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Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression services offered in Fairfax, VA

About 15% of people experience postpartum depression after they give birth to a baby. A type of mood disorder, postpartum depression causes rapid changes in mood that make it hard for you to care for yourself and your baby. The psychiatry team at Northern Virginia Psychiatric Group in Fairfax, Virginia, can diagnose and treat postpartum depression. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

Postpartum Depression Q&A

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is a type of depression that occurs after a person delivers a baby. It’s not uncommon to feel sad and weepy following the birth of your baby. That is called the “baby blues” and lasts a few days after birth. 

But with postpartum depression, the sadness continues for two or more weeks. This type of depression is a serious mood disorder that affects brain function, interfering with how you think, feel, and behave. 

Anyone struggling with feelings of sadness or hopelessness after giving birth needs to get help from the team at Northern Virginia Psychiatric Group.

What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression symptoms vary. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Ongoing feelings of sadness and despair
  • Hopelessness or helplessness
  • Feeling guilty
  • Difficulty taking care of yourself and your baby
  • Excessive worrying
  • Anxiety
  • Inability to sleep
  • Wanting to sleep all the time
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Lack of interest in your baby
  • Feeling anxiety around your baby
  • Feeling like you don’t want your baby

Many people with postpartum depression may fear getting help because of their symptoms and their belief that they’re a bad parent. But postpartum depression is common and treatable. 

What causes postpartum depression?

Researchers are still trying to understand what causes postpartum depression but theorize it develops because of hormonal changes. During pregnancy, your estrogen and progesterone levels are highly elevated. Within 24 hours after giving birth, your hormones drop back to pre-pregnancy numbers.

That sudden change in hormone levels may trigger depression. Thyroid hormone levels also decrease after giving birth. Your thyroid hormones regulate your metabolism (how your body uses food for energy), and low levels may cause depression symptoms.

What are the treatments for postpartum depression?

The team at Northern Virginia Psychiatric Group performs a comprehensive evaluation when you come in with concerns about postpartum depression to customize your care.

Treatment for postpartum depression may include:

Medication management

Medication management is a service the team at Northern Virginia Psychiatric Group offers to help you get the right medication to manage your symptoms. For postpartum depression, the team may recommend antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs.

Psychotherapy

During psychotherapy, you meet with a professional who helps you understand your depression and develop techniques to improve how you feel.

Family counseling

Northern Virginia Psychiatric Group may recommend family counseling to help your loved ones understand what you’re going through. That helps you get the support you need at home.

Postpartum depression is a serious mental health condition. Call Northern Virginia Psychiatric Group or schedule an appointment online today.

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