Postpartum depression affects many women, but it is a condition that is relatively unknown to the general population. This kind of depression is a serious condition, and it is responsible for ruining many new mothers’ lives.
New mothers are supposed to be happy, they are supposed to love their new bundle of joy, and they are supposed to enjoy the bonding time they have after bringing the baby home. But in reality, new moms often experience sleep deprivation, loneliness, physical pain, and frustration at the huge task of caring for an infant.
Symptoms of PPD
The weeks and months after becoming a mother can be challenging times, but they are made even worse by the presence of postpartum depression (PPD). PPD affects an estimated 15% of new mothers, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Women with PPD experience an overwhelming feeling of depression that can last months or even years after giving birth.
Symptoms of PPD, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine include:
- Agitation or irritability
- Changes in appetite
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Feeling withdrawn or unconnected
- Lack of pleasure or interest in most or all activities
- Loss of concentration
- Loss of energy
- Problems doing tasks at home or work
- Negative feelings toward the baby
- Significant anxiety
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Trouble sleeping
A mother with postpartum depression may also:
- Be unable to care for herself or her baby
- Be afraid to be alone with her baby
- Have negative feelings toward the baby or even think about harming the baby
- Worry intensely about the baby, or have little interest in the baby
No one likes to admit that they struggle with feelings of depression or negative feelings toward their new baby. Because of this, many women suffer in silence with PPD, wondering why they aren’t like other mothers. PPD is nothing to be ashamed about, however, and many mom’s groups and other organizations are working to create more awareness for this issue. Anyone who suspects that they or a loved one is being affected by PPD should get help immediately. Treatment is available for this kind of depression, and PPD can be effectively managed through medication and therapy.