Postpartum depressive disorder (PPD) is one of the common mental disorders; it is a disabling and treatable disorder. Although it is treatable, the whole process is not only a costly venture but also mostly goes unnoticed hence not treated. Its impacts affect the entire family, newborn development, and even marital relationships. The psychiatrists should identify the risk groups and use screening tools to detect the symptoms at an early stage. For example, at a public hospital in Sydney, Australia, the psychiatrists used a Routine Comprehensive Psychosocial Assessment (RCPA) tool to study the chances of ‘low risk’ women developing the postpartum symptoms. They used the tool on pregnant women. Preliminary results showed how ‘low risk’ women can later develop depressive symptoms postpartum. Many researchers have suggested that psychiatrists should give the perinatal screening protocols, used in detecting depressive symptoms during the postpartum period, an extension to a period over 13 weeks after delivery. This is necessary because of the persistence of the symptoms.
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A recent study on postpartum mental health has also reported on how to identify comorbid psychiatric disorders in women with PPD. A group of specialists conducted a research in justifying the above relationship and possibilities. The group did the research in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where they randomly selected 20 percent of the women who gave birth from August 2005 to December 2006. They had 245 women between the ages 16 and 50 years. They obtained a mean of 30,7 and standard deviation of 5,8; all the values had a positive-negative error. All the subjects completed the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS) and a structured psychiatric interview (MINI PLUS 5.0) that was based on DSM-IV criteria. The group did the assessment at around 8 weeks after delivery. They considered the diagnosis of PPD when all the conditions were present. The scores were as follows: greater than or equal to 13 on the EPDS and a positive MINI PLUS 5.0 diagnosis.
Forty-five women out of the 245 women fulfilled the above criteria thus qualified for the diagnosis of PPD. Of the 45 women, 42 women had at least one additional psychiatric disorder and 34 of them had at least two other psychiatric disorders. There was a significant increase in comorbidities in the PPD group, to women without PPD. Some of the comorbidities include Agoraphobia, General Anxiety Disorder, and Social Phobia. This data suggests that, for correct treatment of PPD, one has to consider both the duration and magnitude of depressive symptoms. In addition, one has to consider the presence of other associated psychopathologies, in order to choose the best therapy.
PPD and comorbid disorders have severe effects on the affected people; for instance, dysregulated infant behavior. Therefore, psychotherapists should confer different diagnosis methods to avert these cases. This is essential, as some disorders can be mood disorders, such as physical illness and abuse of substances, which psychiatrists can rule out before the diagnosis of major depressive disorder. Notably, people with depression have low life expectancy than those without depression. Again, mothers should be extremely sensitive in bringing up their children. They should be more sensitive during the first year of life than any other period of child growth and development. These infants will have low chances of developing stress, fear, and antisocial behaviors. The state of a mother can significantly affect the infant’s development. Therefore, the society should aware of the possible factors that can affect Child development.