How Long Does Postpartum Depression Last?
The time period of postpartum depression varies among individuals. In general, postpartum depression can last any where from 4 weeks to 18 months. The longer postpartum lasts the more severe it is considered to be. One out of every ten women is affected by postpartum depression. It is an emotional setback or illness that occurs after a woman has delivered a child. Every postpartum case is different along with the length of time it takes to recover.
The onset of postpartum depression takes place after a woman delivers a child. One factor involved is the hormonal changes or low acids that occur in a woman's body. The trauma of birthing a child can throw off a woman's chemical balance. As a result, she may immediately feel down or low from the experience.
When a woman is preparing to bring a new life into the world, there may be both high and lows as the time approaches to deliver the child. This is because a woman could have both anticipation and anxiety about having a baby. A roller coaster of feelings can take place in some women during the pregnancy. The same feelings can lead to "the blues" for a certain period of time after the child is born.
"The Blues" as is it is called only last for about a few weeks. At this stage the woman feels down after going through the high of having a child. She drops in mood feeling worthless and insignificant. She may have crying spells and complain about the early alarm clock awakenings of a newborn. The baby blues is considered normal. The length of time for this stage of postpartum depression only lasts about 4 weeks or less.
More than Just "The Blues"
There is a more in-depth postpartum depression that last for several weeks or a few months. This level of postpartum is classified as midrange depression in women. When postpartum lasts for this length of time, it is considered more serious. When a woman reaches this point, she could exhibit symptoms such as loss of appetite, lack of motivation, self neglect, and become overly emotional.
When it is More than Postpartum Depression
There is level of postpartum depression that is very severe. It is called postpartum depression psychosis. The length of time for postpartum depression at this stage can be anything from several weeks to several months. The patient is very irritable and cranky, delusional, overreacts to situations, and may experience excessive weight loss or weight gain. A deeper problem occurs when the woman poses to be a threat to the safety and well-being of the baby, herself, and others.
Signs of Postpartum Depression Psychosis
Knowing the signs of postpartum depression at the psychosis stage is crucial. If the woman becomes dysfunctional and her emotions are compromised by delusions, it could be a matter of life or death. Cases of child abuse and neglect have been associated with severe postpartum depression. In addition, a woman can become suicidal at this stage. If professional help and treatment is given, the length of postpartum severity should not last beyond a few months.
In actuality, it is challenging to pinpoint exactly how long postpartum depression will last. As previously mentioned, each case is different and each woman's recovery rate is different. Estimates are given based on studies taken at each level of postpartum depression. The unique experiences a woman has,