The FDA approved the first drug treatment for post-partum depression (PPD) on March 19, 2019. Psychiatrists call this “peripartum depression”, which means depressive symptoms during pregnancy or after childbirth. While there is no actual diagnostic test for this, the current revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) labels this with various alternative wordings of “depressive disorder” or “bipolar disorder” or “anxiety disorder” or “stress disorder,” sometimes with the specifier “with peripartum onset“, depending on the circumstances.
The diagnosis is totally subjective, and is a justification for making money for prescribing an antidepressant. Psychiatrists do not typically perform any clinical tests to find out if there is a real medical reason for the symptoms, such as thyroid problems or vitamin deficiencies. Research suggests that rapid changes in hormones and thyroid levels during and after delivery have a strong effect on moods, yet this is mostly ignored by the psychiatric industry since it is easier and more profitable to prescribe a psychotropic drug.
The drug is Zulresso (generic brexanolone), an intravenous infusion administered continuously over 60 hours (2.5 days) and requiring constant monitoring. There is a risk of serious harm due to a sudden loss of consciousness during the treatment, the appearance of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, or hypoxia (loss of oxygen in the blood). The drug passes into breast milk, but there is no data on the safety of brexanolone while breastfeeding. The cost has currently been set at $34,000 per course of treatment.
Sage Therapeutics says that this neurosteroid, a derivative of allopregnanolone, affects GABAA (Type-A gamma-Aminobutyric acid) neurotransmitter receptors in the brain, although the actual mechanism of action of this drug with respect to PPD (or any other condition) is unknown.
Many people think that post-partum depression is a mental illness. However, this is very misleading for a mother who has experienced the trauma of just giving birth. To have them think the emotional roller coaster they may be experiencing is the result of a “chemical imbalance in the brain,” requiring mind-altering medication, is false and potentially very harmful.
This does not mean that serious emotional difficulties do not exist. But it does mean that psychiatrists and psychologists have used such difficulties to their advantage, promoting powerful drugs as a “solution” for vulnerable individuals. This has been for the sake of profit, often at the expense of people’s lives.
Quite apart from such drugs causing harm, they are also unnecessary. Any competent medical doctor who takes the time to conduct a thorough physical examination of someone exhibiting signs of what psychiatrists say are “mental disorders,” including post-partum depression, can find undiagnosed, untreated physical conditions.
Instead, psychiatrists prefer to tell young mothers that their condition is an “illness,” requiring “medication,” potentially endangering the life of the mother and her child.
Women may experience drastic drops in hormone levels after the birth of a child that can deliver a major shock to the woman’s body. Nutritional and mineral depletion or deficiencies as well as a lack of sleep while caring for a baby can also cause the symptoms psychiatrists say are a “mental disorder.” It can be treated nutritionally.
For more information, download and read the CCHR booklet “The Drugging of ‘Post Partum Depression’ – Clearing up Misconceptions About ‘Chemical Imbalances,’ Antidepressant Drugs and Non-Drug Solutions“.