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This is supposed to be the happiest time in my life…why am I so miserable??

Postpartum Depression…

Bringing a baby home can also bring major emotional and physical adjustments. You – and the people who care about you – don’t need to need to face these changes alone.

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a real illness caused by changes in biology, psychology, environment and hormones. PPD is the most common complication of childbirth.

  • You are not alone. PPD affects up to 20% of new mothers anytime in the first year after delivery.
  • You are not to blame. PPD can affect any new mother regardless of age, race, income, education and/or marital status.
  • You can feel better with help. PPD can be treated with self-help techniques, social support, counseling and medication when necessary.

 

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Women Experiencing Postpartum Depression Say:

  • “This is supposed to be the happiest time in my life…why am I so miserable?”
  • “I love my child, but I hate my life”
  • “My marriage cannot survive this”
  • “Having a baby was a mistake”
  • “I feel like the worst mother in the world”
  • “Everything would be better if I got a good night’s sleep”
  • “Why can’t I ‘snap out of it’?”
  • “I can’t take it anymore!”
  • “Why am I such a failure?”

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Signs and Symptoms

A new mother experiencing postpartum depression might have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Feel sad, hopeless, overwhelmed
  • Feel anxious or panicky
  • Regret having a baby
  • Have trouble sleeping, even when baby sleeps
  • Think her family would be better off without her
  • Fear leaving the house or being alone
  • Isolate herself from friends and family
  • Have unexplained anger or irritability
  • Fear she might harm herself or her baby
  • Have trouble coping with daily tasks
  • Have difficulty concentrating or making simple decisions
  • Feel “out of control”
  • Feel guilty for feeling this way

Experiencing three or more of these symptoms, especially if they last for more than two weeks, could indicate postpartum depression. Talk to your doctor or your child’s pediatrician.

 

Where To Go For Help

Mom And BabyPostpartum Support International (PSI) is the world’s leading organization in advocating, educating, and providing support for women experiencing postpartum depression and other perinatal mood disorders. PSI volunteers offer support, encouragement, information, and local resources. PSI’s website includes state-by-state listings of volunteers who provide one-on-one FREE support (via telephone and email) and group support.
www.postpartum.net

 

PPD Self Test

Using the Edinburgh Scale as a self test for postpartum depression/postpartum mood disorders.
The Edinburgh Scale is well-known as a tool for new mothers to determine whether or they might have postpartum depression. Are you thinking you might have postpartum depression (PPD)? Take this simple test and use the scoring system indicated below. You should complete the test yourself. You are asked to check the answer that comes closest to how you have been feeling in the last 7 days.
In the last 7 days:
1. I have been able to laugh and see the funny side of things:

1.
As much as I always could

2.
Not quite so much now

3.
Definitely not so much now

4.
Not at all

2. I have looked forward with enjoyment to things:

1.
As much as I ever did

2.
Rather less than I used to

3.
Definitely less than I used to

4.
Hardly at all

*3. I have blamed myself unecessarily when things went wrong:

1.
Yes, most of the time

2.
Yes, some of the time

3.
Not very often

4.
No, never

4. I have been anxious or worried for no good reason:

1.
No, not at all

2.
Hardly ever

3.
Yes, sometimes

4.
Yes, very often

*5. I have felt scared or panicky for no good reason:

1.
Yes, quite a lot

2.
Yes, sometimes

3.
No, not much

4.
No, not at all

*6. Things have been getting on top of me:

1.
Yes, most of the time I haven’t been able to cope at all

2.
Yes, sometimes I haven’t been coping as well as usual

3.
No, most of the time I have coped quite well

4.
No, I have been coping as well as ever

*7. I have been so unhappy that I have had difficulty sleeping:

1.
Yes, most of the time

2.
Yes, sometimes

3.
Not very often

4.
Not at all

*8. I have felt sad or miserable:

1.
Yes, most of the time

2.
Yes, quite often

3.
Not very often

4.
No, not at all

*9. I have been so unhappy that I have been crying:

1.
Yes, most of the time

2.
Yes, quite often

3.
Only occasionally

4.
No, never

*10. The thought of harming myself has occurred to me:

1.
Yes, often

2.
Sometimes

3.
Hardly ever

4.
Never

 

Scoring

1, 2 and 4 without an asterisk:
Answer number 1 is valued at 0 points; number 2 at 1, answer 3 at 2 and answer 4 at a value of 3 points
3, 5-10 with an asterisk:
Answer number 1 is valued at 3 points, answer 2 is 2, answer 3 is 1 and answer number 4 is valued at 0 points.
Maximum Score: 30 points
Possible Depression: Score of 10 or higher
If you have a score of 10 or higher, be sure to contact your medical provider as soon as possible. If you scored answer 1 to question 10, seek help immediately.

 

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Sources for Edinburgh Scale, directions and scoring:
Cox, J.L., Holden, J.M., and Sagovsky, R. 1987. Detection of postnatal depression: Development of the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. British Journal of Psychiatry 150:782-786.
K.L. Wisner, B.L. Parry, C.M. Piontek, Postpartum Depression N Eng J Med vol. 347, No. 3, July 18, 2002, 194-199.

 

 

 

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