Postpartum depression is a complex mental health complication that affects millions of women. While many symptoms of postpartum depression subside over time, there are some women who experience this form of depression and require long term mental health treatment especially for residual or secondary complications that develop in response to the post partum complication.
Much like bipolar disorder, postpartum depression can lead to complications associated with mania. In response to the depression, women who have recently given birth end up seeking out lifestyles and activities that alleviate the depressive tendency in hopes of creating an environment that is more active – even living on the edge. Shopping addictions are quite common among adults with bipolar disorder and can develop as part of the self-treatment of postpartum depression. Women with postpartum depression often report that engaging in shopping activities leave them feeling happier than before.
The happiness from shopping with postpartum depression is only temporary. While it may provide stimulation to the reward pathway of the brain, that stimulation is only temporary and can lead to even greater complications in terms of financial issues and this, ultimately, can lead to greater depression. If you are a woman who has recently given birth, and you notice that you suddenly have a great interest in shopping and spending money irrationally, it may be prudent to ask your doctor about the implications of postpartum depression.
Therapy used for adults with shopping addictions and bipolar disorder may be effective at alleviating complications for post partum depression in women. In these types of mental health therapies, many women find they are given the tools to manage not only the shopping addictions but other common complications associated with postpartum depression. The key to your optimal health outcome lies in the early detections and treatment following birth of your baby.
With treatment for depression, or even bipolar disorder, many women with post partum depression find relief of symptoms and the urge or tendency to shop excessively can be more effectively controlled. If you find that his is a risk for you, be sure that your life partner is aware of the complication and that steps can be taken to control your access to finances. In the end, it is your treatment for depression or bipolar disorder that will improve your postpartum depression and stop the vicious cycles that are inclusive of the shopping addictions and long term mental health complications after giving birth.
Sources: Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2002: 5: 67-69.