Postpartum depression occurs in some women after giving birth, resulting in feelings of complete exhaustion, depression, or anxiety that makes it nearly impossible to take care of your own needs. There isn't one cause of postpartum depression, although one likely factor is the rapidly changing hormone levels a woman experiences after giving birth. Sleep deprivation is also very real for new mothers, which can exacerbate any underlying mental health conditions. Postpartum depression is not the fault of the mother or her partner, but there are ways to get support to help work through this difficult time. A postpartum depression therapist can help put things in perspective, giving the mom a safe place to vent frustrations and find support.

Postpartum Depression and Baby Blues

The "baby blues" is a non-clinical term used when describing the feelings of being overwhelmed, tired, and worried after having a baby. While it can feel like depression, postpartum depression is generally more severe. It takes a medical professional to diagnose postpartum depression, but it is clearly different than feeling a bit overwhelmed or nervous about dealing with a new baby. Postpartum depression symptoms include the following:

  • A marked inability to take care of your own needs or that of your baby
  • Crying all the time for no clear reason
  • Struggling to form a bond with the baby
  • Being overwhelmed with basic tasks
  • Irritability, moodiness, anger, and frustration that is excessive

It isn't easy being a new mom, but the symptoms of postpartum depression are more than just being tired or feeling anxious as a new mom. Postpartum depression occurs in up to 15% of all births, and postpartum therapy can make a big difference. This is a clinical diagnosis and not something you have caused to occur. It is a severe form of clinical depression, and talk therapy can help.

Working With a Postpartum Depression Therapist

When you meet with a postpartum depression therapist, you will start to talk about what is going on in your life. Try not to be embarrassed about how you are feeling, as many women seek postpartum depression therapy to cope with the diagnosis. Be honest with your therapist, even when you are afraid of your own thoughts. Many women become so overwhelmed that they have thoughts of self-harm or of harming the baby. You are not alone, and you can get the support you need when you start going to a therapist to address your postpartum depression needs.

To learn more, contact a resource like Smart Talk.