Post Natal depression is a form of depression that affects women in the perinatal period. Half of episodes of depression have their onset during pregnancy. Most frequently starts 6 to 8 weeks post partum but can start up to 6 months after the birth of your child. The symptoms can start abruptly or gradually get worse.
It is normal to feel slightly tearful and emotional in the first couple of weeks after your give birth, what is called Baby Blues. Frequently starting 2 days post partum and usually subsiding spontaneously within a 2 weeks. This doesn’t require special treatment. However if the symptoms interfere with your daily activities and specially the care of your baby, it may be sign of depression and you should see a doctor.
Symptoms of depression at this time are similar to that of depression at other times but it is more frequent to have sleep disturbances that are common when one has a small baby. Symptoms include feeling low or sad most of the time, feeling tearful and generally not deriving pleasure from things you previously enjoyed. Other symptoms are poor appetite and concentration and in some cases feeling hopeless and helpless with thoughts that life is not worth living or making plans to end your life.
Some women also experience anxiety, alongside the depression or may only experience extreme anxiety. This can be very debilitating, affecting your mind and body. Symptoms involve constant worries or fears, ruminations about particularly issue or any and everything; it can also cause physical symptoms like sweating, shortness of breath, palpitations or feeling nausea or like you have thigh stomach amongst many others.
If you have more than a couple of these symptoms or have thoughts of ending your life please speak to your friends and family. I can be hard but seek professional help as soon as possible because treatments are effective and there is no reason to be suffering.