8 Warning Signs Of Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is something that is becoming easier to talk about. I found out after the birth of my son I was suffering from PPD. It can be very serious and may get worse if left untreated. PPD like other forms of depression isn’t just feeling sad, in fact for some sadness doesn’t even enter the equation. It has both physical and mental aspects. Here are some of the symptoms to watch out for:
Your sleeping habits and patterns change. You may find yourself exhausted after twelve hours of sleep or up all night unable to sleep. Fatigue and insomnia are both signs.
Change in eating habits, loss of appetite or increase.
It can be very hard when you have feelings of resentment towards your child or husband. For me, it was when I had to feed Edward in the middle of the night. I could barely hold him and hated the fact I hated him for making me feed him. Some times I had trouble holding Victoria because I resented having to give up time with Edward to sit with her. Crazy right? Resentment is not a healthy or normal part of your postpartum recovery.
Every new parent has anxiety of some kind. However, irrational panic attacks are not the same thing. While in the car with both kids I had a panic attack that Victoria was going to toss her bottle onto Edward’s soft spot and kill him. One day while visiting my parents I started to panic on the stairs that I was going trip and drop Edward down them, I went to grab the handrail and then worried he was going to fall out of my arms, over the banister and die. These types of anxiety, fear and panic attacks are not normal.
Mood swings… Going from 0-60 in seconds. I would cry, laugh, then want to yell all in a matter of minutes. I had absolutely no control over my emotions. I’d cry because the sheets on our bed were wrong and I couldn’t fix them. I just crawled into bed and Andrew made the bed around me.
A lot of people with various types of depression are mistaken for lazy. What most people don’t understand is that it isn’t laziness, it’s an inability to do it. Some days it was a miracle that the kids got fed, I am so thankful I have Andrew with me. He has been indispensible through these moments.
Confusion, memory loss and indecision are all signs. Some days I couldn’t remember if I’d asked Andrew something and would ask him four or five times before I remembered the answer (in the course of an hour).
If you have the thoughts or feelings of hurting yourself or your child get help and tell someone. Even if you know you won’t act on them. I was walking through the drugstore one day and thought to myself, ‘what would happen if I drank this nail polish remover? Would it make me sick enough to go to the hospital so I wouldn’t have to be around the kids and maybe get Edward on formula so I didn’t have to feed him?’ I knew I wouldn’t actually drink it but I’ve never thought like that before. I went back to the car and Andrew and I talked about it. It made me feel like a terrible mother because I didn’t want to have to ‘deal’ with my kids. We called my mother in law and asked her to take Victoria for the night to give us a bit of a break.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed the problem with many of the symptoms. A lot of them are the same as pregnancy or pms symptoms. Some of these things are normal for a lot of people to feel, at least in small amounts. It can make it hard to tell the difference. So how do you tell the difference? My local public health nurse helped me answer that question: every day should be better than the last, every week better than the one before. If it isn’t and you are having any of these symptoms, even mildly, you should book a trip to your doctors.