If you’re experiencing postpartum depression or think that you might be, you’re not alone. Postpartum depression is considered very common, and statistics indicate that about one out of every eight people who give birth experience depression after giving birth. Despite the prevalence of postpartum depression, it can feel like a lonely, isolating, and scary experience. So, what exactly is postpartum depression, and how do you navigate postpartum depression as a parent?
What Is Postpartum Depression?
The symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to those that someone facing a major depressive episode might experience, but there are some added symptoms that a person with postpartum depression may experience as well. Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression may include but aren’t limited to:
- A low or depressed mood
- The loss of interest in activities you would typically enjoy
- Frightening or scary thoughts* about something happening to the baby
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Not feeling attached to the baby
- Not wanting to spend time with family
- Changes in appetite
- Hypersomnia or insomnia
- Trouble concentrating or focusing
- Irritability or anger
- Crying spells
- Mood swings
Many people with postpartum depression have an intense fear that they are not or will not be a good parent. Numbness, severe fatigue, and other symptoms may also arise. To say the least, postpartum depression can make a magical time in your life difficult.
*Postpartum depression is serious. If you experience thoughts related to harming yourself or someone else, go to the nearest emergency room or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Parenting And Self-Care With Postpartum Depression
First and foremost, postpartum depression is not your fault, and it does not make you a bad parent. Relief is out there for those facing postpartum depression, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Here are some ways to support yourself while parenting with postpartum depression:
- Prioritize social support. Make sure that you are not isolated. Whether that means having friends come over, joining a support group, or something else, make sure that you have social connection. If meeting others going through the same thing is something you’re interested in, you may be able to find a postpartum depression support group online or in your local area.
- Challenge negative thoughts. Thought reframe can be beneficial for those experiencing depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health concerns. If you struggle with this, do not be afraid to seek a therapist or counselor who can help.
- Ask for help from others. Caring for a child is more than a full-time job; it’s 24 hours per day every day. Whether you ask for help in the form of childcare, help around the home, or something else, know that it is more than okay to ask for assistance.
- See a professional. Studies show that therapy and other forms of treatment can be beneficial for people with postpartum depression. A myriad of emotions may show up for those facing postpartum depression, and you don’t need to battle them on your own any longer. Having a candid, confidential, and non-judgmental place to talk matters.
Find A Therapist
Whether you’re facing symptoms of postpartum depression or something else that’s on your mind, a counselor or therapist can help. There are a number of different ways to find a therapist. To find a therapist, you can ask your doctor for a referral, contact your insurance company to see who they cover, search the web, or sign up for a reputable online therapy company like BetterHelp. All of the providers at BetterHelp are licensed professionals with over three years and 1,000 hours of hands-on experience, and online therapy is often more affordable than traditional in-person therapy or counseling is without insurance. You deserve to get the help that you need, so don’t hesitate to reach out today.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.