What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?
Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate approximately 20% new mothers experience one or more symptoms of postpartum depression. These signs show up gradually over the 2-3 months following childbirth though they may appear immediately afterward or months later from the delivery. • Extended ‘Baby Blues’: Sinking mood, sadness and feeling tearful are marks of ‘baby blues’ caused due to adverse hormonal changes during childbirth. These typically last for a week or two, meaning if your blues continue till weeks later, you’ve reasons for concern. • Difficulty Making Decisions: When making choices over the simplest things in life seem overwhelming, it may be owing to an undetected postpartum depression. • Mean Self-Worth: Subjects often fiercely put themselves down as a mother, suffer from bouts of crying, and feel gloomy about their new parenthood. • Lack of Pleasure: No longer discovering pleasure in activities you once enjoyed signals underlying habit changes and mood swings that may be caused by undiagnosed postpartum depression. • Disturbed Sleep: Inability to doze peacefully even for short intervals or sleeping day in and out are signs to be watched out for. There may be untoward changes in eating patterns as well. • Self-Harming Thoughts: Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks or hypochondriasis may be visible in cases of postpartum depression. Related is the onset of postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder that has the mother experiencing impudent thoughts of hurting the child. Suicidal thoughts or harming yourself in other ways are other signs emerging with the later stages of postpartum depression that call for urgent treatment.
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