Post Partum Depression is a term used by our society to explain a plethora of mental health concerns occurring after the birth of a child. However, there are actually numerous different diagnoses, symptoms, and mood changes that cause concern that tend to get lumped together in this category. While these themes typically impact biological mothers, they are not limited to biological mothers. I encourage you not to focus on the idea of a "diagnosis," but more on the idea of the symptoms you are suffering with. Below is a small list which represents feelings, behaviors and thoughts that you may be suffering with, either before, during or after the entrance of a child into your life:
Feelings of detachment or lack of bonding with a new baby
Extreme disappointment over your child's gender or appearance
Guilt over choices such as feeding, sleeping and employment
Worry that is detrimental during pregnancy about how your choices could impact your unborn child
Wondering if you are losing your mind or "going crazy"
Difficulty with leaving the house due to extreme worries about "what could happen?"
Feelings of inadequacy
Loss of appetite
Wondering if having a child was a big mistake
Extreme anger towards your partner
Worry that your child is too fussy, "not a good baby," or will have some type of disability
Isolation, or feeling lonely even when other people are around
Feeling that no one understands
Continued worry about your health or your child's health that cannot be reassured by medical professionals
Missing your old life and wanting "normal" to return
Having thoughts or images that scare you, that you would never act on, and that you are afraid to talk about? (These are called intrusive thoughts. Having these thoughts does not mean you will act on them!) Fear that if , "I told anyone about these thoughts, my children would be taken away or CPS would be called."
Obsession over social media, pregnancy/parenting apps, and how "other people are doing it."
Constant thoughts about perceived dangers, whether realistic or not
Feeling upset over the condition of your house
Inability to sleep, feelings that you "can't turn off your brain."