Night of Joy Fundraiser: Combatting Postpartum Depression

We’ve been writing about postpartum mood disorders, speaking with local mothers and care providers as well as discussing national resources. Unfortunately, one local family was unable to find support through postpartum depression. 

Pittsburgh mom Alexis D’Achille gave birth to her child in August 2013 and suffered from severe postpartum depression. She sought help, but . . . → Read More: Night of Joy Fundraiser: Combatting Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Mood Disorders: Beyond the Blues

According to Postpartum Support International, up to 20% of women suffer from Postpartum Depression or Anxiety. Over the next few weeks, we’ll feature the voices of local women who share their experiences, as well as some resources for those seeking support.

Kirsten Pitini didn’t have the “baby blues.” She didn’t really have postpartum depression, . . . → Read More: Postpartum Mood Disorders: Beyond the Blues

Postpartum Depression Can Be Cured

QUESTION: I know that it’s normal to have the “baby blues” right after you have a baby, but my son is six weeks old. I thought everything would be wonderful by now and I would be so in love with my baby. I thought mothering would come easily. It’s not that way at all! I can’t sleep, even when he’s sleeping. I feel hollow inside, like the real me is gone. Sometimes I cry for hours; other times, I feel angry enough to explode. Life feels like an endless amusement park ride, and sometimes I just want to get off. Why am I such a terrible mother?

Learn about it

You’re not a terrible mother! You are a mother who is suffering from a condition known as postpartum depression, a condition that is treatable. While as many as 80% of mothers experience a temporary and mild condition referred to as the baby blues, up to 15% of women have the more severe reaction you’re experiencing.

Having PPD doesn’t mean that you have done something wrong, or that something is wrong with you; it is an illness and it can be cured. Once you learn more about what’s causing your despondent emotions and take some steps toward treatment, you’ll be on the road to finding yourself again and enjoying your baby.

What is postpartum depression?

PPD is a medical condition, a specific type of depression that occurs within the first few months after childbirth. It is caused by the biochemical and hormonal changes that happen in the body after pregnancy and birth…nothing that is within your control.

What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?

While PPD affects all women differently, a few typical symptoms can help your physician make the diagnosis. You probably are not experiencing everything on the following list, and the degree of symptoms may range from mild to severe, but if a number of these apply to you, you may be suffering from PPD.

Symptoms of postpartum depression may include but are not limited to:

  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or inadequate
  • Frequent crying or tearfulness
  • Insomnia or sleepiness
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of pleasure in activities you normally enjoy
  • Difficulty doing typical daily chores
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feelings of sadness and despair
  • Feelings of guilt, panic or confusion
  • Feelings of anger or anxiety
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Memory loss
  • Over Concern for baby
  • Fear of “losing control”
  • Lack of interest in sex
  • Worrying that you may hurt your baby
  • A desire to escape from your baby or your family
  • Withdrawal from social circles and routines
  • Thoughts about hurting yourself

If you suffer from extreme degrees of any of these symptoms, particularly thoughts about hurting yourself or your baby, or if you have additional physical symptoms such as hallucinations, confusion or paranoia, then please call a doctor today. NOW.

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