Research shows that women are more susceptible to depression than men. About one in 10 women will experience symptoms of depression during their lives. Postpartum depression, which is a form of depression that develops after the birth of a child, can also be a problem for women who are pregnant.
Some women will feel tired or sad for several weeks or even months after giving birth. Others may be more severe. It is possible to feel anxious, grieving, and exhausted for months. Sometimes they can develop months after giving birth. Both are signs of Postpartum Depression.
Many people can help you or your loved ones if you have Postpartum depression. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), approximately 1 in 8 women will experience symptoms of postpartum depression.
Sometimes, postpartum women turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with their depression. A temporary escape can be found in alcohol and other drugs that have mind-altering and feel-good effects. It is only temporary. Women who use drugs to cope with negative emotions run a high chance of developing substance addiction.
Studies reveal that around 15% of women suffering from postpartum depressive disorder (and who were less than one year away from giving birth), binge drank, and nearly 9% used drugs. This rate is higher that the rate of women who did give birth but who do not suffer from postpartum depression.
What Are The Symptoms And Signs Of Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum Depression often presents with symptoms that look very similar to Major Depression. There are also lasting periods of sadness and feeling helpless. The CDC suggests that postpartum depressive symptoms may look something like the following:
- More crying than usual
- Feeling down, empty, or hopeless for a prolonged time.
- Lasting feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and grief.
- Feelings of anger, frustration, or both.
- The loss of interest and motivation in hobbies and activities.
- Withdrawal by loved ones
- A loss of energy, inability to take charge of the baby or housework.
- Feeling disconnected from the baby or feeling numb.
- Worrying about the possibility that she will harm the baby.
- Feels guilty that she is not a good mom, or doubts her ability as a caregiver for the baby.
- Problems with concentration, recalling information, and making decisions.
- Difficulty falling asleep or restlessness.
- Overeating or loss of appetite
- Suicide-related thoughts and attempts
Substance Addiction And Postpartum Depression – The Link
Depression after childbirth can be difficult. Women can resort to drugs and alcohol to deal with postpartum depression. This is self-medication. Some women suffering from postpartum Depression will resort to self-medication, such as turning to alcohol or a bottle to help them manage their negative feelings. The short-term relief of negative thoughts and feelings can be provided by drugs and alcohol. But, long-term, they can worsen symptoms of depression. This could cause women to use more of a drug or increase their exposure to it to feel better. Thus begins the addiction cycle.
Statistics clearly show that postpartum depressed women are more likely than those without depression to use substances. You may not know this, but women who have been exposed to substance abuse in the past are more likely to get it postpartum. After giving birth, between 19%-47% of women with a history of substance abuse develop symptoms of postpartum depression.
A co-occurring disorder occurs when substance abuse and postpartum Depression occur simultaneously in women. Co-occurring disorders are more common in women than they are in men. An estimated 80 percent of young women with substance addiction also suffer from a mental disorder.
Addiction And Postpartum Depression: Treatment
Postpartum Depression should not be treated by substances. It is best to seek professional help and treatment. Substance abuse can make depression worse. It is both a withdrawal symptom and a side effect of drug addiction.
Specialized treatment is needed for co-occurring disorders. Dual diagnosis is a multi-dimensional, integrated treatment that addresses both conditions- mental illness and substance use disorder. It can be done in one location and at the same time. It examines how the two disorders interact and how treatment can best be combined for the greatest chance of recovery. Women who have both disorders may not be able or willing to receive dual diagnosis treatment.
https://sandiegodetox.com/ is a leader in dual diagnoses treatment for young ladies. We are available to help you or your loved ones if they have depressive symptoms or addiction. If you or your loved one is struggling with co-occurring disorders, it’s important to treat them immediately. This will give you a better chance at a long-lasting recovery.