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Postpartum Depression (cont.)

Postpartum Depression Diagnosis

The diagnosis of postpartum depression can be missed because the less severe symptoms are so common after childbirth. The symptoms are the same as those of many other mental illnesses, especially depression. Here is what to expect during an evaluation.

  • Your health care professional will ask you about your symptoms: what they are, how bad they are, and how long they have lasted.
  • He or she will also ask whether you have ever had similar symptoms before.
  • You will also be asked about risk factors for depression, such as family or marital problems, other stresses, mental illness in family members, and drug and alcohol use.
  • Your health care professional may also ask questions about your medical history to determine if there is a physical cause for your symptoms.
  • Your health care professional may use the questions of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, a screening tool. You answer 10 questions, and your answers indicate your probability of having postpartum depression. Depending on your score, you may be referred for further evaluation.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/24/2014

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