Argumentative Essay on Postpartum Depression Considered a Mental Illness

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When people discuss pregnancy, it is easy to believe that it is a safe process. While it is easy to notice physical changes throughout a woman’s pregnancy, it is not easy to realize the mental changes that pregnancy can drown a new mother in. What people do not see is a new mother going through a range of intensified emotions after birth, such as postpartum depression. Changes such as mood swings, negative thoughts, and sleep pattern changes are just a few of the changes women experience. What is the harm in having these changes? It not only affects the safety of a mother but also how the newborn will progress and grow. If the baby does not grow or progress as he or she should, it could potentially affect the safety of the baby. This illness can put a mother and baby in a life-or-death scenario. Therefore, the mothers must reach out for help and for them to realize that what they are going through is ok. Pregnancy is a beautiful experience in life and unfortunately, the mothers who are diagnosed with this illness sometimes view it as anything less than beautiful. With the many different treatment options, it can allow the mother to experience the beautiful side of birth. Postpartum depression is a very treatable illness if the proper prevention, education, and treatment measures are used.

Women have the opportunity to take part in a miracle that keeps humans in existence around the world. That miracle is known as pregnancy and birth. Although it is a magical opportunity it also comes with risks, one which is known as postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is not a rare diagnosis during the postpartum period after birth. In fact, “around one in seven women can develop postpartum depression” (Mughal, 2021, p.1). After childbirth, a mother can experience a range of emotions from anger, sadness, and irritability with varying degrees of intensity. These emotions can lead to a long-term effect for mothers which interferes with the mother’s ability to get back to their pre-pregnancy normality. Furthermore, these feelings are accompanied by many different risk factors, signs and symptoms, and treatment options that will be discussed throughout this paper. Postpartum depression is a very treatable illness if the proper prevention, education, and treatment measures are used.

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Postpartum depression does not discriminate and could potentially affect any mother after giving birth. It can stem from psychological, obstetric, social, and lifestyle issues. Women with a previous history of current depression, anxiety, and mood disorders are precursors to an increased risk for postpartum depression. Another example is lifestyle issues which can range from diet, sleep cycle, and exercise. A mother not getting enough sleep can push them into a depressive state and can cause many different mood swings. Also, “vitamin B6 has been known to be involved in postpartum depression via its conversion of tryptophan and later on serotonin, which, in turn, affects mood” (Mughal, 2021, p. 2). Lastly, exercise plays a huge role in affecting a person’s self-esteem. It is known that “exercise increases endogenous endorphins opioids, which brings positive effects on mental illness” (Mughal, 2021, p. 2) So essentially when a person is not exercising enough, it can potentially decrease one’s self-esteem which in turn can cause a person to be sent into a depressive state. These are just a few among many risk factors that can place a woman at risk for developing postpartum depression, which has the potential to lead to very dangerous symptoms and outcomes for both mother and baby.

Women experience many different emotions and thoughts with a diagnosis of postpartum depression. They are overwhelmed with symptoms such as “a depressed mood, loss of interest, changes in sleep patterns, change in appetite, feelings of worthlessness, inability to concentrate, suicidal ideations, and even delusions or hallucinations” (Mughal, 2021, p. 4). Specifically, women can feel a sense of loss of interest in the newborn or life in general. These feelings and symptoms can overpower a mother’s ability to want or allow bonding between the newborn and the mother. The bond that a mother has with the newborn can affect an infant throughout their whole life by playing a role in the child’s physical and psychological development. Furthermore, this puts the newborn at risk for failure to thrive which can cause very dangerous outcomes such as the death of an infant. With symptoms ranging anywhere from mild to severe, mothers need to reach out for treatment. It is also important for the healthcare team to stay vigilant throughout the pregnancy to ensure that action is taken if the patient starts to show signs and symptoms of this illness.

Women who are suffering from postpartum depression must reach out to receive the needed treatment. Due to many mothers going undiagnosed due to fear of judgment and lack of support, the medical team must identify patients who are at higher risk for developing postpartum depression in the early stages of pregnancy. This can be done by observing risk factors and assessing mothers’ emotions and actions pre- and post-birth, whether that be in the hospital or follow-up visits. Doing so will allow for prevention by educating the mother and providing different options of support before the depression worsens. Typically, the mother is treated with psychotherapy and antidepressants. The severity of the depression will determine how the mother is treated. Psychotherapy will be offered first which involves more of a talking aspect when a mother is experiencing only mild to moderate symptoms. This is mostly used in a counseling atmosphere. This is also used when the mother does not feel comfortable taking medications due to different reasons including breastfeeding. When a mother is experiencing severe symptoms, it is recommended that she begins taking an antidepressant medication. Medications such are serotonin reuptake inhibitors or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are the common medications used. It could also be effective for both psychotherapy and medications to be used together if needed. While many women believe they are doing much better within a couple of months, treatment needs to be continued typically a year after pregnancy. This will help to ensure no symptoms reappear in the future. After all, it is important to ensure a relapse of this illness does not occur as it negatively affects the mother, newborns, and even families.

Postpartum depression is a very treatable illness if the proper prevention, education, and treatment measures are used. Having a baby most of the time is viewed as something beautiful, but it does not always start or end as a beautiful experience for the mother due to the risks of life after the baby. It is a common illness that can potentially affect many different women. This illness can shatter a mother’s expectations of life after delivery. Postpartum depression comes with many different emotions and feelings which can make a mother feel incapable of caring for a newborn. Feelings can make a mother feel unhappy in life and can intensify to idea of harming not only oneself but the baby as well. While symptoms can be mild to severe mothers need to seek treatment as this illness is very much treatable. With many different risk factors, it is very much possible for the health care team to identify mothers who may suffer from this depression illness. Identifying these women early on allows room for education on the illness as well as education on treatment options that could potentially be used if needed. Identifying mothers who may develop this illness, will allow the healthcare team to prevent it from getting severe and resulting in worse-case outcomes.

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Argumentative Essay on Postpartum Depression Considered a Mental Illness. (2024, April 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 21, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/argumentative-essay-on-postpartum-depression-considered-a-mental-illness/
“Argumentative Essay on Postpartum Depression Considered a Mental Illness.” Edubirdie, 18 Apr. 2024, edubirdie.com/examples/argumentative-essay-on-postpartum-depression-considered-a-mental-illness/
Argumentative Essay on Postpartum Depression Considered a Mental Illness. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/argumentative-essay-on-postpartum-depression-considered-a-mental-illness/> [Accessed 21 Jun. 2024].
Argumentative Essay on Postpartum Depression Considered a Mental Illness [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2024 Apr 18 [cited 2024 Jun 21]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/argumentative-essay-on-postpartum-depression-considered-a-mental-illness/
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