How do one know that they have postnatal depression? And what are the common treatments and help?
Many mothers may experience mild "postnatal blues" and tearfulness a few days after delivery. However, some mothers experience slightly more severe symptoms that last longer than a few days. This is called post partum depression. It can last anywhere from weeks to months, from mild to severe, and usually requires counselling and treatment. Symptoms include: low mood, irritability, poor sleep and appetite, tiredness, negative feelings towards the baby, loss of confidence and feeling guilty for no good reason. In severe cases, there will be thoughts of hurting baby, feeling hopeless or suicidal and sometimes panic attacks.For mothers who have difficulty adjusting, arranging for good postnatal support and care, or a longer stay in the hospital after delivery may help in adjusting to the new baby. In cases of mild depression, support and reassurance may be all that is needed from the patient's doctor and her family. For others with moderate or severe depression, medical attention is strongly recommended. After a full assessment, a management plan will usually include psychological support and therapy, and medications. The choice of treatment regime can be carefully selected to fit the needs of mother and infant.
You will feel down for no apparent reason, feel like crying all the time, shun away from family members, gets irritated easily by baby's crying or refusal to drink milk. There are many kinds of signs and symptoms. Family support, esp from spouse is very important. If serious, a counselling session should help. It is not uncommon to have postnatal depression. Recognise early and seek help to prevent the condition from getting serious.
Postpartum depression is different from baby blues symptoms. Signs and symptoms of baby blues include in the first 6 on the list below and will go off in a few days or up to one or two weeks. Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression last longer and more intense. They include: mood swings, poor appetite, sadness, tearful, anxiety, guilty feeling, anger, irritability, poor concentration, unable to sleep, loss interest in environment/joy, severe exhaustion, feeling of shame and inadequacy, helplessness, hopelessness, negative feeling and bonding with baby, withdrawal from family members and friends, thoughts to harm baby or yourself. Seek medical advice if you have some of the signs and symptoms which do not fade 2 weeks after your baby is born or it affects your ability to care for baby and handle your daily activities anytime.