Consequences of Untreated PND
We have mentioned in other articles that Depression when it’s left untreated or poorly managed can affect you and all your relationships in every area of your life. In addition to what can be debilitating depressive symptoms, your depression can have some significant consequences in your life and the life of your family if it continues without treatment (or it’s poorly managed). If depression is poorly-managed, the depressive symptoms will continue to rumble along with some good days and some bad days at a mild or moderate level. If it is left untreated, depressive symptoms will generally worsen over time. Some of the consequences of untreated/poorly managed depression which can occur are listed below:
- Poor attachment between you and your young child (resulting in significant psychological and behavioural issues for your child later in life)
- Breakdown in relationship with your partner
- Strained relationships – friendships, work colleagues, family
- Struggling to handle the stress of everyday demands including work, study or parenting which could result in having to withdraw from work/study
- Withdrawing/isolation from social situations and community engagement
- Worsening ability to function in terms of taking care of yourself or your children
- Increased severity of depression which can lead to hospitalization (and therefore, sometimes separation from your child/ren for that period of time)
- Increased likelihood of long-term or chronic depression (meaning that it’s a condition you’ll always have to manage rather than one you can fully recover from)
- Potential to develop a Psychiatric Psychosis from severe depression
How do I know if I need help?
If you have depressive symptoms that are not getting better but are getting worse or staying the same, then you need to get some help. If you are experiencing some of the consequences listed above, the first step to change is getting help for your depression.
Where can I get help?
Mothers Helpers recommends you take the following steps:
1. Understand the degree to which you are depressed. Take the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Test available here and take the results to your GP to discuss them. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale is not a diagnostic tool but it does help a Doctor in his/her diagnosis. When several tests over several weeks are showing a score between 10 and 17, it is indicating possibly mild-moderate depression whereas 17 and above is indicating moderate-severe depression.
2. If you have mild to moderate depression, Mothers Helpers would be a good option in seeking help in addition to your GP. If you have moderate to severe depression, a referral to Maternal Mental Health if you have a young baby or Community Mental Health if you don’t would be a good thing to request from your GP.
3. Find yourself a good counsellor or psychotherapist. This is available through Mothers Helpers or through Maternal Mental Health and Community Mental Health. If Mothers Helpers doesn’t have one in your area, we can point you in the direction of how you can find an affordable counsellor.
Get Help: Contact Mothers Helpers Today
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