I received the following email from a reader of Postpartum Progress, and her story was so interesting to me that I wanted to share it with you. I don’t doubtsome of you have had an experience similar to hers. What so many people don’t understand is how little training physicians receive on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and how wrong they often are about the information they give their patients. Here’s the email:
“I just LOVE that you have on your website:
[Postpartum depression] can show up any time in the first 12 months after having a baby (or after having a miscarriage, a stillbirth, or an abortion, in fact). Most often, it rears its ugly head sometime between three and four months after the baby is born, but it wouldn’t be unusual if it showed up earlier or later.
Everything I read from the literature given at the hospital, my doctor’s office and on major websites all stated that PPD occurs up to 4-6 weeks after delivery … so when I was four months postpartum and the baby was sleeping and I wasn’t and was having major anxieties about driving and sleeping and still having crying outbursts I kept thinking ‘Well, it couldn’t be PPD because that only occurs right after the baby is born … something else must be majorly wrong with me’
With the love and support of friends and family, I was able to get the help I needed. I am now 16 months postpartum and got my life back. I’m having the time of my life with my son and am luckily able to balance a great career.
I hope that your education will extend somehow to the other literature that is out there. It’s 4-5 months or later that it can really hit some women and not necessarily right after the baby is born …”
So many women don’t think they have postpartum depression or related illnesses because they believe if it hasn’t shown up in the first few weeks it can’t be PPD. While it may in fact actually start in the first few months after chidlbirth, some women may not notice it until much later in the first year. And others have told me they really were doing okay until months later.
Here’s an example of this I found this week in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, in a sidebar piece to an article on depression:
Postpartum depression, which is diagnosed if a new mother develops a major depressive episode within one month after delivery. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.
One month! The paper notes that the source for this information is the National Institute for Mental Health. UGH!!
I’d love to hear from those of you whose postpartum depression showed up later — or at least you didn’t recognize it until later. Did you also feel that it couldn’t be PPD?
Great topic. My PPD/Anxiety may have been brewing the whole time, but it hit me like a brick around the time my son was 3 months old. I knew something was terribly wrong and I was praying that it was PPD and not something permanent…but I was confused because of these two reasons: 1. It happened 3 months after my son was born and not immediately and 2. It seemed to come on so quickly. One day I was able to function and the next day I was incapacitated.
The funny thing is, my friends all saw me go through it and now all my friends are having their 2nds. Some of them are telling me after couple of weeks with their 2nd newborn, that they avoided PPD. I don't know what to say…Do I say, "not so fast…it could still happen in a few months." Or do I say, "good for you!"?
Someday I hope to really write about my experience, but in a nutshell, I realized at 3 mo. postpartum I was functioning at a lesser level than at 6 weeks pp. I had a baby who slept and ate well, a super-supportive husband, and experience with PPD after my 2nd baby (This was baby #4). But the anxiety I felt and the difficulty I experienced when making decisions or trying to finish formerly routine tasks convinced me that something was out of wack–like my thyroid. When the thyroid test came back in normal range, I bawled hopelessly. A few days later I saw an internist who spent 1 1/2 hours with me and ultimately declared I had Postpartum depression. "But I'm not depressed!" At least that wasn't the overriding symptom and I knew what PPD should feel like. In sum, my PPD/A has been anything but stereotypical or textbook. Now at 20 mo. postpartum, I am still dealing with some of the fallout of the disorder, but I am so much better. I say if you feel like something is not right at anytime during the Perinatal experience, get info (love this website!) and get help.
This is a GREAT post, and I think it really says a lot that the 2 previous comments also mention their PPD was diagnosed 3 months postpartum. I was diagnosed with PPD when my daughter was 3 months old. I was definitely experiencing symptoms before then, but didn't get help or get diagnosed until 3 months postpartum. With me, I didn't think it was postpartum depression because I wasn't "depressed." I wasn't crying, didn't have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. None of that. For me, it was terrible, terrible irritability, and I just become a totally different person. Thankfully, my PPD was treated very well with anti-depressants. But, again – I wasn't diagnosed until 3 months postpartum.
FINALLY someone is addressing this fact! I couldn't have PPD because WebMD says it occurs within six weeks of delivery… Well, I do have it! I've been on Zoloft for approximately 12 days now and feel like a zombie (but I'm only 35% depressed still). My OB wanted me to see a therapist who is "not in my network" and so I sit here, waiting for my appointment to arrive with a "generic therapist" to take control and monitor my meds (thanks to my HMO). I drop the pill in my mouth each night at 9:30pm (because it makes me completely useless after taking it) and then I wait for my eyelids to fight me for control of the night. Whether I want to or not, I'm bed bound within an hour of taking 50mg of Zoloft each night. My mind is erased. I can't remember what happens post med taking! My PPD began when I went back to work, severe emotions and anxiety attacks (About 11 weeks PP, but I waited an additional 7 weeks to address the situation). I lashed out at my husband and two other sons, my baby, however, was king! I'd like to get off the rollercoaster now, please!
Hi Pamela, I just wanted you to know that I'm also taking Zoloft, and like you I felt tired and "out of it" fo the first few weeks when I took it. However, 3 months later, I am much more tolerant of those side effects and having a much more successful experience. You may find that the same thing happens with you, and if not you should be able to ask your doctor to help you find something else. I'm sorry you're frustrated, I have many of the same PPD/A issues as you. I hope you feel better soon. We're all in this together.
Mine was at 8 month PP and medically it can happen anywhere from birth till 1 year PP
Same here! Had it at 8 months pp and this is my 5th! Crazy, I am just now addressing it…
I am 9.5 months pp (ftm) and I think I have it. I haven’t thought much of it, but it has been an issue for me of not sleeping well at night and napping during the day. I also don’t take much care of myself – the most I shower in a week is twice. I just had an event of my daughter waking up and not going back to sleep in her crib even after trying to feed her. I started crying and thinking, “I don’t want to nurse anymore.” I just wanted to shove her at my husband and leave the room. I’m still crying 20 minutes later even though she’s finally asleep. I will be calling the doctor in the morning.
I’m so glad you’re calling the doctor, mama. It’s going to be okay. Reaching out is the best thing to do. We can’t do this alone. I’m sending you peace!
Of course there is also another side of it. Sometimes, it might exist and just not be fully understood or admited.
With my wife, I saw it early on, but she kept saying that it was just "baby blues". Since this was our first time, we really didn't understand what was happening. 3 years later, she admits that it got really bad, but back then, she was too sick to accept it. Then of course, once we decided that she needed help, it took even longer to get someone to help us.
I went through post partum depression after I had my daughter. I can't say exactly when it started – things were somewhat rough from the start on a number of fronts, but it was definitely some time before I fully recognized and admitted that I was dealing with depression. In fact, to some extent, it was only as I made a few changes and began to come out of it that I fully realized how much it had been affecting me, and I remember another mom sharing a similar experience of coming out of the haze.
When I had my son, I was watching closely for the signs of the depression that had hit me with my first. For about two and a half months, I thought I was doing okay. I'd had a few blue patches, but not the continual cycle of crying and self-deprecation and guilt I knew from the last journey. I was watching so closely for those familiar landmarks that I missed the anxiety that was building up to explosive levels behind me. I didn't recognize it until I began to crack. It was very frightening and I'm grateful that I didn't need to fight or push my doctor to get help.
My son is now nearing 14 months, and I continue to struggle with cycles of anxiety and depression. I now run into the other arbitrary timeline that's associated with postpartum depression and anxiety – the assumption that postpartum issues will be resolved within a year. It's thankfully not be a barrier to continuing to get support, but the idea is out there, along with the question of when does it cease to be postpartum, vs. a more general issue, or PMDD?
