Postpartum depression is a lot more common than you think. Despite that, not many women who experience it are willing to admit it. It is estimated that postpartum depression affects from 10 to 20 percent of new mothers.
A mother believed to be suffering from postpartum depression after losing her baby in June, together with her husband was arrested recently. They had taken away a 5 day old baby from the district hospital pediatric ward in Tanah Merah and are now charged with kidnapping.
It was Premeditated
The suspect, who is a mechanic, managed to convince the ward that he was the father of the baby girl and went through the standard procedure to discharge her from the hospital. His wife on the other hand, hung about the pediatric ward wearing maternity clothes and pretended as though she had just given birth.
The staff only knew about the kidnapping after the baby’s real father arrived at the ward to visit his child. The businessman was shocked when his crying wife told him their baby was missing.
We may never fully understand what went through that mother’s mind, when she took away someone else’s baby. But we do know that depression is a common mental disorder that can be treated and postpartum depression doesn’t last.
What does it feel like to have post-partum depression? I don’t think anyone can really fully understand what it is like until they go through it themselves. Here are some signs and symptoms you can look out for:
- Depressed mood or severe mood swings
- Excessive crying
- Difficulty bonding with your baby
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
- Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
- Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
- Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Intense irritability and anger
- Fear that you’re not a good mother
- Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy
- Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
- Severe anxiety and panic attacks
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
Not all postpartum depression symptoms are alike. Every experience may include just a few of the symptoms and you may not have others at all.
People with depression may not know or recognise that they’re depressed. Sometimes you can come to terms with it yourself because you have read about it and know about it. Other times mothers are unaware of signs and symptoms of depression. If you suspect that your friend or a loved one has postpartum depression, help them seek medical attention immediately.
Don’t wait and think it will go away on it’s own especially when you cannot gauge how severe their depression is or how fast it can escalate into something worse, like postpartum psychosis.
And if you feel any of the symptoms yourself, do not wait, get help today.
Credit: The Star