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Women's Mental Health Services

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 847.618.7432 for help.

Depression

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.

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

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.

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.

Treatments 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.

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Last Updated 04/10/2009