Post Partum Depression

At the Gold Center, we believe in a multifaceted approach to psychotherapy. All of our psychiatrists and clinicians are trained in psychodynamic principles as well as cognitive behavioral therapy, supportive therapy and more strictly behavioral approaches. Our therapists have experience working with children, adults, couples, and families. Generally, psychotherapy is once to twice per week. With children and adolescents, it is always time limited and we try to identify one or two primary measurable goals. However, often goals and direction shifts as treatment progresses. We believe strongly that parents must be involved in their child’s treatment. In some cases, we meet together with child and parent and in other circumstances we will meet with parents alone. With adolescents, we are very clear about how and when parents will be involved in order to ensure confidentiality and cultivate independence.

Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that can affect women after childbirth. Mothers with postpartum depression experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that may make it difficult for them to complete daily care activities for themselves or for others. Postpartum depression refers to depression that occurs after a baby is born. Often postpartum depression begins during pregnancy and is referred to as peripartum depression. Both peripartum and postpartum depression cause risk to both the mother and baby. Babies born to mothers with depression may have lower birth weight and exhibit sleeping and eating problems. In the long term, the babies can suffer from social, cognitive and emotional impairments.

Symptoms include:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless, empty, or overwhelmed
  • Crying more often than usual or for no apparent reason
  • Worrying or feeling overly anxious
  • Feeling moody, irritable, or restless
  • Oversleeping, or being unable to sleep even when her baby is asleep
  • Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Experiencing anger or rage
  • Losing interest in activities that are usually enjoyable
  • Suffering from physical aches and pains, including frequent headaches, stomach problems, and muscle pain
  • Eating too little or too much
  • Withdrawing from or avoiding friends and family
  • Having trouble bonding or forming an emotional attachment with her baby
  • Persistently doubting her ability to care for her baby
  • Thinking about harming herself or her baby.

The Stats:

  • One in seven women experience peripartum depression
  • Peripartum depression is not baby blues

The Treatment:

Before treatment, the woman should see a medical or mental health professional.  Psychotherapy (talk therapy) is an effective treatment for postpartum depression that involves talking one-on-one with a mental health professional.  In addition to therapy, anti-depression medication may also be helpful. The most common medications used are called serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) such as Zoloft or Prozac.  Women suffering from postpartum depression also need support in bonding, adjusting and managing the new baby. Families can help the new mother to get enough sleep and to care for the baby and other children in the home.  It is critical that the new mother feels confidant in her ability to care for and bond with her new baby.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an effective treatment for depression for women with depression after pregnancy.  It can be used safely in lieu of medication or to augment antidepressants during the postpartum period. There is limited research on the role of TMS during pregnancy as of yet.  Please contact Dr. Gold or your physician about whether TMS is a viable treatment option.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on how one’s thoughts, emotions and behavior impact each other. In CBT, patients learn techniques to recognize how negative patterns impact mood and happiness. CBT is a time-limited, research-based treatment effective for a wide variety of problems including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addictions, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessional thinking, social and performance anxiety. CBT usually lasts for 12-20 sessions. Between weekly individual sessions, patients practice skills learned in session through homework exercises. Our clinicians can also incorporate CBT skills into a broader treatment plan.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Program

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a specialized cognitive therapy approach designed for individuals who are prone to experience intense emotions which lead to actions such as self-injury, anger outbursts and volatile relationships. It is considered first line treatment for adults diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. DBT has been adapted for adolescents struggling with emotional dysregulation who engage in self sabatoge and who have low frustration tolerance. DBT treatment is composed of individual and group sessions along with booster phone calls as needed. We encourage adolescents and young adults to attend one group session and one individual session per week. In our adolescent program, weekly parent sessions are also recommended.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Often called therapy or psychotherapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy is an individual therapy that helps individuals to address a range of psychological issues to better cope with various life stressors. The goal of psychotherapy is symptom remission and improved self-esteem. Patients should gain insight and skills to realize their fullest potential in their relationship in their life goals. Our clinicians treat a variety of conditions including: life transitions/stressors, anxiety, depression, PTSD, ADHD, learning disorders, bipolar disorder and a variety of medical concerns.

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