6 Surprising Symptoms of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

Six Surprising Symptoms of PPD
The woman is sitting on the side of her bed. She’s wearing rumpled sweatpants and a t-shirt. Her hair is mussed and she’s not wearing makeup. On her face is a look of sadness and a faraway stare. Or maybe a few tears streaming down.

That is the picture most people see when they think of the symptoms of postpartum depression. We’ve learned to believe what depression looks like from television commercials for Prozac or Zoloft. Depression equals sadness, crying, and despair. If we don’t look like that woman in the TV ad, then we’re not sure we even have depression or anxiety. We often think we’ve simply gone crazy, or there’s something else drastically wrong with us… but not depression.

The truth is there are a wide variety of symptoms pregnant and new mothers may experience when it comes to having antenatal or postpartum depression or anxiety. One size does not fit all, I always say, and one woman with PPD may look and sound completely different from the next one. That is why, for this installment of Postpartum Progress’ Six Things series we are focusing on the six symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety that will likely surprise you.

Surprising Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

1) Anger: In all the years that I’ve spoken to mothers about postpartum depression, they are always most surprised by rage and irritability as symptoms of postpartum depression. Yet, so many of you experience this. It may be that everything makes you angry. Or your baby, or partner, or older children are irritating you at a level that you have never felt before. You might want to throw things, or yell at everyone. Some of you tell me you know that you shouldn’t be so mad all the time, but you can’t help it, and you’re worried about how rough you are being with the people you love. For more on this, you might like The Rage of Postpartum Depression.

2)  Brain Fog: For many of us, our brains just don’t work as well when we have postpartum depression and anxiety. We have a hard time remembering things, thinking of the right words—or any words for that matter. We can’t multitask as well as we used to. During my bout with postpartum OCD, I used to drive through stop signs, finding myself out in the middle of an intersection before I realized I hadn’t stopped. If your mind is cloudy and you feel like you’ve lost at least 20 IQ points since you had your baby, you’re not alone.

3) Scary Thoughts: Most people think they’re in full control of their thoughts. I know I had no idea whatsoever that your mind could think a thought you didn’t want it to. Then I got introduced to intrusive thoughts, which are scary thoughts that enter your mind that you don’t want that are very upsetting but continue to plague you. Often they start with the phrase “what if,” as in what if I did this terrible thing or what if that awful thing happened? It’s like walking around having mini-nightmares all the time. Intrusive thoughts are a sign of postpartum anxiety and OCD, and NO, they do not mean you’ve turned into some horrible monster. For more on this, you might like Does Having Scary Thoughts Mean You’ll Act on Them?

4) Numbness: If you think women with postpartum depression are full of strong emotions, sad, and crying all the time, and instead you feel nothing whatsoever, you may be surprised. Some of you tell me that you feel only emptiness. You are just going through the motions, doing the things you know you are supposed to do but not really feeling it inside. If you are disconnected from things you used to care about and it feels as if you are hovering over your life looking down on it but no longer part of it, it’s worth talking to your doctor. This is not what new motherhood is supposed to feel like. For more on this, you might like Profoundly Alone: The Disconnection of Postpartum Depression.

5) Insomnia: Sleep when the baby sleeps, they say. But what if you can’t? It’s pretty shocking for a new mom who has never been more exhausted in her life to be unable to sleep. You keep thinking that eventually you’ll just crash, but you don’t. Or you fall asleep fine but then you wake up and can’t go back to sleep. All new moms are tired, but not being able to sleep when you have the opportunity to can be a sign of postpartum depression or anxiety. For more on this, you might like On Postpartum Depression and Insomnia.

6) Physical symptoms: Most women expect postpartum depression to impact their mind only—how they are feeling. But for some of you, PPD manifests as physical symptoms. I hear from new moms who are suffering with headaches, back aches, upset stomachs, nausea, or even panic attacks that make them feel as though they are having a heart attack. If you are suddenly plagued by aches and pains that don’t appear to be caused by the flu or food poisoning or any other illness, they may be symptoms of postpartum depression.

As always, the best thing to do is reach out to your doctor if you are having these or other symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety. While PPD is very common, it is not normal. You don’t have to feel this way as a new mother, and there are effective treatments that can put you on the road to recovery.

If you’d like help finding treatment, check out Postpartum Progress’ postpartum depression treatment specialists list. You can also click here for Postpartum Progress’ postpartum depression support groups list.

You Don't Have to Feel This Way as a New Mother
Postpartum Progress (http://postpartumprogress.com) is the most widely read blog in the world on postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD and depression during pregnancy. It was created by moms, for moms. 
About Katherine Stone

is the founder of Postpartum Progress. She has been named a WebMD Health Hero, one of the fiercest women in America by More magazine, and one of the top 20 Social Media Moms by Working Mother magazine. She is a survivor of postpartum OCD.

