Post Natal Depression

Counselling To Help With Post Natal Depression

Postnatal depression can affect women in different ways. Symptoms can begin soon after the birth and last for months, or in severe cases for more than a year.

The key symptoms of post natal depression are:

  • A persistent feeling of sadness and low mood
  • Loss of interest in the world around you and no longer enjoying things that used to give pleasure
  • Lack of energy and feeling tired all the time / fatigue
  • Disturbed sleep such as not being able to fall asleep during the night
    insomnia being sleepy during the day
    difficulties with concentration and making decisions
  • Low self-confidence / self-esteem
  • Poor appetite or an increase in appetite (comfort eating)
  • You become very agitated or alternatively you become very apathetic (can’t be bothered)
  • Feelings of guilt and self-blame
  • Thinking about suicide and self harming

Post natal depression can interfere with your day-to-day life. Some women feel unable to look after their baby, or feel too anxious to leave the house or keep in touch with friends.

Frightening Thoughts

Some women who have postnatal depression get thoughts about harming their baby. This is quite common, affecting around half of all women with the condition.

You may also have thoughts about harming or killing yourself. These thoughts do not mean you are a bad mother, and it is very rare for either mother or baby to be harmed.

However, it is vital you see your GP or contact a Counsellor if you have these or other symptoms of postnatal depression.

Treatment will benefit both your health and the healthy development of your baby, as well as your relationship with your partner, family and friends. Seeking help for postnatal depression does not mean you are a bad mother or unable to cope.

Spotting The Signs In Others

Many mothers do not recognise they have postnatal depression, and do not talk to family and friends about their true feelings.

It’s therefore important for partners, family members and friends to recognise signs of postnatal depression at an early stage.

Warning signs include: 

  • They frequently cry for no obvious reason
  • They have difficulties bonding with their baby
  • They seem to be neglecting themselves for example, not washing or changing clothes
  • They seem to have lost all sense of time often unaware if ten minutes or two hours have past
  • They lose all sense of humour and cannot see the funny side of anything
    they worry something is wrong with their baby, regardless of reassurance

If you think someone you know has postnatal depression, encourage them to open up and talk about their feelings to you, encourage them to seek help conatct a Counsellor or, GP. Postnatal depression needs to be properly treated and isn’t something you can just snap out of. Counselling offers a safe place to help with this issue.

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