Who is affected?
To read the Introduction to Post Natal Depression Click Here
Anyone can suffer from postnatal depression.
A risk factor is something that is associated with a condition. For example, being aged between 15-25 years is a risk factor for being involved in a motor vehicle accident but itís not exactly a cause.
You may have no risk factors and still be affected.
If you have risk factors, you are more likely to get PND.
However, a woman has more chance of suffering from depression after having a baby if she has:
- Had previous episodes of clinical depression.
- Had some symptoms of depression or anxiety when pregnant.
- A family history of depression, especially if the womanís mother had a depression after childbirth.
- A traumatic birth experience.
- Many recent or ongoing stresses.
- Lack of an emotionally supportive partner.
- Lack of supports.
It occurs in all cultures and is equally common in Maori and Europeans.
Is it my hormones?
No-one is really sure. It is thought that there are probably lots of factors which cause PND and itís probably different for each woman.
Some women seem to be particularly susceptible to mood changes when their hormones change rapidly.
These women may suffer from premenstrual syndrome, postnatal depression and from mood changes leading up to and around the menopause.
It seems for these women that hormone changes trigger an underlying mood disorder.