Postpartum Depression Treatment

Similar to treating any other type of depression, successful postpartum depression treatment, too, depends on the key factors of early diagnosis and timely intervention.

The three phases of treatment are:

  • Acute treatment phase – the duration of this phase is 6 to 12 weeks and its objective is the remission of symptoms.

  • Continued treatment phase – the duration of this phase is 4 to 9 months, and it is aimed at stabilizing the patient and the recovery phase.

  • Maintenance treatment phase – the objective of this phase is to ensure that the condition does not recur.

The actual postpartum depression treatment is via a two-pronged approach of medications and psychotherapy, sometimes a combination of both whenever warranted. Medications are generally a less expensive route of treatment as compared to psychotherapy sessions. Psychotherapy is included in the treatment plan for patients with severe depression and who have demonstrated an incomplete response to medication.

Here, it must be stated that we are not fans of drug medications, and, as always, we feel that the use of pharmaceuticals in treating any form of depression should only be carried out as a last resort.

Physicians who are involved in providing treatment for such patients are familiar with the dosages and side effects of the drugs used. Worth mentioning here are the tricyclic antidepressants that block norepinephrine and also to some extent the re-uptake of serotonin. The side effects are generally dry mouth, weight gain, cardiovascular, etc.

For this reason, patients need constant monitoring to ensure that the side effects are controlled and to gauge treatment response at six-week intervals for evaluation. This also involves re-evaluation of diagnosis, medication compliance and to assess the need to increase dosage of meds or to taper the same; sometimes changing of medications is carried out.

As part of further postpartum depression treatment, electroconvulsive therapy may also be used as a therapeutic means to treat unresponsive cases of the condition.

For more useful information on treating postpartum depression and helping those afflicted by the condition, do read the other sections on this website, especially the parts on dealing with the condition using natural means.

Click here for more pages and articles on Women and Depression.

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    Related Pages on Post Partum Depression, Women and Depression
    Postpartum Depression - Discussion and Overview
    Signs and Symptoms of Postpartum Depression - Symptoms and Diagnosis
    Postpartum Depression Treatment
    Postpartum Depression Statistics

    Depression in Women - Overview
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    Depression and Pregnancy - A Discussion
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