My daughter appears to be showing symptoms of PPD and so she called her OB/GYN to make an appointment. The nurse called her back today to say that after 3 months they don't consider it PPD and to call her primary doctor. Now she is confused and doesn't know what is wrong with her. I googled and found your site and told my daughter that she may still be suffering from PPD. She will be calling her primary doctor to set up an appointment. It's a shame some doctors don't want to acknowledge PPD after the first few weeks of delivering a baby.
You can have PPD anytime in the first year after birth. The nurse who told your daughter that was completely uninformed. I'm truly sorry she had that experience. I hope the primary doctor has been more helpful.
I am thinking I have ppd. After reading a lot of these stories, I do not feel so alone.My little girl is 6 months old. All I want to do is cry. I don’t want to get out of bed or go to work. I have a doctors appointment made but can get in until June 30. I am so sorry for everyone going through this, but that you so very much for sharing. I no longer feel like I am crazy now.
I’m so glad you feel less alone! You are dealing with an illness, and I’m so glad you have that appointment ahead of you. Meanwhile, you can join us in our private forum if you have not – https://www.smartpatients.com/partners/postpartumprogress There is a lot of encouragement and good advice there. I’m sending you peace.
Hi Heather! I am so glad to have read this. My daughter just turned 9 months old and I thought I was crazy. I’ve been working with my PCP but he seems as though he’d rather just push me on to a Psychiatrist. So I’m working to find one that my husband’s private insurance through work actually covers (easier said than done). The PA at my doctors office has been wonderful. But I still can’t help feeling embarrassed or responsible that this happened to me.
Barbara, I hope you are feeling a bit better after your visit! I am beginning to struggle a little after my daughter was born now, she is 11 weeks, which is way earlier than I noticed trouble with my son. Around 10 months is when I just felt like I could hang myself a few days a week for at least a month. I knew it wasn’t normal, that that feeling wasn’t “me”, but I was so sad, that was the only way I could describe the way I felt. It was when he started to wean and guess that did it, this time I don’t feel quite so bad yet but I am less surprised by the fatigue and random sadness. Last time I managed through by reaching out to my mom, who is a nurse and works with those who have mental illness, and my husband as well as a trusted colleague at work who was also a mom of a new one at around the same time. I told myself if it went on for another two weeks I would call a Dr but as quickly as it started it subsided. I recognized it and made sure to have a safety net in place in case I needed help, but I am glad to have found this site! No new mom is alone here:)
At 6 months postpartum I watched my sister labor and push for 2 hrs with her son, and after a grueling labor she ended up with c section. I was fine but the next day is when I woke up feeling empty. Why was I here? What point was my life? I wasnt special. People have babies all the time. I have no purpose. I was suicidal. I thought I was gay and I thought I was going to hurt my daughter because I was so afraid of something bad happening to her that I dwelled on it and then internalized. I went into the hospital but was sane enough to realize I was not getting help. I signed out against medical advice after 3 days. I was just re-telling my story to the next worker who came on shift. There was no progress. My family babysat me for several months. I got outpatient care and tried many meds. After 1.5 yrs i was better. It was the scariest time of my life. Fake it till you make it and stay busy! Change your thought patterns, read self help books. Im not gay, but my friend just came out and I think, looking back on it, that I was looking for a reason why I might be sad.
Mental illness runs in my family but within 2 yrs my mother died, we got married, got preg, gave birth, bought a house, found out a woman committed suicide in my house, and I witnessed an awful labor. I dont know if it was just too many changes at once, ppd, ppocd or ppp, or just my time for mental illness to hit.
Paxil saved my life. Love your blog! Thanks for letting me vent…..dont get to talk about this often.
Thanks so much for this post. My grandfather came out left his family after being married for several years. When i went through post partum i experiene the same thing and am only 5 month out since having my son. It even started before i had him. I am on an anti-depressent Paxil and an anxiety medication but still have bad days. I just want to be better right away but have a feeling this is going to take time.
I experienced PPD/A with both of my children. My oldest is 7 and my youngest is 13 mo. I suffered severely after the second one, and had to have inpatient treatment. Things got much better and I was coasting along swimmingly! Then when he turned 13 mo, I had the panic again. Feeling so tired and unhappy and anxious. This has been going on for about 2 weeks and I am back on meds, but I just feel like it is so unfair to be hit with this again. I don't understand how it could happen. I live in a small town in AK and there isn't a lot of help around here. I wish there was a therapist that was well versed in PPD/A, if that is what I even have, a year later. I'm just wondering if anyone else out there has gotten better, just to have a relapse a year later.
I am so glad to find this. I am almost 4 months postpartum and am feeling the same way. Tired but unable to sleep, weepy, forgetful and struggling at work and home. I didn't start out this way… it's really been the last month. I just can't keep up. I will see my doctor about ppd. I wish someone told me in the hospital that symptoms could occur in the first year, not just the first month!
I got my first bout of ppd ocd after my daughter was 10 months old . all i remember is waking up one day and i wasnt me the intrusive thoughts were herendous.I remember calling my mother straight away that morning and she came over and told me that i was just having bad dreams but i knew that was not it how can u be having bad dreams AWAKE!! For the next 4 months i laid in my bed crying not wanting to wash myself or clean i felt like since she was 10 months old I was just going mad!!! No one seemed to understand and telling me to snap out of it I had an abusive partner back then so instead of getting help i was getting kicked .I finally left this man and moved to europe with 2 small children still dealing with this dark cloud in my head. I remember thinking all i want to do is go to bed and wake up like i used to. It is so hard to ask for help you feel like people are going to look at you like a terrible mother. I now have 4 kids and still deal with ppd every now and then but my husband now is very supportive and supports my need for counselling and medication. I really think i could have avoided the hell in my head if there was more support and information. Sometimes you feel like the hospital tells you all about contraception and ow to take care of your wounds before you leave but never about the darkness that ISNT baby blues.
my sister is experiencing fierce rage at the moment.her son is now 2 and a half.she hasnt been without rage since he was born.other than that she is a very loving mother,and has no rage at all towards her son.all her rage is vented at my parents,and me and my sisters.she is particularly obsessive towards me in particular.her partner can be very abusive and it is like he has brainwashed her against her family and he seems to be full of rage herself.she once mentioned she was afraid of her partner and felt so much anger towards being stuck with him for life.she wont admit this now and has gone to crazy measures to destroy our family,like going to the gaurds over text messages etc and has sais she wont stop till m mother is in her grave.we are all very confused,is this postpartum depression and is rage a big part of this illness.would be so thankful for any replys at all.she is s full of anger for 2 and a half years now and our family is destroyed withthreats and we are living in fear of her.she cant see it and sees us as being in the wrong and that we are making her angry eventhough we might nt see her for months and she would be very angry over past events.she has talked about suicide too.im afraid she is going to kill my parents with the way she is acting
wow that letter was very interesting my baby is almost 4months she is my sixth and ive never had any ppd before but this last week ive felt a little more anxiety about everyday things cried over stupid things and just felt moody and stressed and not quit sure why because i love my life i had thought you only got it right after the baby was born but after reading that letter i wonder if maybe …….
I don’t know if I’m having PPD. We have never heard of that before, only after my co-worker told us that she was having therapy due to PPD:
My son is already 1 yr and 8 months
This is what I’m feeling:
1. I tend to be irritated most of the time, I feel that the world is so unjust to me because of lack of career upgrading. we are also having a hard time financially, thus i blame our financial status to my irritability.
