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Postpartum Depression : Causes, Treatments, and Prevention

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a disease that has become well known in the past seven years.There has been a great deal of media coverage about this disorder in cases such as the Andrea Yates murder trial in Texas.Yates, a mother of five, murdered her children (ranging in ages from six months to seven years) for seemingly, no apparent reason.However, was this murder or just the severe effects of a woman suffering from postpartum depression?This paper will try to explain the causes, effects, treatments, and prevention of postpartum depression as well as give these writer's views on the subject.
Postpartum depression is defined by Ford-Martin as a mood disorder that begins after childbirth and usually lasts at least six weeks.It affects roughly 15% of all childbearing women.Although its causes are unknown, postpartum depression is speculated to be caused by a number of factors that are different from woman to woman.One main factor may be the drastic hormone changes during and immediately following a pregnancy.This, however, should not be confused with the "baby blues" which typically dissipates within thefirst ten days following the delivery.On the other hand, postpartum depression persists long after this ten-day period and is or can be accompanied by mood swings, loss of concentration, sadness, loss of appetite, ordifficulty sleeping.Women with symptoms of postpartum depression also worry about hurting themselves, others, or even their newborn baby.
Remember, postpartum depression is a disease like any other.Therefore, there are some environmental and personal history factors that may be involved in predicting if a woman may actually be predisposed to getting this disease.Factors such as a terrible marriage, severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS), depression that is unrelated to the pregnancy, a stress-filled life during or after the pregnancy, or previous incidents of postpartum depression …

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