The Difference Between Postpartum Depression And Postpartum Psychosis

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As hard as it is to face the possibility of postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis, it is vital for every mom-to-be, to educate themselves about these conditions, in order to recognise the signs, and to understand when to ask for help.  

But what exactly are the differences between feeling “blue”, suffering from postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis?  

We have therefore listed what you need to know about each, below:

Baby Blues

  • We have all heard about “baby blues” which occurs days after childbirth.  Having a baby is exhausting and having a baby wake up every 2 hours is overwhelming!  So yes most moms will suffer from the “baby blues”!
  • The “blues” can bring on symptoms of feeling overwhelmed, sad, exhausted, constant crying, insomnia, lack of appetite.
  • “Baby Blue” symptoms will go away after a few days or even a week, and treatment is not necessary.

Postpartum Depression (PD)

  • Postpartum Depression can occur anytime within a year after childbirth.
  • PD is a psychological condition.
  • Approximately one in ten women suffer from PD.
  • Symptoms can include:
    • Constant tearfulness
    • Anger
    • Anxiety
    • Withdrawing from your partner and or loved ones
    • Numbness or feeling disconnected from your baby
    • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • PD should not be ignored and will need to be treated by psychotherapy and with antidepressant medication.  

Postpartum Psychosis (PP)

  • PP a condition that is still relatively unknown to the public and It is rarer than PD.
  • The symptoms include delusions and or hallucinations, that can put both a mother and her baby in danger.
  • 1 in 1,000 women suffer from postpartum psychosis.
  • The onset of postpartum psychosis is often out of the blue.
  • In addition to psychotic symptoms, mothers can also develop symptoms of paranoia, mood swings and confusion.
  • Research states women are most at risk for postpartum psychosis if they have a family history of bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder.
  • PP should definitely not be ignored and will need to be treated immediately by psychotherapy and with antidepressant medication.

Conclusion

Every journey leading up to motherhood has its own set of emotional rollercoasters, scares and elation, but it is important to understand that once that journey ends and your baby is born, new sets of emotional rollercoasters begin, and you WILL have days you feel you cannot cope, or that motherhood is too overwhelming; which is normal.  

However, it is very important to really understand and accept the differences between that normal “deer in headlights” new-mom vibe, and suffering from more severe symptoms such as PD or PP.  PD and PP are 100% treatable, so always keep the lines of communication open with your loved ones and explain symptoms to them. Never be afraid to ask for love, support and help when you need it.  

We are always here to answer any questions you may have, so never hesitate to contact us.

Love EDSA x