The Atlantic

When Postpartum Depression Doesn’t Go Away

For 38 percent of sufferers, the condition becomes chronic, and mothers who expected it to pass as their children aged can struggle to find effective treatments.
Source: Zoë Jooyeon Bae

After giving birth to her first child, Chelsea Reiswig, like many new mothers, struggled with postpartum depression. But even as her child got older, the condition didn’t go away.

“I knew postpartum depression was a thing,” she says, “but I never really thought about it affecting me. I was not myself. I felt scared all the time.” Reiswig was jarred by the thought that this might be a condition that sticks with her for life. Six years later, Reiswig, 32, is still struggling with depression.

Anxiety and depression are common complications for mothers after childbirth, as many as one in seven new moms, according to the American Psychological Association. For , postpartum depression (PPD) is their published in the . “You can absolutely have a postpartum-depression experience that is an isolated event and you never go there again, but it may actually be the first of multiple experiences,” says Carly Snyder, a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist in New York City. For the women battling chronic postpartum depression, finding treatments that work and doctors who won’t dismiss their concerns can be major struggles.

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