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Can Post-Partum Depression Lead to Addiction?

Can Post-Partum Depression Lead to Addiction?

Post-partum depression can be difficult to cope with and may lead to self-medication

Determining how addiction begins can be a trying process, but understanding the root causes that lead to addiction can help during treatment and recovery. Mental health disorders such as post-partum depression can create a lot of stress in your life and if you do not find healthy ways to manage your depression this can open the door to substance abuse and other issues. Learning to manage post-partum depression can make it easier to avoid substance abuse and will minimize your depression symptoms.

What Is Post-Partum Depression?

Having a baby brings about a number of powerful emotions, from excitement to anxiety. What many new mothers do not expect is the possibility of depression; however, it affects millions each year. The “baby blues” are normal and may include severe mood swings or emotional outbursts, but some new moms do not move past this and develop more severe symptoms that become post-partum depression. Nothing is wrong with you if you experience post-partum depression; it is a natural risk of childbirth. The best thing you can do for you and your child is to seek treatment as soon as possible so you can begin managing your symptoms. Symptoms of post-partum depression may include:

  • Loss of joy about life
  • Difficulty forming bonds with baby
  • Severe mood swings
  • Irritability/Anger
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Insomnia
  • Extreme fatigue

If you experience any post-partum depression symptoms that last for two weeks or more you should seek immediate treatment. Other signs that you may need treatment include symptoms getting worse, symptoms that interfere with caring for your baby or everyday tasks, and thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.

Treating Post-Partum Depression

The time needed to treat and recover from post-partum depression varies according to the severity of symptoms, but taking an active role in treatment is important. If you attempt to handle post-partum depression on your own or to wait out symptoms your condition can get much worse. With therapy and other treatment, however, your symptoms will gradually be reduced. Talking with a counselor about your symptoms and concerns can be helpful. A therapist will help you find healthier ways to cope with your feelings and will help you achieve your recovery goals. Antidepressant medications have been effective at treating post-partum depression, but you should speak with your doctor about how medication may affect you and your baby. Rapid drop of estrogen levels during childbirth may be a contributing factor to post-partum depression, and hormone therapy can help estrogen levels return to normal and may reduce the severity of your symptoms. The most important aspect of treating post-partum depression is therapy, which will help you learn more about what depression is and what you can do to overcome it.

Substance Abuse Is a Slippery Slope

When you first experience post-partum depression you may not realize it is a serious problem, but over time symptoms will continue to get worse. Trying to deal with depression on your own can lead down a dark road, and many people self-medicate in an attempt to manage their symptoms. While using opium or having a few drinks may temporarily ease your mind, it does nothing to reduce symptoms and can actually cause your condition to worsen. If you continue self-medicating you will develop a substance abuse habit and eventually addiction, which is an added complication to treating post-partum depression. If you have been self-medicating through drug abuse, this will need to be addressed in a professional substance abuse treatment center where you can learn more about how addiction and mental health are interconnected. Some treatment centers, called Dual Diagnosis facilities, can treat addiction and mental health disorders at the same time so you can get the necessary treatment for both conditions at once.

Finding Help for Opium Abuse and Post-Partum Depression

Opium may make you think you feel better at first, but over time it only makes you feel more hopeless. The only way to feel better is to get treatment for both your post-partum depression and your addiction. Professional treatment will make you feel more like your old self and you can get back to the joy surrounding being a new mother. To find out if your health insurance policy will help pay for treatment give our toll-free helpline a call today. Trained addiction experts are standing by 24 hours a day to offer support and help you find an effective treatment center that can address your depression and opium habit at the same time. We can answer any questions you have about treatment or post-partum depression and will be happy to assist you. Call now so you can begin receiving the help you need as soon as possible.