Many people unfortunately turn to substances for symptom management. Examples of these substances are alcohol, cannabis, and opiates.

You may also find you don't establish a connection with your baby and can't bond with them.

Postpartum depression may lead you to neglect your baby's overall care, including pediatrician visits.

They could have social-emotional problems and developmental delays. This is why it is important to seek professional help!

Conclusion

We hope this article has helped you navigate options leading to treatment for postpartum depression.

There is a wealth of treatment options in existence, and it is not limited to what has been mentioned here.

We would be here all day if we went over everything that has proven to be effective.

Again, seeing a healthcare professional is the first step to treatment. If you think you have this condition, don't delay treatment.

It is what you need to do not just for yourself but for your new family member.

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June 17th, 2024

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