My son is now 11 years old, but I still remember how hard those early months were. Everyone always told me that nothing could prepare you for life with a new baby, especially emotionally, and boy was that true. What surprised me the most was how truly hard everything seemed to be – and in reality, it was. Luckily, I had a wonderful support system and a doctor who diagnosed me quickly with postpartum depression (PPD). PPD goes beyond the blues that many woman experience after giving birth. PPD can last weeks, months and sometimes never really goes away, if left untreated. Continue reading “6 Tips to Help With Postpartum Blues”
In this installment of our series on stress, we are going to look at how stress affects depression, and how a natural approach to dealing with depression can be beneficial.
Depression is very serious, and in no way is the following information meant to be diagnostic, or encourage self-medicating. If you think you are dealing with depression of any kind, please consult with a professional to discuss your options.
Stress is a factor in many illnesses. In fact, it is estimated that 75-90% of visits to the doctor are related to stress – either acutely or because of chronic problems associated with stress. It is also believed that nearly 75% of the diseases prevalent in Western society are related to the stress mechanisms of the body.
Chronic exposure to stress results in chronic engagement of the fight-or-flight mechanism (increased blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, blood shunted away from the digestive system, increase in stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine). Studies show that physiological and psychological consequences of acute/chronic stress can persist well past the cessation of a stressful event.
The body is designed to adapt to stressors to help maintain equilibrium and healthy functioning. The stress response influences many biological and biochemical processes that begin in the brain and spread through nearly all body systems including the adrenals, thyroid, neurotransmitter systems, digestive system, and cardiovascular system. But everyone has an individual “load” that they can manage, which is why stress can express itself in a variety of symptoms throughout the body. Continue reading “Stress Series: A Natural Approach to Dealing with Depression”
Research has shown that women are not the only ones affected by postpartum depression (PPD). The study out of Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA, showed that at least 10% of men also suffer from PPD. The difference is that it seems to be situational rather than hormonal, as depression is believed to be in new mothers.
According to study co-author James Paulson, a clinical psychologist and associate professor of pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School, “If you put 100 per cent of your chips on that bet, then really, there’s nothing left that you would expect with dads. If moms are getting depressed because of hormone changes, why would dads get depressed? They don’t go through the same hormone changes – they don’t have to be pregnant, they don’t have to deliver the baby. That bias has had a lot do with what people think,” Paulson says. Continue reading “Men Suffer from Postpartum Depression, Too?”
I had Joe 10 months ago. He is my first child and he brings me so much love, joy and excitement…NOW…10 months ago it was a different story. Everyone always told me that nothing could prepare for life with a new baby, especially emotionally, and boy was that true. What surprised me the most was how truly hard everything seemed to be, and in reality it was. Luckily, I had a wonderful support system and doctor who diagnosed me quickly with Postpartum Depression (PPD). PPD goes beyond the blues that many woman experience after giving birth. PPD can last weeks, months and sometimes never really goes away if left untreated. Continue reading “Tips for the Postpartum Blues”