Postpartum Depression Theory Research Paper

Pages: 4 (1217 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Psychology

Postpartum Depression: Theory in Contemporary Nursing Practice

Having a child is supposed to be one of the most intense and gratifying experiences of any individual's life. Yet, at the same time, there are incidents where this very process can be the happiest moment of a new parent's life, following by intense depression and sadness. This is not necessarily brought on by the thoughts of the individual themselves, but by a condition which is known as Postpartum depression or PPD. Such depression is not very well understood in clinical and nursing practice, but has an impact on a large number of patient populations, as such demanding more immediate attention and research in order to better prepare health care professionals with the tools needed to combat the symptoms and provide a better condition of life for new parents suffering from PPD.

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PPD occurs more often than one might think, or than most might admit. This type of depression mainly affects women and can have a higher incident rate than one might assume. The predominant symptoms of PPD revolve around mental illness. Many women suffer from extreme sadness, anxiety, and irritability, which are common signs of depression. There are also real physical symptoms to accompany the mental depression. In fact, may who suffer from PPD witness extra fatigue, disrupted sleeping, reduction in sexual desires, and changes in weight, whether it be gains or losses. Typically, women experience a combination of symptoms, which can help health care practitioners better diagnose PPD overall (Oppo et al., 2009). PPD is only one concept within a larger understanding of mental health and giving birth. In fact, the research has outlined several other related issues, including what is known as Maternity Blues and Postpartum Psychosis, Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Postpartum-Onset Panic Disorder, which are other mood disorders related to giving birth.

Research Paper on Postpartum Depression Theory Assignment

Crucial to the creation of PPD theory is the work of Cheryl Tatano Beck. Throughout her studies over the years, Beck has used qualitative measures, including grounded theory, to help better understand PPD and why it occurs in some new mothers, but also how it can be best handled by health care professionals and nurses in terms of compiling tailored and effective care strategies. Prior to 1993, when Beck began working primarily in this context, there were very few studies focusing on the nature of PPD and how to combat it in new mothers to improve the quality of their lives. Beck significantly contributed to the existing dialogue with a number of other studies that examined risk factors, incident rates, and other elements regarding the presence of PPD after a patient gives birth. From this increased level of research, Beck created a now well-recognized theory in regards to why PPD and its related mood disorders occur within new mothers. She asserts that the brain typically accommodates for certain stressors, but major "stressful events (internal or external), particularly over long periods, cause disruption of the biochemical regulation in the brain" which can trigger mood and psychological disorders based on the presence of such stress (Maeve, 729). When women are in the vulnerable state of pregnancy and just having given birth, stress combined with hormonal stressors can trigger conditions like PPD based on the brain's inability to cope with so much.

PPD is often accelerated with the cultural expectation of women to feel happy after giving birth, which can only increase stress when that is not fulfilled in full. Beck acknowledged the cultural trends as another stressful factor. According to a later report Beck contributed to, "despite the stereotype that the perinatal phase is a period of happiness, women frequently experience adjustment difficulties and depressive symptoms during… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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