Each week in May there will be a spotlight on mental health as we focus on Mental Health Awareness Month, join in on the conversation. This week it is time to turn the attention to mothers. May 1st was Maternal Mental Health Awareness Day. Even though this is just one day, a person should always be vigilant regarding maternal mental health. Read on to learn more about potential warning signs of depression, Postpartum Depression, and the importance of seeking treatment.
Healthy Tip Tuesday is brought to you in partnership with Trinity Health Systems.
According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, depression can happen and is common during and after pregnancy. Most of all, it is treatable. “If you think you have depression, seek treatment from your health care provider as soon as possible,” officials stress.
While everyone feels sad from time to time, depression is different. It is a serious mood disorder and can last for several weeks or even months at a time. Symptoms vary from person to person. How often they occur, how long they last, and how intense they are can be different for everyone.
- Having a lasting sad, anxious, or “empty” mood.
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism.
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness.
- Feelings of irritability or restlessness.
- Loss of energy.
- Problems concentrating, recalling details, and making decisions.
- Difficulty falling asleep or sleeping too much.
- Overeating or loss of appetite.
- Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
- Aches or pains that do not get better with treatment.
Postpartum depression is different from the baby blues
The CDC notes that postpartum depression is depression that occurs after having a baby. Feelings of postpartum depression are more intense and last longer than those of “baby blues,” a term used to describe the worry, sadness, and tiredness many women experience after having a baby.
Symptoms of postpartum depression
The symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to symptoms of depression, but may also include:
- Crying more often than usual.
- Feelings of anger.
- Withdrawing from loved ones.
- Feeling distant from your baby.
- Worrying or feeling overly anxious.
- Thinking about hurting yourself or your baby.
- Doubting the ability to care for the baby.
Seeking treatment starts with talking to your healthcare provider
Having a baby is challenging and every woman deserves support. If you are experiencing emotional changes or think that you may be depressed, make an appointment to talk to your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Most people get better with treatment and getting help is the best thing you can do for you and your baby.