I was easily overwhelmed and cried a lot. My head was foggy. I loved my baby but felt as though my life was over. I couldn’t sleep and felt helpless. It was the best and worst time of my life. If you have felt any of these feelings before, you know what I’m talking about. Maybe you’re at a point in your life where you feel this way right now? Either way, there’s someone out there just like you. And, it’s ok.
When I was in college I wrote a paper entitled, Baby Blues. It was about my mom and her struggles with postpartum depression (PPD). Little did I know that I myself would go through the same thing years later when I had my first child.
Eighty percent (Yep, 80%) of women suffer from some type of “postpartum blues” upon having a baby. You probably don’t have much to worry about; these symptoms are mild and usually go away in about two weeks. However, the other 10 percent of you may be suffering from PPD – when the severe symptoms won’t leave.
My husband and mom approached me about seeing a doctor because I didn’t even realize what was going on – most women don’t. It’s really hard to notice the differences in yourself once you have a newborn because SO MANY things are different at that point. So, don’t feel bad if a loved one or family member says something to you – it’s only because they care.
If you’re one of those wondering if you might have PPD, take a big deep breath and let it go. Now, take this quiz and know that whatever the outcome, it’s not the end of the world and there are plenty of resources and help within your reach. Hey, if I can come out on the other side, anyone can – especially since I already had a history of chronic depression and anxiety.
Quiz: Do I Have Postpartum Depression?
- Do you cry for no particular reasons?
- Have you had trouble eating or sleeping?
- Have you ever suffered from a psychiatric illness?
- Have you lost interest in your hobbies?
- Do you at times feel helpless?
- Do you have trouble completing normal, household tasks?
- Do you doubt your ability to care for your baby?
- Do you have trouble remembering things?
- Have you felt anxious often?
- Have you had any thoughts of self-harm?
- Have you ever felt overly nervous?
- Do you have difficulty concentrating or making decisions?
- Do you suffer from headaches or brain fog?
If you answered, “Yes” to three or more of these symptoms, it’s possible that you have postpartum depression (PPD). Now it’s important to contact your healthcare provider or a mental health professional. (See resources below.)
Note: If you’re having thoughts of harming yourself, here’s how to get help immediately.
I know what you’re thinking… “There’s no way I’m reaching out to anyone for help! How embarrassing.” Just stop right there because some of what’s going on right now for you is out of your control. Your body’s hormone levels drop significantly immediately after giving birth and it could be lending to the reason of your symptoms.
Believe me, help is the first step toward feeling like yourself again. There are MANY types of treatments, holistic and non-holistic so you’ve got options!
Will you do me a favor? If you feel just a bit like you might have PPD, just give a call to your doc and schedule an appointment. It doesn’t hurt and knowing is better than letting the pain continue. You are a strong mama – you got this so go take care of you! Tell me, comment below and share your story to show support for others.
- Postpartum Support International. They specialize in helping women suffering from depression during pregnancy and postpartum. Visit their website to find resources in your area, chat with an expert, join an online support group, or call their support line.
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America. They can help you find a therapist in your area.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Call their 24-hour national helpline at (800) 662-4357 or visit their Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator to find a mental health treatment center in your area
Photo by: Keri Shean Photography