When people think of perinatal mood disorders, most only know about postpartum depression (PPD). But there are many other perinatal mood disorders: anxiety, OCD, birth trauma, PTSD, bipolar mood disorders and/or postpartum psychosis. Some conditions may even start during the pregnancy. In today’s blog, let’s break down the different perinatal mood disorders in order to better understand them.
Postpartum depression affects 1 in 5 mothers, so it’s no wonder that it’s so commonly known. Symptoms for PPD may include:
- Feelings of sadness or depression
- Difficulty bonding
- Sleep problems
- Not eating properly
- Feeling numb or out of control
- Trouble concentrating
- Feeling guilty, helpless, or hopeless
- Worry that you may hurt yourself or the baby
Postpartum depression can last for months, or even years, which is why some mothers feel pressure to just get over it. However, this is a legitimate depression — caused by a hormonal imbalance and sometimes brought on by a traumatic birth. It’s important not to discredit your own feelings when experiencing PPD, and to get help.
Anxiety and OCD
Anxiety can be present during pregnancy as well as postpartum. It may manifest as incessant worrying, panic attacks, heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, dizziness, feeling out of control, numbness or tingling. Another symptom of anxiety are intrusive thoughts.
These thoughts typically revolve around something bad happening to the pregnancy or newborn. Rarely are these thoughts acted on. Most women have significant distress and feel like something is wrong with them and often keep the thoughts to themselves. These intrusive thoughts are a form of OCD.
Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be caused by a traumatic birth or pregnancy. Postpartum PTSD can also be related to a previous trauma. PTSD can lead to feelings of distress, anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, and difficulty bonding. Most try to block out those feelings, but are often unable to without proper treatment.
The most severe perinatal mood disorder is typically postpartum psychosis. This is an emergency and anyone having symptoms should seek help immediately. Symptoms may include hearing or seeing things that others do not, delusions (believing things to be true when they aren’t), confusion, or memory loss.
Treatment For Perinatal Mood Disorders
Regardless of what symptoms you are experiencing, if you feel something is not right, you should get the help you need and deserve. You are not alone! There is help available!
Rivia Mind has experts that work with pregnant and postpartum people with peripartum mood disorders. We offer counseling, groups as well as medication management. Many times, it is a combination of things that are required for you to feel like you again. Our goal is to support you and your family to regain normalcy.
Learn more about our Women’s & Reproductive Mental Health Services here.
Also, find out more about our Pregnancy & Postpartum Support Group.