Q&A: Should I be on medication for postpartum depression?

Ask A Doctor Question: 

I am having a few problems.  I had a son about 9 mon. ago and was diagnosed with postpartum depression.  My doc put me on zoloft and then serezone.  After about 6 mon I stopped taking the meds b/c I was upset that meds were the only solution my doc offered.  I have been doing ok but have occasional lapses that can last 1-4 days.  I am thinking its anxiety bc I usually lapse when I worry.  I don't know.  So, when I am thinking about christmas (when my son was born) I am a little apprehensive about how I will feel this year.  Should I find another phychiatrist or phsycologist?  Which?  Will anyone be able to help me without the use of drugs?  I would like to have more children someday. - c


Debra J. Green, LMFT -

Thank you for your question. Postpartum depression can be very challenging and upsetting at times.  Depression can be treated both with medication and/or therapy.  Ideally, if you are taking an anti-depressant, it is recommended that you attend therapy as well.  Sometimes, depression can be treated successfully in therapy without medication.  It depends on your personal situation.  I recommend that you start with a psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, or marriage and family therapist to receive an assessment of your symptoms and to start psychotherapy.  You can then decide together if a medication evaluation is appropriate for you.  At that time, I would recommend you meet with a psychiatrist to assess your symptoms further.   
Thank you.

--Debra J. Green, LMFT
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