2. I just want to cry and cry.
3. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and even though how much I try to go back to sleep, i just can’t. Sleep would only come to me much later – 3-4 hours after.
4. When i get irritated, i get this very painful headache.
5. Sometimes, I feel like i don’t want this kind of life, that this was not the kind of life i had expected. I had even asked myself whether it was indeed a good decision to marry ( I love my husband and my family). Sometimes i am having regrets with the way my life turned out.
6. I hate my life and i hate the world.
My husband said that I have changed. That this is not what I used to be. But i cant help it.
I hope that you could help me, Whether this is PPD or it’s just me grumbling over my fate. Thanks
Meridith, it is definitely possible that you are struggling with depression or anxiety, and those are illnesses that you can be treated for. Therapy is one form of treatment that is very effective. It would be worth seeing your doctor to discuss your symptoms and how you are feeling and see if he or she can work with you to identify what is going on and help you.
My experience. My son was a year old and i was taking very low dose birth control for pcos. I started not feeling like myself. I started a long process of antidepressants and anti anxiety medications that ended in 6 antidepressants, 3 anti anxiety medications, and a brief stay in a mental institution. Finally after over a year of dealing with overwhelming depression and daily panic attacks I’m perfectly fine now. No doctor has ever said it but I’m 100% sure it was postpartum depression. I still have nearly untreatable pcos that is a constant issue but mentally its like a weight has been lifted. Please dont think you’re crazy just because symptoms appear late and insist on proper treatment. Good luck everyone.
My son is 8 months and the PPD is just now hitting me pretty hard. Unfortunately, I’m high risk: prior hormonally-related depression, no support beyond my partner, etc. Luckily, I have a good partner, an excellent therapist with whom I have a history, and a great “easy” baby.
Part of me wants to explain to friends exactly why we cancel get-togethers at the last minute. I’m really tired of putting on the happy mother face and saying (because it’s what they want to hear), “Everything’s GREAT! I’ve TOTALLY got this whole parenting thing DOWN!” Some days are worse than others and playing that role, essentially for their benefit, just costs me too damn much. But part of me knows the silent judging that will go on if I tell them the truth: “Isn’t she a little late to be going through PPD?” And is it their business anyway?
I started showing symptoms of PPD 7 months in and had full blow PPD & Anxiety with panic attacks by the time my son was a year old. He is 4 years old now and I am stilll suffering from it since I did not get the proper treatment. I started paxil which worked wonderfully for a full year and then crapped out, unfortunately I was on a very low budget and could not afford counseling or therapy and I also did not know what my options were as my doctor informed me that I COULD ONLY HAVE PPD for a certain amount of time after the baby was born. I still have depression anxiety and panic attacks and I even had to give my son to his father because I didn’t find the help I needed.
I am so glad this website is here, I just wish I would have found it sooner. 🙁
Hello, I loved this article as I think I may have ppd after reading all the causes and symptoms broke down by mommy english and it’s been 13mos since I gave birth to my son..I think now looking back on the last yr I noticed something was off with me and went to a therapist for general stress in April. I thought you could only have ppd in the 1st couple weeks to the early months of new motherhood. I’m so glad when I googled if I could get ppd after a yr one of your links came up and I am for sure going to be calling my Dr in the morning as I want to get started with treatment I’m just not the same person I used to be and dont want my son growing up knowing that side of me the side I dont like. But thank you again for having such a great supportive website.
You’re welcome Ashley! And I’m so glad you are reaching out for help. Good for you – that is often the hardest step of all. If the symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety sound familiar, it’s definitely worth talking to your doctor about it.
It hit me at 9 months ….
I would like to share my story. I want to start off by saying I have never had any anxiety , depression , or ocd. My son was born April 2012 everything went great. I even left the hospital 2 days early from a c/s. When my son was about 9 months old I woke up one morning with a headace , dizziness , and I could not concertante . I went to my doctor were she said I had a mild case of vertigo . After about week and a half of visiting my doctors office all hell broke lose in my head. The nightmare began. I had thoughts that I have never in my life ever thought off. They were a horror show in my head. Everything in my house was negative . I would look at my fireplace and i thought I would throw my kids in. I can go on and on . I had every thought the stabbing, drowning, putting them in the dryer. I hope I’m not scarring anyone. I knew these thoughts were wrong and not me. I really thought I was going crazy. I headed back to my doctors office the next day. We’re she told me it was sleep deprivation . I asked her are you sure she said yes. I went home I finally told my husband and my cousin. They all said the samething you have postpartum . I started todo some research on the web and came cross postpartum ocd. I wasn’t depressed I was function perfectly . I was just so sad and unhappy of all these crazy thoughts i was having. After going 3 more times to my doctors office she was still telling me I had sleep deprivation . After 6 months of hell I finally went to see an other doctor. I Told him the whole story. He looked at me and said postpartum ocd. Finally!!!!
I went I meds a very low does. I tired a therapist it’s not for me. I’m a year and 3 months I’m a lot better then what I was. I don’t have the fear like I did or the crazy thoughts or the triggers of watching the tv. I do get them right around I’m pmsing . I think this just takes lots of time and support. I know the worst is behind and now there habit thoughts. I know it’s a long story.
What I want to say is you know yourself better then anyone . Trust your gut and get the help you need. It is temporary. It just takes a long time to recovery from all the crazy thoughts that go on. I hope this helps someone out there.
I LOVE THIS ARTICLE! !! I have been extremely exhausted, constant worry, feel useless, and feel like im not good enough for my husband. I lash out at him, once the deed is done, i regret it so much. I love him so much, my baby is now 5 months old. I am having my 2nd session with my counselor today. I don’t know if i need medication, or what. I just want to be my old self again. Not this irritable, nasty person. I use to love hanging out, and forgave easily now, thats not the case. I only feel safe around my husband, and mom. Idl whats wrong with me?!
Yes, most definitely postpartum can show months later…it become an issue for me when I could no longer cope with the intrusive thoughts.. it very slowly crept up on me….this was one year, three months after my son was born. Months prior to this thoughts going on in my head..if I just exercise, eat healthy, get more sleep, stop drinking strong coffee, not look at my boy when I am having a scary thought I wont feel this way, for me it was the intrusive thought with the dam kitchen knives that knocked me to my knees. I was paralyzed with fear…the scariest fear ever, I mean, throw up fear. I didn’t want to be here and I was so scared of myself. I think the big kahuna was a local story a customer told me that got stuck in my head…what if, I am human too, what makes me different from these people who do these horrible acts…I feel crazy too. But there is a huge difference, please keep reading.
I told my husband to remove the kitchen knives, If I am having these thoughts, what if’s. I could no longer deal with the mental pain and I certainly wasn’t getting any better, only worse. The ruminations in my head going around and around like a record, out of nowhere would be horrible thoughts of my son being hurt and I didn’t know by who,was it someone else or I me doing these things? I now today realize and have comfort in my mind being more chemically stable and can see back then during my darkest hours me being scared shitless was enough, more than enough to keep us all safe.
I saw a threapist who was terrific but didn’t think I had postpartum. I saw a nurse practioner psychiatric nurse that fed into my thoughts..she wanted me medicated so I would stay away from the cliff, if you know what I mean. The breaking point was when I was seeing the nurse psych who said “god forbid”, you don’t want to be writing to your children/family from a jail cell. I left there crying, in depths of sorrow I can’t even explain, but left saying, this is my story to tell someday.
The next day I walked into a psychiatric ward and asked for a full evaluation, this was almost two years ago. I told my story to the admin nurse and she talked to the psychologist and they recommended that I do outpatient therapy. I went on a Friday and went the following Monday for a two week outpatient stay. There I learned I was very depressed with OCD tendencies. I learned a lot in the ward, how to cope, how to redirect my horrendous thoughts, and most of all, how to love myself.
