Postpartum Depression, a term which we have heard ( most of us ) but we don’t know its actual meaning until we have seen somebody close to us suffering from it. What is Postpartum Depression? How do you feel when you are suffering from Postpartum Depression? What are postpartum depression symptoms? How to know when you have Postpartum Depression? How to deal with postpartum depression? How to do the postpartum recovery? What is postpartum patient education? Do you want to know the answers to all these questions? If yes then you are in the right place. Postpartum Depression ( PPD), also called Postnatal Depression is basically a disorder of mood after childbirth that can affect both genders. But mostly it is seen in women. Also, some men also suffer from postpartum depression. And you as a single parent are more likely to have this disorder of Postpartum Depression. It is a very deadly disorder and can have very dangerous consequences if not taken seriously or not dealt with in the starting stage. Cases in which single mother or single father commit suicide appears frequently in news channel. The cases in which single mother or single father harm their child also appears frequently. So it is clear that Postpartum Depression can have very severe effects. These parents are suffering from postpartum depression. It can start after the one week or after the one month of childbirth. As a single parent, you are more likely to go into depression as the responsibility on you has increased a lot. And you don’t have your partner with you who can share this responsibility. Raising a child is tough and if you alone take this responsibility then it can become tougher. You have physical and mental pressure on you that force you to go in depression. It can have the very negative effect on the child also.
Around fifty to eighty percent of women face some emotional letdown after baby birth. But in most of the cases, it is ‘ baby blues ‘. Now, what is the difference between baby blues and postpartum? Baby blue is a very mild form of postpartum depression and it generally lasts for one week. Postpartum Depression is quite dangerous. And most of the cases are of baby blue. The most severe is Postpartum Depression. If baby blues depression lasts for more than a month then they take the form of postpartum depression which is more severe. And if reaches the extreme level then it is called Postpartum Psychosis in which one can experience hallucinations which can result in mother or father harming themselves or their child. Postpartum Depression is different from mere depression. Don’t confuse postpartum depression with just depression.
Now we will discuss the symptoms of postpartum depression. But before reading the symptoms you should keep the following points in mind:
- You may not experience all the symptoms but only a few of them. Even, you may not experience most of them. You may experience only a few symptoms and you may not experience others at all.
- It is possible that you may experience few of the symptoms for a time being like for two or three days and it’s not regular also then it is not postpartum depression. In Postpartum Depression, the symptoms last longer, generally more than two weeks and you have these symptoms most of the time. And they are making your life very hard.
- You can suffer from postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety. They have their own symptoms. It’s possible that you are suffering from both. It’s not unusual if you are suffering from symptoms of both.
SYMPTOMS OF POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
However, it is very difficult to detect people who are suffering from postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis. Around fifty percent of cases remain undetected. This can bring devastating outcomes both for patient and family. We will discuss some symptoms of postpartum depression. However, it is not always that if you are suffering from postpartum depression then you will have all of these symptoms. Some symptoms can occur which lasts for a long period of time. So the symptoms include :
Feeling hopeless or worthless:
This is the most common symptom of postpartum depression. One suffering from postpartum depression feels useless like they are of no use to anyone. They start thinking that they can’t take care of their child. A single mother suffering from PPD can think that she is not as good as other mothers. All other mothers are better than her. They start thinking that as a single parent they are not ready to take the responsibility for their child and cannot fulfill their child necessities and demands. They just feel hopeless and worthless. And this feeling is at the extreme level. Although once in a lifetime every person has the feeling of worthlessness the one suffering from postpartum depression are the frequent sufferers of this feeling. One feels less self-worth after having the child because they are not able to take the proper care of the child. This may be because they are not ready for the child but they have one now. This feeling feels the person suffering from postpartum depression full of negativity and impractical thoughts. They keep on thinking and thinking. They hold themselves responsible for every little bad thing happen to their child, although they are not, then also they feel that they are the one behind this bad happening. For example: If their child becomes ill, then they think that they might have done something that had made their child suffering from illness. So every time they hold themselves responsible because they see themselves as a worthless person. They start blaming themselves for any mishappening occurring in the home. The feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness just stuck in their mind and they do not let the positivity to enter. So the person suffering from postpartum depression is surrounded by the negativity all around. Positivity does not find a way to enter. And they start feeling more worthless and hopeless. And this can lead to severe mental disorders. That is really bad for themselves and for their family also and also for the little one.
Severe Mood Swings:
Severe mood swings is also one of the most common symptoms that a person suffering from postpartum depression faces. Their mood changes very quickly. At one time they are just holding their baby, kissing him, hugging him and playing with him, but instantly don’t know what happens to them, they just want to be away from their kid. They no longer want to play with him or be with him. Drastic mood changes can occur. Sometimes they feel joy and within seconds they become sad. Suddenly they become angry. Suddenly they become irritated with all the people around. There are on mood swings roller coaster. They ride from heights of joy to depths of sadness. And all this happens suddenly. They don’t know the reasons behind this sudden change of feelings. They are just irritated with themselves and their life. They are facing a mix of emotions at the same time. They don’t know what to do. This can sometimes become severe. And can affect the bond between child and parent. It can have the negative effect on a child and the family.