Tell Us What You Think


  1. I’m really glad to be reading this post because recently I have been thinking—I wish Postpartum Depression had a different name. Under the name of “Postpartum Depression” it is deceiving to those who don’t know anything about it. It’s not merely depression—there is so much more to it. Sure, depression is one of the symptoms, but there is laundry list of various symptoms as well!—there’s anger, there’s anxiety, there’s loneliness, there’s lack of enthusiasm, there’s confusion and loss of concentration, there’s insecurity, hopelessness, bitterness, and guilt, and so much more!—and yet we call it all by the name of “Depression”!?! Depression is only one part of it (and for some it’s not even a part of it at all).

    • It’s very deceiving, because really there’s a spectrum of illnesses or symptoms you can experience, not just postpartum depression. You’re right, some people don’t even have postpartum depression — they may have postpartum anxiety or postpartum PTSD. But for now, the public really is still only aware of that one term: PPD.

      • Yes I agree with you Katherine, I have had postpartum thyroiditis twice, after each child, and it really is a thyroid hormone imbalance which causes similar symptoms to PPD..

        • michelle says:

          I have have all of those symptoms and my second child is two and I had extream weight loss and I’m still fighting to gain it back . Is it posible for it to last this long

      • I feel like I can’t stand , dizzy , can barely walk , feeling like my body will shut down and I will die . Also moody , angry , anxious. Thyroid normal . I feel soooooo fatigued body aches . Do I have ppd ? I feel like I do but what about the horrific physical symptoms . Sooooo weak like I can’t even walk .

        • Physical symptoms can accompany PPD, Noha. Have you talked to your doctor? You should definitely let him or her know what your symptoms are so they can see if you have an illness of some sort or if your symptoms are related to depression or anxiety.

          • I spoke to my doctor he said they did every test on me and it is all postpartum anxiety . Is he just saying that to take the easy way out ? Can you please call me I feel so hopeless right now 3106211971. And my blood pressure has been low. He says postpartum depression will cause that too .

          • Melanie Armstrong says:

            I’ve been feeling the same physically. I feel like I’m going to collapse and feel wobbly on my feet. And gets worse when I’m out. My doctor puts it down to anxiety

            • Melanie do you also feel abnormally weak ? I do and I have blurry vision with it and just an overall feeling of flu like symptoms .

              • No ha, how did this turn out for you? Just a thought- buy I actually had Mono after I had my baby and it was the reason I felt such extreme fatigue! Crazy huh? My immune system got so down from lack of sleep.

        • I’ve been having the same physical symptoms! I just had my 2nd baby 7 weeks ago via c section & had a tubal ligation. Dizzy, lightheaded & weak muscles. I have anxiety also so I overthink things and literally think I’m dying sometimes! I’m waiting on my antidepressants to kick in. Hopefully they’ll help.

  2. At one point, while I was in the throes of PPD, a very good friend of my husband and mine addressed us in a very loving way because he noticed that something was up in our marriage relationship and he was concerned for us. When I tried to explain to him that I had Postpartum Depression, and that what he was seeing was because of it, he was like, “ok, no, I know you have PPD, but that’s not what I’m talking about—I’m talking about these other things that I’m seeing in your marriage relationship.” No matter how much I tried to convince him that what he was seeing (the arguing and such) was a direct result of my PPD, he just could not understand it. He thought Postpartum Depression was simply depression, but had no clue about all the rest that comes with it.

  3. ok..um….I am so confused by the changes on this website!! having trouble figuring out how to leave comments!!!!

  4. Katherine says:

    These are all signs of anxiety and depression that happen to occur post partum. But they are all classic signs of anxiety and depression. Scary stuff indeed.

  5. I didn't know then, but I know now..and can attest that I felt many of these emotions. Just know that if you are suffering, if you are angry to the point that it's not "you", it's time to seek help. I became angry because I had a hard time finding qualified help after admitting I needed help! (which I think admitting was the hardest, but thankfully I did!)

    • katstone1 says:

      Yes. I love that point. If it doesn't feel like the real "you" – if the behavior just seems so out of character — that can be a big sign.
      ~ K

  6. A Write Relief... says:

    Thanks so much for this post, Katherine… I felt all of these things (and still do occasionally) during the worst times of my PND. Before my diagnosis, it was definitely the anger that scared me the most. Never towards my little man, but towards my wonderful fiance. That irrecoverable feeling of things spiraling out of your control, whilst the whole time knowing it's so wrong. We found it so difficult and it was tearing us apart. Paired with this was the insomnia, the worry, the guilt, all leading to a rapid loss in weight… Cue feelings of worthlessness, ugliness, lack of confidence… And yes, you know the story well. Getting help was the best thing I ever did, thank goodness for my wonderful family doctor! And my blog is the other outlet I find a wonderful sense of relief from writing. My own kind of therapy. Thanks so much again… I look forward to hearing more from you soon.

  7. Robin@Farewell... says:

    Love this, because this was my issue – I didn't know these things were symptoms. If I had known that about anger and insomnia, I'd have caught it a lot earlier.