After my stay in the ward I saw a new person, a specialist who helps and deals only with postpartum issues. I had to pay out of pocket but wished I had done so much, much earlier. After telling her the full story of my suffering and pain and my crazy mind, she diagnosed me will full blown postpartum OCD. I cried and cried, she told me to take comfort that this is an anxiety disorder. I left with a new medication, a stronger one but I have to say my struggles lasted a long time. I thank God for psychiatric meds, I could’t stop the images in my head without medication.
*I do want to state before seeing the specialist I was on a very low dose of medication from the psych nurse…I was not at my theraputic level and I was on the wrong medication*
I do want to say with my struggling with postpartum I believed that I would never never get better and I even called the specialist, do people really recover from postpartum ocd? This woman told me we all recover and she has never met anyone who has not recovered from OCD postpartum.
I believe the specialist now, my son is 4. I know I am safe with my child and he is the world to me….he loves me, and at this point I can see he is well adjusted.
I also was running from the fear, the knives, etc…really running. I stopped and turned around and looked fear in the face and asked, “what are you trying to tell me”. It was then that things started getting better for me, I would acknowledge the thought, ohh…it is you again fear and would do my best to not attach an emotion to it. This is hard to do at first but being mindful I think was the best approach for me along with medication. When I would get into icky cycles I would ground myself in the present…what is really real and true here..it is not the crap going on in my head…it is the sun is shining, I have blue carpet and pretty beads to look at, people are talking outside the door and this is true reality.
For all you lovely ladies that are in the darkness please believe you will get better. Little steps everyday to walk out of the darkness. Sing to yourself, the sun will come out tomorrow, or somedays all I had was hope.. I would write on my arm hope and peace and when it started walking out of the darkness I felt happy to be alive. As crazy as it seems is I am somewhat grateful for this experience. Life can be beautiful and you will see what I mean when you reach the other side to recovery. Through life we have the hills and valleys and mountains to navigate.
I just want postpartum to be more open, we don’t have to suffer in silence….maybe our mother’s, friends, grandmother had an experience with postpartum. What will you tell them to ease their suffering, please aslo tell this to yourself. xoxo
Wow, this is just perfect. I had a similar experience and am taking small steps out of the darkness. My little one is 2 next month and I’m now on the right path after mis diagnosis and a non therapeutic does of ad’s for PPD OCD and PPD. Thanks for sharing x
Thank you Michelle, I know it’s been a year since this was posted but you told my story. Knives and all. Helps me feel a little less alone and less crazy.
I experienced Postpartum Psychosis 6 MONTHS after having my first child! Everything was going really well, and although I knew to look out for depression, mania wasn’t even on my radar, and certainly not that far after birth. I also had an induction and had high levels of Pitocin. Hopefully that had something to do with it since I’m pregnant again and looking to avoid a re-occurrence.
I am so glad I read this! I am 4 months postpartum with #2 and found myself spiraling downward around 3 months or so. I tried to manage for a month on my own but after breaking down at work from being completey overwhelemed, I realized I was suffering from PPD. I was crying all the time, stressed, irritable, filled with anxiety, and not enjoying my kids like I knew I should be because I couldn’t let go of the stress I was feeling. I called my OB’s office and the dr on call commented that “that’s a little late” to be feeling postpartum depression when I told her I was 4 months pp. Talk about invalidating! I knew at that point what I was suffering from and started meds and am meeting with my regular dr now who agrees with what I am experiencing and is happy to support me. Just crazy to me that an OB dr would not realize that ppd can onset later than a month or 2 after birth!
Sam – I’m so glad you reached out for help! PPD can show up anytime in the first year and sometimes even later. I’m sorry your OB was not educated enough on this topic to give you accurate information. I agree, those comments are completely invalidating. You did the right thing by seeking the counsel of another doctor. I hope your recovery continues to go well!
Thank you for sharing.. this was the reason that I still have not seen a doctor, and even though my daughter is now 3y.o. every few months I come online to research what could be wrong with me
JR — Definitely reach out to a doctor or therapist to get some help. You do not need to keep suffering. Help is available.
My son just turned 18 months and I am JUST NOW in the midst of treatment for PPD. He is my first. I didn’t realize it was PPD until I finally listened to my husband’s advice and saw a therapist who suggested I see a psychiatrist who diagnosed me. I wish I had sought treatment sooner. I do believe that if the things I was reading at the time were more clear and accurate about the onset of PPD or the other sneaky symptoms, I may have been more willing to get treatment sooner-I did not believe I had PPD. I made so many excuses for myself-“when i lose weight i’ll feel better” “im sure once I start working and making money for the family i’ll feel better” “my ibs is hurting my stomach” etc etc…instead of pursuing treatment for PPD I tried “fixing” each of the things that i thought were making me unhappy. Nothing worked. My poor husband. My symptoms include extremely low self-esteem (non existent most of the time), lack of interest in things i used to enjoy (sex and intimacy included), persistent negative thoughts (but nothing involving harm or harming anyone/myself, surprisingly), extreme tiredness despite sleeping more than enough, extreme irritability and lack of patience-the smallest things annoy me and send me into a rage, complete lack of libido-not even interested in trying bc i never feel in the mood-thinking about it even turns me off, memory problems, trouble making decisions, and huge appetite. The biggest problem is the libido issue. Now, not only am I suffering, but my husband is too. Hopefully the medication I am taking will “kick in” soon and combined with therapy, I hope I start feeling better soon. I don’t know how much longer my marriage will last in this state. 🙁 Good luck to everyone!
W123 – I’m so glad you are getting help now. PPD and its MANY symptoms are not talked about enough and so many women feel it can’t be PPD if they don’t feel depressed. I hope you start feeling better soon. Keep reaching out for help. You are on the right track now, mama.
I guess I’ll be making a call to my doctor tomorrow. My son is 7 months old and a very easy baby. I’m told that over and over again by everyone. He is sweet, cheerful, developing beautifully…but he doesn’t sleep unless he’s held, and even then for only 2-3 hours at a stretch. I’m so tired, sometimes it’s just too much and I’ll just hold him and cry. I never think about hurting him or myself, but I obsess about his health. I used to take his temperature 7 times a day! My husband is helpful and supportive, but sometimes I almost hate him…especially on days like today when he slept for 10 hours then dares to tell me he’s tired!! I’m so irritable, and it takes nothing to tip my mood to super pissed off. That’s not me. Even when I’m supposed to be sleepimg, like now, I can’t. I spent a year eating healthy and taking good care of myself…now I gorge on comfort foods until I feel sick. I look terrible, because bothering over myself seems like too much work. I just feel overwhelmed, like my life has disappeared under grief and worry and constant caretaking (my mom has alz, and I moved home to help my dad care for her…getting pregnant was a late in life miracle, so motherhood isn’t what I had planned for at 45.) But who would listen to me complain? They all think I have the easiest baby in the world. I love that little boy beyond reason, I just wish I could feel some happiness. Until I read this article and the comments, I had no idea it could be PPD. You’d think with a history of PTSD that I would have recognized the signs. So thanks. I hope I can get some help.
WE will listen to you Charlene. We get it. I’m so glad you’re going to take the step to reach out for help! Good for you!!
