From the time you’re pregnant to all the different stages of being parent, motherhood is filled challenges. While it’s natural for new moms to experience sadness, fear or stress in the first couple weeks after giving birth, some women develop a much more intense form of depression. According to the Centers for Disease Control, roughly 20 percent of women experience postpartum depression.

Unfortunately, postpartum depression can make new moms feel like they’re unable to connect with their child. This feeling causes anxiety as societal norms and the pressures of motherhood begin to weigh you down. Left unchecked, the stress from this situation can encourage you to engage in dangerous behavior to cope. Let’s take a detailed look at postpartum depression and learn about its relationship with substance abuse.

What is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is a mental health condition that stems from major depressive disorder and only affects women who have given birth. One of the most challenging aspects of this condition is that it can start anytime between the first two weeks after you give birth to a year later. Your risk for postpartum depression also increases if you’ve had struggles with anxiety in the past.

The stress from postpartum depression often compounds in intensity over time since the condition also affects the child as well. That pressure makes the condition more frustrating and can leave you feeling strong feelings of hopelessness. Some of the other common symptoms of postpartum depression include:

  • Intense mood swings and persistent worrying
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Having doubts about your ability to take care of a child
  • Crying fits and the feeling of being overwhelmed
  • Avoiding friends and family
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating and making decisions

Postpartum Depression and Substance Abuse

Being a new mom has its fair share of challenging days, but when you’re struggling with postpartum depression, even the most minor responsibilities of having a baby can feel frightening and insurmountable. Every time a baby cries or needs to be changed, it takes an emotional toll on someone with postpartum depression. All that pressure and stress can lead to new mothers abusing drugs or alcohol as a way to cope.

In fact, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration reported that 15 percent of new mother’s binge drink, while nine percent abuse drugs. It’s led researchers to discover that new mothers with postpartum depression are more likely to suffer from substance abuse. Why do new mothers turn to drugs and alcohol?

These substances not only boost your mood in the short term, but they can also give you energy to keep up with new parent demands. However, there’s a cost that comes with drug and alcohol abuse. Plus, there are healthier ways to cope with the anxiety and stress that accompanies postpartum depression.

How to Find Treatment for Substance Abuse and Postpartum Depression

If you’re suffering from postpartum depression and substance abuse, dual diagnosis treatment can help. The true benefit of dual diagnosis treatment is that it addresses both conditions at the same time. Mental health experts will work help you identify your triggers for substance abuse so you can start to build healthier ways to cope with stress and anxiety.

Every new mother going through postpartum depression and substance abuse has their own unique challenges. The foundation of dual diagnosis treatment is getting to know you on a personal level. That way, your immediate and long-terms needs can be worked directly into your treatment plan. The goal of dual diagnosis treatment is to help you reach lasting recovery from depression and substance abuse. That way, you can bring your family together and enjoy all the wonders of motherhood.

Discover Premier Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Arizona

At Fountain Hills Recovery, we know how challenging it is to deal with depression and substance abuse at the same time. As Arizona’s top luxury dual diagnosis treatment center, we address the root cause of both conditions instead of just the symptoms. Our dual diagnosis treatment is based on precise diagnostics. Our expert team with get to know you on a personal level so we can customize our treatment to your unique needs. Contact us today to see how we can help you reach lasting recovery.