WHAT IS PERINATAL MOOD DISORDER AND WHOM DOES IT AFFECT?
UNDERSTANDING THE STRUGGLES
Whether you are a mother, father, partner, grandparent, sibling, friend, neighbor or coworker, a random guy from a coffee shop, Perinatal Mood Disorders during pregnancy and early parenthood can affect anyone.
It is more common than people realize that new parents go through emotional and hormonal changes. It's important for them — and those who love them — to understand the symptoms and signs of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety and to reach out to family, friends, and medical professionals for help.
Whether someone is becoming a parent for the first time or the fourth, the weeks and months after the baby's birth could be as overwhelming as they are joyful and exciting. After giving birth, moms do not really have the opportunity to fully recover before they have to start taking care of a newborn. This is a big adjustment period for fathers, too. Being exhausted and sleep-deprived can lead to mental health disorders.
Parenthood is not, in itself, a psychological or medical problem. But the challenges inherent in childbearing and child-rearing can lead to clinical consequences, with studies showing that a parent is more likely to be:
Feeling sad, hopeless, empty, or overwhelmed
Crying more often than usual or for no apparent reason
Worrying or feeling overly anxious
Feeling moody, irritable, or restless
Oversleeping, or being unable to sleep even when the baby is asleep
Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
Experiencing anger or rage
Having frequent conflicts with their partner
Losing interest in activities that are usually enjoyable
Suffering from physical aches and pains, including frequent headaches, stomach problems, and muscle pain
Eating too little or too much
Withdrawing from or avoiding friends and family
Having trouble bonding or forming an emotional attachment with the baby
Persistently doubting the ability to care for her baby
Thinking about harming herself/himself or the baby.
Perinatal Mood Disorders can affect any parent regardless of age, race, ethnicity, or economic status.
Only a health care professional can diagnose a parent with perinatal mood disorder. Because symptoms of this condition are broad and may vary between parents, a health care professional can help figure out whether the symptoms the parents are feeling are due to postpartum depression or something else.
With support and treatment, new mothers and fathers can go on