Post Partum depression (PPD) happens either during pregnancy (called peripartum) or in the months after having a baby. PPD can look like a general dark or down feeling. It can feel like you are under water and can’t come out of it. Some common symptoms:
- You might have trouble sleeping or sleep too much, or
- might not eat or eat more than usual.
- You might not feel like doing anything and yet feel trapped at home.
- It’s a hopeless feeling.
- Sometimes mothers have anger or rage rise up unexpectedly- where they want to scream or run away from their situation.
It’s a roller coaster ride. Some mothers are nervous to share what thoughts they have had. I am here to tell you, I won’t judge you. I have personal experience with postpartum depression and I have had those dark moments. Seeking help when you have postpartum depression is a process of stepping out of the shame and guilt and choosing to trust someone else- which can be scary, I know.
Each person has a unique set of symptoms. As a therapist, I have seen mothers come out of these symptoms and find tools that they can carry with them in their lives. The next time they experience depression they have new tools and ways of thinking that bring them hope. I like to approach postpartum depression from all sides. I use therapy to talk through those thought patterns and emotions but we also talk about advocating for your needs, changing your lifestyle, helping you communicate with your partner and support system, and we try to add in new activities that can get you out of that rut. If needed, we can talk about getting evaluated for medication as well.
When a person is depressed it is like their brain is stuck in a chemical rut. The longer their brain is in that state the more difficult it is to recover. There are internal and external causes for post partum depression. According to an article from Harvard Medical School*, these can include, “faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications, and medical problems.”
In the months following having a baby there are so many overlapping factors that create a perfect storm. If you identify with these symptoms please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 469-203-1533.
Morgan Myers, LPC-intern
Supervised by Jessica Taylor, LPC-S
Morgan is a therapist at East Dallas Psychotherapy specializing in mothers with young kids overwhelmed by life, figuring out relationships, and dealing with depression and anxiety. For more about her click here.