While up to 80% of mothers with newborns may experience the “baby blues”, as much as 15% may experience a more serious problem called postpartum depression. Great resources online are available to learn more about this type of depression. For example, read below a list of symptoms from the National Institute of Mental Health (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/postpartum-depression-facts/index.shtml):
- 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 her baby is asleep
- Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Experiencing anger or rage
- 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 her baby
- Persistently doubting her ability to care for her baby
These symptoms affect both the mother and child as caring for and bonding with the baby can be interrupted. Your doctor or mental health specialist can help you determine if you are suffering from postpartum depression. If you are, there is help. When left untreated, postpartum depression can continue for months.
Treatment may include anti-depressant medications and different forms of psychotherapy. While these may help some, others may need a faster route to relief. IV ketamine therapy may bring relief within a few sessions and most likely within 6 treatments over 2 or 3 weeks. We have seen great success in women with postpartum depression who are able to enjoy their new baby again.
Postpartum Psychosis is a rare, but serious condition where a mother may have obsessive thoughts, paranoia, or thoughts of hurting herself or her baby. If you feel these thoughts please seek immediate help by finding a trusted caregiver for your child and either calling a hotline, your doctor, or 911. Do not be ashamed to ask for help, you and your baby are too valuable.