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Women and mental health 

Mental health involves finding a balance in all aspects of life: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It is the ability to enjoy life and cope with everyday challenges.

Mental health problems or disorders consist of a range of specific conditions that affect a woman’s thoughts, feelings, actions and mental functioning (e.g., memory). Mental health problems are associated with significant distress and may result in a diminished ability to cope with daily life over an extended period of time.

Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression (PPD) refers to non-psychotic depression that occurs shortly after childbirth. PPD is the most common complication of child-bearing. Apart from the fact that it happens soon after childbirth, PPD is clinically no different from a depressive episode that occurs at any other time in a woman’s life.

  • “Partner and Family Support for Women with Postpartum Depression” 
    Partners and families will need information about PPD, including knowing the symptoms and helping to detect the condition should it occur. There are also ways in which they can support a woman with PPD.
  • “Self-Care Strategies for Postpartum Women”  
    This section provides some self-care strategies that mothers may find helpful during the postpartum period. The strategies will not in any way suffice as treatment for depression, nor enable a woman with PPD to recover. Rather, the suggestions should serve as adjuncts to appropriate medical or psychological treatment for PPD.

    A mother with depression may not, at first, feel well enough to do many of the self-care activities . After treatment begins to take effect, however, she will have more energy and will gradually be able to initiate self-care.

Trauma

We all respond to injury in different ways. Trauma is the emotional response when an injury overwhelms us. The injury could be physical, sexual or emotional. When thoughts and memories of the traumatic event don’t go away or they get worse, they may lead to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can seriously disrupt a person’s life.

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