Postnatal depression is on the rise and can have a devastating effect on families. What should be the best time of your lives can become nightmarish, and unless you understand what the problem is, you are unlikely to be able to treat it. There are certainly some biological factors, but by and large those who will suffer postnatal depression usually in our experience have predictable predispositions to the problem because of their cognitive style. Postnatal depression is much more likely to affect you if you lean towards perfectionism, high need for control, all or nothing thinking, over analysis, and an excessive need to take responsibility, not just for things within your control, but for things that are outside of your control.
Having a child is amongst the most challenging times of your life. There are so many uncertainties and so many ways to get it ‘wrong’. The more you need to do it “right”, the more you will put pressure on yourself, and the more likely you are to suffer from postnatal depression.
Certain events can initiate this condition. The most common being a birth experience that was not what you had anticipated or wanted such as cesarean sections, the failed drug-free attempt, and traumatic elongated labour. In many ways a difficult birth replicates all the symptomology of a trauma and many new mothers are actually suffering from a form of PTSD. Add to this considerable sleep disturbance and it is very hard to logically negate the irrational thoughts, the intrusive and unwanted feelings, and the dysfunctional behaviour.
In order for us to deal with postnatal depression we need to put you back in charge of your own feelings and thoughts. We have to help you become more comfortable with all the uncertainties bringing up a young child brings. We have to improve your ability to handle discomfort and compartmentalise some of the more extreme thoughts that can sometimes rattle around your head.
Prediction: 3 – 6 sessions