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Early life stress may raise risks of postpartum depression

postpartum depression

Early life stress may raise risks of postpartum depression

Previous studies have shown that postpartum depression (PPD) is more prevalent among teens in urban cities. And a new research may throw insights into why that is.

Some researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine recently revealed their findings suggesting that social stress during teenage may increase one's risk of postpartum depression.

Although the study was done on mice, the researchers discovered that the same hormonal changes (elevated levels of cortisol) that occur in PPD mice are the same seen in PPD women after they gave birth. And from the research, these hormonal changes result from their early life stress even long before pregnancy.

How does this relate to urban settings?

Well, we know for a fact how much social stress teen girls are faced with in urban settings today. There's an overwhelming social pressure to fit in, not to mention the social media comparisons, unrealistically high expectations, body image issues, technology overload, and the juggle between school and work. It's possible that these may contribute to teen stress, consequently paving the way for elevated cortisol levels and postpartum depression.

Whatever the case, the bottom line is to care for yourself now and manage stress as best you can. There is hardly any positive side to chronic stress.

And postpartum depression can be quite debilitating. Not just for the mom, but also the child who becomes deprived of the mother's love and care.

And while you may think PPD is rare, sadly it's not. Postpartum depression occurs in 7-20% of all women, according to the Office on Women's Health. Worst is, it is not so easy to treat. Only about half of PPD patients respond to SSRI anti-depressants. Severe cases that are treatment-resistant are treated using advanced (and of course more expensive) methods.

Hence, one of the best routes to managing postpartum depression is by reducing your risks through prevention. You can do so by prioritizing stress management from today. You don't want these social issues to overwhelm you. Your mental health matters.

But if you're in a place where you feel you can't handle it alone, we would love to help.

Talk to us at Hope Mental Health today.

Author
Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

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