5 Signs You May Be Suffering From Postpartum Depression
Almost 60% of new mothers experience postpartum depression in some form or the other, some in mild forms while other experience more drastic symptoms.
Almost 60% of new mothers experience postpartum depression in some form or the other, some in mild forms while other experience more drastic symptoms.(Photo: iStockphoto)

5 Signs You May Be Suffering From Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression (PPD) isn’t any longer a term which is shushed up and written off. Women are now increasingly becoming aware of their emotions after a pregnancy, are accepting it, speaking out and seeking help.

And why shouldn’t they? It’s not their fault at all!

Postpartum depression is characterized by feelings of anxiety, depression, hopelessness, panic which is bought about by a combination of hormones, stress, genetics and natural predisposition of an individual.

Experiencing symptoms of PPD, or having PPD for that matter is nothing to be ashamed of, because it isn’t something which is in our control.

Almost 60% of new mothers experience PPD in some form or the other, some in mild forms while other experience more drastic symptoms.

But like with any other mental disorder, sometimes what PPD’s symptoms are can be difficult to understand and distinguish.

Bellow are some of the most common symptoms associated with postpartum depression.

1. You Worry You Aren’t Good Enough to Be a Mom

In an <a href="https://www.todaysparent.com/blogs/what-drew-barrymore-learned-from-her-postpartum-depression/">interview</a> in 2015, Drew Barrymore described her experience as ‘different type of overwhelming’ post the birth of her second daughter.&nbsp;
In an interview in 2015, Drew Barrymore described her experience as ‘different type of overwhelming’ post the birth of her second daughter. 
(Photo Courtesy: Drew Barrymore/Instagram)

You are constantly having thoughts about being inadequate, and not being able to take care of your baby as required. You might even think that you’ll harm the baby in ways which are irreparable.

By constantly thinking negative thoughts, you have convinced yourself that you are not good enough to be a mother – maybe because you don’t like breast feeding or you didn’t have a normal birth.

This feeling is different from just feeling disappointed or sad or regretful, it’s deeper- it’s about feeling truly devastated and broken.

Also Read : ‘The Struggle is Real’: Actor Puts Focus on Postpartum Depression

2. You Feel Like Escaping Constantly

Britney Spears suffered from postpartum depression. Her mother wrote about it in her book ‘Through the Storm’ where she said that having two children within a year would be overwhelming for any woman.
Britney Spears suffered from postpartum depression. Her mother wrote about it in her book ‘Through the Storm’ where she said that having two children within a year would be overwhelming for any woman.
(Photo Courtesy: Britney Spears/ Instagram)

All of us, at one point or the other have thought of just leaving and never coming back. But this feeling of escaping for good, when you have PPD is more than just a passing thought. It’s constant and it’s again linked with not being good enough.

You may feel like your family, most especially your child is better off without you since you’re anyway not a good mother and hence you might constantly fantasize about just getting away from this life.

You want to escape this feeling of being overwhelmed constantly about motherhood.

Also Read : Depression Is Going to Be the Next Big Epidemic: Deepika Padukone

3. You Are Constantly Questioning Whether You Love Your Child or Not

Gwyneth Paltrow <a href="https://goop.com/journal/be/93/postpartum-depression/?irgwc=1&amp;utm_campaign=10079_Online%20Tracking%20Link&amp;utm_source=impactradius&amp;utm_medium=affiliate">wrote</a> about her experience post her son’s birth, describing it as “one of the darkest and most painfully debilitating chapters of my life”.
Gwyneth Paltrow wrote about her experience post her son’s birth, describing it as “one of the darkest and most painfully debilitating chapters of my life”.
(Photo Courtesy: Gwyneth Paltrow/Instagram)

A lot of us growing up, were constantly fed by media and books that a mother-child bond is instantaneous and all overpowering. This doesn’t necessarily have to be true - infact most mothers take some time forming a bond with their child.

But when suffering from PPD, the mother might start feeling a kind of animosity or might not want to look at the baby at all.

This of course, has nothing to do with the child but everything to do with her own hormones and emotions and bodily changes.

Also Read : 12 Things Not to Say to a Person Struggling With Depression

4. There Is a Lot of Guilt

Celine Dion opened about her experience when her twins were born and how she felt happiness, fatigue, sadness - all at once. She said she believed mothers needed more emotional support post the delivery of the baby.&nbsp;
Celine Dion opened about her experience when her twins were born and how she felt happiness, fatigue, sadness - all at once. She said she believed mothers needed more emotional support post the delivery of the baby. 
(Photo Courtesy: Celine Dion/Instagram)

You feel guilty of not feeling love, not doing enough for your child and even of being unworthy. You are constantly pressurizing yourself for feeling certain things or telling yourself you should do things which you aren’t at the moment.

Guilt, is perhaps PPD’s most characteristic symptom. Most mother’s suffering from PPD feel like they should do more, feel more but are unable to really push themselves because of overlapping emotions of confusion and irritation.

Also Read : My Mother and Menopause: A Journey Through Depression

5. You May Have Thoughts About Self-Harm

Eva Amurri Martino, the mother of two, opened up about her difficultly at the end of 2016. She said she believed that she was  dealing with “some form of PTSD, possibly linked to postpartum depression.” She also said she was seeking help from a therapist to deal with the trauma.
Eva Amurri Martino, the mother of two, opened up about her difficultly at the end of 2016. She said she believed that she was dealing with “some form of PTSD, possibly linked to postpartum depression.” She also said she was seeking help from a therapist to deal with the trauma.
(Photo Courtesy: Pinterest)

Thoughts of self-harming or even suicide are symptoms of advanced PPD. These might occur once, out of the blue or maybe a constant stream of thought.

Whatever the case be, if you’re thinking about suicide or self-harm in any way please get help right away.

Also Read : With 30 Crore Sufferers, Depression Is World’s #1 Cause of Illness

Like in the case of every other mental disorder, please keep in mind that the symptoms of one can differ from the symptoms of another.

Alongside, few of the above mentioned symptoms anyone suffering from PPD might also showcase the classic symptoms of depression and anxiety like withdrawal, crying, differences in appetite and sleep patterns.

It’s important to keep in mind that having PPD does not make you a bad person or a mother and that it is very much curable. Infact, it is the act of seeking help and wanting to be better for your child which makes you a good mother.

(Prachi Jain is a psychologist, trainer, optimist, reader and lover of Red Velvets.)

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