The Meaning of PPD: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of PPD? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the abbreviation PPD, including its definition, usage, origin, and more!

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What does PPD stand for?

According to Help Guide, PPD stands for postpartum depression. This is a mental health condition that can be diagnosed by a mental health provider or therapist and may be helped by CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy.) Postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis occur after a person gives birth to a newborn infant. A dramatic drop in the hormones estrogen and progesterone can lead to these symptoms of depression including shame, guilt, and more. No matter what the spouse or family members may do to help, this complication in mood after pregnancy is common in the first year. These emotions can range from anxiety to symptoms that mirror bipolar disorder. Therapies for this illness might include antidepressants or tactics for combating paranoia. Certain people may have high risk factors dependent on their previous behaviors or mental health. 

Williams Heath states that PPD can also stand for purified protein derivative, which is a tuberculin skin test used to test if someone has a TB infection. A positive PPD skin test does not mean that one is infected with tuberculosis, but they do have the bacteria mycobacterium tuberculosis. These people are called TB latent. A doctor will suggest medication for 9 months to kill the tuberculosis infection even if you do not have active TB. After a positive PPD skin test, a person will have to do a chest x-ray and a physical exam to make sure that you don’t have an active disease and that you are not contagious. TB can affect the lungs, kidneys, bones, spine, brain, and other parts of the body. Other symptoms include a fever, night sweats, coughing, trouble breathing, being tired, weight loss, blood in the sputum, and more. Exposure is common, and a positive PPD test is not the end of the world, but risk is high in certain people who are HIV positive, have diabetes, kidney failure, recent organ transplant, IV drug users, occupants of crowded residential area like homeless shelters and immigrants from countries where TB is prevalent. The immune system will have a skin reaction to the derivative test if there is a positive result or false-positive reaction, and no reaction if there is a negative result.

According to The Free Dictionary, the abbreviation PPD also has a plethora of different meanings outside of “postpartum depression”. While these are all still valid definitions, they are far less common and should be used sparingly to eliminate any confusion. If you do plan to use one of these different definitions for the acronym PPD, ensure that you are providing the reader or listener with the proper context to be able to decipher your intended meaning. This should be standard practice with any acronym that can have more than one definition.

  •  Practitioner Professional Development (UK)
  •  Plant Population Density
  •  Post-Potter Depression
  •  Per Patient Day
  •  Passenger Presence Detection (sensor)
  •  Pre Prosecution Diversion (criminal justice)
  •  Predicted Percentage of Dissatisfied (polling)
  •  Practice and Personal Development
  •  Public Procurement Directives (European Commission)
  •  Professional Personal Development (various organizations)
  •  Parts Per Deciliter
  •  Packet Pair Dispersion
  •  Presidential Program Directive (US DHHS)
  •  Proposal Package Description
  •  Process Piping Designer
  •  Published Price to Dealer
  •  Partial Packet Discard
  •  Pseudo Processor Device
  •  Presidential Protective Detail
  •  Pharmaceutical Products Division
  •  Plans and Programs Detachment
  •  Paraphenylene-Diamine (allergen)
  •  Panasonic Plasma Display (Japan)
  •  Primary Policy Database (Safenet)
  •  Professional Product Device
  •  Pay Per Download (sales)
  •  Prepare to Die (gaming)
  •  Project Plan Document
  •  Packs Per Day (cigarettes)
  •  Propulsion and Powertrain Division
  •  Petroleum Production Division
  •  Philadelphia Police Department
  •  Prepaid
  •  Personal Protection Device
  •  Poughkeepsie Police Department (New York)
  •  Paid per Download (online advertising)
  •  Post-Partum Doula (childbirth)
  •  Primary Power Distribution
  •  Process and Product Design
  •  Psychopathic Personality Disorder
  •  Pagan Pride Day
  •  Post Paid
  •  Plano Police Department (Plano, Texas)
  •  Partnership for People with Disabilities (formerly Virginia Institute for Developmental Disabilities; Virginia Commonwealth University)
  •  Plasmatic Pulsar Device (Star Trek)
  •  Pulse Position Data
  •  Pharmacy Practice Division (University of Wisconsin)
  •  Personal Profile Data (health records)
  •  Plasma Panel Display
  •  Postscript Printer Description
  •  PostScript Printer Definition
  •  Project-Peculiar Document
  •  Postponed (sporting events)
  •  Patent Policy Directorate (Canada)
  •  Partito Popolare Democratico (Italian: People’s Democratic Party; Switzerland)
  •  Pour Point Depressant
  •  Proposed Plan Distribution
  •  Post Party Depression
  •  Partia e Prosperitetit Demokratik (democratic prosperity party; Kosovo)
  •  Permanent Partial Disability (insurance)
  •  Physical Page of Data
  •  Portland Police Department
  •  Phoenix Police Department (Phoenix, Arizona, USA)
  •  Personal Property Division (JPPSO)
  •  Partners in Population and Development (various nations)
  •  Product Planning & Development
  •  Payment Processing Direct (credit card processing)
  •  Program/Project Planning Document
  •  Print Preview Dialog
  •  Protection of Personal Data
  •  Program for People with Disabilities
  •  Piezo Pumpe Duse
  •  Point Positioning Data
  •  Principals, Partners and Directors (consulting and auditing firms)
  •  Prediction Probe Detector
  •  Physician Practice Documentation (software)
  •  Paranoid Personality Disorder
  •  prepubertal diabetic
  •  Public Power District (Nebraska)
  •  Presidential Policy Directive
  •  Passenger Presence Detection
  •  Personal & Professional Development
  •  Postal Presort Defaults
  •  Pharmaceutical Product Development, Inc.
  •  Partido Popular Democrático (Popular Democratic Party, political party, Puerto Rico)
  •  Perl Package Distribution
  •  Pounds Per Day (unit of measure for feeding chlorine gas with a rotameter tube)
  •  Presidential Protective Division (United States Secret Service)
  •  Production Program Definition (document)
  •  Progressive Pseudorheumatoid Dysplasia
  •  Proyecto de Pequeñas Donaciones (Spanish: Small Project Grants; Mexico)
  •  Party for Democratic Prosperity (The Former Yugolsav Republic of Macedonia)
  •  Points Per Dart
  •  Project Proposal Document
  •  Polish Pentax Days (photography)
  •  Program Package Document
  •  Points per Day
  •  Partido por la Democracia (Party for Democracy, Chile)
  •  Pessoas Portadoras de Deficiencia (Portuguese: Persons with Disabilities; various locations)

Overall, the abbreviation PPD stands for either postpartum depression, which is a mental health condition that occurs after giving birth to a baby caused by a drop in hormones or purified protein derivative which is used in tuberculosis tests.


  1. Tuberculosis (TB) – Student Health and Wellness Services | Williams Health 
  2. Paranoid Personality Disorder (PPD) | Help Guide 
  3. PPD – What does PPD stand for? | The Free Dictionary