Post natal depression can be confused with Baby Blues. Baby Blues affects about 80% of mothers and this is when you feel weepy, moody, tired and/ or anxious during the first week after giving birth, these feelings usually disappear within a few days.
According to PNDSA (Post Natal Depression Support Association) “postnatal depression affects between 10 and 30 percent of all mothers, in all circumstances, suffer from this middle-range depression. PND may develop slowly any time during the first year of the baby’s life.
Untreated, it may continue as a chronic low-grade depression, becoming more acute with subsequent births. Every mother is different, and may have different combinations of symptoms. You may be more anxious, irritable or angry than sad. It may be quite mild or very severe.
Often you may feel afraid that you are ‘going mad’. You may have felt depressed ever since your pregnancy, and sometimes ‘The Blues” don’t go away. At other times you may seem to manage well for a while, and then your mood becomes darker and darker.
At the other end of the spectrum, the ‘deepest blue’, is a rare and very serious disorder called Postnatal psychosis, which affects one or two mothers per thousand. Your thinking becomes seriously disturbed, and you need immediate hospitalization and treatment because you may be a danger to yourself and those around you.”
Symptoms of PND include:
- A persistent feeling of sadness and low mood.
- Loss of interest and lack of enjoyment in anything.
- Changes in appetite, “comfort eating” or lack of interest in eating.
- Disturbed sleeping patterns.
- Feelings of guilt and self-blame.
- Low self-confidence.
- Low concentration and difficulty making decisions.
- Feeling agitated.
- Feeling apathetic (not caring or being bothered)
- Thoughts of suicide or self-harm.
If you feel you may have PND take the test on the PNDSA website.