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The first step toward overcoming postpartum depression is recognizing you have it and asking for help. If you think you may have the baby blues, postpartum depression or post partum psychosis, call your primary physician or OB/GYN for an appointment and or referral. Tell them you think you may be suffering from postpartum depression and would like to discuss your symptoms with a professional. 

If you are not taken seriously, call (914) 995-5236 for a referral
If they do not make an appointment to see you or take your concerns seriously you should not hesitate to call another provider. If you need assistance with a referral, call the county's Depression Support Network at (914) 995-5236 and tell the receptionist that you are looking for a referral for postpartum depression.

Between 80-90 percent of people with depression can be helped. Symptoms can usually be relieved quickly with a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Medications relieve the symptoms of depression while talking to a therapist can help people change behavior and cope with problems. Once individuals seek out treatment, the success rate is extremely high.

Why don’t more people get help?
Many women are too embarrassed and ashamed to admit that they feel depressed after giving birth.  They think they should be happy and feel good following the birth. Some women are concerned about taking medication if they are breastfeeding. No one has spoken to them about the "normal course" of events such as fatigue, mood swings and physical discomforts caused by the birth process. Remember, in the first 24 hours after childbirth the amount of estrogen and progesterone rapidly drops back to normal non-pregnant levels. Researchers think the fast change in hormone levels may be a leading cause in postpartum depression.

Don't hesitate to talk to someone about your symptoms
The quicker you get help, the better you will feel. Soon you will be able to take pleasure in your own life and in mothering your newborn.

Web resources on the topic of depression are listed below. 

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
(formerly the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association)
730 N. Franklin Street, Suite 501
Chicago, IL 60601-7204
Toll-Free: (800) 826-3632
Tel: (312) 642-0049

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
Colonial Place Three
2107 Wilson Blvd., 3rd Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
Toll-Free: (800) 950-NAMI (-6264)
Tel: (703) 524-7600

National Foundation for Depressive Illness, Inc.
P.O. Box 2257
New York, NY 10116
Toll-Free: (800) 239-1265
Tel: (212) 268-4260

National Institute of Mental Health
Information Resources and Inquiries Branch
6001 Executive Boulevard
Room 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
Tel: (301) 443-4513
TTY: (301) 443-8431

National Mental Health Association
2001 N. Beauregard Street, 12th Floor
Alexandria, VA 22311
Toll-Free: 1-800-969-NMHA (-6642)
Tel: (703) 684-7722
TTY: (800) 433-5959

Depression is one of the most treatable illnesses today. The first step toward overcoming depression is recognizing you have it and asking for help. If you think you may be depressed you should call your primary physician or call the Depression Support Network at (914) 995-5236.
  
Between 80-90% of people with depression can be helped. Symptoms can usually be relieved quickly with a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Medications relieve the symptoms of depression while talking to a therapist can help people change behavior and cope with problems. Once individuals seek out treatment, the success rate is extremely high.

Why don’t more people get help?
Many people fear that depression is a result of a weak character. Sometimes they don’t think their depression is “bad enough” to need treatment and that they’ll get over it. Still others are deeply ashamed and would rather live with it than consult a physician. Seniors may believe it’s a normal part of aging. Women may feel it’s just hormonal. Men are taught to “be strong” and admitting they are depressed makes them feel weak. Some people believe it’s wrong to “go outside the family” with problems. Others are fearful of taking medication and what that might mean to them or their family.

Depression itself, which saps energy and self-esteem, can interfere with a person’s ability or desire to get help.
 

Recent studies indicate that one in five teenagers suffer from clinical depression. Adolescence is a stressful time in life. Teenagers describe feelings of being stressed out by internal and external pressures. They feel confused at times, and can have strong reactions when things don’t go right at school or with friends.

Hormonal and physical changes in the body can make it more difficult for the individual to fully understand what they are feeling. Therefore it may difficult for an individual to recognize his or her own depression.

It is important for those who are closest to the teen to recognize changes in that particular individual and to assist that person in getting help. Depression is a treatable illness and teens may be embarrassed or too ashamed to let others know they need help. They may be worried about what their parents and friends may think. Feelings of worthlessness and lack of hope- symptoms of the illness can interfere with getting help as well.

These symptoms may indicate depression, particularly when they last for more than two weeks:

  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Sadness and hopelessness
  • Lack of enthusiasm, energy or motivation
  • Feelings of being unable to satisfy ideals
  • Overreaction to criticism
  • Substance abuse
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Guilt
  • Changes in school performance
  • Hostile aggressive, risk taking behavior
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

Clinical depression is signaled by changes in a person's feelings and behaviors. You may have clinicial depressions if your symptoms include:

  • A persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Chronic aches and pains that don’t respond to treatment
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Feeling guilty-self blame
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Fatigue or loss of energy

If you experience any combination of the above for more than a couple of weeks; or if symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your daily routine, you may be clinically depressed.

What causes depression?
Depression is caused by a variety of factors. Biological, genetic and environmental factors all play a role. Research has shown that depression is often related to a chemical imbalance of substances called neurotransmitters that transmit signals between nerve cells in the brain.