According to the American Psychological Association, postpartum depression (PPD) affects up to one in seven women. Eighty percent of women experience mild forms of depression during the first few weeks of motherhood; however, many women will experience a far more severe form of depression that will not go away on its own. The best thing for a woman to do once she begins to have signs of postpartum depression is to seek out medical assistance and develop a support system.
Some symptoms include drastic changes in appetite, uncontrollable crying, fear of being a lousy mother or of being alone with the child, lack of interest in things you used to enjoy, disinterest in the baby, sleeping too much or too little and thoughts of hurting the baby or yourself.
Many women struggle with postpartum depression because they are unaware they have it. The moment you begin to feel any symptoms, it is time to speak with a psychotherapist. PPD is a form of clinical depression, and speaking to a professional about your feelings and areas of concerns can be a tremendous sense of relief. Psychotherapy for postpartum depression varies somewhat from general treatment in that this type of therapy will begin by focusing on symptom relief.
Therapists will work with patients to give them back some control over their lives, and will also help to instill confidence in the patient by confirming their feelings are quite common and they don't need to feel ashamed. In most cases, women will not seek out psychotherapy as long-term treatment, but rather as a temporary course of action until the depression has passed. In other cases, women will continue to see a therapist to aid in other aspects of her life.