Postpartum depression is a well known mental health condition for women. After pregnancy, women struggle to rebalance their hormones and it affects their mental health. Symptoms of depression become so severe that the women have a hard time connecting with their infant. In many cases, there is delusional thinking about the relationship between mother and child, and there is a disconnect- the mother may not want to feed or take care of her baby. Postpartum depression is categorized under Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder, which applies during and after pregnancy. Anxiety symptoms are reported by 14-15% of women who have given birth, in addition to symptoms of depression.
Coping with anxiety after birth can be challenging. The immediate demands of motherhood are exhausting in their own right. Crying, feeding, soothing, rocking, walking, changing diapers, cleaning up- the responsibility to an infant is high. Women who struggle with symptoms of depression and anxiety have an extra challenge in trying to take care of themselves and unexplainable emotions as well as thoughts, while trying to take care of their child.
Symptoms Of Postpartum Anxiety
The symptoms of postpartum anxiety are not much different from symptoms of anxiety experienced at any other phase in life. However, there are symptoms unique to being a woman who has just given birth. News stories of mothers who do unthinkable things to their children are likely suffering from PMAD of some kind. Intrusive and unwanted thoughts about harming, abandoning, or neglecting a child are common. For women whose symptoms have become so severe that they are delusional with exhaustion and confusion, there is a chance of acting out. Most women are shocked enough by their horrific thoughts that they ask for help immediately instead of act out. Unfortunately, there is a downside to having the awareness of these thoughts instead of acting on them. When women catch themselves thinking anxious thoughts about their child, they get scared and think there is something abnormal about them and their motherhood. Making the anxiety worse, they often dive into a head spiral about not being a good enough mother, not deserving to be a mother, or that they shouldn’t be trusted as a mother. As a result of this kind of anxiety, women might take action to seek help or turn their child over to someone else’s care temporarily.
Through therapy and treatment, women are able to recognize that their thoughts are just thoughts and that they are passing. Building new relationships with themselves and their child, they are able to recover.
Cottonwood Tucson is internationally recognized for providing clinical excellence. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, we have many treatment programs available for many different mental health and co-occurring conditions. For information, call us today: (800) 877-4520