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What Is Postpartum Depression?

There’s no question that having a baby is a life-changing experience. While the expectation may be that you should be joyfully and effortlessly bonding with your baby—while freshly showered and groomed, of course—you may actually be feeling a mix of complex emotions. You’ll experience the intense highs of joy, love, and human connection, but may also feel sad or moody and grieve your previous life. These feelings are all normal. Many postpartum women experience hormonal swings; combined with sleep deprivation, post-childbirth pain or discomfort, and a major life change, these feelings can induce the short-term anxiety, sadness, and irritability called “baby blues.”

When the baby blues don’t go away after a week or two or seem to be getting worse, you may be experiencing postpartum depression (PPD), a mood disorder characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Uncontrollable crying;
  • Persistent sadness, depression, and feelings of emptiness;
  • Severe mood swings;
  • Extreme anxiety or panic attacks;
  • Sleep disorder (insomnia or sleeping too much);
  • Fear that you’re a terrible mother; and
  • Trouble bonding with your baby.

You are not alone: the American Psychological Association says that 1 in 7 women may suffer from PPD. Unlike the baby blues, PPD doesn’t go away on its own, so it’s imperative that you seek help, especially if you’re thinking of doing harm to yourself or others. You don’t have to suffer. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Talk to your partner or trusted friends.

PPD makes it difficult for you to take care of yourself and your baby, but there are solutions. Feel free to contact Psychotherapy Associates of Chicago and one of our therapists will gladly help you get on the road to feeling better.

When you are ready, call 773-414-4577 or click here to book an appointment online.

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