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Although for many people the birth of a child is an exciting part of life, for some it may cause adverse health outcomes. One of them is postpartum depression that can be characterized by mood swings, sleep deprivation, and anxiety. This paper discusses a patient that presented in the clinic with these symptoms. It outlines the possible treatment and therapy methods, as well as the implications of the condition.
A 28-year-old patient presented in the office three weeks after giving birth to her first son with the symptoms of postpartum depression. The woman was a single mother; she did not have a strong support system as her former partner refused to help her and her family lived in a different state. She noted that she was sleep-deprived, she felt apathetic, sad, experienced anxiety, and had a decreased appetite.
The patient reported that she was diagnosed with depression seven years ago but underwent treatment and had not had the symptoms for a long time. The woman noted that her mother also had signs of a mental disorder but never sought professional help. The patient cried while talking to me; her emotional state was poor. In addition, the woman admitted that she had thought of harming her newborn son because she felt that she was tired of taking care of him.
The typical signs of postpartum depression include the presence of sleep disorder, fatigue, crying, anxiety, changes in appetite, and feelings of inadequacy (Tharpe, Farley, & Jordan, 2017). The patient has these symptoms, which allowed for establishing the diagnosis. Drug therapy included the prescription of tricyclic antidepressants, as they do not pose risks to infants during breastfeeding (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 2018). Additional therapies included adequate nutrition with the exclusion of caffeine and herbal remedies, such as 2 cups of lemon balm tea daily (Tharpe et al., 2017).
Moreover, I advised the woman to participate in support groups’ meetings and have a scheduled time for personal care, hobbies, and favorite activities, as well as sleep. In addition, I asked the patient to try to have some time away from her child as it could improve her mental state as well. As for follow-up care measures, I suggested that the woman could document her thoughts and feelings and update me on the changes in her condition by visiting my office in two weeks. Moreover, I invited the patient to participate in an educational session on the aspects of postpartum depression.
The primary implication of the woman’s condition is that it is vital to educate individuals on its symptoms and assure them that this experience is common. Moreover, it is necessary to continue establishing support groups and psychotherapy sessions aimed to eliminate this issue. Postpartum depression may affect not only this woman but her entire family unit as the individuals close to the patient can also start experiencing emotional distress and other related symptoms. In the case of my patient, the condition may affect her relationships with her child, potentially causing a poor emotional bond and behavioral problems in the infant.
Postpartum depression is a severe condition that may affect a patient’s life significantly. It can cause individuals to feel anxious, experience mood swings and changes in appetite, and have thoughts of harming their newborn children. The management strategy for this illness can include drug therapy along with alternative remedies. It is vital to establish support groups and educational training for people having postpartum depression to decrease its incidence.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (2018). Postpartum depression. Web.
Tharpe, N. L., Farley, C., & Jordan, R. G. (2017). Clinical practice guidelines for midwifery & women’s health (5th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.