Warning signs for post-partum depression - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Warning signs for post-partum depression

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – South Carolina detectives are considering post-partum depression as a possible factor in the murder. A local counselor says everyone needs to be on the lookout for warning signs. 

Post-partum depression is triggered by a chemical change in a woman's body. It can happen after giving birth to their first child, or their second, or third. 

Shaquan Duley told investigators she was financially stressed and unable to take care of her babies. A counselor says problems like that- are big warning signs. 

Linda Saltonstall is the Director of Clinical Services at St. Joseph's Villa in Henrico. She says if Shaquan Duley was experiencing post-partum depression, someone should have noticed.  

"One of the distinguishing features is that you may have difficulty bonding with your child. You might be withdrawing from friends and family," said Saltonstall. 

Experts say a weak support system could also cause a mother to feel overwhelmed and stressed. In this case, investigators the single mother was unemployed and just had a heated dispute with her mother about parenting skills. 

"Culturally, for years people have had a whole community around a family and their child. We have less and less of that and then you have the stress of finances, and you have the stress of just trying to survive day to day," Saltonstall said. 

Also listen for subtle comments like, ‘I wish didn't have children' or ‘this is just too hard.' Saltonstall says the way these two boys died point to a conflict Duley could have been having within herself. 

Tonight it's still unclear if Duley suffered from this depression. If you are worried about someone, the best thing you can do is call their physician. 

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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