Postpartum Depression (PPD) is an umbrella term that describes various mood and/or anxiety disorders after childbirth. PPD usually presents with symptoms of both depression and anxiety, causing a very agitated depression. Unfortunately PPD often goes undetected and misdiagnosed.
POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS
- Mood swings
- Loss of Sexual Interest
- Feeling Worthless
- Appetite Changes
- Diminished interest pleasurable activities
- Diminished ability to concentrate
- Suicidal thoughts/thoughts of death
- Thoughts of wishing you weren’t here
- Thoughts of wanting to run away
POSTPARTUM ANXIETY SYMPTOMS
- Feeling an impending sense of doom & worry
- Anxiety/Panic Attacks
- Obsessive thoughts/behaviors
- Feeling fearful
- Sleep disturbances
- Racing thoughts
- Feeling edgy
- Racing heartbeat
- Fear of losing control
- Chills/hot flashes
- Difficulty concentrating
- Intrusive thoughts or images
- Avoidance of people or places
- Having scary thoughts about you or your baby
Q: Is this the Baby Blues?
The Baby Blues is not PPD. Experts estimate about 80% of new mothers experience weepiness, moodiness, irritability and fatigue during the first 2 weeks after giving birth. The Baby Blues are a normal adjustment period and can usually resolve without any medical assistance.
Q: When do I need to seek help?
- You should seek help by a licensed clinician who specializes in postpartum care when:
*Symptoms last longer than 2-3 weeks after childbirth.
*You experience symptoms anytime during your first year postpartum that concern you.
- Women experiencing symptoms that seem unusually severe (severe agitation, delusional or bizarre thinking, hallucinations, insomnia, confusion, and a feeling of being out of touch with reality) should be referred for immediate medical intervention. Although rare, (1-2 in 1000 women), Postpartum Psychosis can initially be mistaken for the Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression and is considered a medical emergency.