I cannot even tell you how reading this made me feel. I have never once commented on a website, but I can’t help but do so now. My daughter turned 18 months the day you wrote this, and I am feeling the EXACT same as the things you described. I knew I was at risk for postpartum depression before I even had her, but I tried to tell myself that I would be able to think myself out of it. And I made all of those same kind of excuses. And, oh my goodness, all of the extra issues that comes from a low libido! My partner truly does not fully understand what is going on, and takes everything personally. It wasn’t until the last couple of months that I have finally come to terms with what is most likely going on with me.
I was very lucky in that my OB was apparently much more well versed in this subject than it seems a lot are. She warned me that it could take place much later than just the first month, and do while I knew what was likely happening, I made the excuses. I think one of the main reasons I did so though is because I have no insurance. And so I knew, even if PPD was the issue, I have no way of fixing it. 🙁 I fear that I’m sinking lower, and I’m missing out on the first few years of my daughter’s life. But it is helpful to not feel alone.
Brie – I’m so sorry this is happening to you and that you’ve suffered this long. Have you asked your OB about ways you might be able to treat this without insurance? Perhaps there is something she can help you with in terms of medication or she can refer you to a free or low-cost counseling service. You’re definitely not alone and I hope you can get some good help soon.
Thank you for clarifying that! I have my son on December 3 2014 an he is now 7 months old! I love him with all my heart. But the first 4 months was perfect maybe even the first 5! But these past two months have been so rough I have been struggling with going to work an leaving my son with his grandma an paying bills an just everything! I hate driving with my son in the car. But I haven’t told anyone I just thought I was losing it. But I broke down an started crying over nothin and I finally called my dr. An he is setting up an appointment with me here soon. Be honest I can’t wait. I hope he can help me and now that I read all the symptoms an what everyone else says how PPD can come at any giving time. That you don’t know until it pretty much slaps you in the face. I know now I can tell him hey ppd can come anytime within the year it’s not my fault I’m like this I can’t help it.
So thank you for sharing all this it really helped me out an made me feel like I’m not alone.
I’m curious to hear whether those suffering from PPD experience symptoms all day every day? My daughter just turned 3 months; I had emotional outbursts for the first few weeks, but they tapered off until this week. I’m finding myself feeling emotional and anxious, but only every other day and usually just in the evenings. I feel helpless and fearful of the world my daughter will grow up in. I can feel an emotional episode coming on like a wave, and after a couple hours it retreats and I’m back to normal. Could this just be a fluctuation in my hormones, or something more serious? Because it’s not a constant thing, I’m hoping its the latter…
Hi Jillian, what you are experiencing is common. Many moms experience more anxiety at certain times of the day, and not every day. PPA is sneaky and confusing, and I’m sorry you are struggling. I hope you have a doctor you can trust to talk with about getting help. Please let me know if you don’t and I will do my best to steer someone who can help you.
I have a 10 month old baby girl and 3 year old boy. He’s in that awful toddler stage and weretelling him hes i trouble all the time and my girl is the easiest baby in the world. Everything was fine.. or so I thought. It just dawned on me tonight that it might be something more. Around month 5 my husband and I had a huge financial fight. (We both work full time but hes bad with credit and im not) And ever since then I am just so angry with him. I think we’re having a good day then bam he did something (anything) stupid and I’m furious with him. I hate when he doesn’t take initiative with anything around the house. He works 3rdso I am the one who gets up every night with either child. I am the type of person that can deal with less sleep. I go through my day just as happy as can be. I wonder all the time if I’d just be better off with him but we’ve been married almost a decade. I feel like he’s a 3rd child and I’m picking up after him just as much. Nothing he ever does is right and I know that that’s on me because that’s just ridiculous. Sex drive zero. I say hey let’s have a mini date and go to quick dinner and he says (I swear this happened) “how bout a date in the bedroom”…. Dear God what a pickup line. Needless to say a fight insued. I’ve thought multiple times about couples counseling or one just for myself. I do not want meds I just want to stop hating him and for him to not be useless! Thanks for listening and please answer with any help! I can’t have a broken family.
Oh this is so hard, mama. I do believe it can get better but you’re right, counseling would help. I mean, if you find the right fit for you and/or your husband, it could make a world of difference. What I do know is that making any extreme decisions about your marriage while you are in this stage with kiddos is most often not the best time. If you can hang in there and do what you can to get therapy, you’ll always be glad you did, no matter what. I’m hoping all good things for you and yours.
Thank you Heathers king
I completely understand how you feel. My little man is really one of the easiest babies in the world. I spent months after he was born HATING my husband. He wasn’t listening to me. He wasn’t helping. He wasn’t this and he wasn’t that. I would be better off…etc. The thing is, PPD colors your feelings in ways you can’t see. When I got counseling for PPD, things got a lot better. One of the things I wasasked to do was to check the truth of my thinking. Like, I would spin up. For example, one bad thing would put me in a mood to keep looking for bad things and I would hoard them up until I was completely and utterly raging. So my therapist said, what if what you’re thinking is not true? Ask yourself that. And I found that often, I was exaggerating to myself to work up the mad. Like I would get upset at the way he would put away the towels. They were just thrown in the cupboard, literally. I would have to refold and put everything away properly. Drove me nuts. But, he washed those towels, he dried them, he folded them even if it wasn’t the way I would do it, and he put them away. He was trying to help. I could be grateful for that. I’m not better yet, but every day gets better. all I needed was some help with perspective. Maybe you could get a little help, too? See how things look after that 🙂
I guess I’m glad to know there’s more people out there but at the same time that sucks….. I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to realise something else might be fueling my anger. We were fine yesterday and I needed him to put the griddle things back in the stove because I cleaned it. He said sure but said like omg why are you bothering me. Three year old was having a meltdown and my 10 month was upset for once because she just got her first ear infection. So I was trying put them to bed and when he said that I just yelled. Then he yelled back and we didn’t speak the rest of the night. That’d when I stumbled upon this site and thought maybe it’s not just me being angry. So anyway I got up the courage last night and asked about couples counseling and said I think I might have ppd. I’ve never had it so I wasn’t looking for it. We haven’t officially said yes were going but I think we will. I think I third party will help and maybe help me more dealing with this. I don’t like getting so angry all the time. I thought ppd was just crying and I don’t cry. I’m just mad at him. Thanks charlene. I’m just at a point idk what to do. So hopefully we can get back on track one day at a time.
My son is 8.5 months old and over the last 3 months I have noticed alot of emotional changes. I nursed for 6.5 months. Not I cry over everything!! I get angry with my husband easily. I get.frustrated and I notice things out of place and my heart will race if something isnt the way it should be. I dont care to.do my hair anymore. I wash it and throw it in a ponytail. I used to wear makeup…not alot. Now i dont care. I still make sure everyone is taken care of but I feel alone most of the time even tho i am not.
I just feel like the world is on my shoulders with no end in sight. Doesnt help that I am 42 and keep thinking..omg i will be 52 with a 10 year old.
Maybe its exhaustion…maybe not. I dont know.
It could be exhaustion, but it also does sound a lot like PPD/PPA. This is exactly how I felt and I had severe anxiety which led to those feelings of anger and OCD-like tendencies to keep everything in order. I got help through my doctor and a therapist and I’m feeling so much better. Life is good, with help and time, I promise.
Has anyone had PPD and anxiety related to going back to work? I feel great about being a mother and have nothing but loving feelings towards my son but cry all the time at work and feel deeply sad there. I feel no connection to anything at work and feel like every day is a mountain I have to climb even though I have no energy. I’m not sure if it’s PPD but I definitely feel depressed and anxious when I’m at work and when I think about work.
