Case Studies On Postpartum Depression

Case Studies On Postpartum Depression-33
Additionally, it will encourage funding for researchers investigating perinatal mood disorders incidence and initiation” (Stone, 2010). Sudi, 29, is a married caucasian mother of two girls living in an affluent community in Maryland. She returned to work after 6 months and was able to balance her new role as a mother and as a business executive.

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Symptoms include low mood, anxiety, crying, irritability, insomnia, and mood lability.

Because of its commonality, it is viewed as a ‘normal’ phenomenon. At the other end of the spectrum is Postpartum psychosis, a rare illness only affecting 2 out of every 1000 women who give birth (APA, 2000).

“More than 60% of women have an onset of symptoms within the first 6 weeks postpartum, providing primary care physicians with the perfect opportunity for diagnosis” (Leopold & Zoschnick, 1995, n.p. “Multiple investigations into the etiology of postpartum depression have not reached a consensus” (Leopold & Zoschnick, 1995), hence the inclusion of it in the DSM-IV as separate category diagnostically different from Major Depression.

Biological theories suggest that deregulation of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine serve as the origin of PPD.

The connection between childbirth and psychological instability has been historically validated. In 1858, Marce’ in his Treatise on Insanity of Pregnant and Lactation Women, “linked negative emotional reactions with childbirth (Griffin Hospital, 2004).

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It was not until 1958 with the publishing of the DSM II that “Psychosis with Childbirth” was even included. In between these to extremes lie Postpartum major ,depression (PMD/PPD). PMD/PPD ranges in severity and onset can be insidious, but typically begins within the first 2-3 months postpartum. Biological factors do not create as much as a susceptibility to Postpartum mood disorders as psychological and social factors. In a controlled re-test study of psychological, environmental, and hormonal variables of Postpartum Mood Disorders, O’Hara et al. Other hormonal factors such as estrogen levels which decrease significantly in the postpartum period and regulate mood, memory, and cognition and brain function has been thought to play a major role in the onset of PPD. “The specific effects are best characterized in the dopamine system where estrogen increases dopamine turnover through the regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase, degradative enzymes, and turnover dopaminergic receptors” (Leopold & Zoschnick, 1995, n.p.). Postpartum Depression also referred to as Postpartum Major Depression (PMD), “occurs in approximately 10 percent of childbearing women and may begin anywhere between 14 hours to several months after delivery” (Epperson, 1999). Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 30(2), 180-186. PPD exhibits all the typical symptoms of depression, but is distinguished by its manifestation after the childbirth. There are three degrees of PPD that can be experienced by a woman after childbirth: 1) “baby blues” which the DSM classifies as Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood (309.0) or with Mixed Anxiety and Depressed Mood (309.28) and which resolves without significant consequences; 2) postpartum depression or Major Depressive Disorder, and; 3) postpartum psychosis, Mood Disorder with Psychotic features (296.x4) or Psychotic disorder not otherwise specified (298.9). women who give birth experience postpartum blues” (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologist, 1999). As the focus of this paper is Postpartum Depression, it is vital to differentiate the degrees of PPD. The ‘baby blues’ is characterized by mild and transient mood disturbances with an onset of 1-7 days postpartum with a peak between day 5-6 postpartum.


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