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Expert reveals the best ways to tackle post natal depression

Treatment is available for all stages of postnatal depression – from mild to severe. There is counselling, family support, psychotherapy and medications, explains Dr Manjit Dhaliwal.

Many new mums find it difficult to know the difference between the challenges of being a parent and when their mental health needs attention.

In fact, 40% of Australians think the signs of postnatal depression are just a normal part of having a baby.

Dr Manjit Dhaliwal is a GP practicing in Melbourne’s Wyndham region for the last 5 years. She has keen interest in mental, women's and chronic health care.

She told SBS Punjabi that postnatal depression is very common but not normal. 

"If postnatal depression goes undetected or unaccepted then it may lead to quite serious consequences," says Dr Dhaliwal.

“Families have broken due to this, children have been neglected, self-harm has occurred and in extreme cases even suicide when the woman feels such despair that she sees no way out.”

“Even in less severe cases, there is evidence to state that children of mothers with undetected and unaddressed postnatal depression tend to have developmental delays.”

Dr Manjit Dhaliwal
Dr Manjit Dhaliwal has keen interest in mental, women's and chronic health care. She shares health and wellness information from a GP's perspective.
Supplied

Dr Dhaliwal told SBS that postnatal depression is a real problem with quite serious consequences.

"Look out for this around you – yourself, your friend, your relative, your colleague, your neighbour – anyone can be affected and sometimes just reaching out in some way is all that is needed to set them on the way to recovery.”

“There is treatment available for all stages of depression – from mild to severe. There is counselling, family support, psychotherapy and medications.”

“In some advanced cases, where either the depression has progressed to severe stages due to lack of recognition or if it hasn’t been addressed due to poor patient acceptance or lack of social support, there is provision for inpatient treatment.”

“Best practice now dictates that mothers requiring admission for depression are admitted to a specialist mother and baby unit, unless there are specific reasons not to do so.”

“In most cases though simple and empathic counselling is all that is needed, as it helps in development of problem solving skills, basic restructuring of thought process, breathing exercises and stress management.”

Recovery from postnatal depression is highly possible, and seeking help is really important.

If you need support, please call PANDA’s national helpline on 1300 726 306 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are for general information only. Please contact your GP if you are concerned about your health condition.

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