Postpartum Depression Symptoms


Postpartum depression symptoms...........

Postpartum depression is one of the major types of depression. In recent years it has been discovered just how serious postpartum depression is and what can be done about it.

It is estimated that approximately 10% of new mothers suffer from postpartum depression, with the number actually being higher, but not reported. It is most common in women who have had some type of depression history, whether they realized it or not.

Postpartum depression symptoms are different from the “baby blues.” The blues can last from a few days to two or three weeks, while this depressive disorder can last weeks, months, and even years if left untreated.

Postpartum depression is different than other depressive disorders since the women’s moods are fluctuating continually because of hormonal changes that effect the brain chemicals. (neurotransmitters)

This type of depression can start during the pregnancy. 15-20% of pregnant women experience depression and 15% of these women attempt suicide because of the severity of their depression.

Postpartum Depression Symptoms

Anxiety and postpartum depression symptoms include irritability, short temper, feeling overwhelmed, sadness and difficulty making decisions.

Other symptoms include loss of focus and concentration, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, loss of sexual interest, feelings of guilt and hopelessness and developing phobias.

Changes in the women’s appetite that causes weight loss or weight gain, insomnia or excessive sleeping and a lack of interest in the baby are important postpartum depression symptoms to watch for also.

Repetitive behavior such as counting items over and over, checking things continuously and cleaning obsessively are also symptoms of postpartum depression.

3-5% of women develop an obsessive-compulsive disorder as part of their depression. This includes disturbing, persistent and repetitive thoughts or mental pictures that the mother can’t control.

Thoughts about hurting or killing the baby enter the mother’s mind. At the same time the mom has an overwhelming sense of horror that she had these thoughts. This is accompanied by the mother hiding knives or different objects for fear she will do something.

Panic Disorder in Postpartum

Approximately 10% of women that have postpartum depression suffer from panic disorder. Symptoms of this include extreme anxiety, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pain and sensations of choking or smothering.

Women will have hot or cold flashes, trembling, numbness or tingling sensations. They will be restless, agitate easily and be irritable. During a panic attack the woman may fear she is losing control, going crazy or even dying.

A panic attack can happen at night and wake the woman up. She also has excessive worry and fears about more panic attacks happening. There is no apparent reason for the attacks.

Psychosis in postpartum depression can require hospitalization to get it under control, if it is not caught early enough. The mother will hallucinate, be delirious and have thoughts on the need to kill the baby.

Trigger/Cause of Postpartum Depression

If the mother was depressed or anxious during the pregnancy, it is more common to have postpartum depression. An under active or over active thyroid can trigger depression.

Family history plays a major part in postpartum depression also. If there is a personal history of certain depressive disorders, the new mother is more likely to have a lengthy episode of depression herself.

Postpartum Depression Treatment

Evanston Northwestern Healthcare has developed a program for women suffering from postpartum depression. The hotline number is 1-866-ENH-MOMS (1-800-364-6667) for women in crisis. The program was made possible by a donation from Dr. Charles and Joan Mudd, who lost their daughter, Jennifer, to postpartum depression in 2001.

A national crisis hotline linked to local crisis centers is now available. 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433), a hotline service of

The American Psychological Association has a site with a link for finding a Psychologist.

Psychiatric referrals are available through the American Psychiatric Association. (Go to “public information” and then to “choosing a Psychiatrist”)

Medical referrals are available in the American Medical Association’s “Doctor Finder”.

A good place to look to find support groups in your area is

Postpartum depression treatment is very successful. Medication, along with counseling can bring about tremendous changes for the new mother. The health of the mother affects the well being of the whole family, both physically and emotionally.

Stress and Anxiety

There are a number of natural nutrients that have been found to help your body cope with stress. Neuro-Natural Serenity contains the key ingredients that help fight stress and anxiety including ginkgo biloba, SAMe and 5-HTP.

The manufacturer follows strict GMP guidelines, which are the toughest in the industry. They also hire the best scientists available to research and produce their supplements. They use only the purest herbal extracts giving you the maximum benefits available.

As we have said over and over – Depression is very serious.

Neuro-Natural Serenity is an excellent stress fighting supplement, but always consult your physician when you feel postpartum depression symptoms in your life.

more than postpartum depression symptoms on our Womens Health page

Nutritional Supplements Guide home page

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