Post delivery depression is not uncommon in new
mothers. It may last for about a fortnight to a month or even a few more weeks.
Read about the common symptoms of post delivery depression.
Before charting out the symptoms, let us
discuss very briefly the condition called post
delivery depression. This is like any other
mental health condition, the only difference being that it is considered to be
‘natural’ as most women are found to experience it. It is primarily brought
about by rapid alterations in the reproductive hormonal levels after childbirth.
Besides the biological factors there are several other factors like
environmental and social that bring about or enhance the post delivery
depression. The stress of raising a new life also adds to the casual factors.
of Post Delivery Depression
Given below are some of the common
symptoms of post delivery depression.
Mostly observed within a couple of days
of the birth of the child to say about a week, the depression “normally” stays
for about a fortnight to a month or even a few more weeks. But if the symptoms
escalate and persist, it is time for serious clinical intervention.
Feeling of Sadness
There is an overwhelming feeling of
sadness, the woman begins to feel that everything in her life has changed and
she develops a foreboding feeling of emptiness. This might be coupled with
emotional numbness towards her partner, family and friends and in severe cases
even towards her baby.
Sensitivity to Little Things
is emotionally always on the edge. Even the minute of action or reaction might
provoke her to fly off her handles. She is prone to feel very touchy on every
little thing happening or being said around. This results in sudden and
frequent bouts of crying.
Drop in Patience
and Tolerance Levels
tolerance levels drop to near zero. She gets highly irritable or angry with
people or things happening around her. She desires for and sometimes demands
constant attention, depending on her personality. Any perceived or imagined
change is interpreted by her as neglect.
Withdraw From Relationships
women show a tendency to withdraw from relationships, be it with her partner,
her family members, her once close friends or society at large. She seems to be
highly disinterested in activities that were once very exciting to her.
Feeling of Guilt
harbours a persistent feeling of guilt and inadequacy. She fears that she is a
complete failure as a responsible mother. An overwhelming fear envelops her,
what if she is unable to provide a secure and happy upbringing for her baby.
She begins to live with this fear.
of Post Delivery Depression
are some other symptoms of post delivery depression.
- There is a constant feeling of exhaustion and tiredness. She loses all motivation and energy even to perform her regular activities. She is permanently stressed out.
- When these feelings of inadequacy or fear become overwhelming, she is gradually found to lose interest in the baby. It is like as if she has mentally resigned to her perception that she is a complete failure as an ideal or a good mother.
- All these factors gradually culminate to suicidal tendencies or the desire to end her life. The fact that she fears that she might be unwillingly harming her baby, makes her desire that she ought to die before she witnesses anything bad happening to her baby.
post delivery depression is left untreated, it might escalate to post delivery
psychosis which displays more severe symptoms. The woman begins to nurture
delusions or live in false beliefs. She might nurture suspicions even on her
well-wishers and refuse to take any help from people around her. She might
suffer from hallucinations and complain of seeing things or hearing voices or
sounds that are not real. This only but enhances her fears.
In extreme cases, the mother might even
want to harm her own baby. It has been observed that in such acute cases, the
mother believes that there are people around who might harm her little one, and
she therefore covers the baby with a thick blanket so as to ‘protect’ him from
the ‘intruders’. In this manner she might just end up cutting off the air
supply needed for breathing resulting in fatal consequences for the baby.