Sometimes, a woman may feel that instead of getting better, her symptoms of depression and anxiety become worse over time. In such instances, the depression can become extremely severe that it may interfere with a woman’s ability to adequately care for her baby or herself. Epidemiologists estimate that 1 out of 7 women, who deliver a baby, go on to develop this more moderate to severe form of depression called Postpartum Depression (PPD). PPD can develop anytime within one month following the delivery and, if left untreated, unlike the baby blues, can take several months to go away. The signs and symptoms of PPD look very similar to a non-pregnancy related major depressive order and may include the following symptoms:
- Depressed mood
- Diminished interest in pleasurable activities
- Social withdrawal
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in sleep
- Hyper or decreased motor activity
- Decreased motivation
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Decreased concentration
- Crying spells
- Thoughts of harm to self
In some rare instances, a woman with Postpartum Depression may go on to experience psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions. Such instances present an increased risk to the safety of the woman and her baby because, often times, the delusions are centered on the newborn or the mother.
How Do I Know If I Am At Risk For PPD?
What Should I Do If I Feel That I May Be Depressed After Delivering My Baby?
What Are My Treatment Options?
Who Should I Contact?
- Your WomanCare Physician
- Postpartum Support International: (800) 944-4773; postpartum.net/index.html
- American Psychological Association: apa.org/pi/wpo/postpartum.html
- Online PPD Support Group: ppdsupportpage.com
- Sources: American Psychological Association: apa.org/pi/wpo
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder – IIV.1994.American Psychiatric Association
Postpartum Support International: 927 North Kellogg Avenue, Santa Barbara, CA 93111
Telephone: (805) 967-7636; Website: www.postpartum.net
IL – Sarah Allen: (847) 791-7722
Depression After Delivery: P. O. Box 1282 Morrisville, PA 19067
Telephone: (800) 944- 4773; Website: www.depressionafterdelivey.com
IL – Susan Feingold: (847) 831-7731; Pager: (708) 817-3501
National Suicide Crisis Hotline: 1 (800) Suicide (1 (800) 784-2433)
ENH Crisis Line: 1 (866) ENHMOMS (1 (800) 364-6667) – (Referral to emergency Psychiatrist on North Shore)