Parents! What You Should Know About Postpartum Depression
What you should know about PPD
Postpartum depression (PPD) is also known as postnatal depression. It is basically characterized by a parent becoming depressed and exhibiting such signs after the birth of a child. It could be either the father or mother who exhibits such symptoms and in some instances, it could be both of them.
It is a type of clinical depression with symptoms that vary from person to person and could last for a period of time ranging from two weeks to few years after childbirth if left untreated.
Many people who are suffering from PPD may not be diagnosed as they and those around them may dismiss it as normal behaviour after childbirth. Many people who are suffering from postpartum depression (and anxiety) may also take measures to hide their feelings or symptoms from others for fear of being called bad parents.
Some people may suffer a few of the symptoms of PPD strongly and prominently while other wider range of symptoms less or more intensely.
Some of the major symptoms of postpartum depression are listed below (it is important to note that often times new parents may have this feelings but if a parent is completely overwhelmed by them, unable to function because these feelings or continues to feel this way continuously for more than few days or once in a while, it may be an indicator of postpartum depression):
- Feeling extremely overwhelmed and having serious doubts about becoming a mother or parent. This includes an unshakeable feeling that the birth of the child was a serious mistake or the feeling of being incompetent for parenthood.
- Unreasonable guilt about the method of motherhood or parenting; feelings of great worry that the child that child deserves better, or is better off without the afflicted parent.
- Lack of an emotional attachment to the child
- Confusion and fear about the baby and the future.
- Lack of patience with the baby and everyone around
- Continuous and consistent feelings of irritation and anger: feeling angry and resentful towards everything and everyone; the baby, the partner and everyone around
- Deep envy and resentment towards those among friends and family, who do not have any babies
- Feelings of emptiness and numbness
- Unexplained sadness that results in unexplained and continuous crying
- Feelings of hopelessness; feeling like a total failure
- Lack of appetite or sudden and continuous overeating
- Insomnia or irregular that fails to resolve even after the baby’s demands exert less pressure on the parent’s sleep time
- Lack of concentration, forgetfulness and lack of desire to take decisions
- Feelings of disconnection from the environment and loved ones
- Thoughts or running away or committing suicide
- Feeling crazy and unbalanced; fear that of sharing one’s thought with those around at the risk of having the baby taken away or being called crazy
- Feelings of doom and a bleak future despite trying to do everything right
If you have of these symptoms, if you observe any of these symptoms in your spouse, partner or anyone who has recently had a baby (or anyone at all), it is best to consult a professional that can offer help.