Depression is a common but serious illness. It is more than just feeling sad or upset for a short time or feeling grief after a loss. Depression changes your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and physical health. It can affect how you relate to your family, friends, and coworkers. It can occur at different times of life or in different situations. It also can occur as part of other disorders.
To diagnose your depression, your health care professional will discuss your symptoms, how often they occur, and how severe they are. You also will be asked about your medical history, any medications you are taking, and whether you use drugs or drink alcohol. Certain medications and health conditions, such as an infection or a thyroid disorder, can cause symptoms similar to depression. Depression can be treated with psychotherapy, medications called antidepressants, or both.
Having a baby is a joyous time for most women. After childbirth, many mothers may feel sad, afraid, angry or anxious. Most new mothers have these feelings in a mild form called postpartum blues. Sometimes these feelings are called “baby blues.” Postpartum blues will usually go away in a few days.
About 10 percent of new mothers have a greater problem called postpartum depression. Postpartum depression lasts longer and is more intense. It often requires counseling and treatment. Postpartum depression can occur after any birth, not just the first.
(ACOG. “Postpartum Depression” & “Depression” Medem Medical Library. .)