Yes, mama. Many moms feel this way at work, or about work. The “why” is different for different people. Sometimes it’s because there is a longing to be home, and sometimes the anxiety is because the person feels so much less control when away from baby. And more, everyone is different. It would be good for you to consider some therapy to work through what is going on inside you, if that’s an option for you. I’m sending you peace.
Thank you for responding. I’m going to my therapist at the end of the month. I’m also looking for another job that is less intense than my current one. I’m in survival mode now, and that’s not a joyful way to live. Thanks again.
Thanks a lot for putting this out there am suffering with this and am so lonely I wish someone would drive me to the countryside with no kids so I can walk along the beach maybe this anger and random negative thoughts would leave me alone but these stories here I can so relate can’t share with my mum for Africans not all of them talk about such things
Hi mama, I hope there is someone else you can talk with, and if you have not received any professional help, you may consider that so you can get better. This is treatable and temporary, mama. I’m sorry you have been struggling.
This post has been beyond helpful for me. My son is nearly 4 months old, and I love him to the moon and back. However, over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been struggling with depression, anxiety, and feelings of worthlessness. Being a highly rational person, I constantly tell myself that it doesn’t make sense. I still feel that way, and I can’t seem to shake it. I’ve been overly emotional and irritable, but I mainly feel overwhelmed to the point that I feel like I can’t breathe. This is completely out of character for me; I have never felt this way before in my life. Until I read this post, I didn’t think it was PPD because of my son’s age. I know now, however, that it is very likely that I’m experiencing PPD. When I went to the OB for my 6 week checkup, everything was rosy and great. So I felt like I wasn’t going to experience PPD. Thank you so much for posting this information; it has helped tremendously. Because I have no experience with this, what is the best way to go about seeking professional help? Do I set up an appointment with my OB to talk about it? Or do I find someone on my own? Thanks to all of you out there who are willing to share a little bit of what is going on; I’m thankful I found this site.
Hello Kara, I’m so glad this helped!
It’s up to you where you would like to get help. Your OB is an option, or you could look for a therapist and/or psychiatrist who specializes in perinatal mood disorders. Here is the link for that – http://postpartumprogress.com/womens-mental-health-treatment-programs-specialists-us-canada-australia
Let me know if you find what you need. Any doctor you currently see and trust could be a place to start. I’m so glad you are on the right track. This isn’t your fault, mama. Peace to you.
I totally agree with this article I am a mother of two a 6 year old daughter and a 10 month old son I did not have PPD with my daughter until she was put in the hospital for 3 months when she was in the hospital is when my PPD really hit me I had quit smoking and I started to smoke again and once I was going through everything I was going through with my daughter and my depression I finally realized that wasn’t just the stress that I was going through but I was diagnosed with PPD but somehow I was able to handle it then and I was ok but after I had my 10 month old son who has a serious heart condition and for the first 24 hours I didn’t get to see him at all after having him via C-section I didn’t get to hold him for 3 days while I was still in the hospital I had a mental breakdown I was scared for my son I wasn’t able to see him hear him hold him I didn’t know if he was going to be ok I couldn’t be there for him because I had to stay in my hospital room and rest due to my C-section once I got out of the hospital and he stayed in the hospital in the NICU I could not control my depression I was constantly crying blaming myself for what happened to my son I finally went to the doctor and told them that I had thoughts of wanting to die and that everything that’s happened to my son is my fault to this day 10 months later I am still going through guilt and depression I have to take depression medication and have to see a therapist once a week I am always yelling at my husband my daughter and myself so it is a very serious condition if I wouldn’t have seeked help when I did I don’t know if I would be alive and the only other thing that was keeping me from harming myself was thinking about my kids and being there for them so my advice to any new or even reoccurring mothers please if you suspect that you have depression seek help it’s the best thing you can do for yourself and your kids
yes my daughter will b 4 months april 12th n i am pritty sure i have had this for abt a month bt i am very hard headed n didnt wana beleive this was true well i gave up n said its doc time well cum to find out thats wat it is PPD n i didnt wana beleave it so this is y im looken it up . bt all i wana do is cry n cry bt i hold so much in that i thank its just maken me feel worse n b worse i have 3 kids i take care of n its hard bcuz im so in the depressen n stressed n annoted that i nvr feelt this way b4 that it scares me in so many ways this last baby i had she was a c sec n i had my tubes tied im thankin wit all that . thats y i have it bt idk
I’m so sorry you are going through this. I’m glad you know what it is. Please trust your gut feelings about why this may be happening and keep talking with professionals that can help you. I’m sending you peace.
I had delayed postpartum. It was a snowball affect along side my husbands deployment and a mysterious injury I got. It got really bad before I seeked out a counselor who was able to bring me back to earth. My son was 2 and a half before I was able to really resolve and realize that it was PPD.
My child is now 6 months and my ppd is coming out and this time it’s a lot of anger and frustration. It feels so out of control that I went to get some medication. With my first born I cried myself to sleep every night for 18 months before it got better. I also took medication to just take the edge off but it wasn’t working like it should have.
So I started walking three times a week and just getting out more. It helps when your not stuck inside in a scary dark place inside your mind.
I am 21 years old I just have birth to a beautiful baby girl . Her father and I are not together anymore yes he is in her life and helps but ultimately I do alot on my own the first couple of months I would look at my baby and know she’s mine but not feel a bond. It bothered me but I was still ok. I didn’t feel like my self . Now that she’s three months it’s hitting me like a truck that my life is her now . I had to go back to work and that was fine but now as I’m typing this I feel so depressed . I haven’t let it out until today I’ve been crying since this morning. I feel pathetic and this feeling is the worst depression I’ve ever felt in my own life . I feed my child bath her wash her clothes but I can’t give her the affection everyone else gives and that makes me feel like a terrible person. I never thought that it would take three months for it to hit me
It was building up, mama. You were coping and striving and getting exhausted. If depression is there, it can sit quietly while you deny it but it rears its ugly head at some point. Have you gotten professional help? That’s the first step. With help and time, you will get through this, and get better.
Hi. I had my son 3 months ago and I’m just now starting to be depressed. I’m having difficulty staying focused, I’m never motivated, I can’t sleep I don’t eat. But my baby is fine and well and sleeping through the night. I don’t want to sound like an attention Whore but I think I might really have pod. Help please
Excellent post.. When my little boy he was around 11 months old, I stopped breastfeeding and my mood plummeted – I realised this could happen due to the hormone change and it did get a bit better. However, looking back I realise now that something changed in my mood – I wasn’t miserable all the time but I started feeling very frustrated with my partner and having feelings of being unable to cope and feeling like I couldn’t trust my thoughts as I didn’t know if they were ‘reliable’ or due to my hormones. I also went into autopilot and couldn’t be bothered with anything, including Christmas. When my son was just over a year old I went back to work and things got a lot worse without me really recognising it. I had come to the conclusion that me and my partner needed to separate and I was devastated but didn’t see a way out and I had repeated thoughts that was going crazy and that I needed to run away. I finally broke down and rang my Doctor who saw me the next day and diagnosed postpartum depression and anxiety. It was a complete shock to me and everyone around me as I had been ‘functioning’ well but going completely crazy in my head, I just didn’t tell anyone.its been hard telling people as they find it confusing to have PPD this late on. However, I have good family support, including my partner and 4 months later I’m on max dose of meds and starting to feel a lot better. I hope to start counselling soon and go back to work in a couple of months. Sorry to go on! It can feel a bit lonely to have PPD diagnosed later on particularly as support groups etc tend to be for people with newborns.
Well I just found out from this article that I may have ppd and anxiety. I’m almost 8 months pp. I have anxiety so bad about everything but what really was confusing me was my extreme and explosive anger. I didn’t know that was a symptom. Interesting.
