Postpartum Depression/Concerned friend

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Question
My friend just recently had a baby boy. He was born healthy and is a doll! But, she is constantly complaining about his crying and tells me she wishes he would just go away. I am afraid for her and what she might do. She has no family in the area and the father of the child hasn't been in the picture. How should I help her, I think she is depressed buT i don't want to make her mad at me.

Answer
Dear Georgia,
First of all, I want to thank you for being such a concerned friend. You are showing that you truly care for your friend and are willing to help her in her time of need. Having a child without a strong support system has been recognized as a factor to developing Postpartum Depression. Statements like wishing you or the baby would "go away" signal that what your friend is going through is more than baby blues. The key to approaching your friend is to no go at her like you are accusing her of being a bad mother or crazy. She is extremely vulnerable and sensitive right now. I found the best thing anyone could have done for me when I was going through PPD was to be a sympathetic ear. To listen without passing judgment or giving advice. Please be honest with your friend and tell you you are worried that she isn't feeling happy and that you want to help. You can call 211 if you are in the U.S. and ask for numbers to free counseling services for your friend if she agrees to seek help. Also, if you ever feel like her life or the life of her child are in danger, please do not hesitate to contact her Doctor or the police. I am assure you that unless she has actually harmed her baby, he will not be taken away from her. I was hospitalized for PPD for 5 days and my babies were not taken away and I got the help I needed to be the best mommy possible. Also, http://ppdhope.com/ and http://postpartum.net/ are great websites for information about PPD. And you should call the PSI Postpartum Depression Helpline: 1.800.944.4PPD for more help and information.

Postpartum Depression

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April

Expertise

I can answer questions about PPD symptoms, direct people to helpful books and websites about PPD. I can answer questions about what treatments are available for PPD. 1 week after having my twins in 2007, I was hospitalized for severe Postpartum Depression. I spent a total of 5 days in in patient treatment, and was put on antidepressants. It took me 2 years to recover, and I still take it day by day. But I know my first hand experience and my willingness to share my story has helped other women come forward and seek help for their PPD. if you need help, call: 1-800-944-4PPD Helpline provided by Postpartum Support International.

Experience

1 week after having my twins in 2007, I was hospitalized for severe Postpartum Depression. I spent a total of 5 days in in patient treatment, and was put on antidepressants. It took me 2 years to recover, and I still take it day by day. But I know my first hand experience and my willingness to share my story has helped other women come forward and seek help for their PPD. I know that acceptance of PPD and knowledge about its signs and symptoms is very limited in many cultures, including my own. I hope to help other mothers, fathers, and other concerned family members and friends recognize the importance of seeking treatment and help without fear of ridicule or judgment. I am here to lend a sympathetic ear to those who may be suffering from PPD and let them know I too have been there and they will get better!

Education/Credentials
I am a second year graduate student in Medical Anthropology at the University of Memphis. I have a B.S. in Health Services Administration. I am not a doctor, so I cannot diagnose or treat anyone with PPD.

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