It’s normal to experience baby blues after giving birth. You don’t go through that tiring 9-month period without experiencing body and hormonal changes, after all. But how do you know when the baby blues are more serious than just blues and not one of the different type of depressions? When do you need medical attention or to seek a therapist?
We outline the different types of depression often experienced by new mums:
1. Baby blues
This will occur in most women in the days right after childbirth, and is considered very normal. In fact, it’s abnormal if you don’t experience it. You will have sudden mood swings and may feel extremely happy or sad without any reason. You’ll feel impatient, irritable, restless, anxious, lonely, and sad too. It can last for only a few hours after or up to 2 weeks. Usually talking to someone about your feelings can help.
2. Postpartum depression
Symptoms of PPD is fairly similar to the baby blues. You’ll feel impatient, irritable, restless, anxious, lonely, and sad, but what isn’t normal is if it affects you from carrying out your daily needs. If your ability to function normally is affected, it’s time to consult a professional – be it your counselor, therapist,ob-gyn, or GP. This can happen for a few days of even months after childbirth.
3. Postpartum psychosis
Postpartum psychosis is a very serious mental illness that will result in hallucinations and delusions. It’s usually characterised by auditory hallucinations, which means hearing things that aren’t actually happening, and visual hallucinations, although this is less common. Other symptoms include difficulty sleeping (insomnia), feeling agitated and angry, pacing, restlessness, and strange feelings and behaviors. It comes quickly, often within first 3 months after childbirth. Those affected by postpartum psychosis usually have to be put into a hospital because they are at risk of hurting themselves and those around them.