My baby is 7weeks I feel depressed I feel like comiting suicide or killing my baby when she cries I feel like breaking down I feel that I’m not mother material I even cry a lot without anyone noticing I have terrible headaches and chest Pains..I love my kid alot please help
Pinky, please get professional help. Please call for help if you feel you are going to hurt yourself or your baby. You are experiencing an illness and it isn’t because you are not mother material. It’s an illness like any other and professional help is needed. Please make an appointment and get some help. In the meantime, if you find yourself in need of it, here is a number you can call to have someone help you figure out what to do right where you are, and someone to listen and support you – Call 1-800-273-8255 if you feel like you might act on these thoughts and feelings. I’m sending you peace….
Pinky, it’s okay you don’t have to go through this alone. There are people out there to help you. I myself was diagnosed with ppd. I didn’t know what was happening to me my little girl was 6 months old. I would sit and cry for no reason, if someone just looked at me I would fall apart. I would yell at my husband God love him. He would tell me honey we will get through this. The key word”We”. There is nothing to be ashamed of a lot of women go through this. Go talk to someone I promise it will get better. It does take time but you owe it to yourself and your family to be the best you can be. I am here if u need to talk. But please go see someone. I did and I do feel better. You do not have to do this a lone honey, please get help you will be so glad you did. 🙂
Can postpartum depression come 2 years after the birth of your child?
Michelle, sometimes a mama has been struggling with PPD at some level the whole time and did not recognize it as PPD, and then it can continue and/or get worse. If you are struggling, there are postpartum specialists around the country. At the top of the page, you can click “Find Help” and look to see if there is a someone near you. I’m sending you peace.
It’s good to know I’m not alone… My son just turned 3 months and I have a daughter who will be 3 yrs old soon. I thought it was just exhaustion these past 3 months and I’ve always had high anxiety, but this past week really hit me hard and spun me out. I feel like my brain & body just completely deflated or something- I am now suddenly definitely depressed and super anxious/paranoid. He just started sleeping more too so I thought I’d start feeling better but now I just feel I can’t get enough sleep and don’t want to get out of bed (I do though thanks to my ADD medicine and coffee). I’m a stay at home mom as of last December and always feel guilty for not working aka bringing in money even though caring for two young children 24/7 is definite hard WORK- though not many people see it that way including my husband. Daycare was too expensive for two kids- even with one I was a little over breaking even so it didn’t make sense to me to continue. And I’ve moved a lot during my life and never was a fan of Facebook so my social life and friends were always my coworkers, so now that I don’t have that, I feel very sad and very lonely.
Plus my husband (who does help a lot with things around the house when he gets home from work), just went on a bachelor party weekend in NYC which happened to fall on our 5 year wedding anniversary- he got to stay in a nice hotel, football games, strippers, good food… And yes he did send me flowers, but that just kinda bothered me and made me feel more lonely and trapped. I miss getting dolled up and going out somewhere exciting like that. I just don’t know anymore, I already am taking medicine for an underactive thyroid, extra iron for anemia, good multivitamin, fish oil/epa, and then my ADD medicine and yet i still feel spacey, tired, out of it, my hair falls out in clumps, I’m depressed and unable to focus much for at least half of the day- the larger half.
I had a c-section (my 2nd one) and a tubal ligation and I really just feel like that whole second pregnancy and operation just totally depleted everything in me- I bled for ages and painful everywhere. Thankfully the pain is gone but I still bleed a lot- periods are longer than ever (sorry tmi!). And having two kids is soooo much harder than just one. I didn’t feel this bad mentally after having my first, although I did start taking klonopin and then lexapro for anxiety along w/my add meds maybe a year after she was born. But I never felt quite like this- just so bad and trapped and confused and overwhelmingly exhausted…
So anyway at this point I think I’m going to seek a therapist, stop taking my ADD medicine, and start taking Prozac hardcore instead ASAP. Hopefully that will help me feel better about myself and my life choices again and give me more exuberance when caring for my beautiful adorable children who deserve a genuinely happy energetic mother. Hope all of the previous posters received help and are feeling much better today…
Any tips for me or other advice is welcomed….
Hello mama, I too had a c-section followed by a tubal ligation, after my last baby. I have learned that the tubal ligation was a huge mistake for me. Not for all women, but many. It causes increased depression/anxiety, VERY heavy periods (or long, or sporadic or painful, or all of the above).
Doctors don’t often recognize this. They say a tubal cannot cause these things, but I’ve come to learn, over the past five years, that there are docs who understand that it can cause these things, and some who will do tubal reversals.
You may want to do some reading about post tubal ligation syndrome.
For me, it has gotten somewhat better with time, but I needed an ablation, for the heavy bleeding, and I am on medication for anxiety and depression and probably always will be…I’ve come to terms with that, but I have regret for not researching tubals further before I had one. Reversals are expensive, but maybe someday…
I’m sorry if this is terrible news, and I’m not a medical professional…you may have a totally different experience than I have, but it sounds like you’re struggling, so I thought you should know. I’m sorry, mama. It’s going to be okay, but your self-care is VERY important right now.
I’m not sure if I’m having ppd or not.. my baby is 5 5 months old and over the last 3 weeks I’ve had an over whelming sadness… at first just occasionally but now it seems to be more often.. I want to cry all the time.. I can still function and find joy in things but I mask my sadness most days… I’m extra tired… and got really emotional over my daughter in preschool missing out on a field trip. . I’m not sure if this is just a spell or something more..
It’s hard to say what it is without talking with a professional, mama. It could be changing hormones, life stress, lack of sleep, etc. So many different things cause symptoms. Hang in there, this really can get better quickly, and if not, help is out there!
I am so glad I just read this article! This information should be given to every new mother!
My children are now 6 and 8. I am reading this article because my sister is now a new mother and is having some of the same symptoms I had postnatal. I now realise I was experiencing Postpartum Anxiety and PPD at 3-6 months.
I really wish I was able to read this article 8 years ago. I would have felt less alone.
Like me, my sister is having horrible nightmares- often waking up thinking her babies (although she only gave birth to one) are missing. She is unable to wake up properly and scares the life out of her partner tearing their house apart in the middle of the night looking for babies she doesn’t have.
My experience was a little different. My nightmares were themed on the loss of my baby. Nearly every night I would dream my baby would die in horrific circumstances when I awoke I couldn’t shake the dread somehow I wasn’t capable of keeping my child alive. I often had similar daydreams usually linked to my current circumstances.
(Sorry this next part is long winded – I am hoping my story can help other mothers speak up).
At three weeks old my baby became very unwell after multiple trips to the hospital and several days in hospital awaiting a diagnosis we finally learned our son had pyloric stenosis. A condition that requires a small operation and he will now live a happy healthy life. (More details on hospital process below.)
I left hospital with a month old baby who was now under birthweight and fed like a new born. I had been told to feed my baby 2/3 hourly or whenever he was hungry. Two months later I was stuggling with PPD. With no more than 4hrs consecutive sleep in the past couple of months I kept telling myself I was exhausted and the feelings of dispair and helplessness would pass – but again it was a lack of information and fear that stopped me from seeking medical assistance.
When my son was a newborn I had spoken with a midwife attending our home visit regarding my anxiety for his wellbeing… she tried to twist my words to imply I had intentions of hurting him. I cried after she left. I was asking for help and she made me feel like a criminal. My husband told me not to mention it again.
By three months my PPD had me lying in bed unable to get up to my crying baby. Some days the only way I could get up would be to keep telling myself it was only a few hours and I would be back in bed at lunch when Bub napped. Unfortunately Bub and I would nap until dinner time which meant he would be awake most of the night.
