I have post natal depression, it is imporving but it was seriously bad for a good few months, so bad that I ended up in a psychiatric unit for 6 weeks. The only advice that I have is DO NOT ignore it. If you feel that you are not right then see your GP straight away as the sooner this is caught the better.
So glad that there is now a forum specifically for this as I didn't really feel like the 'Depression' Forum was the right place for me.
Here is some info that I have found on netmums.com. It is a UK site but whether we call it Post Partum Depression or Post Natal Depression it is all the same illness and it lists the signs of PPD.
The symptoms: How do you know if you have post-natal illness?
Do you feel that something just isn't right...that you just don't feel yourself? Could post-natal depression be a possibility? If you are suffering from 2 or 3 of the following you may have post-natal depression
Constantly feeling tired. No energy
Sleeping problems - can't get to sleep or waking in the early hours and not being able to get back to sleep
Crying a lot, often over the smallest things or for no reason at all
Can't eat or over-eating
Feeling emotionally disconnected from or even rejected by the baby or
Overly anxious and over protective of the baby
Lack of motivation to get up and do anything
A constant underlying sense of anxiety maybe escalating into panic attacks. Easily "set off" and difficult to calm down
Difficulty concentrating, say on a book or film or even on a conversation
Putting on a front. Feeling like you are playing out a role rather than just living the moment
Strange, frightening thoughts or visions popping into your head about harming yourself or the baby or awful things happening
Feeling lonely and isolated. Perhaps feeling rejected by friends, family, even your partner and your baby or children
Sense of feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope
No interest in sex
Feeling guilty about everything - especially about being a such bad mother
Physical aches and pains, such as headaches, stomach pains or blurred vision and worrying that it is something terminal or serious
Postnatal depression or anxiety can affect anyone, but will be more likely if you are already under stress - if you are moving house, have difficulties at work or home, or if you have suffered from depression before.
If you are used to being 'in control' - perhaps have a career and are doing well - then you might be more likely to suffer and will also perhaps find it harder to admit. Or if you baby was much wanted and waited for, the chances are also higher. Many women who suffer do so after their first baby is born (and perhaps after subsequent ones too) - others are fine with their first, but find they are suffering with a later child.
It usually starts within a few weeks or months of giving birth, but some people suffer a year or more after.
Illness in Pregnancy
Suffering from depression during pregnancy is equally common, but even less talked about than postnatal depression. In the same way that some people suffer from swollen ankles or high blood pressure during pregnancy, others can suffer from depression. If you think you might be suffering, the advice on these pages will be of help to you too.
Postnatal depression in Fathers
Some fathers suffer exactly the same symptoms as women with postnatal depression. Watch out for this if you are a new dad, and seek help if you think you might be suffering. These pages will be of equal use to you.
10 steps to recovery
1. Could you have postnatal depression?
If you feel something isn't right and maybe hasn't been right for some time, be prepared to look at whether you may have postnatal depression. The first step is allowing yourself to admit something isn't right. There are no prizes for suffering in silence and there is lots of help available.
2. See your doctor or health visitor
Go and see your doctor or health visitor and tell them everything about how you are feeling. Remember postnatal depression is a treatable illness and that is, after all, what doctors are there for.
Advice on seeing your GP
If your doctor suggests antidepressant medication, don't be afraid of it. Treatment for postnatal depression has come a long way from the days of heavy tranquilisers. A course of antidepressants may be what you need to take the edge off your symptoms and give you back the energy you need to take control of your life again.
More information about antidepressant medication
4. Tell your family and close friends
Everyone needs to lean on the people close to them at some time in their lives...this is the time for you to stop being the one everyone else leans on and allow your partner, family and close friends to support you for a while. Talking about your feelings is really important - it is part of the cure. So hand them a glass of wine or a cup of tea, tell them you need them to listen and start talking...
Click here to see a page to give your family that will help them understand what you need from them.
Many mums find counselling helpful - it's all part of the talking therapy. Something called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is especially useful and you should be able to get this on the NHS. Ask your doctor for a referral.
Read more about counselling for postnatal illness
6. Little things you can do to help yourself...
Little, but very important in speeding up the recovery process. You need to be kind to yourself and look after yourself. Sadly, you are human, not superwoman, and you need to be patient and allow yourself to get better. You wouldn't play tennis with a broken arm...so don't feel you need to push yourself "back to normal" as soon as possible.
Read about what you can do to help yourself
7. Find like minded friends
Even one like minded friend can be enough to get you through the day. Someone to go for a walk with, have coffee and a chat. Here are some ways you can start to make new friends locally. click here
8. Get local help and support
You might not have family locally and you can't do it all by yourself. There are ways you can get local help and support during this tough time...click here for some information
9. Find out more
There are professional organisations that provide further information, research and support and some excellent books that will help you to realise that this is a common and curable illness and you are not going mad. A few pointers...
10. Remember these 3 things every day
post-natal depression is an illness (compare it to a broken arm)
You will get better
You are doing a great job...and you are a great mum
I ignored it and I can tell you the consequesnces were huge!
Remember I had 3 previous children with no problems.
It started when the baby was three months and I kept going, it never went away. When the baby was 18 months old, I went into complete collapse and was diagnosed with psychotic depression, which was just horrific. My God I nearly died (no exageration)
That is what can happen if you try to 'struggle on' or treat yourself and use natural remedies.
i think i am ppd .... i read the symtoms listed above and i can say a few of those things im feeling .... im 25 im scared to tell my boyfriend bc i dont think he will understand or he will think im crazy ... and i dont sleep or eat anymore ... if i go to a doctor im scared they will take my son away ....what do i do ... i dont really have friends that can understand what im going thru to talk to me....
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