Help for Postpartum Depression
Having a baby is one of the most important events in one’s life. However, feelings of sadness and even depression often accompany childbirth for many women. “Baby blues”, crying easily, feeling irritable or on edge, is a heightened emotional state that occurs in more than half of new mothers. Generally, the “baby blues” goes away after a few weeks.
Postpartum depression is a form of clinical depression that is more debilitating than the “baby blues.” According to Mental Health America of Greater Houston, it occurs in 1 out in 8 women after having a baby.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression:
- Having a short temper
- Problems sleeping, even when the baby is sleeping
- Not wanting to hold or touch the baby (not enjoying the baby)
- Feeling tired
- Changes in eating patterns
- Thoughts about her own death or the death of her baby
Risk factors include intense hormonal changes after childbirth, previous depressive episodes, inadequate support system, and other major life stressors occurring at the same time.
Postpartum psychosis is a very serious and rare condition. Symptoms include: feeling cut off from your baby, seeing things that aren’t there, frantic energy, confusion, memory loss, thoughts of suicide or harm to the baby combined with feelings that you need to act on these thoughts. If you or someone you know is in crisis now or having thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby, seek help immediately. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24 hour crisis center or call 911.
Risk factors include a history or family history of bipolar disorder.
What Can I Do?
If you are having symptoms of postpartum depression, you are not alone. It’s very important to get help for postpartum depression and treatment as soon as possible. Treatment may include therapy and if the depression is more severe, anti-depressant medication. Talk to your doctor or schedule an appointment with a counselor/therapist if you think you or someone you know might be experiencing postpartum depression.
In addition to seeking counseling for yourself, you can also seek support from many of the Houston-area support groups for postpartum depression.
Pregnancy and Postpartum Adjustment Support Group: The Woman’s Hospital of Texas
Beyond Birth: Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital
PPD Support Group: Ben Taub Hospital (Spanish Only)
De Madre a Madre: Community Family Center (Spanish only)
Postpartum Support Group: Northwest Houston/Cy-Fair area
Postpartum Depression Hotline: 1-800-PPD-MOMS
Crisis Intervention, Houston: 713-HOTLINE | 713-526-8088 (Spanish)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Need help for postpartum depression? Our therapists are available for face to face sessions as online therapy sessions in limited areas. Contact us to find out how we can help.
Postpartum depression is the most common complication women experience after childbirth — nearly 700,000 new moms suffer from it each year. Yet this serious mood disorder, characterized by sadness, anxiety, feelings of hopelessness and guilt, insomnia, and thoughts of harming the baby or oneself, continues to be widely misunderstood and frequently misdiagnosed.
What kind of mother, some might wonder, could feel depressed after having been so richly blessed with a baby? The answer: every kind, women from all walks of life, from all over the world, younger and older. And here, in a unique collection, are their stories of battles with PPD, with intimate details about the symptoms, the struggles, and the strategies that helped them emerge victorious.
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Tags: women's issues