  8. myjampackedlife says:

    i had the anger. such anger. for 2 years. i was always angry. always yelling at someone or frustrated to the point of crying. i couldn't communicate without losing my temper. i just couldn't control it. i wish i knew then that that was a symptom as well, i may have sought help earlier as well. I didn't fully understand what was going on until i couldn't stop crying. Its been 4 years since i went for help, but i still feel the guilt and shame of it all still like it was yesterday. We have healed alot as a family but there are still somethings we are unable to talk about. I wonder all the time when i will forgive myself for what i put everyone through.

  9. Catherine says:

    During my PPD days I had so much trouble falling asleep, and it seemed like the baby would always wake me up just as I was FINALLY drifting off. The feeling of frustration and anger (no, rage!) and sadness on top of the exhaustion led me to stop going to bed entirely. I would be up to all hours of the night because I was so afraid of it happening again.
    It sounds silly when I try to explain it now, but I just couldn’t emotionally deal with the baby waking me up one more time.

    • Catherine, I’m trying to post a reponse to your comment, but apparentlly my comment is too long and the “post comment” button disappears. 🙁 Hoping this is a glich that will be fixed so I can leave my response to you!!!

      • Catherine, I can totally relate to your frustration and anger about sleep (or the lack thereof) and the physical and emotional exhaustion that comes along with it. The SAME EXACT THING happened to me too. Just about the time I finally drifted off to sleep, the baby would wake up for his next feeding. He ate every 3 hours around the clock until he was 1 year old, and even then he still continued waking up for at least 1 night-time feeding up until he was 15 ½ months old. My depression/anger/exhaustion was so horrible and I began to HATE going to bed at night. I would cry in sheer hysteria every night at bedtime. During night-time feedings I was so angry at the world, at my own baby, and at my husband for the fact that he lie in bed sound asleep, completely oblivious to the fact that I ever even left his side…and again, I would cry. It was absolutely draining, and I believe that this lack of sleep made EVERYTHING worse, and caused my PPD to become way worse and last way longer than it ever should have. My baby just turned 2 a few weeks ago, and I am SO GLAD to say that the PPD finally left me back in February of this year (after haunting me for a year and a half). It was literally like something was physically removed from my body—I could literally FEEL that it had left me. However, I began suffering with terrible insomnia! (I guess the year and a half of PPD and night-time feedings screwed up my body’s natural sleep system). It comes and goes, and I hate having insomnia, but anything is better than the incredible nightmare of PPD and the physical and emotional exhaustion that comes with it. Best of luck to you and your little one!! <3

        • Your story sounds similar to mine.. however my youngest is 19 months and im still going thru all of these listed above, started with anxiety and now its both anxiety and depression. Ive been being seen for over a year and still no difference, the brain fog, like living my life behind a glass wall, the anxiety, the ITs, everything. I have never been depressed or anxious before or after our first son, and I was fine thru my second pregnancy. I have tried every med almost I just want an answer and a solution. I pray to god everyday to heal me and keep his promise to get me thru this, but days like today and others I cant even see the light. Most terrible thing ever. I just need advice on which meds to try now, im starting therapy soon. I just dont get it, how my mind cant wrap around the fact I have two kids, but my body can…

          • I just wanted you to know that I understand how you feel. I too have been relying on my faith in god for healing. I tried antidepressants but the side effects were aweful and I threw up every day. It is good you are starting therapy soon. God doesnt want you to suffer and that is why he gives the medical profession wisdom. If you have been dealing with this for a year now then you are a strong person. Remember that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. To all the women struggling with ppd or ppa, you can do it and this too shall pass.

          • Hey Kristine,

            My name is Christina. I am currently going through postpardum anxiety and depression. It started a little after the baby was born but got really bad 6 months after her birth and progressively got worse. I just started taking zoloft about a month ago and it’s helping but it’s not all better yet. I’ve been going through this torment for a year and a half and still no relief for me yet. I get confused, i’ll experience memory loss when days are really bad with panic attacks, instrusive thoughts about dying and being sick..all the things I’m afriad of will rush in all at once adn I’ll think about multiple things at a time. The volume in my head can be so loud. You’re symptoms seemed similar to mine and I just thought I’d reach out to someone who can relate. How are you feeling these days? Has there been any progress? This whole experience make me not want to have more kids and it breaks my heart bc i always wanted at least 2 and I don’t want my daughter to grow up alone. I have a friend that has 5 kids and she got PPD with her 4th child but none of the others. Suffered really bad until she got on Zoloft and she said it was a life saver. That’s why I am trying it now. I wanted to stay away from medication but my quality of life diminished and I thought that my daughter needs me to be a good mom..and I’m not being a good mom if I’m in bed hiding all day bc the panic attacks are so bad. She needs me. Anywas, just wanted to share and see if anyone else has had PP Anxiety and Depression for 2 or more years. thanks.

