Post Partum Depression
Search For A Cure
Scientific Breakthroughs & Caregiver Tips
How Is Postpartum Depression Detected?
Spotting postpartum depression early is not easy because the symptoms of the disorder mimic the less serious symptoms of common postpartum blues, and the physical symptoms often have discernible causes that are a normal part of having a new baby. However, if the symptoms are recognized and addressed early enough, it may be possible to prevent them from progressing beyond a relatively mild state into full-blown postpartum depression. Early diagnosis also helps to rule out the unlikely possibility of postpartum psychosis.
The early indications of postpartum depression include:
- Persistent sadness or low mood. Hormonal changes after childbirth can cause mood swings even under normal circumstances, but sadness that lasts for weeks or that grows more intense over time may be a warning sign for postpartum depression.
- Disruption in sleep patterns. Having a new baby in the house is obviously disruptive to the sleep patterns of a new mother, but if you have trouble sleeping even when the baby is asleep or being cared for by someone else, or if you want to sleep much more than is necessary, take note.
- Mental fogginess. Postpartum depression can get in the way of your ability to focus, to make decisions, or to engage emotionally with your everyday routine.
- Withdrawal from pleasurable activities. Like major depression, postpartum depression can make you want to stay away from social situations or interactions with loved ones. It can also make it difficult to take part in activities you used to enjoy.
- Worries about your parenting abilities. Doubts about your ability to handle the responsibilities of motherhood are normal, but if these worries are persistent and frequent, they may be a danger sign.
Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby. These thoughts can be a sign of severe postpartum depression or even postpartum psychosis. If you have them, you should seek professional medical help immediately.
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