Postpartum depression is a debilitating condition in which life doesn’t feel the same as it used to. It’s much different than your mother’s depression and no, it is not the same as the baby blues. Postpartum depression can cripple you from sustaining a normal and enjoyable life. It can cause you to become a hermit of a person and even the smallest tasks can feel like a marathon.
I know, because I suffer from Postpartum Depression (PPD).
I say suffer in the present-tense because even after 18 months postpartum, I am still fighting for my life. I am still trying to dig my way out of a bottom-rock depression which led me to believe that I was worthless and that my family would be better off without me.
Maybe you are a first-time mom and you are feeling a bit different. Have you thought it could be postpartum depression, or are you brushing your feelings off in hopes that it would go away? If you are showing the signs of postpartum depression, it’s so much better to get help now than to wait.
If you recognize these signs of postpartum depression in someone you care about, please, be there for them during this difficult time.
The 8 Common Signs of Postpartum Depression
1. Extreme sadness
When you have postpartum depression, the sadness is unlike any other. It will be dark, unbearable sadness that will have you feeling emotionally unavailable to everyone that you care about. This sadness also doesn’t go away– instead, it lingers within the cracks of your good days and pounces with a vengeance on your better days.
This can best be described as everything getting on your nerves; when you feel a constant state of irritation and you don’t even know why.
The rage will surprise you– why am I always so angry? Why am I snapping at the smallest things? You may feel like a prisoner in your own body and maybe even a monster. There is nothing wrong with you– that is the PPD talking.
4. Feeling unworthy
Feelings of unworthiness and believing that your family would be better off without you is another common sign of PPD.
You are not unworthy; you’re an amazing and brave mama that is fighting for her life.
5. Mood swings
Not just your typical PMS mood swings, but these come and go and don’t have an end in sight.
6. Loss of interest
The things you once loved to do now seem fine to forget about. You turn down invitations to go out with friends, or even lost interest in playing with your baby.
7. Extreme fatigue
It’s common to feel tired when you’re a mom and taking care of a newborn, so you may always feel like you’re exhausted.
This could be a sign of PPD, but if you’re not sure, ask yourself these questions: Are you getting rest and still feeling like you could sleep for days? Do the tiny tasks like preparing lunch or taking a shower feel like running a marathon?
8. Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
If you’re feeling like life is too difficult and you are thinking of harming yourself or your baby, it’s time to reach out and ask for help.
Know that you ARE worthy of this life and your baby needs you.
It’s not an easy road to recover from postpartum depression. It will be lonely, isolating, scary, and perhaps the hardest journey you will ever go on. However, I want to tell you that it is possible to get back to your old-self– it is possible for those cloudy days to go away and to find that spark in your eyes again.
You got this, mama.