            • Heather King says:

              Hi Christina,

              You’re right, that is such a long time to suffer, I’m so sorry. It isn’t uncommon for these symptoms to last that long when PPD/PPA, etc. go untreated. You have started Zoloft now and that is promising. If you don’t see much of an improvement, keep talking to your doctor. Maybe a medication increase will help in time. There is no shame in needing help through medication. Therapy and support groups are also a really good idea while you head toward recovery. Every bit of support helps. Hang in there, mama. You are not alone and this really can get better.

            • I have and still have for a year now anxiety with ppd and I have not taken prescription medications bc of side effects I felt would only make things worse i started taking mood sync a natural supplement from my naturopath along with anxiety control and after a week of being on them scary thoughts went away and just tht bad feeling you get tht no matter what you do you can’t be happy and it hurts to feel tht way but since I have been on them and in prayer I have been able to function better and think more clear and not freak out so much or just start hyperventilating from a panic attack

  10. I love this, it’s spot on. There is no such thing as an exact portrait of what PPD looks like, it looks like many women whom people would never dream struggle with PPD.

  11. Excellent post!!!! I had all of those during my non-postpartum depression (I am a male in college) along with the more well known symptoms (appetite loss, loss of sex drive ect.) , good to see a post like this.

  12. I experienced ALL of the above… and it seemed like every damn day that I experienced them. It’s not surprising to me that these have been found to be symptoms- they seem like RED FLAGS to me!

  13. I wish physicians would spend more time with new moms and their spouses educating them about postpartum depression. After struggling alone with many of the symptoms you describe, I finally came came out of the depression over a year after my first child was born. But the damage it did to me and my marriage will last forever. After my second child was born, I was much more aware and knew what to look for.

    • Yes I feel the exact same way I thought ppd was just being sad

      • Heather King says:

        So many people think ppd is just feeling sad. You’re not alone. There can be many other symptoms, and if you are feeling this way I hope you’ll reach out for help. You can recover from this, mama!

  14. Phoenix Fourleaf says:

    Great article! My PPD really felt like a physical problem. I was very busy and managing to get everything done, so it couldn’t be depression, I thought. I had been depressed as a teenager, but PPD was completely different.

    • what were your symptoms?? i was just diagnosed and almost all my symptoms are physical!! what helped you get better? i just started taking zoloft. i know i had ppd after my first child, but i managed to get better without professional help. this time, it has felt so much different…i haven’t been suffering so much emotionally like i did last time.

  15. I almost got diagnosed with this but is now looking more likely to be postpartum thyroiditis. Being aware of PND is really important, but I wonder if more women should be having their thyroid levels checked AND a check for thyroid antibodies. Just a thought, as many sympoms are VERY similar.

  16. This is so true! I too had each and everyone of these symptoms when I suffered! As a volunteer to PSI I hear these symptoms a lot with postpartum moms as well with pregnant moms! Thanks Katherine for bringing these symptoms to light!

  17. Linda Celentano says:

    This is a fantastic site.I believe my step-daughter suffers fromPPD. She had an extremely difficult pregnancy and birth and your mention of PTSD really hits home.I am anxious to have her and. other family members see this information. The first step is knowlege of what you are dealing with. Thank-you.

  18. This website actually just made my day. Im happy to hear that while pod isn’t normal its common. I thought I was going crazy. Definitely talking to my doctor at my next appointment!

  19. I have experienced everything that was said above. A month after my second baby, I started having intrusive irrational very scary thoughts. Any bad news on TV and end-of-the-world kind of movies worsen that feeling. I couldn’t wear anything close-neck or take a shower because I feel like I was suffocating. Everyday was like a nightmare. I was so irritable, sad, and angry at small things. Then the worst thing happened. I started having panic attacks. It is the scariest thing I have ever experienced. I feel like I am having a heart attack. My husband assured me that it was just a panic attack and downloaded an article about it online. He made me read this and it seemed to work a little bit.
    It’s been 4 months now since I started having panic attacks. The scary thoughts are now gone, and I can now get in the shower and wear close-neck clothes with no problem. But the pounding heart, shortness of breath, shakiness, nausea, tingling fingers and head, and weak arms still visit often that we once had to trip to the ER. They checked everything, did X-ray, and lab works and everything was normal. At the end they diagnosed me with palpitations. No one in that ER seemed to think that I am suffering from PPD. They did not even prescribe me with medication.
    It is a torture. The only way I can get some sleep is through sleeping pill. No matter how tired and lack of sleep I am, sleeping naturally is impossible.
    At first I was in denial in fear of being thought of as crazy. For months I kept the thoughts and feelings to myself until I started reading more about PPD. On Monday I am going to see my doctor and we’ll go from there. I hope that everything will be better soon.

    • Oh honey. I’m glad you found us. Panic attacks postpartum can definitely be a sign of postpartum anxiety. I really hope that your doctor was helpful. Let us know!! ~ K

      • Hi ..my name is Lucy i got post partum whe my baby was 2 months i lost 40 lbs. I couldn’t swallow water i got help when i had an anxiety attack and was terrified to be alone i am now taking Zoloft and pills for anxiety within a month i started feeling better i still have some intruding thoughts that i got again because i wet off the meds for 1week and a half because i felt better i got my period and boom..i got anxiety so i talked to my therapist and saud i had made a mistake on doing that but it has gotten better and prayer has a big part in my recovery i wish It would go away completely already..i want this nightmare to b over.

