AN Ilorin based psychiatrist, Dr Foyeke Adeoye, has advised mothers suffering from Post Partum Depression (PPD) to seek psychological help to avoid mental disorder.
Adeoye told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Ilorin that PPD was not an ailment to be ashamed of as neglecting it could be dangerous.
According to her, depression is the second leading cause of disability worldwide, meaning it is common than one could imagine.
Adeoye said mothers should look out for symptoms like weeping and bursting into tears without reasons, mood swings or thoughts of harming the baby.
She listed other symptoms of the illness to include not being bonded with the baby, hyper sensitivity to criticisms, restlessness, insomnia and irritability.
“So, the best thing is to talk about your feelings with someone you trust like your partner and let them know how they can help you.
“PPD is depression occurring two to three months after delivery and could persist if it remains untreated.
“It requires treatment, so women experiencing symptoms for over two weeks after delivery need to see a doctor,’’ she said.
The psychiatrist said that husbands and family members have a huge role to play by looking out for warning signs and ensuring that women received care.
“One of the treatments to PPD is psychotherapy which is affordable in government hospitals.
“So, mothers, let go of the stigma and walk into a psychiatric hospital to get help because you must continue seeking help till you get it.
“Women should not be blamed and told to suck it up because it can be suicidal or even harmful to the baby,’’ Adeoye said.
She, however, noted that the stress of having children in quick succession and the highest history of abuse contributed to the illness.
“Struggling with the arrival of a new baby coupled with the house chores without help also lead to such depression.
“So, mothers who just give birth need as much help as possible so as not to expose them to depression,’’ Adeoye said.