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Mental Health

You deserve to feel better

NCH provides a range of mental health services to help you. We believe that your mental and emotional health is just as important to your overall well-being as your physical health.

Call 847.618.4100 for help.

Did you know that women experience depression twice as often as men?

Depression is a medical condition. It may be caused by a chemical imbalance, a stressful or very emotional life event and/or a lack of social support. It can run in families and may reoccur.

You may be suffering from depression if you have five or more of the following symptoms that last for at least two weeks:

  • Problems concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
  • A loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
  • Difficulty going to work or taking care of your daily responsibilities
  • Feelings of guilt and hopelessness
  • Wondering whether life is worth living
  • Slowed thoughts and speech, or no speech
  • Preoccupation with thoughts of death or suicide
  • Complaints (such as headache and stomachache) with no physical cause
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Sleeping too much

If you are suffering from these symptoms, seek help now. NCH provides a range of mental health services. Call 847.618.4100 for more information.

Postpartum depression

If you or someone you know is experiencing even a few symptoms of postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis, seek medical help right away. For a life-threatening crisis, please call 911.

For a downloadable list of postpartum depression symptoms, click here.

Postpartum depression results from a combination of biological, hormonal, environmental and psychological factors. You may be at-risk if you have a family history of depression, lack social support, or have experienced adverse life events and/or problems in your marriage. There are three types of postpartum depression:

  • Postpartum blues include mood swings, irritability, tearfulness and feeling overwhelmed. This can occur between one to three days after giving birth and can last as long as two weeks. The "baby blues" can affect as many as 70% 75% of new mothers.
  • Postpartum depression is common in 20% of all births and can occur anytime in the first year following the birth of your baby. The symptoms are similar to depression and include feelings of doubt, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness, changes in eating habits, trouble handling usual responsibilities, sleeping too much or not at all, loss of interest in things you used to enjoy including sex, excessive worrying about your baby, excessive parental guilt or anxiety, lack of interest in the baby and thoughts of harming yourself.
  • Postpartum psychosis is a very rare and severe form of postpartum depression. It can begin days or weeks after childbirth and requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms include obsessive thoughts regarding violence to your child, fear of harming yourself or your baby, acute anxiety, racing thoughts, hallucinations, paranoia, hysteria and delusions.

Treatment for depression and postpartum depression

Treatments vary by individual, and can include antidepressant medication, counseling, interpersonal psychotherapy, and in extreme cases, hospitalization.

There are a number of things you can do to help your condition such as sleeping when the baby sleeps, asking for help with chores, talking about your feelings, getting out of the house to enjoy favorite activities, joining a support group, and looking into counseling or medical treatment options.

If you are a partner, relative, friend or support person of someone experiencing postpartum depression, you can help by listening, and by providing love, support and understanding during this time. If more help is needed, contact NCH's Mental Health Network at 847.618.4100.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss

If you have recently lost a baby, our Renew Through Sharing program is here to provide support for families experiencing a pregnancy loss through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or newborn death. You are welcome to participate in our group or activities whether you received care at NCH or not. For more information please call Pam Ferguson at 847.618.5220 or email her at pferguson@nch.org.

Alcoholism

Alcohol can play a significant role in depression whether it's your own drinking or some else's. Many professionals believe that alcoholism is a family disease affecting not only the drinker, but everyone around him or her. If you are in a life-threatening crisis, please call 911. There are also support groups that can help:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) - An AA meeting is held at Northwest Community Hospital on Monday nights at 7:30 pm in the 901 W. Kirchoff Rd building. To speak to someone or find additional meetings in Cook County, call 800.371.1475 or 312.346.1475, or visit www.aa-nia.org.
  • Al-Anon Family Groups (Al-Anon) - Al-Anon is a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not. There is an Open Al-Anon Meeting held at Northwest Community Hospital every Sunday night at 7:30 pm in Room 6&7 (go in Entrance 4 and ask for directions) and all are welcome. For more information, contact 1.847.618.2700 or visit www.niafg.org.
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Last modified: 10/01/2013