Bringing home a new baby brings great joy, but along with the elation come new stresses – which pile on top of the day-to-day challenges of modern life.
It all can be overwhelming at times.
Many new mothers experience some anxiety or mood changes. This is partly due to huge hormonal shifts after giving birth, and partly due to the pressures of the responsibility you now face.
Your family members and close friends will probably assure you that ups and downs are perfectly normal after bringing your new baby home, and that things will even out as the weeks progress.
What Is Postpartum Depression?
For some new mothers, anxiety and deep depression can take hold and not improve. These intense feelings have a name: postpartum depression (PPD).
Increasingly, doctors and nurses are paying attention to the signs and symptoms that a new mother could be suffering from PPD, because treatment is available, and treatment can prevent worsening problems.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is more than feeling sad or anxious at times. PPD involves weeks of unrelenting intense symptoms; treatment is needed for you to get better.
It’s important to understand that PPD can begin as long as one year after you give birth. It doesn’t have to start soon after having your baby.
Common signs and symptoms of postpartum depression can include:
- A feeling of intense, constant sadness
- Being irritable for no apparent reason
- Being continually anxious about your baby’s health or about your ability to take care of your infant
- Not being able to care for your infant, or losing interest in doing so
- Having no sense of self-worth, feeling guilty and worthless
- Having intense feelings of anger or rage
- Having little or no energy, which gets worse rather than better as the weeks after delivery progress
- Losing interest in all activities, especially those you used to look forward to – such as chatting with friends or watching a favorite TV show
- Not being able to make simple decisions
- Not being able to see that there is a “light at the end of the tunnel,” and that things will get better eventually
- Feeling like you will hurt yourself or hurt your baby
Getting Help for Depression After Giving Birth
It can be particularly hard and embarrassing for new mothers to speak up about having these symptoms. After all, society tells us this should be the happiest time in a woman’s life. Many mothers who suffer from postpartum depression hide how they are really feeling, even from family members.
But it’s critical that you talk to a doctor if you have experienced symptoms of postpartum depression, especially if any symptoms have lasted more than a few days. Getting treatment is essential for your health and the health of your baby.
Who Can Help with My Postpartum Depression?
Treatment for postpartum depression works! Your doctor will talk to you about medications and support that is available so that you can regain your health and resume your life with your baby, your family, and your friends.
You are not alone in feeling this way.
If you or someone you love is struggling with postpartum depression, or other mental health issues, contact Psy-Visions. Caring psychiatrist Dr. Mark Stracks provides customized treatment for postpartum depression, addressing the underlying physical and emotional issues you’re feeling.
Call (203) 405-1745 today and get the supportive care you need to help you resume control of your life. You can also use our online form to request a consultation with Dr. Stracks. We offer comprehensive, responsive care tailored to your individual needs.