Jonathan Levy LCSW on Postpartum depression
Jonathan Levy LCSW: Co-founder and Marketing director at Psychotherapy Associates Chicago.
There’s no question that having a baby is a life-changing experience. While the expectation may be that you should be joyfully and effortlessly bonding with your baby — freshly showered and groomed, of course — you may actually be feeling a mix of complex emotions. You’ll experience the intense highs of joy, love, and human connection, but may also feel sad or moody and grieve your previous life. These feelings are all normal. Many postpartum women experience hormonal swings; combined with sleep deprivation, post-childbirth pain or discomfort, and a major life change, these feelings can induce the short-term anxiety, sadness, and irritability called “baby blues.”
When the baby blues don’t go away after a week or two or seem to be getting worse, you may be experiencing postpartum depression (PPD), a mood disorder characterized by the following symptoms:
Persistent sadness, depression, and feelings of emptiness;
Severe mood swings;
Extreme anxiety or panic attacks;
Sleep disorder (insomnia or sleeping too much);
Fear that you’re a terrible mother;
and Trouble bonding with your baby.
There is an even more severe form of PPD called postpartum psychosis. This is a rare condition that normally develops within the first week of child birth. Severe signs and symptoms may include:
Confusion and disorientation
Obsessive thoughts about your baby
Hallucinations and delusions
Excessive energy and agitation
ParanoiaAttempts to harm yourself or your baby
As an experienced Chicago therapist, counselor, and life coach I can promise you that you are not alone. As a matter of fact, the American Psychological Association says that 1 in 7 women may suffer from PPD. Unlike the baby blues, PPD doesn’t go away on its own, so it’s imperative that you seek help, especially if you’re thinking of doing harm to yourself or others. You don’t have to suffer. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Talk to your partner or trusted friends. The Government has a list of service providers with their respective contact information. There are also self help groups available and they even have online groups now too.
PPD makes it difficult for you to take care of yourself and your baby, but there are solutions. Feel free to contact Jonathan Levy LCSW of Psychotherapy Associates of Chicago if you are in the area. If not, we have some ideas on how to find a good mental health service provider and ultimately on how to pick the right one.
About the author: Jonathan Levy LCSW is an experienced Chicago therapist, counselor, and life coach. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Smith College. He is the Marketing Coordinator and co-founder of Psychotherapy Associates of Chicago. Jonathan Levy LCSW has tremendous success helping patients and most attribute his success to his warm touch and friendly demeanor.