Postnatal depression (PND) or anxiety can affect anyone.
A mum may be more at risk if she has a close family member who has previously suffered from depression, postnatal depression, mental health problems or mental illness.
Also if you are already under stress, such as moving house or have difficulties at work or home, this may trigger PND.
PND usually starts within a few weeks or months of giving birth - over 50% of mums develop it within first 3 months. This rises to 75% by 6 months.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
- Low mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in your relationships or surroundings.
- Constantly feeling tired. No energy.
- Sleeping problems.
- Crying a lot, often over the smallest things or for no reason at all.
- Can't eat, or over-eating.
- Physical aches and pains, such as headaches, stomach pains or blurred vision and worrying that it is something terminal or serious
- Lack of motivation to get up and do anything , feel things are piling up around you.
- A constant underlying sense of anxiety maybe escalating into panic attacks. Easily "set off" and difficult to calm down.
- Difficulty concentrating, say on a book or film or even on a conversation.
- Putting on a front, or feeling like you are playing out a role rather than just living the moment.
- Feeling lonely and isolated. Avoiding going out and meeting people.
- Sense of feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope.
- Feeling guilty about everything - especially wondering if you are being a bad mother.
- Overly anxious and over protective of your baby.
- Feeling emotionally disconnected from or even rejected by your baby.
- Strange, frightening thoughts or visions popping into your head about harming yourself or the baby or awful things happening.
It's important to remember the above is not an exhaustive list. If you have any of the above, or are worried about anything else, it is important to speak to your doctor.