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Mental Illnesses Run Deeper Than The Surface

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Question:

What Is The Impact Of Social Support On Postnatal Depression?

 

Answer:

Introduction:

Depression is considered to be one of the most difficult mental conditions that cause the most damage to the lifestyle of an individual. Many psychiatry researchers and authors have deemed it the major cause behind the increasing rates of suicides all over the world. This psychological disorder so intensely damages the self worth and confidence that an individual does not hesitate to take his or her own life. Although much research have been carried out to determine or distinguish the exact set of triggers that facilitate anyone to succumb to depression, there is still a conspicuous lack of clarity to determine what propels a sane human being to the dark abyss of depression. Unfortunately this particular disease has captured our youth at the best, 1 out of 5 young adult is found to be dealing with some degree of depression. The statistics or teens and tweens are even worse, every single day millions of youngsters wilfully take their own lives, exhausted and defeated by the hands of depression. Despite the terrible reality going worse and worse every day, the society still has not taken a huge step to ensure that their young are well protected from the huge risk that depression poses (Jones et al., 2014).  

One major contributing factor to the terrifying lack of preventative and support measures can be the extreme difficulty to recognize a severely depressed person. They seem very similar to a happy and sane person as well, the signs and symptoms of depression are very difficult to track, and when they are clearly visible in the nature and behaviour of the patient, is often too late to bring them back. However, medical science has progressed considerably and now there are some answers to the misery of mental illnesses. Various authors have devoted their lives to the characterization of depression depending on the cause and symptoms of it and there are some categories standardized now that can help the psychiatrists to distinguish them, post partum depression is one such category (Mitchell, 2015).

 


This is rather a unique kind of depression that affects mothers after the event of childbirth. The symptoms of post natal depression include sorrow, anger, anxiety, fatigue, irregular sleeping patterns, decreased appetite and decreased libido. The concept of post partum depression might be very common, but the causes for this particular disease have not yet been discovered. Although few psychiatrics blame the complete restructuring of the hormonal levels during and after pregnancy to be the major cause behind this phenomenon. What makes post natal depression even more dangerous is the trigger it has proved to be to the maximum instances of parental abuse and even child slaughter, hence undoubtedly there is a pressing need for the society to take this mental problem seriously (Reid & Taylor, 2015).

Mental illnesses run deeper than the surface, and it has now been established that only a carefully curated set of antipsychotic medication cannot help those who are dealing with this particular disease. Psychiatrists worldwide have attempted to include cognitive behavioural therapies, group therapies and what not to expedite the process of healing for the majority of mental  Psychology illnesses (Zhang & Jin, 2016). Counselling support is the biggest element of psychological care and has helped millions regain the control of their lives effectively, and post natal depression is a very similar mental problem. Studies have suggested at the excellent effect social counselling support has had over the young mothers dealing with post natal depression and has helped hem embrace motherhood without any inhibition. Researchers have discovered the immense fear and anxiety brought forward by the responsibility of a new born becomes the driving force propelling new mothers of sometimes fathers towards the post natal depression, amd having a thorough support system guiding them through the process of parenthood before and after child birth has discovered to be seen making a huge difference (Zhang & Jin, 2016).

 


He social support that new parents dealing with post natal depression include feeding guidance, bathing guidance, hygiene guidance, baby handling practice sessions and mostly private and group counselling session where he patient dealing with depression is allowed to share their woes and insecurities and share them with the counsellor and other parents struggling to keep up with parenthood as well (Negron et al., 2013). This extensive support system allows the unfortunate parents to feel protected and valued and helps the find a niche when they feel they are fast losing hold on anchor in their lives. Despite the impact of social supporting preventing the occurrence of post natal depression, there still is lack of access to such support services in rural or suburban ethnic communities. However, then personal contact cannot be achieved telephonic support can be beneficial in generating a supportive foundation in the lives of parents dealing with post natal depression ad are living in an area that is not well connected or developed (Negron et al., 2013). This research will focus on evaluating the impact of telephonic social support to the post natal depressed parents who live in an area from where they cannot access such supportive care due to geographic, economic or societal barriers.

