Contrary to the popular belief that pregnancy is a biologically protective and emotionally joyful time, women are actually quite vulnerable to a spectrum of psychiatric disorders throughout the perinatal period – the time around pregnancy and postpartum. This range of disorders, more commonly referred to under the umbrella term of postpartum depression, is more accurately reflected by the terms postpartum or perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs). In fact, 1 in 7 women who become pregnant will experience a mental health disorder during the course of their pregnancy or in the postpartum period, making PMADs the most common complication of childbirth. Additionally, 50% of women diagnosed with PMADs postpartum had an onset of their symptoms during pregnancy.
Depression. Extreme fatigue. Overwhelming sadness. Loss of appetite. Apathy about everyday life. Bouts of unexplained crying. In some cases depression can even lead to thoughts of suicide. Depression does not discriminate based on age, education or socioeconomic standing and affects everyone from the person suffering with depression to her spouse and her children.
Depression strikes about 12 million American women every year, almost double the rate of men. Unlike occasional, normal feelings of sadness, clinical depression can be debilitating and affect a woman’s relationships, work, health and family. Depression can range from mild to chronic, severe episodes that last for years. Getting the proper treatment, including complementary natural remedies, helps depressed women live normal lives.