        • Hi, Lucy! You are doing a great job taking care of yourself. Keep up with your treatment and you will recover. Like you’ve already experienced, if you cut treatment short, relapse is more likely to happen. Keep moving forward, you can do this!

    • Yes. I too can not see anything on the news. Actually I no longer watch the news. It’s very paralyzing to see all that.

  20. I will be 40 this month and I had a surprise baby last April. He arrived 10 weeks early and spent 2 months in NICU. I have 2 other children, ages 9 and 6. I have had ongoing issues with getting pregnant and staying pregnant. Each pregnancy was difficult and the babies were premature.
    Prior to this I have had a history of depression but it has been controlled by an antidepressant. After I stopped nursing my second child I basically lost my mind in depression, anxiety, etc. My mood swings were so severe but it took me a year or so before I finally figured out what was going on. By then I was ready for a divorce, to leave my children, and was suicidal. I just weaned my third child and since then am having similar issues but my mood swings are so severe and frequent that I cannot handle it. I have lost 30 pounds. I have severe anxiety that has led me to the ER twice now. I started to see a psychiatrist and have been put on 2 antidepressants. He recently put me on a medication for bipolar – I took it for about five days and it made me have a major breakdown. I quit taking this. I feel like everyone thinks I am crazy but I know I am not and I know I am not bipolar. This is the exact same thing that occurred after my second child and I keep telling the doctors this and they just ignore me. I am a nurse as well but I do not understand the world of hormones… I have always been majorly affected by them but during pregnancy, all throught the NICU, etc. I was great… It is probably the best I ever feel mentally. I just wondered if anyone has any similar experiences and/or what to do about this… The psychiatrist keeps giving me more meds… I was lead to this psychiatrist by a counselor that I took my daughter to and I really liked her. She diagnosed my daughter with ADD as well as myself. While I thought that this was impossible I read a lot about it and had pretty much every symptom. So she referred me to this psychiatrist. Since then I am taking Adderrall, Cymbalta, Fluvoxamine,…. My husband says it is the Adderall but I keep telling everyone this is the same thing as before. I do not want all of these medications…. I know that there must be something else that can be checked and/or done…. I know this is hormonal. Do you have any suggestions or recommendations? Thanks!

    • Where do you live Leslie? I can see if I know someone in the area from whom you could maybe get a second opinion.

    • Leslie I am so sorry to hear you haven’t found the proper help you need. If your gut feeling is you’re being misdiagnosed then it’s time to get a second opinion. I read that you are seeing a psychiatrist . Are you able to get some therapy? It is sometimes so difficult to actually get that initial appointment but is very beneficial for you in the long run. It’s been said that cognitive behavioral therapy is so beneficial and maybe you can see someone that specializes in that form of therapy
      I myself am 14months post partum and to be honest am still dealing with the aftermath of postpartum spectrum (what I like to call it). However everyone is different so recovery is just a process that everyone goes through in differently. I suffered postpartum depression, anxiety, ocd and a bit of pptsd from c section and severe anemia the way the hospital handled it was very negligent. I am taking a low dose of Zoloft 25mg. I wish you luck and remember there are so many women out there going through what you are feeling. So much luck to you.
      ppd sister

    • Ive stuffered hormonal / anxiety problems for over 30yrs after having an ovary removed at times thought was going insane really bad after i had my son. Ive begged & begged for comprehensive hormone tests to no avail still suffering now. Say on the news the other day ppd most common when the child is 4 yrs old. I never knew this or that anxiety was part of ppd. We need more research in hormones , millions of women suffering due to hormonal inbalances

  21. As many of the other women have said about this and the other articles on this site, I am so glad I found this. Before, kept thinking I was crazy. Some days I feel like a hollow shell, others I feel like I only exist on this earth to take care of and watch my daughter grow… almost like it doesn’t matter if I am taken care of. As long as my daughter is happy, that’s all that matters… you know? I will be 7 months postpartum in 3 days. I began taking medication at 4 months postpartum after so many bouts of unbelievable rage, and then I stopped because I felt better and thought I had control of things. I felt fine for a while, but now, even today, the horrible anger, yelling, and bad thoughts are creeping their way back into my life. After reading this article, I know I am not crazy and things will get better; I just need to take control of it. It makes me feel so much better and less lonely to know I am not the only one in the world who feels this way. Thank you so very much.

