Making a Diagnosis
Early intervention will make your recovery easier.
Your self-report and initial interview with your therapist will help us determine the severity, intensity and duration of your symptoms. If your symptoms, which are consistent with major depression and have persisted beyond a two-week period, the diagnosis of postpartum depression will be considered. A score of 10 or above on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale indicates that depression is a possibility. A score of 12 or above suggests there is a high probability of postpartum depression.
Your checkmarks on our PPSC Symptom List will give us a good idea of how your symptoms are clustered and which will respond best to different treatments. If you are experiencing significant anxiety or panic, this is consistent with the diagnosis of postpartum depression.
Making a Plan
If you are experiencing symptoms that would respond well to medication, we will refer you to a medical doctor for a comprehensive evaluation. We will discuss this thoroughly with you and address all concerns you may have. You may want to schedule an appointment with our psychiatrist, or you may prefer to see a physician who is already treating you. We will discuss the options together.
We may ask that your partner and your baby accompany you in a future visit so we can include the family in our assessment and treatment plan.
We will assess your self-help management regarding, for example, nutrition, sleep, exercise, social support, attachment to baby, relationship issues. Couples counseling is available when appropriate.
Typically, women return for supportive counseling on a weekly basis until there is sufficient symptom relief. If symptoms are acute and functioning is significantly impaired, coming in for session twice a week is appropriate.
We may also suggest you consider joining a support group.
We expect you to get initial relief from our early contacts on the phone and in-person. Sometimes, women tell us they are relieved to hear that their symptoms and scary thoughts are common and not as worrisome as they feared. You can expect your treatment to last a few weeks, but of course, this varies from person to person. You will be encouraged to contact us at any time during your treatment if you or anyone in your family has any concerns.