Having Difficulty in bonding with your baby:
The bonding between a mother and her child develops during her pregnancy. Both father and mother develop an emotional relationship with the child during the pregnancy of the mother. These feelings intensify after the birth of the baby. The bond becomes stronger. But sometimes a mother faces difficulty in developing a bond with her child. There is an association between postpartum depression and poor bonding with the child. One suffering from postpartum depression faces difficulty in developing a bond with the child. However, it is not guaranteed that if someone faces this difficulty then he/she is suffering from postpartum depression. Normally also sometimes a new mother can face some difficulty even if she is not suffering from depression but this problem will not be a problem in the future. But the one who is suffering from postpartum depression will face this difficulty at the extreme level. She/he fails to develop a connection with the baby. Poor bonding with a child is one of the aspects of postpartum depression. You will be really disconnected with your baby. It may be because as a single parent you are somewhat lonely inside and you don’t have the necessary courage to raise your child. You may be missing your partner that prevents you from making a bond with your child. You are struggling with your parenthood. You are worried about why there is not that special bond with your child as you see other mother or father are having with their child. There is a lack of love between you and your child. And this is the serious condition. Some sort of medical treatment is needed at earliest.
Insomnia or sleeping too much:
You are not able to sleep at night or you are feeling too sleepy during the day that you keep on taking a nap all day is another symptom of postpartum depression. You start suffering from insomnia ( inability to sleep) or you want to sleep the whole day. Being deprived of sleep leave a single mother or father in a vulnerable position. They suffer from depression. They start facing this question that why this is happening to them. They find exceedingly difficult to fall asleep or remain asleep. You face difficulty to sleep at night because your baby is waking up and demanding something from you like when they are hungry they wake up. And then you have low energy at daytime and you start feeling too much sleep at daytime. You are not getting the healthy sleep of seven to eight hours. Insomnia and hypersomnia (feeling too much sleepy) may be the sign that you are suffering from postpartum depression but they alone do not guarantee that you are suffering from postpartum depression.
Loss of Energy:
Fatigue or loss of energy is another common symptom of postpartum depression. It is natural that if you are not sleeping the whole night or facing difficulty in sleeping at night then you do not have the much energy to do the morning useful tasks. You feel tired all the time. You do not want to do common daily activities. You do not want to do the important work which needs to be done. And that’s all because you do not have that much energy to perform the work. You lose interest in all things.
Changes in appetite:
There occur changes in appetite if you are suffering from postpartum depression. Sometimes you want to eat too much and at the other time you eat too little or you do not want to eat at all. There occurs a huge change in appetite. It’s all because you are nervous and you are in severe depression condition. There occurs a severe change in appetite.
Don’t want to be with family or friends:
You no longer want to spend some quality time with family and friends. You want to be all alone. You do not want to be at a place where there is a huge gathering. You start avoiding people. You start avoiding even your child because you no longer feel any connection with him. You are alone inside and you want to be alone outside also. You do not enjoy the company of other people. You are just irritated with each and every people around.
Start feeling that you are not a good parent:
The feeling arises in you that you are no longer a good mother. You start comparing yourself with other mothers and keep feeling that you are far behind every mother. You are not taking proper care of your child as other mothers are taking. You are not giving that much love to your child as other mothers are giving to their child. And this is all because you have not developed that connection with your baby as other mothers are having. And that’s because you are afraid inside that you as a single parent will not be able to take that important responsibility without your partner. So you have to overcome that fear first. Every parent has the inbuilt bond with the child but that fear needs to be overcome first to enhance that bond. You are only filled with negative thoughts. Positive thoughts are not finding a way to enter. So just give a chance for them to enter. It’s not like that you are not a good parent but you feel like that.
You do not find pleasure in activities you used to enjoy before:
You no longer want to do the activities that you used to do before. And that is because you no longer find a pleasure in them. You no longer enjoy them. You are just cutting yourself from the world outside. Nothing appears pleasurable to you. You feel sad and lonely. You do not want to do anything. And that may be because you don’t have the energy because you have not slept the entire night. Pleasure is lost in everything.
Feelings of irritability and anger:
You feel angry all the time. You become angry at small -small things. You start showing anger at everything which is going around. You are just irritated. You are irritated with every people and everything. You do not like the ways things are done. These feelings of irritability and anger are intense and severe. You start feeling irritated all the time and become angry. You show your anger on your family members, your child, and your friends.
