How to Cope with Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression (PPD) is the friend that no woman really wants. If you suspect that you or someone you love is suffering from post partum depression your first step needs to be finding out what you can do or do to help them cope with this often debilitating disorder. PPD can come on strong after pregnancy and often affects women in several ways: many feel alone and unworthy, hopeless, while others feel sad, angry, anxious and lost. Regardless of how it affects a person sufferers need to know that they are not alone, it is not their fault that they feel this way and there are things that can help.
Things You'll Need:
Family & Friend support
Rarely will you find a woman who suffers from postpartum depression who actually understands exactly what her body and mind are going through. This condition can leave a person feeling like they are falling apart and can litter them with guilt, anxiety, stress and even fear. Definitely not a place that anyone wants to be emotionally or mentally especially after bringing a beautiful baby into the world. Here are some steps you can take if you know someone who may be suffering this mentally crippling condition.
Before you get started here are some facts known about postpartum depression: It can occur, in new mothers, as long as a year after giving birth, can cause fatigue and other sleeping issues, rollercoater mood swings, irritability, as well as lack of focus. The most important fact to know is that it CAN be treated.
Call your doctor. When you first see signs of postpartum depression or experience the onset of unexplained emotions such as sadness, frustration, anxiety or anger it is time to make an appointment. Meet with your Doctor and let them know what you are feeling and experiencing. Your doctor may be able to prescribe medication (anti-depressent) or refer you to a counselor that may be able to help you find ways to deal with your postpartum depression and help you to cope so you can get back to life and your family.
If you are comfortable with the idea consider asking your significant other to come along so that they can better understand what you are facing. Often times since spouses or other halves are not the ones who just gave birth this emotional rollercoaster of feelings is not something they can relate to or even begin to understand without a little bit of help.
Give yourself some alone time or at least time away from the baby. Your first step is to take a break. Have family members or a close trusted friend watch the baby and/or kids for a while a couple times a week so you can have some Mommy time. During your Mommy time do something that is relaxing for you: take a bath; go shopping and buy yourself something; read a book; get your nails done, see a counselor, hang out with your friends. When you are trying to cope with postpartum depression it is important that you are able to get in some personal time and get away from the situation. This can help you to clear your head and step outside of the anxieties and frustrations that postpartum depression brings along with it.
Keep a journal of how you feel and what made you feel the way you do. Do this everyday. Writing not only gives you a reference to help better explain things to yourself, family, support group and your doctor or counselor, but it also is an emotional release. A safe place to get your feelings out so they are not left to build inside you. When you feel it - you should write it, so keep your journal handy. It is not a bad idea to keep one next to the bed and a smaller one in your purse should you be out when the need to write it down occurs.
Join a support group for mothers. Do an online Google search for "postpartum depression support groups in (name your city and state)". Most local hospitals have support groups which are hosted on site and are available to anyone who is trying to cope with the baby blues and parinatal or pregnancy related depressions. There are also hotlines set up to help you cope during these stressful and confusing times.
These groups can really be a positive step in treating what is often referred to as a treatable mental illness. Don't let that term scare you. It doesn't mean you are crazy it just means your body is not working as it should and you can change that. These groups will open doors for your self esteem and offer you supportive reassurance that you are not alone and that you do not need to take this on alone.
Tips & Warnings
Postpartum Depression (PPD) is a serious condition and should not be left untreated.