Here are some questions I frequently ask clients who come to me for treatment of antepartum (during pregnancy) or postpartum (after delivery) mood disorders. These questions are NOT diagnostic of a postpartum mood disorder. Only a consult with a licensed mental health professional can confirm a diagnosis. But these questions cover many issues that can make you sad, interfere with your functioning and cause a despair that could lead to a mood disorder. In addition, by reviewing these questions before you meet with your provider, you can be guided to the areas that you find most troubling to help prioritize treatment goals.
Read the questions and think about the answers to those which most apply to you.
1. How have you been feeling the past several days and weeks?
2. How is your sleep, appetite and mood? Are you crying or very sad much of the time?
3. Have you noticed that you are agitated, irritable and unable to calm down?
4. Are you angry at those around you and feel they are not supporting you?
5. Do you wish your partner would do more to help you? Or are you compulsively attempting to do it all yourself? Are you staying up late to clean the house or do the laundry?
6. If you are breastfeeding, is it going well? Was it your personal choice to breastfeed?
7. Are you excessively worried about your baby’s health?
8. Do you check on your baby all the time, even though you know he is okay?
9. Are you afraid to leave the house, take public transportation or other activites that didn’t bother you before?
10. Do certain situations, foods, smells (even the smell of your baby) that you didn’t mind before now bother you?
11. How is your relationship with your mother, partner and family? Are they supportive? Do you have trouble refusing or accepting help?
12. Do you like being a mother? Did you want to have a baby or was this pregnancy to please your partner?
13. Are you happy with the health, sex, disposition of your new baby?
14. Do you sometimes wonder if your baby is trying to annoy you?
15. Do you think your baby does not like you?
16. Do you think you are a good mother? If not, why?