In the past, I have tried to be fairly open about living with major depression. If you’ve been here before, you’ll know that it’s something I was diagnosed with at the age of 14. I also have (undiagnosed) anxiety and hypervigilance (which mimics PTSD). I have anger issues. I’m a recovering perfectionist. I had mild postpartum depression.
Can you relate?
Even if you can’t relate to all of it, maybe there’s something we have in common.
For example, postpartum depression. It occurs far more commonly than society seems willing to acknowledge. And though it was touched on in the past, today I want to talk about common signs of postpartum depression and anxiety.
Though the term postpartum generally refers to after pregnancy; some women may develop postpartum depression while they are still pregnant.
Postpartum depression is a type of depression that occurs after you have your baby.
It can occur during the first couple months after you have your baby, but some people actually start experiencing it while they are still pregnant. Here are some signs that you may have postpartum depression before you give birth.
Common Signs of Postpartum Depression
In terms of your mental health after having a baby, you might be either suffering from postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety. It is important to be aware of both of these conditions since they can happen simultaneously or separately.
First of all, there is postpartum depression, which is what most people consider.
You don’t have to have your baby before experiencing symptoms; many women start experiencing the symptoms even before giving birth.
Here are some common signs that while you are pregnant, you are already having some depression red flags:
* Problems concentrating
* Extreme irritability or mood swings
* Lack of motivation to get the baby room ready
* Emotional breakdowns when shopping for baby items
* Hypersensitivity about the pregnancy or birth
* Crying often
* Becoming very angry or frustrated at others
* Feeling sad, hopeless, or helpless
* Not getting proper sleep due to your mental state or emotions
* Lack of appetite
You may also have postpartum anxiety, but while you are still pregnant. If you have severe anxiety during pregnancy or before birth, chances are high you will experience postpartum anxiety after you deliver your baby.
Common Signs of Postpartum Anxiety
* You have difficulty relaxing
* You are experiencing fight or flight, where you can’t stop moving around and doing something
* When thinking about the birth, you experience full-fledged panic attacks
* Things you used to be fine with are suddenly overwhelming, causing severe anxiety
* You have disturbing thoughts you haven’t had before
* You have consistently irrational worries
* You are checking things multiple time, like the windows and doors
How to Help a Woman with Postpartum Depression or Anxiety
In either case, you need to tell your doctor how you are feeling as soon as possible. Don’t just let these negative emotions build up until you have an emotional breakdown while you are pregnant or when you have a newborn to care for.
Let your obstetrician know you have signs of depression or anxiety, and they will determine the best treatment options.
You might be asked to see a counselor, which is totally normal and something many mothers do. It is important that you take this seriously and not assume everything is going to get better on its own. There is no reason you need to suffer mentally without seeking professional help.
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