 

Methods:

A research study cannot move forward without a well organized and pre planned set of research methodologies to proceed with. A well articulated and carefully curated set of research methodologies allow the researcher to take step by step actions to proceed with the research without any hindrance, and without a proper research methodology planned, the progress of a research study is lost. This research will depend mostly on primary data nad the data collected will be analysed using qualitative data analysis technique. As subject population 60 mothers will be selected that are dealing with post partum depression provided by the local hospitals and health care facilities as well as with community social service centres. To ensure ethical practice in this research all the participants will be informed about the study and a proper consent will be extracted from the participants to ascertain their wilful participation.

As a measurement tool for the level or severity of the depression of the selected participants, La Trobe Post-Natal Depression Scale will be utilized. This particular scale of 10 self-report Likert items on a scale of 1 – 5 and is used abundantly in the determination of the severity of depression an individual is suffering with. The sacle will be used both bfore and after the conduction of study and will aid as the most cost effective way to measure the scale of depression in the subjects.

 


To further simplify the study design, the subjects will be randomly categorized in to two groups, the control group will not receive any kind of telephonic support program and the experimental group will receive the telephonic support program organized for the study for a prefixed period of time, after which the level of depression will be measured in both groups again with the help of La Trobe Post-Natal Depression Scale. It has to be mentioned in this context that the telephonic program will be examined as an additional support along with the social and medical they are receiving to determine what difference the telephonic program and the lack of it will bring. The control group will not be denied access to external social and medical help as well. After the completion of the study the depression scale of all the subjects belonging to different groups will be diligently measured and compared to arrive at a decision. This discretion will bring clarity and accuracy in the study and will reduce te chances of mishap happening. However, no depressed should be denied any additional support they can get and depriving the control group subjects of the telephonic help will be extremely immoral and unethical. Hence the telephonic subjects will be treated as thec waiting list and they will be provided access to telephonic support after the completion of the study.

The telephonic support program will comprise of a peer group of trained support staff who have either previously experienced PPD or have encountered someone with PPD closely. The study will continue for two months at a stretch and the subjects will receive 15 minute phone calls thrice a week for the duration of the entire study. Lastly in order to pledge he ethical compliance o this research the researcher will ascertain extracting consent from each and every subject and will also ensure all he personal data are treated with complete confidentiality.

 

Reference:

Cankorur, V. S., Abas, M., Berksun, O., & Stewart, R. (2015). Social support and the incidence and persistence of depression between antenatal and postnatal examinations in Turkey: a cohort study. BMJ open, 5(4), e006456.

Jones, I., Chandra, P. S., Dazzan, P., & Howard, L. M. (2014). Bipolar disorder, affective psychosis, and schizophrenia in pregnancy and the post-partum period. The Lancet, 384(9956), 1789-1799.

Mitchell, E. (2015). Only recently has paternal postpartum depression (PPD) received much attention. Research has shown that maternal PPD is associated with negative outcomes in the child’s cognitive development and social and marital problems for the parents. Likewise, depressed fathers are less likely to play outside with their child and more likely to put the child to bed awake. Recent studies reported that 10.4% of men experienced depression within 12 month of delivery. Edmondson et al 2 estimate the prevalence of .... Current Psychiatry, 14(5), e1-e2.

Negron, R., Martin, A., Almog, M., Balbierz, A., & Howell, E. A. (2013). Social support during the postpartum period: mothers’ views on needs, expectations, and mobilization of support. Maternal and child health journal, 17(4), 616-623.

Reid, K. M., & Taylor, M. G. (2015). Social support, stress, and maternal Psychology postpartum depression: A comparison of supportive relationships. Social science research, 54, 246-262.

Zhang, Y., & Jin, S. (2016). The impact of social support on postpartum depression: The mediator role of self-efficacy. Journal of health psychology, 21(5), 720-726.

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