How to Live Happy and Avoid Depression
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How having a baby can sometimes trigger postpartum depression and how to live a happy depression free lifestyle

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How to Cope with Depression Part 5/5 Female: Life doesn’t get much better than a new baby in the house Kristen Tudor knows the joys of motherhood. Kristen Tudor: I think we can talk intellectually on how much we are going to love our children before we have them. But it is not until you are actually have them that you really understand that. Female: You can see Kristen heart swell as she looks at her 7-month-old son Liam. As much as she loves and wanted her son soon after he was born she became sad, tearful and down. Kristen Tudor: I was in the hospital room with Liam and I just started crying uncontrollably and I didn’t understand why. Female: Looking back Kristen believes she had what is called the blues. The truth is postpartum blues are very common and impact 40 to 85% of all women following child birth. Symptoms typically began three to four days after delivery. Preabatra is a woman psychologist at Kaiser Permanante. Preabatra: If you have depression just before you conceived or during pregnancy, your chances of getting a postpartum depression are higher. So if we can treat women earlier we can help prevent postpartum depression and so that is part of the rationale for why we are screening sooner. Female: One in five women with the blues will develop depression. Although extremely rare, some women will go into postpartum psychosis. These are the cases that make news where women hurt themselves or their babies. Again that is extremely rare. Preabatra: If it persists past a couple of weeks, you do want to talk at that point. Because at that point it could be a postpartum depression or something called a postpartum anxiety. Kristen Tudor: I guess I am more surprised those women who don’t go through this to some degree because it seems like looking at least since – of course you feel a little bit crazy. You just been through with something pretty huge, something life changing, something hormone changing all these things. And suddenly there is this little being that depends on you for everything. Female: Support groups, talk therapy and medication are successful treatments for postpartum depression and while it may sound a little odd to tell a new mom this, slowing down is a tip for a healthy, happy living. Kristen Tudor: They are culture we think, well if I can do five things at once, do these be on the phone and be on the computer. Well that is great. You know that is really positive I am getting a lot done. But if you think about it, you are probably devoting only part of your attention here, part of it here and you can’t be present, you can’t be focused, you can’t be in flow and it is probably not the best way to create happiness in your life. Female: Sherry Pruitt has been studying positive psychology and happiness. It is believed that positive psychology interventions can decrease symptoms of depression. It is simpler than you think. Sherry Pruitt: The suggestion would be slow down a little bit, don’t multi-task, focus on one thing at a time and be present and be engaged with that one thing whether it is talking to a colleague, talking to your spouse, your child. Being engaged in your work, again it is a simple idea and it kind of make sense but we know from the literature that people who do that are actually happier. Female: Taking life one day at a time, staying connected to people and making a list of things you are grateful for. Those are a few simple tips that can go a long way toward surviving depression. Recognizing the signs of depression, knowing that it is a disease, eliminating the stigma and being aware that treatment is often highly successful, that is how we will go from depression in to the light.