Die psigososiale effek van postnatale depressie by die vrou: die persepsie en ervaring van die lewensmaat

Esterhuyse, Emerentia (2006-03)

Thesis (M Social Work (Social Work))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.


This study is based on the perceptions and experiences of the psychosocial effect that post natal depression has on the partners of women diagnosed with this illness. Post natal depression is an emotional state of mind experienced by some women after the birth of a baby. In reality, it is a relatively scarce illness that is not openly spoken of in the community. Firstly the researcher will present an overview of the illness, and show the differences between the “baby blues”, post natal depression and post natal psychosis in order to heighten the awareness of this specific illness. Thereafter, the circumstances that lead to the illness as well as the symptoms present are explained since the women’s behaviour can impact on, as well as directly affect, both the partners psychosocial lives. To understand the circumstances in which a partner finds himself, the role of a man and father will be examined. With this in mind, the mans perceptions and experiences are further described with regard to his partner’s depression and how this affects him. Attention is also given to the different methods of treatment of postnatal depression, since the patient and her partner’s lives are directly impacted by professional involvement during the recovery period. This research is based on the opinions expressed by the participants of an existing support group for the partners of depressed women. The group is conducted by the researcher as a social worker in her private practice. Information was obtained through group sessions and followed up by individual interviews with each participant. The participants were required to comment on the way in which post natal depression had affected their relationship with their partners, babies and extended families as well as how they adjusted to the situation. The participants were recruited to describe their emotions with regard to the circumstances and express an opinion on the treatment available. They were also requested to suggest ways of improving the existing methods. The overall conclusion reached in this study is that social workers in the community are faced with a great challenge where post natal depression is concerned. Ideally this illness should be prevented but when it does occur, correct treatment is essential in order to obviate the breakdown of the family. The primary aim of any community is to provide and maintain a healthy family structure with both parents acting as role models. The purpose is to prepare children to develop into balanced adults in order to take their rightful place in society

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