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Jamie asked...

I think my wife has postnatal depression...

Tags: Depression

Hi, my wife and I have medical with axa and we need some help but not sure how to get it. We have a 11 month old baby and I think my wife has postnatal depression, her behaviour and actions are not normal, but she refuses to go to the doctor and get help. The situation is pretty desperate and I need some sort of intervention or a way to get her to a doctor, maybe through counselling. She might go if it was for both of us but seeing the counsellor separately. PLEASE HELP!!!! Thank you in advance, Jamie

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The answer

Thank you for your question. It is particularly difficult to observe a loved one go through such a difficult time especially after such a happy event of having a child.

It is a very common for women to experience symptoms of Post Natal Depression (1 in 10), and sometimes their Partners are also affected, but there is assistance available and usually the symptoms can be resolved with intervention.

Signs & Symptoms can include;

  • Low mood/ persistent feeling of sadness
  • Reduced energy levels / feeling tired all the time
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Withdrawing from contact with friends & family
  • Increased difficulty concentrating.
  • Negative thoughts

These symptoms can develop gradually over a period of time, so may not be initially obvious, even to close family & friends. The good news is that it is a treatable illness, help is readily available, and symptoms can be reversed with appropriate intervention.

The right support is essential during this period, and it is important to treat this illness like you would if it was a physical illness.

These can include;

  • Varied well balanced diet
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Delegating generalised tasks to others (housework, cooking), like close friends or family members. .

The first suggestion for initial assistance would be to speak to your GP. If your Partner was unwilling to do this, it may be suggested that you can speak to the GP regarding your concerns, (if your Partner was unwilling to go and see the doctor, the GP may discuss visiting your Partner at home.) It could also be suggested that you accompany your Partner to the doctors to provide support, and also discuss your concerns.

The GP will be able to assess the situation and discuss possible treatment options which they think would be appropriate. This may include;

  • Counselling Sessions
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Local Support Groups
  • Medication
  • Further support from the Health Visitor.

The important thing to remember that you and your Partner are not alone in this, and there is support and help available to assist you with the current situation.

If your GP suggests any further referrals, please contact your claims team to discuss possible cover with your policy.

We have attached some links below of websites and a book list, which you may find useful. We hope that this has been assistance to you.

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Postnataldepression/Pages/Introduction.aspx

https://apni.org/

http://www.pandasfoundation.org.uk/

Book list;

Postnatal Depression: The Essential Guide by Catherine Burrows

Overcome your Postnatal Depression (Life Survival) by ‘This Morning’ and Denise Robertson. This is a new book which contains lots of information and helpful advice.

Coping with Postnatal Depression (Overcoming Common Problems) by Sandra Wheatley : Sheldon Press - A really good book containing much helpful and sound advice.

Coping with Postnatal Depression by Fiona Marshall. Sheldon Press. 1993 - This book is full of information helpful to women suffering from postnatal depression. There are plenty of hints about how best to cope while you are ill.

Depression after Childbirth: How to Recognise, Treat and Prevent Post-natal Depression by Katharina Dalton and Wendy M. Holton. Oxford Paperbacks - This is an excellent book which covers the subject in a clear and interesting way. Dr Dalton discusses the results of many different research projects and gives us the benefit of her years of work treating this illness. Every aspect of the illness is covered and the book will help those who have had the illness and their families.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses