The Baby Blues and Post-Partum Depression

Accepting our struggles and getting support with them is a difficult challenge for many of us.  Thoughts that we are weak and fears of being judged often lead us to try to ignore our problems.  When we find ourselves in situations where social and cultural expectations are that we should not be struggling, the challenge of getting help can be even more heightened. Such social and cultural expectations abound when a woman becomes a mother.  “You must be so excited!” is just an example of the sentiment regularly conveyed to mothers of newborns.  But the reality is that many new mothers suffer from the “baby blues,” feelings of sadness following the birth of a child.  In fact, nearly 20% of mothers will experience post-partum depression.  Post-partum depression, also known as postnatal depression, is a serious mental health condition that often requires treatment.  Symptoms include: Loss of interest, motivation, and pleasure in activities, including self and family. Inability and/or lack of interest in caring for baby; Crying spells; Irritability; Fatigue, loss of energy, insomnia, and excessive sleepiness; Decreased concentration; Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, helplessness, or hopelessness; Thoughts of suicide or of harming others, often your baby. Obviously, such symptoms not only [...]