5 Signs of postpartum depression, and what you can do to help
There's a fine line between "baby blues" and full blown postpartum depression. Here's a guide of the signs to watch out for, and what you can do about it.
Florence Leung is a 32-year-old mother from Canada and the mother of a 2-month-old baby boy. She was reported as missing in October 2016. On November 17, she was found dead in a body of water close to her home. She was believed to have been suffering from PPD (postpartum depression), which caused her to take her life.
That's why it's very important not only for moms, but for everyone, to know that postpartum depression is a serious problem, and that people kill themselves because of it. Here are some signs of postpartum depression and what you can do about it:
1. Anxiety or worry
It's normal for people to have feelings of anxiety or worry every so often. But if you're a mother, and you're noticing that you're feeling more anxious and much more worried than usual, take a second and think if it might be postpartum depression. Having irrational fears are also a sign of postpartum depression.
2. Being withdrawn from people
After giving birth, do you find yourself being more withdrawn from people, especially your partner? Do you feel that sometimes you need some space away from your newborn child? Chances are, you might be suffering from PPD.
3. Extreme anger, or feelings of rage
Have you ever felt like you have little patience for everything right after giving birth? If you find yourself being nitpicky, and getting mad at your husband, your baby, or anyone else a lot for no reason, then you should think about seeking counseling since you might have PPD.
4. Drastic change in sleeping or eating habits
You should be concerned if you notice that your partner who just gave birth suddenly has a drastic change in sleeping or eating habits. These would include eating way too much, or not eating at all, or if you find that they're always tired and want to rest.
In some cases, a new mother might feel exhausted, but once given the chance to rest, they'll find that they can't fall asleep. This is a clear sign of PPD.
5. Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
This one's a much clearer sign of PPD. Having constant feelings of guilt or worthlessness or being preoccupied with thoughts of death or sadness is most definitely a sign that you have postpartum depression.
If you feel that you have PPD, don't fret. There are people out there that are willing to help you out, and there are ways that you can also help yourself.
What can I do to help someone with postpartum depression?
Thankfully, postpartum depression isn't a hopeless case. Here are some things that you can do in order to help someone, and even help yourself if you have postpartum depression:
- Support is very important. Being supported by people is very helpful when it comes to dealing with your depression. Talk to people, reach out to them. Know that you're not alone and that people out there are willing to help.
- Spend some time without your baby. All mums and dads sometimes feel that taking care of the baby is stressing them out. It's totally normal to feel that way, and there's nothing wrong if you want to spend a night out with your partner, or with friends and not take care of your baby. Set aside some time to just have fun so that you can take a much needed break. Plus, everyone will be scrambling to be your babysit your cute baby!
- Rest up, even if it's hard to always do. Rest is very important in keeping yourself healthy physically, and mentally. Finding the time to rest is very important especially if you're dealing with postpartum depression.
- Connect with your baby. Spend some time just playing with your baby and having fun. Stop thinking about anything stressful, and just bond with your baby so that you can relax.
- Seek help. In some cases, postpartum depression can be so unbearable that it has negative effects not only on your health, but also on your relationships with other people. Don't be afraid to seek professional help from specialists so that they can help you deal with your postpartum depression.
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