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PSYCHOLOGICAL CORRELATES OF POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
State University of Novi Pazar, Department of Psychology, Novi Pazar
According to the definition of the fourth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), postpartum depression may include any non-psychotic depressive disorder during the first four weeks of postpartum, according to research criteria during the first year after birth. The exact cause of postpartum depression is not yet known, and most researchers believe that postpartum depression is a bio-psycho-social problem. So far, the biological aspect of the disease is explained by changing the levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy, and by decrease of hormone levels after birth. Psychological correlates are often associated with low self-esteem, pessimism as a personality trait, bad strategies of coping with stress, mood swings and emotional reactions. The social aspect of the disease is associated with the existential conditions of pregnant woman, support of partners and education level. This paper will include issues like hereditary causes and possible psychological factors of postpartum depression prevention.
Nowadays, it is estimated that on average 15% of women, regardless of the pregnancy outcome, are suffering from postpartum depression. However, this information includes only those women who were diagnosed with postpartum depression and who themselves reported about it. Almost every woman receives basic care during pregnancy to prevent complications in the physiological level. This paper has shown possible psychological factors of postpartum depression prevention, the impact of optimism, self-esteem and coping skills. Acta Medica Medianae 2011;50(4):62-68.
Key words: postpartum depression, optimism, self-esteem, stress, mother