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Postpartum Depression Guide

Alison Beaver

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ask: Is it possible for someone to have postnatal depression years after birth...

By Anonymous
 
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Is it possible for someone to have postnatal depression 3 years after giving birth? All the symtoms are there, yet i feel stupid even contemplating a situation when it has been that long since giving birth. I never went to see about any problems, for an unknown reason that is always how i have been, a problem arises: i wait it out till it resolves itself. I just 'handed the reigns' over to my husband, whos bond with our son is brilliant so he never seen it as a problem or unusual. My moods are up and down all the time i never used to be a 'teary type' but it happened so often now for 3 years. I have tremendous days too, don't get me wrong, where my son does something and im proud, but i spend most my time anxious that something is going to harm him. It is driving my husband inane because he thinks i don't trust his ability to drive or 'lock up' the house. Or i'm basically not interested, no motivation there whatsoever, i just want to sit in silence, i have no patience and although i know shouting does not resolve any problem, i still do it. I can't keep up with myself, never mind expecting my husband to. But i can't visit the doctors, what if they confirm my worst fears that there is nothing at the root of the problem, i am just infact a bad mum

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Alison Beaver

I forgot to comment on your anxious feelings about something harming your child. Most, if not all, moms have this response. I'm sure some dads and other male-caregivers do as well, but it does seem to be a particular female-response in child-rearing. There are different levels of feeling anxious, and if you are not able to function or the anxiety is causing difficulty in your daily life or with relationships, then it is a good idea to talk with a counselor.

There is actually a biological reason behind why are minds take us down the path of every possible harmful thing that could hurt our child. As moms, we feel this deep sense of responsibility for our children, and also can not escape the daily bombarding of possible scary situations that could harm our family. The news is just awful, as all that seems newsworthy are deaths and other disasters. Moms do worry about their children, and sometimes our minds go to the dark places: what if the house catches on fire, what if a burglar breaks in, what if my child is bulled, what if s/he is kidnapped...on and on. These scenarios play out in our hearts and minds, and it makes us feel awful as we try to stop these thoughts. SOME of these thoughts are useful, in preparing us for the worst-case scenario to actually logically think-through some problems, and have a plan (fire-safety comes to mind). HOWEVER...if these thoughts are consuming you, are frequent or uncontrollable, this is where you can use a counselor to talk with. Sometimes I have these awful thoughts go through my head, and I allow myself to think through the possible harm to a solution, then do not give myself permission to think about it anymore. If it is serving a purpose, it's OK, as long as it is not causing you harm in your relationships and within yourself. Some safety planning is OK, but not to the detriment of actually enjoying your life MOST of the time!

November 18, 2010 - 2:21pm
Alison Beaver

I want to reach out and give you a big hug...you sound like EVERY mom I know! You are absolutely not a bad mom, and no doctor would ever think or suggest that. Every mom has good and bad days; every mom is proud of their child one moment, and beyond-irritated the next. Our little kids are constantly pushing and trying their boundaries; that's what helps them becomes adults. It is exhausting day-in-and-day-out to have enough patience and perseverance to be a parent...parenthood is not for the faint-of-heart!

If you find yourself having more bad days than good, if you feel that you are experiencing sadness, depression and can not feel joy or happiness most of the time, it is time to seek counseling. There is not one person that does not have a "root problem" to their sadness or depression; it can be a chemical imbalance, it can be not being able to cope with excess stress...whatever the cause, the reason would never be because you are a bad mom. You are a GOOD mom just by the mere fact that you are writing to us, trying to figure out what is wrong and trying to find a solution. That alone makes you a good mom!

I am not sure if your symptoms would be described specifically as post-partum depression or some other type of depression. I am not sure if it really matters, as long as you receive the proper diagnosis and treatment. Treatment can range from "talk therapy" (counseling) to medications, or a combination. You CAN feel better, you DESERVE to feel better, and you can learn some coping strategies as well as receive treatment for any underlying depression or other condition.

Please call today, and let us know when your appointment is..we would love to hear your progress! If you have any other questions, or would like to just talk, we're always here!

November 18, 2010 - 1:02pm
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