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Blum, L.D. (2007). Psychodynamics of Postpartum Depression. Psychoanal. Psychol., 24(1):45-62.

(2007). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 24(1):45-62

Psychodynamics of Postpartum Depression

Lawrence D. Blum, M.D.

Although there are numerous articles and books about postpartum depression, few are psychoanalytically informed, and the psychodynamics of women suffering from postpartum depression are overlooked in most of these publications. Psychoanalytic reports concerning postpartum depression are few, but clinical experience and the literature suggest that a triad of three common, specific emotional conflicts is typical of many women who develop postpartum depression. For simplicity, these are dependency conflicts, anger conflicts, and motherhood conflicts. The dependency conflicts typically have a counterdependent form, the conflicts over anger characteristically include a great deal of guilt and inhibition, and there are often problematic identifications with the woman's own mother (and father) with associated conflicts about motherhood. The frequent counterdependent attitude tends to limit participation in extensive psychotherapy, contributing to the paucity of psychoanalytic contributions on this subject.

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