Call our Free 24/7 Helpline Now

The Link between Postpartum Depression and Substance Abuse

The Link between Postpartum Depression and Substance Abuse

Postpartum depression is a serious illness that can occur in the first few months after childbirth; it can also happen after miscarriage and stillbirth. Suffering from postpartum depression can make you feel very useless, hopeless and sad and can even result in issues bonding with your baby. A lot of women turn to alcohol and drugs when going through postpartum depression but is there a connection between substance abuse and postpartum depression?

The Link between Postpartum Depression and Substance Abuse: Does depression lead to addiction?

Approximately one-third of individuals with major depression also have an alcohol problem, according to one major study led by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. In numerous cases, depression may be the first to occur. Depression may be a particularly important prompt for alcohol use in women, who are more than twice as likely to start drinking severely if they have a history of depression. Professionals say that women are more likely than men to self-medicate with alcohol. A number of studies have revealed that alcohol abuse increases the threat for depression. This linking may be because of the direct neurotoxic effects of heavy alcohol contact to the brain. Researchers know that heavy alcohol ingesting can lead to periods of depression.

The Link between Postpartum Depression and Substance Abuse: Women and using drugs before and after pregnancy

There are not many statistics available for women who turn to drugs to deal with postpartum depression. It is known that about five percent of women use illegal drugs while they are pregnant; a statistic that comes directly from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2007. It’s realistic to think that some women who had addictions during their pregnancy would have the same issues after the baby is born, but it’s tough to know exactly how many women might turn to drugs for the very first time as they deal with a new baby. It’s not hard to understand why women might find addictive drugs appealing as they try to deal with postpartum depression. Drugs of abuse can cause a spike in pleasure chemicals in the brain, enabling a low mood to lift and feelings of negativity and anxiety to vanish.

Substances of abuse can be used to help women to stay alert and energized for days, which could be supportive for women who need to be responsible for 24/7 care for irritable babies that don’t ever need to sleep. Abusive drugs can also deliver an instant feeling of relaxation, allowing women to drop off to sleep as soon as their babies do so. Some women develop sophisticated drug abuse routines as they attempt to deal with the life their babies mandate of them, and this use can rapidly spiral into abuse and addiction.

It’s widely known that drug abuse and addiction can lead to disastrous health consequences. Women who misuse drugs could develop infections at the spots they use for injection; they could harm their hearts or their vital organs due to abusive drugs. Women could impair their memories and their capability to make respectable choices, and they could expose their bodies to hazardous chemicals. Women who abuse drugs could also do permanent damage to their babies, at a time when these children are extremely susceptible.

Women who abuse drugs and who breastfeed their kids can cause their children an enormous quantity of hurt and anguish. Scientists, in a report made by the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that amphetamines, cocaine, heroin and marijuana can cause issues for babies who breastfeed. This study seems to propose that women who use drugs to help them deal with problematic babies may be making the issue even worse, as babies who are exposed to drugs might become yet more short-tempered and challenging. The unprotected baby could end up being a supporting cause that makes the desire to use substances even stronger.

Needless to say, going through postpartum depression can be difficult and dangerous for you and your baby. It can be hard to overcome these issues alone; make time for yourself, get help from family and friends, rest when your baby rests, try exercise and seeking help is the best advice I have for any new mother dealing with postpartum depression. Recovery and happiness is possible! If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-777-9588.


Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: Rehab Media Group, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.