The Link Between Postpartum Depression and Addiction

postpartum depression and addiction

Postpartum depression is a relatively common condition, with 15% of mothers facing this disorder. [1]

Despite the fact that millions of women are diagnosed with postpartum depression, the condition is very misunderstood and undiscussed. The stigmas surrounding depression in general leave many mothers alone in their struggles, as they are hesitant to reach out for help. When this happens, the guilt and negative emotions may lead to self-medication with drugs and alcohol. At Banyan Treatment Center Hyde Park, our women’s rehab in Tampa is here to help mothers find sobriety.

What Are Symptoms of Postpartum Depression?

Each person has unique symptoms, but common symptoms of postpartum depression include:

  • Feelings of emptiness or sadness
  • Crying often
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Oversleeping
  • Concentration issues
  • Anger or rage
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of interest in activities that are normally enjoyable

Risk factors for postpartum depression include a history of mental illness, traumatic life events, depression during pregnancy, anxiety, lack of social support, and pregnancy-related complications. [2]

How are Postpartum Depression and Addiction Connected?

The stigmas and guilt tied to postpartum depression prevent many mothers from seeking professional help, with many turning to drugs and alcohol in order to self-medicate their symptoms of postpartum depression. Progesterone, which is responsible for many reproductive functions, spikes and dips during pregnancy, potentially exacerbating symptoms of depression. Changes in estrogen levels can also leave women susceptible to addiction. [3]

Treating postpartum depression and addiction requires a professional approach. Mothers are encouraged to seek help for their conditions so they can improve their lives and the life of their child.

Call 888-280-4763 to learn how our addiction treatment center for women in Tampa can help.


  1. NIH – Postpartum Depression Facts
  2. Robertson, Grace, Wallington, Stuart – Antenatal risk factors for postpartum depression
  3. APA – Role of progesterone in nicotine addiction: Evidence from initiation to relapse

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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.