The tech giant’s helping hand for women in fighting a gender-specific depression, especially during the lockdown periods.
For a woman, giving birth to her baby can be the best thing in her world. It brings her joy and excitement, seeing that a new life has been brought upon this world. However, it can also be the worst thing in her world as having a baby can bring fear and anxiety post-birth.
For many new mothers, there is a high chance that they will experience having postpartum emotions, usually called “baby blues” as mentioned by a post from MayoClinic. Usually, it is a mixed bag of emotions, including mood swings, crying spells, difficulty in sleeping, and anxiety problems. It usually starts within the first two to three days post-birth and may last up to two weeks in most cases.
The common symptoms of baby blues are mood swings, anxiety issues, feelings of sadness, irritability, the feeling of being overwhelmed, crying, the concentration is reduced, problems with their appetite, and sleeping problems.
However, many new mothers now are experiencing a different form of mental health condition that is much stronger and severe than baby blues. It is called postpartum depression. There is also a rare chance for them to also develop postpartum psychosis after childbirth.
Postpartum Depression: Explanation
Not to be confused with baby blues, the mental health condition called postpartum depression is considered as a complication of a woman giving birth. It is one of the conditions that can be easily treated, as long as proper treatment and care is given to the affected individual.
Postpartum Depression: Symptoms
Just like any other mental health condition, postpartum depression has its own set of symptoms that health experts and professionals can diagnose on their end in order to help affected individuals. Most of the symptoms are emotional-based and can be easily seen by the naked eye and experienced by both the patient and the people surrounding her.
The symptoms of postpartum depression are the following: depressed mood, severe mood swings, excessive crying, baby bonding difficulties, withdrawal emotions from family and friends, either having a lost appetite or eating too much, either having insomnia or having too much sleep, feeling of fatigue or loss of energy, interest with hobbies are lowered, intense irritability and anger, feelings of not being a good mother, the feeling of hopelessness, feeling worthless, having guilt and/or shame, the feeling of inadequacy, having difficulties in thinking clearly and making decisions, restlessness, severe anxiety and panic attacks, thoughts of harm to yourself and the baby, and recurring thoughts of death and suicide.
Do take note that the multitude of symptoms mentioned above may last up to months if not immediately treated and taken care of.
Postpartum Psychosis: Symptoms
The other condition that new mothers can be affected by is postpartum psychosis. It has its own set of symptoms too, just like any other mental health condition so far.
The symptoms of this condition are confusion and disorientation, having obsessive thoughts about your baby, hallucinations and delusions, disturbances in their sleep, too much energy and agitation, paranoia, and harmful thoughts to yourself and the baby.
This mental health condition must be immediately treated and will eventually lead to a life-threatening condition if not treated.
Can Fathers Have Postpartum Depression?
The surprising answer for this is a big yes. Even though fathers didn’t give birth to their children, the emotional burden that fathers feel during and after their wives ‘ birth is tremendous. Most fathers will experience the feeling of being sad and fatigue, experiencing an overwhelming feeling, experiencing anxiety issues, having either or both sleeping and eating disorders.
However, new and young fathers that have a history of depression and experienced relationship problems, and/or having financial issues, are more likely to have postpartum depression of their own (in this case, it is called parental postpartum depression). That form of depression can even affect their relationship and their child’s development if left
unattended and untreated.
Google Helps Women To Deal With Postpartum Depression
The tech giant Google has recently launched an online application that aims to help women suffering from their own postpartum depression, according to the article posted by LinkedIn. The new online application Google launched is a self-assessment tool that is clinically backed up for optimal results once completed. The tool was created by Dr. Tonmoy Sharma, a mental health specialist, in collaboration with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Office on Women’s Health (OWH) respectively. Once a participant successfully completes the self-assessment, they are provided with reliable sources in regard to learning more about postpartum depression and how to deal with it in the process.
Aside from that postpartum depression self-assessment tool, Google had launched two other tools in its past that aim to help people dealing with depression (mostly aimed at Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms) and various anxiety disorders.