Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Signs it could be more than the Baby Blues

I referenced THIS WEBSITE for a list of symptoms that may indicate postpartum depression. Of course, you are always encouraged to speak with your health care provider if you feel something is off. In addition to this list, the site shares information about postpartum anxiety/OCD, postpartum psychosis and even antenatal depression (depression sparked during pregnancy).

Signs you may be experiencing postpartum depression:

  • You feel overwhelmed.  Not like “hey, this new mom thing is hard.”  More like “I can’t do this and I’m never going to be able to do this.”  You feel like you just can’t handle being a mother.  In fact, you may be wondering whether you should have become a mother in the first place.
  • You feel guilty because you believe you should be handling new motherhood better than this.  You feel like your baby deserves better.  You worry whether your baby can tell that you feel so bad, or that you are crying so much, or that you don’t feel the happiness or connection that you thought you would.  You may wonder whether your baby would be better off without you.
  • You don’t feel bonded to your baby.  You’re not having that mythical mommy bliss that you see on TV or read about in magazines. Not everyone with PPD feels this way, but many do.
  • You can’t understand why this is happening.  You are very confused and scared.
  • You feel irritated or angry. You have no patience. Everything annoys you.  You feel resentment toward your baby, or your partner, or your friends who don’t have babies. You feel out-of-control rage.
  • You feel nothing. Emptiness and numbness. You are just going through the motions.
  • You feel sadness to the depths of your soul. You can’t stop crying, even when there’s no real reason to be crying.
  • You feel hopeless, like this situation will never ever get better. You feel weak and defective, like a failure.
  • You can’t bring yourself to eat, or perhaps the only thing that makes you feel better is eating.
  • You can’t sleep when the baby sleeps, nor can you sleep at any other time. Or maybe you can fall asleep, but you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep no matter how tired you are.  Or maybe all you can do is sleep and you can’t seem to stay awake to get the most basic things done.  Whichever it is, your sleeping is completely screwed up and it’s not just because you have a newborn.
  • You can’t concentrate. You can’t focus. You can’t think of the words you want to say. You can’t remember what you were supposed to do. You can’t make a decision. You feel like you’re in a fog.
  • You feel disconnected. You feel strangely apart from everyone for some reason, like there’s an invisible wall between you and the rest of the world.
  • Maybe you’re doing everything right. You are exercising. You are taking your vitamins. You have a healthy spirituality.  You do yoga. You’re thinking “Why can’t I just get over this?”  You feel like you should be able to snap out of it, but you can’t.
  • You might be having thoughts of running away and leaving your family behind. Or you’ve thought of driving off the road, or taking too many pills, or finding some other way to end this misery.
  • You know something is wrong. You may not know you have a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, but you know the way you are feeling is NOT right. You think you’ve “gone crazy”.
  • You are afraid that this is your new reality and that you’ve lost the “old you” forever.
  • You are afraid that if you reach out for help people will judge you. Or that your baby will be taken away.
Also, have you heard of Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex (D-MER)? It's the experience of depression suffered as milk is let down in breastfeeding women. It's physiological response (verses psychological/mental) and you can find more information at D-MER.org.

Thank you for joining me during this week of PPD/PPP. I hope it offered insight into the experiences of others so we can be sure to be kind.

2 comments:

  1. Wayyy tmi, but I had issues with dmer during pregnancy itself and I was terrified BFing would be an issue, but it was not. But without going into details, stimulation (like clothes or showers) caused me to cry, feel depressed, or just space out. It was so weird. I'm so grateful BFing worked out...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm so glad you posted these symptoms. I didn't know some of them.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by!