    • I do know, Amanda. I know exactly what you’re saying. You’re not crazy, you just have an illness, and the way to “take control” is to realize that the best thing to do is reach out for help. Call your doctor and talk about your symptoms. PPD is temporary and treatable with professional help.
      ~ K

  22. Reading all this makes me curious can u have postpaturm depression even If your child is 5

    • Holly, it wouldn’t technically be postpartum depression anymore, but if you had PPD and it was never treated you may still be suffering from depression. It’s worth having a conversation with your doctor about what you’ve been feeling (what your symptoms are) and what you might do about it.
      ~ K

  23. For the first few weeks PP, I’d get horrible anxiety at 3-4pm every day. I turned into a completely different person. At 6 weeks I started to feel better. However, almost 4 months PP, I still get an anxiety at night time and if anything changes to my daughters sleep habits, I get bad anxiety. I don’t know what to tie it too other then the first night we brought her home was the one of the most horrific experiences I ever experienced. She didn’t stop screaming. My milk hadn’t come in yet and I wasn’t aware of that ever being a problem and she was eating every 30 min to an hour and she was starving basically, but I didn’t know it till afterwards when my milk came in. It was just awful and I think it scarred me. So, wheneve the sun goes down and bed time is creeping around for her, I just freak out inside and start to panic.

  24. Angelica says:

    I just had a baby and I had no idea that what im going through is ppd. I have been having all the symtoms and I honestly thought I was going crazy. I spoke to my Dr. today and i did some blood test hopefully now i get some help managing this ppd.

    • Angelica, good for you for reaching out to your doctor! I hope he or she is helpful. PPD is definitely temporary and treatable with professional help.

      • I dont know if im replying correctly but im begging for help. Desperately. My baby is 6.5 month old. Im an educated college instructor with no history of mental illness ever. About 2 weeks pp o started having psnic symptoms, severe anxiety. They tried me on lexapro tgan zoloft 25 mg. I literally thought I was dying I began uncontrollably scratching myself pulling out clumps of my hair pacing shaking twitching tapping on things and staying desperately awake for 72 hrs. They then started me on lamictal. Dont hsve side effects but seemed to help slightly for about 1 month.now tge last 3 weeks its bad again. I hate this ive lived like this for too long. Im terrified this will never end. I want to live my normal happy life again. Not live anxious wnd uncomfortable. Im also seeing an mft. The psychiatrists only words of advice, u seem some better, hang on there and tske klonapin when needed. I hate that stuff and refuse to put it in my body. I need more help then im getting. Dr said definitely not bipolar, pp gad. so desperate to stop fsking like im ok when in reality im slowly dying inside. I almost dont remember what its like to feel normal. Sad really. When will this end

        • No option to change drs

        • I’m so sorry you are going through this Jenny. I’m glad you reached out for help and that you are continuing to speak with your doctor about how your treatment plan is or isn’t working for you. I’m not sure where you live, but I think perhaps also reaching out for moral support from other moms might be of real help to you. We have a listing of support groups here: http://www.postpartumprogress.com/ppd-support-groups-in-the-u-s-canada I think being able to talk to other moms with the same symptoms could help. I would also reaching out to the local Postpartum Support International coordinator in your area and talking to her about all the options for support in your area: http://postpartum.net/Get-Help/Support-Resources-Map-Area-Coordinators.aspx

        • Hi, I’m 9 months pp and I’m still experiencing anxiety and like you said just want to go back to my normal happy life. I’ve tried Klonopin occasionally but never zoloft or lexapro. Does it ever get better? Did yours go away after a year?

          • I am nine months postpartum and my severe anxiety symptoms started the day after I had my third child. I just wanted to say that it does get better. I am not anywhere near where I was when I started having postpartum anxiety. I am not fully recovered yet but I thank god for the progress I have made. If medicine helps you then try it. I tried two ssri’s and found that the side effects were worse than the anxiety. I have been going to therapy, watching my diet, exercising, taking fish oil and other vitamins, praying and trying to get enough sleep. Some days are better than others however there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You are stronger than you think you are and you can do this. This too shall pass.
            ~ I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37)

  25. Had my second child in our blended family, recently lost my 1st sons father to a drowning accident. The only way I can explain how I feel is heartbroken, like my pieces don’t fit back together. I cry about anything and everything for the past few months. Feelings of overwhelmed, anxiety, like I’m angry all the time. I have many monuments of happiness, but it seems like there is this dark cloud over me at all times, and when I think about it I cry, I ball my eyes & I think I’m going crazy. I’ve never felt this way before. I’m out going, happy, enthusiastic.. now some days, I just think.. screw it. I recently called my local clinic, I can’t get an appointment for a month. It made me angry and then I cried about it, broken on the inside I just want to get back to the old me, mentally. And turn off the water works.

  26. I am so glad to have found your articles. I have been experiencing PPD in the form of anxiety and panic attacks after a early miscarriage/ D& C 7 weeks ago. When the Dr. said I may have PPD I was confused, thinking “hey I’m not depressed at all what the heck is he talking about?” My husband and I were upset about the miscarriage but felt we were dealing pretty well, knowing we would try again.
    I have no history of depression or anxiety so the sudden onset of panic attacks was terrifying. The hardest part is trying to find information about postpartum anxiety!

  27. Megan Brydle says:

    Can u have these systems if your children’s are 3 and 5?