Lack of concentration power:
Your thinking power is reduced drastically. You are no longer good at making decisions. You get confused about choosing between different things. You are always in confusion. You don’t have the ability to concentrate on things. You cannot think clearly. Concentration power is reduced to a great extent. This is also severe. Your thinking power is diminished. You can’t concentrate properly.
Feelings of Crying:
You want to cry all the time. Because you are so sad deep inside, you think that you are in a great trouble. So you feel like crying all the time. You are lonely because you don’t have your partner. So you are not able to take that huge responsibility of a child. There is sadness all around. Instead of being happy you are sad. You are feeling sad because you do not think of yourself as a good mother. That’s why you want to cry. You want to take out that sadness out of you in the form of crying. You are feeling sad. You feel alone.
Anxiety and panic attacks:
You are always in a state of nervousness. The one suffering from postpartum depression is always worried about all the things around. You are no longer enjoying your life. You get severe panic attacks. You are worried every time. You don’t want to spend time with your child. Anxiety and panic attacks occur regularly. And that makes you more afraid. This is the symptom of postpartum depression but not guarantee to it. Severe anxiety and panic attacks is one of the causes of postpartum depression.
Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby :
You are irritated or depressed to such an extent that either you want to hurt yourself or your baby. These feelings arise in you. You no longer enjoy the company of your baby. You want to leave your baby. You just start thinking that you are no longer a good mother. You want isolation from your baby. You start feeling that you can accidentally or intestinally harm your baby. So you want to keep your child away from you.
Start feeling out of control:
You start feeling out of control when you are suffering from postpartum depression. You can’t understand things. You just burst on each and everything. You can’t get things on your mind. You are confused and irritated with each and every person around you. You don’t have control over you anymore. Feelings of anger are always there in your mind. You can’t get what is going around you.
You can’t make simple decisions:
You start lacking the power of decision making. You can’t take simple decisions of your life when you are suffering from postpartum depression. You got confused about two things. You are not able to select between them. You are not able to take the right decision. Decision making becomes very poor. You are just confused. Intrusive thoughts of harming you and your baby come into your mind.
You want to escape:
You want to escape from reality. You want to run away. You want complete isolation. Staying away from others becomes your priority. You want a gap between you and others. Maintaining distance from friends and relatives is one of the symptoms of postpartum depression. You even don’t want to meet your dear ones. Meeting your dear ones does not excite you anymore. Isolation becomes your priority. You want a complete escape. And this is all because you are in guilt that you are no longer a good mother or father. As a single parent, you are not able to raise your child. This is all you think and that pushes you in severe depression.
These are the few symptoms of postpartum depression and there are many more. They do not guarantee that you are suffering from postpartum depression. You may have one or the other symptom or any other symptom. They are most likely to start within a few days of delivery or they can start after one or two months. The condition becomes worse if the person is not treated at the right time. Medical attention is needed at the earliest. You need to consult your doctor if you start feeling these symptoms. And you need to take doctor’s advice and work accordingly. That is the best way that can make you escape from postpartum depression.
HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN BABY BLUES AND PPD?
When you have a baby your life changes completely. It’s no longer as it is as before. Huge difference in lifestyle comes up. It’s natural that in the early days you will face some problem. You will have some mood swings. You can become exhausted sometime. Having a baby can affect you mentally, physically and emotionally. It’s normal to have one or a few of the above symptoms during the starting days of having a baby. You can call it baby blues. But if the situation worsens day by day and these symptoms hold a grip and if the symptoms last for a long time then it means that you are suffering from postpartum depression. That should be taken care of at the earliest before it even gets worse. Baby blue is a very mild form of postpartum depression and it generally lasts for one week. Postpartum Depression is quite dangerous. And most of the cases are of baby blue. The most severe is Postpartum Depression. As a single parent, you are more likely to go into depression as the responsibility on you has increased a lot. And you don’t have your partner with you who can share this responsibility. Raising a child is tough and if you alone take this responsibility then it can become tougher. You have physical and mental pressure on you that force you to go in depression. It can have the very negative effect on the child also.
WHEN TO ASK FOR A HELP?
Ladies who have post-pregnancy anxiety may endure serious manifestations that require prompt mediation. In the event that side effects deteriorate or a mother experiences issues nurturing herself or for her child, it’s a great opportunity to look for help. On the off chance that indications last over 2 weeks, it’s an ideal opportunity to see a human services supplier. On the off chance that anybody has contemplations of hurting themselves or others, including their youngster, call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK. Immediately seek medical attention if you think that you are suffering from postpartum depression. And if you think that you know any person who is suffering from postpartum depression then help her/him out.
