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Escaping the Pain of Postpartum Depression

            When Carla, a twenty-six-year-old mother, experienced mild sadness after the birth of her first child, she thought nothing of it because she felt complete relief after several weeks; however after her second pregnancy she experienced a more severe form of unhappiness. Two months passed while Carla was dwelling on her feeling of how awful a mother she was. This is an account similar to that of many other mothers who have lived through postpartum depression, described in Linda Sebastian's book Overcoming Postpartum Depression and Anxiety (45). Carla and the many women just like her who encounter misery after delivery make postpartum depression an evident issue.
             Diagnosing a woman with postpartum depression can sometimes be a difficult task. Due to the confusing explanation in the DSM-IV TR(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fourth edition text revision), written by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), defining the criteria for postpartum depression can be difficult because of the fact that it can pertain to many other depressive disorders. The following disorders share some of the same symptoms with postpartum depression: Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, Major Depressive, Manic Depressive, Mixed Episode of a Depressive Disorder, or Brief Psychotic Disorder. In contrast, a unique fact of postpartum depression is that the event occurs inside a four week period after the birth of a child (386). Another mind-boggling actuality is there are three different stages to this disorder. Postpartum blues, which many people refer to as the "baby blues," is the first. Jane E. Allen, author of "Beyond the Normal Baby Blues," talked about postpartum blues being a more frequent and less severe form of postpartum depression. The blues usually last up to ten days after birth (J3). The article "If "Baby Blues" are Deep, Professional Help is Needed," written by Ridgely Ochs says postpartum blues affects more than half of women.

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