Postpartum Depression/post partum or not?

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Question
Hi! My story is sort of odd.
prior to becoming pregnant I was very depressed. I have major depressive disorder, OCD and chronic anxiety.  Before having my daughter I was in my lowest low and truly believed I was going to commit suicide.  I was also very ill from an illness.  I got pregnant and during the pregnancy all my problems seemed to clear up (except the OCD).  I was warned that I was high risk for post partum but after my daughter was born I was fine. In fact I've been so fine I'm the best now that I've been in over 15 years.  HOWEVER.....recently my husband has had to leave to work in another country temporarily.  he does return on weekends but we're in the middle of moving so we barely have any real time together. I have no support network at all - no friends to speak of and my family, though close with me, is very busy.  I'm alone taking care of our daughter 24/7, basically.  Not only that but I'm having big issues with my mother-in-law.  I'm lonely and some days I'm so frustrated at the situation that I get mad at my husband and/or his mother and wish I hadn't even started a family with him because I can't stand this situation.  Now, it's been over a year since my daughter was born (she's 15 months)but recently I've found that whenever I get mad at my husband I'm also mad at her.  I'm short with her and sometimes get so mad I have to just remove myself from her, even if I'm not actually mad AT her.  I love her to bits - I do, honestly - but like I say some days I feel like I'm just going to lose it. But OTHERWISE I
m happier now and happier overall with my life than I've been in 15 years. So I'm confused if this is postpartum brought on by my hubby's absence, or if it's just that I genuinely am angry with him and genuinely hate this situation and want a divorce, and am taking it out on the only person around me. This is also hard since it could just be my old self coming back. how do I discern from post partum versus my usual depression?I do plan on asking the doc, regardless of what answer i get here, but it is so embarrassing to admit I wanted to sort of hear what might be the problem before I bring it up.

Answer
Postpartum usually starts right before and immediately after giving birth. Your story sounds very familiar to mine, and having a history of mental health issues is a concern since that can exacerbate PPD. I would strongly suspect this isn't PPD, but a reaction to your increased stress. I would encourage you to follow through with your doctor.

I hope you feel better soon, and remember, your baby girl is still too young to really get that you are taking anything out on her, so you can still make it up to her. She loves you no matter what, I promise :)

*all statements made are not professional. I am not a doctor, just someone who went through PPD myself.

--Love-- April

Postpartum Depression

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April

Expertise

I can answer questions about PPD symptoms, direct people to helpful books and websites about PPD. I can answer questions about what treatments are available for PPD. 1 week after having my twins in 2007, I was hospitalized for severe Postpartum Depression. I spent a total of 5 days in in patient treatment, and was put on antidepressants. It took me 2 years to recover, and I still take it day by day. But I know my first hand experience and my willingness to share my story has helped other women come forward and seek help for their PPD. if you need help, call: 1-800-944-4PPD Helpline provided by Postpartum Support International.

Experience

1 week after having my twins in 2007, I was hospitalized for severe Postpartum Depression. I spent a total of 5 days in in patient treatment, and was put on antidepressants. It took me 2 years to recover, and I still take it day by day. But I know my first hand experience and my willingness to share my story has helped other women come forward and seek help for their PPD. I know that acceptance of PPD and knowledge about its signs and symptoms is very limited in many cultures, including my own. I hope to help other mothers, fathers, and other concerned family members and friends recognize the importance of seeking treatment and help without fear of ridicule or judgment. I am here to lend a sympathetic ear to those who may be suffering from PPD and let them know I too have been there and they will get better!

Education/Credentials
I am a second year graduate student in Medical Anthropology at the University of Memphis. I have a B.S. in Health Services Administration. I am not a doctor, so I cannot diagnose or treat anyone with PPD.

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