Having a child is a feeling beyond words. Becoming a mom changes you as a person as much as it changes your life. You go through a multitude of emotions and inexplicable experiences. This event in your life is bound to bring you unbound joy and gratitude. However, many mothers around the world undergo something known as Postpartum Depression or PPD. This is not a trivial matter and needs to be handled with care and caution.
Here are six things every mom needs to know to survive PPD :
What Is Postpartum Depression?
To survive something, you must be aware of what is coming your way. Your body and mind are then well- equipped to handle any complication or setbacks. PPD is a form of depression that a new mother may undergo within a few weeks or even months post childbirth. Mothers may experience extreme stress, anxiety, sadness, and exhaustion. This can trouble them so much, that they are unable to perform day- to- day activities or take care of themselves, let alone others.
How Is PPD Different Than ‘Baby Blues’?
It is natural for a new mom to experience mood swings, emotional issues, and struggle with worry. This the result of dramatic hormonal changes after childbirth, and the effects may continue in a moderate manner for a few days or weeks. These symptoms are known as ‘baby blues’ and they fade away soon enough. However in PPD, the symptoms are way more extreme in nature and more long lasting. So do take your health casually, and term extreme signals as ‘just baby blues’.
Is It Self- Diagnosable?
PPD is usually self- diagnosable. You are the best judge in this case. It may start immediately or a few months post childbirth. Symptoms include strong feelings of depression, stress, dejection or withdrawal. Feeling tired or hungry all day long becomes common, and you may feel yourself losing interest in activities (including sex). Anger and panic attacks are also considered to be red flags during this time.
If this kind of behaviour or thought pattern persists for more than a few weeks, you should consider getting yourself evaluated with immediate effect. These conditions can be effectively treated and often respond best when treatment is started right away. Talk to people who will understand your plight and pledge to support you, such as your family or your friends.
Is it common?
PPD is very common amongst new mothers. It is not a disease, or something to be ashamed of. More than 10 million cases are recorded in India every year. You are not alone. It is important to be aware and outspoken about these matters for your own benefit. Once you realise that you aren’t suffering alone, you will emerge stronger than before.
Is It the Mother’s Fault?
PPD is definitely not the patient’s fault. The cause factors for PPD vary according to situation and individual and there is no definite understanding as to what may trigger it. You are a part of a special journey and should feel nothing less than incredible as a mother AND as a woman. Never blame yourself for any issue related to your mental health. You and your thoughts matter.
Is It Treatable?
PPD is definitely treatable, and does not require extensive treatment. Counsellors, doctors and mental health guides can help you come out of this issue quickly, if you approach them without hesitation. With proper guidance and effective medication, these symptoms disappear soon. Change of place or changes in lifestyle (like eating properly, exercising regularly, eating a proper diet etc.) may also help you recover at the earliest. Most importantly, a positive outlook towards life and its challenges is indispensable in this scenario.