When my son was 3 1/2 months old I decided if I could get more sleep I would feel better. I brought a Gina Ford book on sleep for contented babies and put her routine into practice over the following month. This was a very difficult time – lots of crying as my son learnt to settle himself. At 5 months he was sleeping 7pm-7am with a dream feed at 10pm. I had my nights back and slept very deeply. It probably took several months of good sleep to start feeling myself again.
By 51/2 months I was feeling in a better mental state – enough so that I was fit to deal with my other health issue. My perineal tear and subsequent repair post delivery had left me unable to have intercourse without significant pain and tearing.
I proceeded to have repair after repair in the hopes of regaining a healthy physical relationship with my husband. When each surgery did little to help I again struggled with depression. As low income earners with no health insurance I was at the mercy of our public health system.
After two failed perineal revisions and a consultant who told me “You have had a child and your vagina will never be the same again, so you need to get over it.” I decided to get on with life as best I could, tolerated sex and the pain while I saved my money for three years to afford to see a plastic surgeon.
Two years ago I had surgery. Not only did my plastic surgeon remove a tumour (caused by repeated previous surgery) he also repaired my pelvic floor muscle which had been torn in half from child birth 5 years earlier. I am now the fittest I have ever been. My marriage is the happiest it’s been since before we had children. My mental health is back to what it used to be before becoming a mother. I feel whole again.
Talking with other mothers I have found many have struggled with similar issue of depression directly related to traumatic births and the physical and emotional ramifications. Please don’t be afraid to speak up and about pain or discomfort after child birth. Arnt we entitled to have a healthy sex life once we have children?
I share my storey as I hope it helps other mothers feel they are not alone. Please share your stories. We could all be more informed.
Hospital experience continued:
(As a nurse myself I asked the initial treating Dr if it was possible my son had pyloric stenosis (which occurs specifically in first born Caucasian males) but was told the condition does not present until 6 weeks old and sent home. 48hrs later I returned to hospital with a baby so sick he didn’t have the energy to cry.
I watched helplessly as peadiatrician after peadiatrician waltzed into our hospital room asking what we thought was wrong with our child. One had the nerve to ask if we thought he had cancer! Cancer?!? My husband broke down after that Dr walked away. To get to the point… as we were getting ready to be discharged from hospital post surgery our nurse gave a an information sheet on pyloric stenosis which clearly stated the symptoms show between 3-6 weeks! I felt so frustrated we were put through so much stress because the ED Dr was uninformed.)
Currently, I just finally said it out loud today that I’m sure ppd is what is going on with me. My child is 2 months old.
Well, you are on the right track, mama. You can’t know what you know, until you know it. And speaking it gives you the power to reach out for help. You will get better! Please reach out for professional help so you can start recovering. I’m sending you peace…
I think I may need suffering from this my little boy is nearly 4 months old I have a 2 year old girl and never felt like this with her I don’t feel like me am so angry and on edge all the time I hate the person I have turned into. I don’t have any problems getting out of bed, sleeping going out I didn’t cry until last few days I just feel so sad inside I don’t no why I should be so happy with my life I love both of my babies there the best things to have happened to me I just can’t understand why I feel so low
Hello, Leah. It isn’t your fault you’re feeling like this. It does sound like the symptoms of PPD. It’s time to reach out for some help. You can get better, with help and time. It’s going to be okay!
I am 10weeks pp. I think I may have ppd. My emotions are all over the place, completely different to how I felt after my daughter was born (2ND baby). She was born by emergency section due to complications and was resuscitated before being rushed into NICU. She sleeps great and is an angel, but I feel so down and completely out of control of my own moods. I lash out at my partner and get into horrendous fits of temper before feeling absolutely fine again. I don’t always take care of myself and I feel like a rubbish mom some days. I doubt myself and hate myself for what I feel. I’m going to see my doctor at the next available appointment. Hoping I can get the help I so badly need xx
I am the mom of 3 great boys and have never experienced ppd. Until now. My youngest is 3 1/2 months. After he was born things were great, great routine, the older boys were on board. And then everything shifted around 2months. At the same time my doc recommended the depo shot (never had it before) while awaiting husband’s snip-snip. Lol I approached my doc about ppd or possible side effects of shot to acclaim for the new anxiety, stress, mood swings, depression and downright crazy thoughts. She wasn’t much help-she said it could be either/or. No help. The deadline is approaching to renew the shot and I’m nervous. I don’t know whether if the shot is causing this or I have ppd.
My son is 8months and I’ve been feeling like this since he was bored I can’t even keep myself together i feel like I go from the work to home and
Back and forth! My son has no father so it’s only me and my side of the family and I feel like it’s a burden and when I’m upset my family just yells and says oh I’m crying because I have to stay inside and throws everything in my face I just feel like I have no support it sucks
Hello Jasmyn, I’m so sorry you’re going through this alone. Is there any way you can seek professional help? Therapy? You need to take care of yourself as you go through this. This isn’t your fault, it’s an illness. Depression is so hard and no one should do it alone. I hope you can reach out for some good help. You can get better with help!
So I had my son almost 2 years ago (2 years in March) and I am not just realizing that I may have PPD and left it untreated for so long…I experience and feel about every symptom but I honestly just chalked it up to motherhood and that it was normal…I have been in denial…more recently Ive notice it even more and it has really taken a toll on my life and marriage I have so much anger and less patience toward everyone. and I am realizing this isn’t normal to feel this way, sad, angry, irritable all the time, crying for no reason, losing my patience with my son, husband, and older son. I finally talked to my husband about it and agreed to call my doctor…I am nervous and feel so ashamed but most importantly I just don’t want to feel this way anymore.
You’re so brave to take the first step in calling your doctor. You are not alone.
Thank you so much…you have no idea how much that means to me
I just want to post something for any mamas with bipolar disorder. It can be quite an adventure to grow a baby while managing bipolar! I’ve had two beautifully successful pregnancies. My youngest is 14 months. At about 8 months I started to feel depressed and attributed it to bipolar. At about 10-11 it got worse and I attributed it to winter. A month ago I was hit like a Mac truck with a wave of hopelessness and finally called my psychiatrist. God bless him because instead of hopping me up on the latest and greatest bipolar medication, he talked to me about PPD and we are working in the solution! Sorry for the long post, but mental health disorders are often left out of PPD conversations. We are not crazy. You are not crazy! This is chemistry and I hope others will feel comfortable asking their doctor to take a comprehensive approach.
I am just now 3 months post and i have noticed that i have an ambivalent feeling and want to cry alot. I have yet to actually cry but the feeling is there. Didnt think it was ppd because it is happening now until i saw this. I was also told it would happen early post pregnancy and was cleared one month post by dr after answering some questions on a paper. I was fine then.
I had ppd with my first. It hit when he was 2 months old (acid reflux and wouldnt stop screaming! I never had the symptoms i was told to look for; wanting to hurt the baby. I just felt like i wasnt good enough and hed be better off without me. Now my second is 4 mo and i thought i had escaped it…. Totally wrong! Im so irritable with my now 4 yo and i cry over everything! Thankfully i recognize my behavior this time and can hopefully find help before it comes to the horrible useless feelings of last time…
Exactly what i am feeling right now! Hopeless and worthless! Incapacitated! Mother of a 2 and a half month old baby. He is my first baby. I was over energetic even after a c section and felt i had done it! But no…its all overwhelming right now. Thank you for sharing your experience
My baby just turned six months and i can say i just started my ppd. I love my baby but feel irritated and depressed. Its really taking a toll on me, will see a Dr. soon.