    • Megan, you could have symptoms of anxiety or depression at any time in your life. They wouldn’t technically be symptoms of “postpartum depression” or “postpartum anxiety” anymore, but if you had PPD and were never treated the symptoms could continue on indefinitely. And even if you never had PPD, any person can get depression or anxiety. If you do have symptoms, I would suggest talking to your doctor. Depression and anxiety are fully treatable. ~ K

  28. Brittany says:

    I just had my third child 3 weeks ago and I have been struggling with anxiety attacks. I am scared to mention it to my doctor because I don’t want her to think I’m a bad mom or take my kids. I don’t feel angry or anything like that just out of the blue I will start getting nervous and have a hard time breathing. Any advice?

    • Brittany, hon, it’s important to reach out for help. While postpartum anxiety is common, there is nothing normal about having anxiety attacks. It doesn’t mean you are a bad mom or that your kids will be taken away, it just means you have an illness. Postpartum anxiety is fully treatable and I want you to reach out for help so that you can get these anxiety attacks under control. If you feel like you don’t have a good or trusting relationship with your doctor and therefore aren’t comfortable reaching out to him or her, email us at postpartumprogress@gmail.com and let us know where you live and we’ll see if there are specialists in your area that we can recommend. You can also check out our specialists page here: http://www.postpartumprogress.com/womens-mental-health-treatment-programs-specialists-us-canada-australia

    • nicola sneddon says:

      hi there i have had 3 sections and 4 children ,i went to doctor and all was okay ,i feel anxiety and panick for 2 years and i am on citalopram 10 mg which helps alot but i get bad days where i just want be dead so i dont feel the panick i feel x

  29. Is it normal to be so short tempered and angry at your toddler for toddler behavior? I have a 3 year old boy and a 2 year old boy. I was diagnosed with depression and ocd about a year ago. I still have intrusive thoughts and I cry at night when I have a really bad day because I’m afraid to stay home alone with my boys the next day. Is it normal to have a thought you hate about your babies just playing like a record in your mind over and over? While the thought is going through my mind, I’m thinking what if I really do this? I am angry all the time and I think what if one day I just lose it? Is it weird to still be experiencing this 3 years later? I thought my intrusive thoughts were gone, but over the last couple of days they returned. Does anyone else feel the same way?

  30. nicola sneddon says:

    please help me i need to stop these thoughts

    • Nicola, I am so sorry that you are struggling. It sound like all is not okay for you so it appears that your doctor must be wrong. I don’t know a whole lot about the UK NHS, but here in the US we can seek a second opinion from a different doctor. If I were you, I’d reach out for help to someone who perhaps knows more about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, how to recognize them, and how to help moms who have them. Reach out to this group and ask for a recommendation of a good doctor in your area: http://www.pandasfoundation.org.uk/how-we-can-help/support-groups.html#.U_Stw41dWzt I’m sure they’d like to help you. There is ABSOLUTELY treatment that can help with these thoughts. I promise. Don’t give up.

  31. I experienced the most severe postpartum anxiety the day after I had my third child six months ago. I couldnt eat, I sobbed at nothing, I was afraid to shower, I couldnt sleep, I definitely had physical symptoms (shooting spasms up my spine, tingling in my arms and legs and mouth, dizziness, headaches), I was angry and couldnt stand my husband, I couldnt sit still, intrusive thoughts and many more symptoms that I cant remember. I have greatly improved thanks to my faith in god and my supportive family. I also see a therapist and tried medicine but it made me sick everyday. I am wondering if anyone has experienced depersonalization because of their anxiety? That is the most present symptom that is still lingering from the ppa.

    • This feed is like a godsend. So relieved that I’m not alone. I had a panic attack in Jan 14′ that followed many physical symptoms and after trying natural routes eventually went on a prescription for anxiety. Funny the doctors say no but my aunt who also had two babies close together kept saying “are you sure it’s not ppd?” Now I’m almost convinced in having pp anxiety or depression and definitely without all the sadness! Oh wow thank you thank you thank you for sharing ladies!

  32. Ladies I have been researching for hours . I don’t know what I have . Doctors checked my thyroid and everything else a normal . My symptoms are extreme fatigue to the point if where I have a hard time walking , I’m yawning left and right , brain fog, muscle twitches and spasms, sometimes anxiety attacks for example I was taking a shower and freaked out because my left leg looked longer than my right, and I also have my hair falling out in clumps and my hands shake 🙁 I am 27 I dont know what is wrong with me. My blood pressure has also been consistently low and my ears feels clogged .

    • I felt all of those things. I even got to the point I was so anxious I was tripping. My sinuses felt plugged. I lost tons of hair and I still am. The hair breakage is the worst and the graying is fast now! I’m 28. I feel a lot better than I did but I was truly terrifying. I really recommend counselling. I hope you can have some relief! 🙁 it will get better. I researched everything. I was convinced it was my thyroid. But reading all this I’m convinced it’s pp anxiety. My baby was 7 months when it started. Not sure if that’s normal.

