Can Postpartum Depression Lead To Substance Abuse?

After the birth of a baby, the mix of emotions women face is all over the place. Carrying a baby and then delivering a new human to the world puts a tremendous toll on the female body and mind. The majority of women, approximately as high as 80% will experience baby blues after they have their child. While it is not known for sure why women develop the baby blues, the belief is that the symptoms of depression women experience occur because of the changing hormones in her body which cause chemical changes in the brain.

For many women, the symptoms of baby blues will dissipate with time and by 14 days after delivery be gone. For other women, postpartum depression (PPD) can occur. Approximately 10 to 20% of new mothers have clinical postpartum depression. In the United States, that means that every year approximately 600,000 women will have postpartum depression after they have their child.

What Is Clinical Postpartum Depression?

After a woman gives birth to her child, she can experience more intense lows than just the baby blues. When a new mother is having such severe lows, it is both dangerous for her health and wellbeing and that of her baby. PPD can last for as little as two weeks after birth to as long as a year. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Mood swings
  • Avoidance of loved ones
  • Anxiety
  • Poor appetite
  • Crying spells
  • Feelings of self-doubt
  • Inability to care for the baby
  • Trouble bonding with the baby
  • Thoughts of self-harm or harming the baby

A mother who is experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression will have a much more challenging time living everyday life the way she used to. She will also struggle with being able to keep up the responsibilities of her day such as caring for herself and her child. If the mother is overwhelmed with her feelings and with her new life full of important duties as a parent, she may turn to drugs or alcohol to help her cope with the intensity of her life.

Women suffering from PPD may be abusing drugs or alcohol and their loved ones may not even know. As many as 15% of women who developed PPD binge drink within a year of giving birth and 9% may use drugs during this same time.

Where Can You Find Help For Substance Abuse In Tennessee?

Can Postpartum Depression Lead To Substance AbuseThere is a difference between having a drink socially every now and then and using alcohol or drugs to numb pain or deal with emotions. If you have a substance abuse problem, the detox alternative treatment center at Discovery Place can help you overcome your addiction.

It is important to get ahold of your addiction and beat it before it has far-reaching consequences such as harm to your baby. Older children that see parents drink excessively are at higher risk for irresponsible drinking as an adult which could cause them to have a problem with alcohol.

If you are a mom who has PPD, you don’t have to suffer alone and you can get better. At the Tennessee alternative treatment center, we are situated on 17 beautiful acres of open rolling farmland and located right outside of Nashville. Call the Tennessee detox alternative treatment center at Discovery Place anytime at 1-800-725-0922 for more information.

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