CAUSES OF POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION:
Postpartum Depression is caused by a variety of factors which we will be discussing. Postpartum Depression is likely caused by an assortment of variables. The drop in estrogen and progesterone levels after a lady conceives an offspring is one factor. This triggers compound changes that add to disposition swings. The absence of rest and the worry of dealing with an infant likewise add to fatigue, which can build the danger of misery. A blend of physical and passionate components influences the danger of creating post pregnancy anxiety. Having an earlier history of wretchedness is additionally a hazard factor for inclination issues amid the baby blues period. If you have suffered from depression in history then you are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression.
HOW TO TREAT POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION?
The condition becomes worse if the person is not treated at the right time. Medical attention is needed at the earliest. You need to consult your doctor if you start feeling these symptoms. And you need to take doctor’s advice and work accordingly. Seek medical help at earliest if you need it. Diagnosis, therapy, and medication can help. But it all depends on you. If you face it positively or if you have a positive attitude then can definitely overcome it. If the inner voice comes then everything becomes easy.
PPD Diagnosis: Numerous ladies are humiliated in the event that they encounter sentiments of pity or a powerlessness to adapt in the wake of having a tyke. A few mothers might not have any desire to concede that they are battling or having awful considerations about themselves or their children. There is no motivation to feel embarrassed for having baby blues or all out Postpartum Depression. A lady who presumes she may have post-birth anxiety should see her social insurance supplier for an assessment. The specialist can differentiate between baby blues and Postpartum Depression.
Therapy: A good therapist can definitely help you. A specialist may prescribe that a lady with postpartum depression look for treatment from a proficient advisor. Qualified experts incorporate advocates, specialists, social laborers, and analysts. Two sorts of treatment have been observed to be exceptionally powerful in treating postpartum depression. Relational treatment (IPT) enables individuals to pick up a more profound comprehension of their connections and causes them to work through issue zones. Intellectual social treatment (CBT) includes looking at and changing negative considerations and practices. The specialist or advisor may likewise propose a referral for a care group. Mental mediation can be exceptionally useful to battle negative considerations and emotions related to Postpartum Depression.
Medications: Antidepressants are regularly endorsed for ladies experiencing post pregnancy anxiety. These prescriptions are successful however they may not be suitable for each lady who has post birth anxiety. Antidepressants might be related to reactions or interface with different meds a lady is taking. They may likewise take fourteen days to or longer to be successful. Never begin, stop, or change the measurement of any pharmaceutical, particularly a stimulant, without counseling with a specialist first. Halting a stimulant unexpectedly might be related with withdrawal and different genuine symptoms. A specialist may arrange electroconvulsive treatment for serious instances of PPD that don’t react to the drug.
WHAT IF PPD IS UNTREATED?
Untreated postpartum depression can proceed for a considerable length of time to years. It can be unimaginably troublesome to a mother’s wellbeing and her capacity to bond with her infant and tend to herself and her family. Post pregnancy anxiety influences both mother and youngster, including their capacity to eat and rest. Conduct is influenced also. It can drastically affect the parent as well as child’s health. It should be treated at earliest keeping in mind its consequences. If postpartum depression is untreated and the patient is not given proper care and attention then it may lead to very bad consequences. Family and child will get affected.
Hence we have discussed postpartum depression and its symptoms and a little about how it is treated. We have discussed how you can really know that you are suffering from postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is a very severe form of depression that you face after you have a baby. And if you are a single parent then you are most likely to have it. Postpartum Depression (PPD), also called Postnatal Depression is basically a disorder of mood after childbirth that can affect both genders. But mostly it is seen in women. Also, some men also suffer from postpartum depression. And you as a single parent are more likely to have this disorder of Postpartum Depression. There are several symptoms of postpartum depression which we have discussed but they do not guarantee that you are suffering from postpartum depression. There are chances that you are suffering from mere depression or baby blues. But if the symptoms worsen or persist over a long period of time then you are suffering from postpartum depression. If you are suffering from postpartum depression then you start feeling hopeless, worthless. You are full of nervousness and anxiety. You can’t make a decision. You can’t take the right step. You are confused. Bonding between you and your baby is also affected. Love becomes less between you and your baby. You start losing attachment with everyone. You want to be alone. You only want to be by yourself. You want to harm you or your baby. And the list continues. So postpartum depression should be treated at the earliest. The doctor should be consulted at earliest. Medical attention is needed. You are the only one that can make you free from this deadly form of depression. When the voice comes from your inner self then it can be treated. A strong positive approach is needed to make you free from postpartum depression. If untreated then it may bad effects on you, your family and on your child of course. . It can drastically affect the parent as well as child’s health. It should be treated at earliest keeping in mind its consequences. Having an earlier history of wretchedness is additionally a hazard factor for inclination issues amid the baby blues period. If you have suffered from depression in history then you are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression. The condition becomes worse if the person is not treated at the right time. Medical attention is needed at the earliest. You need to consult your doctor if you start feeling these symptoms. And you need to take doctor’s advice and work accordingly. Seek medical help at earliest if you need it. So it should be treated with proper care and attention.