Depression and anxiety are the most common complications of the perinatal period. Depression affects one in ten women and statistics in the Western world show that between 8-14% are inflicted depending on the country and the period (either pre-or post natal). One study in Athens (2008) revealed diagnosed postpartum depression at 20% of the sample! (1). Another study in Hrakleio, Crete (2013), revealed during pregnancy 16.7% (28-32 weeks gestation) of the sample and for postpartum depression at 13% (8 weeks postpartum) (2).
Unfortunately the majority of women are reluctant to seek help for this mental health disorder that is successfully treatable. Whilst ignoring the disorders, and in particular postpartum depression, the mother places herself and that of her newborn in danger-chronic depression for her and cognitive behavioural difficulties for her baby in the future.
If you do not feel like your usual self or feel that everything is overwhelming and you are drowning amongst the entire experience of pregnancy and new mothering, it is time to seek support. The right support and treatment will help you regain control of your thoughts, feelings and behaviour in order for you to feel yourself back to normal and enjoy mothering.
- Gonidakis et al (2008), A 6-month study of postpartum depression and related factors in Athens Greece, Compr Psychiatry 49(3):275-82
- Koutra, K., Vassilaki, M., Georgiou, V., Bitsios, P., Chatzis, L., and Kogevinas, M. (2013). Antenatal and postnatal maternal mental health as determinants of infant neurodevelopment at 18 months of age in a mother-child
cohort (Rhea Study) in Crete Greece. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, Vol/ 48, Issue 8, pp. 1335-1345