Dr. Matthew Broom, a pediatrician at Danis Pediatrics at SSM Cardinal Glennon, addresses an issue that many caregivers see.
Enjoying the sounds, color and joys of spring? So are we at Danis Pediatrics. It is a great time to get out and embrace the season. Unfortunately, many families in our community are not able to share in this, as they are affected by depression.
Depression is a common major medical problem. Maternal depression, particularly postpartum depression, can affect up to 10 to 20% of all mothers. Although the most common time to experience postpartum depression is two to three months after having the baby, patients can show symptoms for a full year after Baby is born.
This goes beyond the "baby blues" that nearly 70% of mothers experience at some point within 10 days after delivery.
Risk factors for postpartum depression include younger maternal age, single marital status, lower socioeconomic status, personal or family history of a mood disorder, depression during pregnancy, psychosocial stress, lack of social support and marital discord.
Some symptoms of depression may include sad or depressed mood, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, crying, feeling overwhelmed, poor appetite or thoughts of death or suicide. Children of depressed mothers often have more behavior problems, experience delays in social development, cognitive development and may also have attachment issues.
The good news is that depression is very treatable. The first step however lies in recognizing the problem and creating a bridge to therapy for those at risk.
As a community of patients, families, friends and providers, we can work together to help those who may be suffering internally. Let’s fight the stigma that prevents many from seeking therapy for depression, and remember to reach out and help if you see someone struggling. It can and does affect all people in every walk of life.
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