I consider myself one of the lucky ones. Other than a bout or two of reactionary depression, I’ve not been hit with anything more than appropriate sadness in my life. My husband and his family on the other hand struggle with mood disorders that are extremely serious. Our main reason for leaving New England for Florida was the fact that it was brighter, which helps somewhat. Somehow in my life, I’ve found myself surrounded with people who suffer from either depression or other mood disorders.
The only other time that I had any depression was after Ben was born. Looking back now, I know that it was postpartum depression, but I didn’t know then and never seeked help. Why do I bring it up now? Well, for one reason, it’s winter and I see my husband cycling into a blue mood, one of my good friends called me sounding like she was consumed with sadness, and I’ve got a friend who’s pregnant and it just brought up a reminder that if you find yourself getting sad, and it doesn’t look like there’s a way out…seek help. But, most of all – if you SEE someone – be it family member, friend, or co-worker that’s suffering with depression, be there for them and help them see that taking the time to see a doctor could really help.
Postpartum depression symptoms and causes include:
- Trouble sleeping, insomnia
- Loss of appetite
- Agitation, irritability or anger
- Overwhelming fatigue
- Loss of energy
- Loss of concentration
- Feelings of hopelessness and unhappiness
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Severe mood swings
- Withdrawal from family, friends and activities
- Difficulty bonding with the baby
- Thoughts of harming yourself
Signs of clinical depression include:
- Depressed mood (irritability in children and teenagers)
- Daily loss of energy and fatigue
- Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
- Difficulty to concentrate and to make decisions
- Sleeping problems (insomnia or hypersomnia)
- Weight loss or weight gain of more than 5% of body weight within a month, as well as changes in appetite
- Loss of interest in otherwise enjoyable activities
- Restlessness or being slowed down (psychomotor agitation or retardation)
- Thoughts of suicide and death
For more information on depression check out NAMI: the national alliance on mental illness.
Melissa Au says
I struggle with depression. Thanks for sharing.
Maureen @ Wisconsin Mommy says
I think it’s important to let women know that PPD can hit months after giving birth. Mine didn’t really kick in until 3 mos. after and I brushed it off thinking it couldn’t possibly be PPD.
Marcie W. says
All of these signs are just as important for friends and family to be aware of as much as the person suffering from depression themselves. Support is key!