Postpartum Depression: Common Myth’s and Misconceptions

Postpartum depression is stigmatized just like other common mental disorders have been over the past several decades. Due to a growing recognition of the condition, we are learning more and more about this disease that strikes at least 15% of the population every year. There are always overwhelming expectations placed on parents-to-be, which create a struggle for mothers or fathers who are suffering from this type of depression to understand why they are feeling this way while other new parents seem to be so happy. There are many parallels between how society views both postpartum depression and major depressive disorder. Below are some common misconceptions:

Myth #1: Postpartum depression will go away on its own without treatment.

It is important for anyone suffering from a mental illness to not go through their struggles alone and to seek support from family, friends, and therapists. Seeking professional help can quicken the time it takes for someone to recover from a mental illness and it is important that this is available to everyone.

Myth #2: People struggling with postpartum depression will hurt their children.

Mental illness is often tied to violence in media representations and when we talk about mental illness in general. While a small subset of mothers, about 0.1% of the population, do suffer from postpartum psychosis this is by no means normal. Most mothers want the best for their children and themselves.

Myth #3: Postpartum depression only occurs within the first few months of childbirth.

Postpartum depression can occur within a year of a child’s birth; however, many people and sometimes even doctors aren’t aware of this so they dismiss it. It is often dismissed as the “baby blues”, but postpartum depression is much more persistent and lasts longer, which is why it is important to talk to a professional about how you are feeling. Parents can also get postpartum anxiety about raising their child, which is just as common as postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression is often a result of a combining factors that accumulate from one’s social, cultural, and psychological environment. Many mothers might have doubts that stem from their postpartum depression and worry about what will happen to them or their child if they seek help. However, seeking help will only make a mother’s life better and help her form a better relationship with her child.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health issue, please feel free to contact the professional team at Lifeline Connections for help! Getting yourself help, whether it is through self-help or by reaching out to professionals is an important part of recognizing that you are struggling and is a good step forward to get the help that you need. You can visit Lifelineconnections.org or call 360.397.8246 for more information.

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