The Symptoms are as follows:
- Tearful and miserable feeling. These feelings are worse at certain times daily especially in the mornings.
- Insomnia. Waking too early in the morning even when you manage to sleep.
- Irritability. This is with either other children, the new baby or with partner.
- Inability to enjoy self. This is prominent in new mothers that do not enjoy having a new baby in the way they expected to.
- Loss of appetite. This can be a problem because new mothers need energy to look after their babies.
- Anxiety. This includes feeling tense and on edge all the time, panic attacks of something catastrophic lasting several minutes.
- Feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness as well as inability to cope with difficult situations.
- The feeling of low energy.
- Suicidal thoughts.
The likely causes of Post Natal Depression includes Hormonal changes after child birth and the stress of looking after a baby and sleeplessness. These may help to bring on the illness in susceptible people. Mothers who are more susceptible are those who have previously had depression. A history of depression also increases the risk. It is also more common in mothers who have experienced stressful life events during the pregnancy. For instance, those who do not have support at home, those in whom the baby was unplanned or unwanted, and when the baby has been born with some problem.
Treatment of Post Natal Depression
Post Natal Depression can be treated in the same way as ordinary depression. Mothers should remember that the most important thing from the babies' and their point of view is to get better soonest. In this regard, there are a few things that you are able to do to help.
- Depression is an illness and you are not suffering from it because you are weak or hopeless.
- Do not bottle things up. Talk about the problem with somebody such as a health worker and they will be able to sort what should be the best way to help you with your illness.
- Get extra support and help with looking after the baby. This is important.
- Sometimes, antidepressants are necessary. Although this can cause problems with breastfeeding. So get drugs that are safe as prescribed by your doctor.
- Do not worry that you will lose your baby. When mothers have post natal depression, they often think that if they speak to somebody like a health worker, their babies will be taken from them. You will get the help that you need to get rid of it and will help you deal better with the stress of motherhood.
- Take any opportunity to get some sleep.
- Try to keep up your normal diet as you will need all the energy.
- Involve your partner.
- Take some time for you and your partner.
- Talk to other mothers with new babies. You will find that they feel same too.
This is often asked: "Do mothers with Post Natal Depression harm their babies?
- This is rare. Mothers with post natal depression often worry about harming their babies or not looking after them properly. However, they look after their children as well as other mothers.
- Unfortunately, some mothers and family members that have a history of mistreatment when they were young sometimes harm babies. But this does not relate directly to post natal depression.
- Alternatively, they may kill their babies before committing suicide thinking it is better for both to be dead. This is very rare.
- If you have worries that you may harm your baby or you know a mother that may harm her child, speak to a health doctor soonest.