1. Try to find a local support group in your area. Visit www.postpartum.net for assistance in finding a local group. These groups can offer valuable referrals as well as an opportunity to talk with specially trained volunteers
2. Get a referral to a doctor that is trained to deal with PPD. Ask your pediatrician, family doctor, ob/gyn, or other person you trust for recommendations. Finding someone you and your wife both trust and feel comfortable with is crucial for recovery.
3. Be prepared for a long recovery with setbacks along the way. PPD is not something that can be fixed overnight. It may take a few weeks or it may take a few years for your wife to recover and for your family to heal.
4. Attend as many doctor appointments as possible. This will not only demonstrate to your wife how much you care about her but it will also give you a chance to communicate with the doctor and hear the doctor’s instructions. Don’t assume that your wife is going to be open with her doctor, or that she is going to comprehend or trust what he tells her.
5. Continue treatment even when she starts feeling better. While discontinuing treatment is very tempting once she starts feeling better it can be very dangerous. The chances of relapse are much higher if treatment is stopped too early.
6. Get help for yourself and your family. Don’t let the stigma of depression keep you from sharing with others what is going on. There are many people out there willing to help people and they just need to be asked.
7. Love your wife. Be tender, be supportive. Believe her and believe in her. Do not assume she is “over-reacting” or being “unreasonable.”
8. Be her lifeline. You may be the one who needs to make the call about whether she needs medical attention. She may not be able to ask for it herself.
9. Ask questions. My husband says that if he knew then what he knows now he would have asked many more questions — Can you read? Can you follow a TV plot? Are you hearing things? Etc. — Those are things that apply to psychosis