On Saturday, November 17th 2018 lots of people in Blenheim attended Hope Walk. Hope Walk is a movement of hope, bringing awareness to suicide. Amazing idea, great initiative and beautiful community support. There are a significant number of people in our community who lost a loved one – family member or a friend. And there are still people who might be at risk, having suicidal thoughts or even attempts.
I was thinking all day of mothers in isolation, having babies and being overwhelmed. Those who struggle to get through debilitating anxiety and worry. Scary thoughts are not strangers to young mothers… This is what tiredness and sleep deprivation are capable of.
Depression and anxiety are kind of like thunder and lightning— they just go together. So, if you are a new-mom or a mother-to-be suffering from anxiety, then there’s a good chance that you’re experiencing at least some symptoms of depression as well. And my request to you, please pay attention to your symptoms and seek for help. Don’t be ashamed or scary – all of these symptoms are temporary and treatable!
Are You Depressed?
Since anxiety and depression often appear together, it can help for you to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of depression as you work on conquering your anxiety problem. Take a look at the list below and check off any symptoms that you’ve experienced recently:
Persistently depressed mood
Lack of interest in activities
Significant weight loss or weight gain
Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
Fatigue or loss of energy
Strong feelings of guilt or worthlessness
Difficulty concentrating or trouble making decisions
Lack of interest in your baby
Thoughts of death or suicide
Note: Postpartum depression significantly increases your risk of committing suicide. If you are having thoughts of taking your own life, please get help immediately.
Mothers of newborns can expect some emotional symptoms during the postpartum period. Many women experience symptoms such as spontaneous crying during the first few days following delivery. This expected emotional reaction is commonly known as the “baby blues.” These symptoms usually resolve within three to seven days after delivery. However, for an estimated 14 percent of women, these symptoms will continue or worsen, leading to postpartum depression. If you’ve had any of the above symptoms and they’ve lasted longer than a few days, you may be suffering from postpartum depression.
What You Should Do Now?
If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression you might wonder what to do. First, be sure to discuss your symptoms of depression with your midwife or GP. That way the two of you can work together to create the safest and most effective treatment plan for you and your child. They can make a referral for individual counselling, tailored to address depression as well as anxiety.
You are most welcome to attend a support group for mothers supported by our charitable trust. Also, lots of self-help materials, accessible online, can help you get started overcoming your symptoms of depression.