Postpartum depression is a relatively common condition. Postpartum depression is also a very serious condition. Postpartum depression can deprive a mother of some of the joys of motherhood. Postpartum depression can interfere with the bonding that takes place between a mother and her new baby. If it is not treated effectively and early enough, postpartum depression can indeed be dangerous to a woman and to her family.
When it is not treated, postpartum depression will seriously affect a woman’s family. For one, postpartum depression affects a mother’s ability to be a good mother. She might be irritable, agitated, and have little or no energy. She might be unable to meet her new baby’s needs of love and attention. She might feel guilty about these things, and this guilt can often intensify the postpartum depression. Some research suggests that untreated postpartum depression can cause the child a variety of problems, such as language delays, trouble with emotional bonding, problems with behavior, trouble sleeping, and a variety of other stressful problems. While all of these things may not be necessarily dangerous, they certainly aren’t desirable.
There are even some studies that suggest that untreated postpartum depression can lead to other more dangerous problems, such as postpartum psychosis. While not directly linked to postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis is a severe illness that can be recognized by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, and suicidal or homicidal feelings or impulses. Postpartum psychosis is definitely dangerous, and can even be fatal to the woman.
The good news about all of this is that, while postpartum depression can be dangerous, postpartum depression can usually be treated, as well. The most successful treatment of post partum depression will likely include a combination of remedies, such as therapy, antidepressant medications, and a social support structure. There are also a variety of alternative treatments, from herbal remedies to nutritional supplements, that may also be able to help with postpartum depression, when used alongside medical help.