Postpartum anxiety is a clinical condition that often goes undiagnosed. Some mothers chalk off the symptoms as just the “baby blues.” For others, the feelings range from “a little down” to a full-blown depressive disorder. And still others may dismiss their feelings as just the “normal anxiety” that comes from becoming a parent. Women experiencing anxiety or intrusive thoughts may think they are crazy, or not fit to be a mother. “There’s a lot of misinformation and miseducation around what is common and or normal in the postpartum period,” says Paige Bellenbaum, co-founder of the Motherhood Center in New York City.
Now, a series of recent studies show that, of those who suffer from postpartum anxiety, one-third had been diagnosed with depression prior to their pregnancy, one-third suffered from depression during their pregnancy, and another third developed depression after their pregnancy.
Unlike the postpartum “baby blues,” which affect 50-85 percent of women for 1-2 weeks after delivery, postpartum anxiety and depression have more severe and persistent symptoms that become intrusive to daily life for at least two weeks, but oftentimes much longer.
The symptoms of postpartum anxiety and depression include:
- Constant worry
- Feeling that something bad is going to happen
- Racing thoughts
- Disturbances of sleep and appetite
- Inability to sit still
- Physical symptoms like dizziness, hot flashes, and nausea
Treatment options for postpartum depression often include:
- Antidepressant medications
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Interpersonal therapy
- Psychodynamic therapy
- Light therapy
- Exercise, yoga and meditation
- Ketamine infusions
Ketamine infusions are a great option for postpartum depression and anxiety. In a clinical study, 12 participants with major depression symptoms were given IV ketamine infusions 3x/week. 5 of the 12 participants were given maintenance infusions on a weekly basis for another 4 weeks. All 5 noted a marked improvement to their depression symptoms. Because postpartum mental health conditions are generally short-lived, one series of ketamine infusions may be all a patient needs to pull through the darkness and back into the light.
Elev8 MD Wellness Center offers a wide variety of treatments for those suffering from depression or anxiety. Our treatment options range from psychotherapy and ketamine infusions to reiki, acupuncture, massage and IV hydration therapy. Contact our Charlotte, NC wellness center today and let us know how we can meet your health and wellness needs.