It used to be the case that postnatal depression was something that was largely not spoken about. To many, it was linked with some kind of shame. Also, it feels as if it is not that long since it was even recognised or spoken about in a major sense in society.
By having more women open up about their battles with postnatal depression it does mean that others are then more likely to want to discuss their issues and how they then plan on dealing with them.
But then, how do you even know that you have some kind of problem? That is where these next few minutes of your life may prove to be rather useful.
Post Natal Depression: Signs and Actions.
What we need to do is to provide you with an easy to follow guide regarding postnatal depression symptoms, and we must begin by looking at the signs that you may very well have some kind of a problem. After all, knowing and accepting that there is a problem is your first step towards being able to overcome those difficulties that you then face.
However, we need to go further back by looking at what we mean by postnatal depression.
What Exactly is it?
As the term describes, this is a form of depression that can affect a mother after childbirth. It can affect a mother after any birth, so while they may have been perfectly fine after the first one, they could then suffer with a second birth.
This can occur due to fluctuations in hormone levels, suffering from severe fatigue, and even the adjustment of becoming a mother. Add in the stress that may have been associated with a more traumatic birth, and you could very well have the perfect recipe for developing depression.
This is more common than you may be aware. In fact, according to the NHS, approximately 1 out of every 10 women will suffer from postnatal depression. However, the difficulty is that more may indeed suffer but do not recognise the signs and symptoms.
When Does it Happen?
It’s important to remember that the signs of postnatal depression may not necessarily be the exact same as they are for normal depression. After all, it is linked to something very specific in nature, and that is what we need to keep in mind as we look at the different signs that you need to be aware of.
What you need to know is that this condition can strike at any point during the first 12 months after giving birth. So, while the chances of developing it do diminish after 6 months, you are not completely out of the woods.
One thing we must stress is that you need to ignore the first two weeks after giving birth. This period is called the ‘baby blues’ and it’s perfectly normal for this to happen. The big difference is that it is very rare for this period to extend between those first two weeks, and it is after that point where you need to become aware of what you are feeling.
What are the Signs?
There are several key signs to look out for. Which ones will affect you is something that is entirely down to your luck.
A Persistent Feeling of Being Sad or Your Mood Being Lower.
This is perhaps the main symptom you will be able to identify as it is the easiest one to link to depression. While we can all feel as if our mood is lower or we are sad at times, it will then become a problem when these feelings are more persistent.
This will then potentially turn into depression if these feelings are not addressed straight away. If you feel that you are unable to lift yourself up, and that this goes on for days at a time, then you may very well have a problem.
A Loss of Interest in the World.
If you have lost your interest in pretty much everything in the world, then this is going to be another sign that you may suffer from depression. If you are unable to take joy in things that you used to like or perhaps feel less energised about things that you thought you would be excited about, then this shows that all is not well.
Having a real lack of energy and also feeling tired even when you sleep long enough is a sign that you may have depression. This can also be tied into the earlier point regarding losing interest in things because if you don’t have any energy, then why would you then have any interest?
Lethargy is a horrible thing. It stops you in your tracks and you will then feel as if you are sinking even further than before.
Depression can do this strange thing whereby it can make you sleep more and then it can also do the complete opposite. You may find yourself in a position whereby you find it difficult to sleep and you feel as if you need to nap during the day. This destroys your ability to go ahead and run your day in an organised manner, but it is all being caused by a change in brain chemistry.
You Cannot Look After Your Baby.
If you get to a stage where you feel unable to look after your baby, and it goes beyond the usual baby blues,then it may indicate the presence of postnatal depression. That lack of bond between you and your baby is unusual. If you are swamped with the idea of caring for them and dealing with their issues and crying, then it’s best to get help before things get even worse for you.
With this symptom, you should also be aware of that difficulty bonding as well as developing thoughts where you feel you could hurt you baby.
There are a number of other symptoms to look out for when it comes to postnatal depression symptoms. Once again, they are linked to depression so they are very common.
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
- Feeling guilty.
- Feeling low in self-esteem.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Difficulty making decisions.
- Changes in appetite.
- Feeling apathetic and irritated.
How to Deal with it.
The best thing to do is to contact your doctor as soon as possible. There are specialists who deal with this type of depression and they will be able to guide you towards both medication as well as therapy.
Talking about it and seeking help can prevent things from getting worse. Do not suffer alone as it may lead to problems for both you as well as potentially you baby.
As you can see, there are a number of symptoms and signs to look out for that may very well indicate that postnatal depression is a real issue. Being aware of this is going to lead to you being able to get the correct treatment and allow you to move on with your life. Considering how dangerous this entire problem can be, getting things rectified as soon as possible is essential for you to regain control of your life.