Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, and OCD: Signs and Symptoms
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“The Symptoms of Postpartum Depression & Anxiety (in Plain Mama English)” from Postpartum Progress, explains that it is important to understand the signs and symptoms in easy to understand wording. Postpartum Progress indicates that there is a difference between postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. Here, we recognize that everyone is different, but the below list of signs and symptoms may be used as a guideline. Many new moms feel like they have some of these symptoms every once in awhile. Being a new mom is challenging, so this is common. However, Postpartum depression and anxiety are not just bad days. A diagnosis of Postpartum depression or anxiety requires that symptoms persist for a period of at least 2 weeks or longer. In addition, it is also common to have a combination of postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety co-occurring.
You may have postpartum depression if you have had a baby within the last 12 months and are experiencing some of these symptoms:
Postpartum Anxiety & Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
You may have postpartum anxiety or postpartum OCD if you have had a baby within the last 12 months and are experiencing some of these symptoms:
If you have had a baby in the last year and have been experiencing any of these symptoms for 2 weeks in duration or longer, that you seek professional assistance. You can speak to a OBGYN, your primary care doctor, a licensed psychiatrist or a licensed clinician. There are also support groups and fee assistance through the local hospitals.
- Kim B.
My wife and I have three children. There are five years and ten months that encompass the entire time-lapse from our oldest child to our youngest child, and I recall struggles of varying degrees with the pregnancy and birth of all three of our children.
Our first child was seven weeks premature and life was literally touch and go for several days. Then, not totally out of the woods, our baby girl spent the first month in the neo-natal intensive care unit until she was strong enough to come home. Even then we lived on pins and needles for a while until we felt secure for her. My wife was very focused, rightfully so, on our newborn and her wellbeing and I don’t believe that she even thought for one second about herself.
With our second child, our big boy, my wife faced gestational diabetes and all of the testing and monitoring that comes with that diagnosis. My wife was induced for delivery of our son because of his very rapid growth toward the end of her pregnancy. They had referred to him as a ‘sugar-baby’ because of gestational diabetes. My wife had chocolate cake, immediately following the delivery as promised by the doctor, as a reward and celebration. Happy to have the delivery and gestational diabetes behind her, my wife set her sights on caring for our two babies.
As our third child arrived, my wife faced blood pressure issues that caused severe swelling and discomfort for her. Our baby was as snug as expected, but the issues physically challenged my wife. The doctor again induced her at an earlier stage in her pregnancy for her safety and wellbeing and that of baby girl number two. The delivery was a breeze and success as deliveries go, and my wife was a true champion in that department.
It was a few weeks after the delivery of our third child that I noticed there was something different about my wife and her demeanor. She could barely stand to take care of the children and even less for herself. I had returned to work because I no more leave time to take and we had to have an income to survive.
Although she was never formally diagnosed as having postpartum depression, she has stated many times in the subsequent decade that she feels that was exactly her problem. She had not taken the time to heal or decompress emotionally and mentally from our first two children and now had baby number three. About a year following the birth of our second child she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and navigated the minefield that is cancer treatment. Almost as soon as the doctor gave her the all clear we decided to have our third child.
She had unintentionally created a tremendous amount of stress on her heart and mind, emotionally and mentally. It was little wonder from our hindsight perspective that she had succumbed to post-partum depression. Without putting many things to rest before picking up the next baton in the relay race of life, she had unknowingly made life more difficult.
The Symptoms of Postpartum Depression & Anxiety (in Plain Mama English). (n.d.). Retrieved December 18, 2014, from http://www.postpartumprogress.com/the-symptoms-of-postpartum-depression-anxiety-in-plain-mama-english