Postpartum Depression

February 22, 2022 

Radhika is a 30-year-old lady with a two-month-old daughter. Ever since she delivered she has been feeling very sad all the time. She is unable to look after herself and her child. She has been crying often and thinking that it is better for her to run away. Her husband is a shopkeeper and has to work till late in the night. She feels there is no one to help her. Radhika keeps lying in bed, unable to do any work. One day when she had decided to overdose on fever tablets, her husband saw her just in time and brought her to psychiatrist for treatment.

What was described above is a typical case of postpartum depression. Postpartum depression occurs in 10 to 20% of all the deliveries.

What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?

Feeling sad all the time
Lack of energy
Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
Unable to do work
Crying spells and irritability
Feeling worthless helpless and hopeless
Loss of libido
Lack of sleep
Death wishes and suicidal ideation
Thoughts of harming the baby

What are the causes of postpartum depression?

Past history of depression
Family history of depression
Poor social support
Marital difficulties
Personality factors
Substance abuse
Uncontrolled medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and diabetes

What is the course of postpartum depression?

Almost 80% of all women who deliver go through postpartum blues. This is characterised by sadness, weeping, poor sleep, irritation, lack of interest. But postpartum blues are self-limiting. Most women recover without any problems.
But postpartum depression is more serious and requires urgent attention. It is important to understand that it is a common condition. Though child birth is a joyous occasion for the family, but it also brings additional responsibilities and financial burden. The new mother who is already exhausted due to sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, is rendered helpless due to depression. Family support is very important here. Mild cases can be managed by counselling alone.

Moderate to severe cases require medical treatment in addition to therapy.

Left untreated depression may become chronic or severe and in few unfortunate cases, the mother may commit suicide. Depression also inhibits the bonding between the mother and child resulting in  mother infant relationship disorders. Here the mother may not feel love and emotions towards the baby and may not be able to look after it well.

How to treat postpartum depression?

Detailed assessment is done. The severity of depression is assessed. Family members are involved in treatment.

In mild cases, cognitive behaviour therapy, supportive psychotherapy and interpersonal therapy helps.

In moderate to severe cases, a combination of anti-depressant and therapy is given. Certain antidepressants can be given safely and do not get much secreted into the breast milk. These are preferred for treatment. First episode of depression is treated for a minimum period of 6 to 9 months.

In very severe cases with suicidal risk, electro convulsive therapy is life saving and very effective.


Postpartum depression is a common problem. It is important to recognise it early. Prompt treatment has good results. The health of the mother and the baby improves. Family support and care from the spouse is as important as medication. Treating postpartum depression makes this period truly blissful!




By Dr Supriya Hegde Aroor
Dr Supriya Hegde Aroor is a consultant psychiatrist at Arogya polyclinic Falnir & professor and head of department of Psychiatry at Father Muller’s Medical College.
To submit your article / poem / short story to Daijiworld, please email it to mentioning 'Article/poem submission for daijiworld' in the subject line. Please note the following:

  • The article / poem / short story should be original and previously unpublished in other websites except in the personal blog of the author. We will cross-check the originality of the article, and if found to be copied from another source in whole or in parts without appropriate acknowledgment, the submission will be rejected.
  • The author of the poem / article / short story should include a brief self-introduction limited to 500 characters and his/her recent picture (optional). Pictures relevant to the article may also be sent (optional), provided they are not bound by copyright. Travelogues should be sent along with relevant pictures not sourced from the Internet. Travelogues without relevant pictures will be rejected.
  • In case of a short story / article, the write-up should be at least one-and-a-half pages in word document in Times New Roman font 12 (or, about 700-800 words). Contributors are requested to keep their write-ups limited to a maximum of four pages. Longer write-ups may be sent in parts to publish in installments. Each installment should be sent within a week of the previous installment. A single poem sent for publication should be at least 3/4th of a page in length. Multiple short poems may be submitted for single publication.
  • All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format or text file. Pictures should not be larger than 1000 pixels in width, and of good resolution. Pictures should be attached separately in the mail and may be numbered if the author wants them to be placed in order.
  • Submission of the article / poem / short story does not automatically entail that it would be published. Daijiworld editors will examine each submission and decide on its acceptance/rejection purely based on merit.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to edit the submission if necessary for grammar and spelling, without compromising on the author's tone and message.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to reject submissions without prior notice. Mails/calls on the status of the submission will not be entertained. Contributors are requested to be patient.
  • The article / poem / short story should not be targeted directly or indirectly at any individual/group/community. Daijiworld will not assume responsibility for factual errors in the submission.
  • Once accepted, the article / poem / short story will be published as and when we have space. Publication may take up to four weeks from the date of submission of the write-up, depending on the number of submissions we receive. No author will be published twice in succession or twice within a fortnight.
  • Time-bound articles (example, on Mother's Day) should be sent at least a week in advance. Please specify the occasion as well as the date on which you would like it published while sending the write-up.

Comment on this article

  • Rudolf Rodrigues, Mumbairt

    Fri, Feb 25 2022

    Thanks doc for increasing awareness on a less known malady which can end up with fatal results! Many a times it would be thought of as purposefully done! Most from lower strata of society infer it to be the consequences of occult practices or invasion by evil spirits going to temples or babas who loot them and as the illness advances it could prove fatal! Increasing awareness is of paramount importance, in a country like India where people follow so many myths and irrational beliefs, that one can take help at the earliest findings of abnormal behaviour!

  • Ben D'Souza Prabhu, Mangalore, Bombay Bandra now in Canada

    Thu, Feb 24 2022

    Appealing earnestly to our Gifted Dr Supriya Hegde Aroor to render whatever Medical Help n Assistence possible within her Professional reach. I am personally Grateful to you dear Dr. !!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR IMMENSE KINDNESS !

  • Robert Cardoza, Belman

    Thu, Feb 24 2022

    Very helpful article, specially for conceiving women. In most of circumstances people have misconception that this kind of behaviour be because of possession of evil spirit. Or in other cases we cannot express the pain or may be ashamed. Besides all other illness mental sickness is also to be treated. So many lives have lost because it is hidden or due to blind beliefs. I suggest everyone if any such kind of depression occurs, do not hesitate to share with whom you trust. Thank you Dr. Supriya for seeding awareness in people.

Leave a Comment

Title: Postpartum Depression

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.