Psychology of Adjustment
March 03, 2013
1The purpose of the article of descriptive phenomenological study was to identify and describe the essential meaning structure in the experience of postpartum depression (PPD). 2They interviewed four women diagnosed with major depression and analyzed the data with Giorgi’s descriptive phenomenological method. Their analysis revealed two essential meaning structures of PPD. The first structure describes the mother as throw into a looming, dangerous world, coupled with a restricted, heavy body that hindered her attunement to her baby. Tormented by anxiety, guilt and shame, she tried to deal with her pain by analytical reflection and social isolation. The second structure describes sudden lapses into intense feelings of alienation from the self, the baby, and from the social and material world. With a distorted primordial self-awareness, the mother no longer felt that she existed as herself in the world. 1PPD involves a temporary collapse of fundamental structures of consciousness, that is, how they experience self, body, the social world, and time. These structures become more or less deformed, reorganized in a new interconnected gestalt, which sustains and strengthens itself if not identified and treated. Their subjects lived their postpartum depression in different ways and in different contexts. One essential meaning structure encompassed three participants. The data presented by the fourth subject lent itself to a second structure. These two structures contain several interrelated constituents which can be separated for the sake of further analysis and presentation.
1In order to help the mother, they had to understand how she exists in her world. The primary goal of clinical intervention is to recognize and validate the mother’s way of existence, or being in the world. 3Postpartum depression can be described as a lack of attunement to the baby and to...