Postpartum Depression in Adolescents

Write an article on Postpactum Depression in Adolescents. It needs to be at least 2250 words.

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The conclusion from this review states that Postpartum Depression (PPD) can have deleterious effects on parents, infants, older children, extended families and the community. Postpartum depression results in devastating consequences for adults. However, for adolescents, who are already in major transitional changes, postpartum depression causes insurmountable damage. Studies have reported that teen mothers are at risk since they experience higher levels of despair, lower self-esteem and suicide attempts compared to their adult counterparts. An understanding of the complexities and individual vulnerabilities of young adolescents in relation to PPD combined with early identification is a primary concern of the social workers and health practitioners to prevent PPD from becoming a more serious mental illness. Postpartum Depression is a potentially devastating disorder with prevalence rates ranging from 20% to 26% in adolescent mothers. There has been some disagreement about the peak incidence of PPD onset, with various studies indicating that onset could begin within the first 12 weeks postpartum. In general, onset is usually gradual, but can be rapid, and may begin any time during the first year of postpartum. Additionally, research has shown that depressive episodes extend beyond the first postpartum year and may occur continuously and/or intermittently for extended periods. PPD is often referred to as postpartum non-psychotic depression to differentiate from PPP (postpartum psychosis), throughout this discussion PPD will maintain that definition.

PPD in an adolescent mother is characterized by symptoms including debilitating depression, suicidal ideation, hopelessness, feelings of inadequacy, fatigue, lack of interest in a baby, low levels of functioning, isolation and social withdrawal, irritability, severe mood swings, difficulties in concentration, decreased libido, anhedonia (lack of interest in living and in the pleasures of life), unintended changes in eating patterns and somatic manifestations of anxiety, such as palpitations and headaches (Ammerman et al. 2007. McMahon, Barnett, Kowalenko, & Tennant, 2006. Forman et al., 2007. Mayberry, Andrews Horowitz, & Declercq, 2007. Tuohy, 2008. Dennis, 2005). Indeed, these symptoms are similar to and are often the same as those of major depression that occur at other times. Left untreated PPD can have significant and long lasting detrimental effects on the infant, the family, and the mother herself (Baker et al., 2005). Considerable evidence exists that maternal depression has adverse effects on maternal-infant attachment and long-term infant cognitive and emotional development (Baker et al., 2005). As with PP OCD, there have been reports of PPD in young fathers (Goodman, 2004). Maternal depression seems to be the strongest predictor of paternal postpartum depression (Goodman, 2004). Other factors that contribute to paternal postpartum depression are distressed marital relationship, history of depression, unemployment, poor social functioning, low socioeconomic status and stepfamily membership (Goodman, 2004). Ramchandani, Stein, Evans and O’Connor (2005) in a large longitudinal study investigated the effects of paternal depression on early childhood emotional and behavioral development.

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