Post natal depression is very common. It is observed among many new parents. It affects many women after childbirth. It can start from the first year itself. Sometimes it happens during the first year of parenthood. In some cases it happens in the later years. Many women feel the blues of being a new mother. Feeling down for no reason or feeling anxious and tearful are the common symptoms.
The normal baby blues last for two weeks. But if it stretches beyond that, then you can be sure that you are undergoing post natal depression. There are many signs and conditions which will help you determine whether or not you are having post natal depression.
Postnatal depression can also happen due to various emotional causes. If you have mood disorders in the past, you are more likely to experience postnatal depression. Sometimes depression also runs in the family. The change in hormone levels triggers it automatically.
Symptoms of Post Natal Depression
There are few common symptoms which indicate post natal depression. Check from the list whether or not you are undergoing any such issues.
- A continuous feeling of sadness associated with a low mood
- No longer enjoying tings that used to give you pleasure and happiness, before.
- An overwhelming feeling of tiredness and exhaustion even when you are taking rest throughout the day
- Having trouble sleeping at night whilst feeling very sleepy throughout the day.
- Feeling of being an inadequate and incompetent mother to your child
- Facing problems in concentrating or making any sort of decision
- Serious loss of appetite or a an abnormal spree of eating whilst being depressed (finding comfort foods)
- Always feeling agitated or irritable or completely oblivious to the surrounding
- An overwhelming feeling of hopelessness and unexplained guilt
- Unreasonably blaming yourself
- Feeling detached from the child. Being unable to connect to your child or get any kind of happiness in his/her company.
- Having disturbing thoughts about harming or killing your child.
- Thoughts about suicides or self-harm
For that reason you must always look for treatments when you are facing such difficulties. Symptoms can trigger within few weeks of your child getting born. Sometimes it surfaces even after few months. Lack of treatment will worsen the situation.
Spotting Signs in Your Partner:
Post natal depression is very hard to detect. Many victims do not get to understand the symptoms until it is true late. That is why it is important for the partners/husbands to step in and help detect the new mother in case she is undergoing any sort of depression.
It is not a wise decision to ignore the symptoms. So if your wife or partner or friend is a new mother and she is undergoing the following symptoms then you must take her to the doctors on an immediate basis.
The following are the symptoms of post natal depression:
- Frequent crying for no detectable reason
- Facing difficultly to bond with the child. Only taking care of the child in a perfunctory fashion.
- Preferring social detachment. Staying alone for long periods of time.
- Always being pessimistic and uttering hopeless words.
- Neglecting themselves and not taking care of their own clothes and well being or personal hygiene.
- Losing the sense of time.
- Losing the sense of humor.
- Worrying about something getting wrong. Constantly contemplating harm or death of the child.
If your wife, friend or partner is showing glimpses of these signs then you must immediately consult the doctor. Post natal depression is a very serious issue and one must not neglect it. It can result in serious injuries and even suicides.
Other Related Conditions:
Post natal depression can trigger various other mental problems among new mothers. The following are the few possible mental health issues which new mothers, with postnatal depression face:
Anxiety disorders in the form of panic disorder or post-traumatic disorders can happen once the new mother is undergoing postnatal depression.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
The victim might resort to repetitive actions. Unwanted thoughts will cloud their minds. Undiagnosed postnatal depression can actually cause OCD among various new mothers.
A series of bipolar symptoms can be visible once the mother is going through postnatal depression. Delusions and hallucinations are very common outcome of prolonged undetected postpartum depression.
Usually postpartum depression is caused by a combination of both physical and emotional factors. But the good news is that, once detected early, postpartum depression can actually be treated.
Treatment of Postnatal Depression
If you are suffering from post natal depression then you must immediately consult a physician. There are two main forms of treatment for postnatal depression-meditation and therapy. Either is effective but more effective when used together. It is also important that while undergoing treatment you must make some healthy life choices involving your choice of food and sleeping routine.
Medical treatments involve antidepressants. But you must consult doctors before taking them. Antidepressants regulate mood swings. However, the exact medicines and dosage needs to be prescribed by the doctor. This is because of the fact that wrong antidepressants might worsen the situation. Also some antidepressants are likely to worsen the situation whilst some will help you heal. Choosing the correct antidepressant also becomes important when you are breastfeeding your baby.
Your feeling of isolation and your destructive thoughts concerning your child can be cured with therapy. Psychiatrist or psychologists can be consulted and you can undergo a therapy. But apart from the therapy and medication, you yourself should practice more self care. Avoid taking responsibility which you cannot handle. Share thoughts and loads of raising the child with your husband or boyfriend or partner. Eat healthy. Sleep properly. You can also join a group of new mothers where you can share your problems and consequently understand that you are not the only one who is suffering.
Thus postnatal depression is a very serious condition. Your family and friends might overlook and say that you are overreacting. But you should not ignore. Even if you have the slightest hint of going into depression, then you should come out, discuss the issue and consult treatments.