What is postnatal depression?

This form of depression can be very upsetting when a mother has been looking forward to having her baby only to find herself depressed afterwards. Mothers suffering will often feel extreme guilt for feeling this way and may often feel they are unfit to be a mother which is often not the case.

Symptoms of postnatal depression

Postnatal depression can affect women in different ways. Symptoms can start soon after giving birth and last for months or, in severe cases, they can persist for more than a year.

The main symptoms of postnatal depression are:

  • Low mood and sadness
  • Loss of interest in things that used to give pleasure
  • Lack of energy and feeling tired all the time

Other symptoms can include:

  • Disturbed sleep
  • Difficulties with concentration
  • Low self confidence
  • Change in appetite
  • Feelings of guilt and self-blame
  • Thinking about suicide and self-harming

Who is at risk?

The cause of postnatal depression isn't completely clear. Most experts think it's the result of a combination of factors which may include:

  • Depression during pregnancy
  • A difficult delivery
  • Lack of support at home
  • Relationship worries
  • Money problems
  • Having no close family or friends around you
  • Physical health problems following the birth


Many patients require individual sessions with a mental health specialist. Dr de Silva would conduct a comprehensive assessment and explain her conclusions to you .She would discuss the treatment options taking into consideration your views and what she considers the optimum treatment for you. Treatment would generally include medication, or individual therapy or both. You would be reviewed regularly by Dr de Silva to monitor your progress.

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