  33. Hello, thanks for the article, i’m a dad, my wife just gave birth to a premature baby, who is healthy and stable so far, she is going trough what i believe is postpartum anxiety, she forgets things, best all anxious, behaving erratically sometimes, and very very convinced that i’m ill and need attention asap, does not sleep, and would want me to leave her alone at any moment, constantly telling me that everything will be ok, and that she loves me, she reckons that she is going trough rough time, we have visited her gynecologist, perinatologist (don;t know the english word for it) and psychiatrist, they all agree that we are going to be okay and in 8-15 days things will come back to normal, but still i can’t help to be worried, stressed and very scared, i love very much, and don’t want to loose the woman she was prior this, thanks for the informative article, is calming in a way, and would love some guidance/advice



    • Hi Tony, so sorry to hear of your struggles (and so sorry for the late reply). How are things now? If she is still struggling please get her to see her doctor. Those early days are hard, especially with a preemie, but it doesn’t mean she isn’t suffering from a real illness. Good luck, and come back to let us know how you’re doing.

  34. My daughter had a child 2 mths ago she is anger, irritable, gets mad quickly, unreasonable when I try talking to her, has hot flushes, complains of her legs hurting when she gets up from a sitting position or gets up from floor, forgetful and she has started back on anti depressants and meds for sleep. I am at wits end her and the baby live with me the father of the child not in picture. I have my plate full just diagnosed with BREAST CANCER and a blood disorder. I will have surgery in next several weeks but need some advice on what to do with my daughter and her Tasmanian Devil behavior. Cuz the won’t admit she has none of thse symptoms. I did not have PPD. Plz help!!!

    • Mary – I’m sorry you are all dealing with this. I’m glad she’s started meds. Hopefully that will help her stabilize a bit more and she will be able to think more clearly about what she’s going through. Encourage her to stick to her treatment plan and continue to support her however you can. All of those things will help.

  35. I have nightmares and daydreams about my kids dying all the time, and sleep anxiety that has gotten a lot better, but still happens. I never saw this as a PPD symptom before. My heart will start racing at bedtime and I can’t sleep. I am 15 months postpartum but still have symptoms. I am thankful for this blog, but there isn’t really any specific directions for how to find help, or other websites with some tips and solutions. This is less of a problem than it used to be for me, but still pretty bothersome. Usually a good cry and talking to someone helps, but I would like to have more tools in my belt for dealing with these issues.

    • The best piece of advice we can give you is to encourage you to reach out to a therapist that can help you develop coping strategies to deal with the anxiety. The skills you will learn in therapy can help you get through the rough patches that are a normal part of recovery.

  36. Before having my twins I was very happy. I always smiled and felt very close with God along with the people in my life. Now that I had them I feel numb.literally. my husbands aunt which I was pretty close to passed away unexpectedly and I’m still numb to it (its been about a month ago). I get angered easily,I cry at least 2-3 times a day,I literally hate my body (twin skin plus never had good self esteem),I have thoughts of I’d like to just leave (but I know deep down I can’t or I’d come right back),I feel like a total mess.I had a healthy pregnancy but a rough delivery. My placenta abrupted with my twin daughter and started with my twin son.I also lost 2 liters of blood during the emergency c section.my twins were shipped two hrs away to another hospital while I had to stay two days at the other hospital. It started there.my twins will be 4months old march 14 and its only got worse.I’ve tried talking to family/hubby and praying. Praying helps some but doesn’t resolve it.my family thinks I need to tough it out because their terrified I’m gonna get hooked on pills (I don’t even like taking Tylenol for Christ sake)

    • April – I’m sorry you’ve been feeling this way. What you are describing sounds very much like postpartum depression. It’s a real illness and that requires medical treatment. If you do need medication (and not all cases do), there are several common medications for PPD that are in no way habit forming. I hope you reach out for help soon. You deserve to feel better.

      • Thank You. I talked with my doctor and they give me some medication to help and we are in the process of setting me up with a therapiest. So far, so good. I feel more human so far. haha Thanks again

  37. Thank you so much, this has helped me decide that I probably do have PPD (or PPA). I’ve been suffering from panic attacks and an incredible variety of strange physical symptoms. I had this at a smaller level after a miscarriage, which went away as soon as I was pregnant again. Then it came back with a vengeance after my little girl was born….about 3 months after.

  38. Two nights ago my husband told me he wasn’t sure if he was still in love with me. He explained its because I haven’t been myself since I was around 8 months pregnant with my son. That’s when it all became clear to me. The past almost three years I’ve been aggressive, nagging, short tempered, constantly stressed. I also have fears of dying and freak out over the silliest of things. I have just thought it’s because of the stress I have been under. It’s not. There’s more to it. Do you think it’s a possibility it’s PPD? Because it was like a switch was turned and this is how I am now. But it’s not me. I miss being ME! My 7 year old told me the other day “I miss my nice mommy” now that hurt.

    • Sasha, I’m sorry to hear you’ve been struggling. It could definitely be untreated postpartum depression and anxiety that is keeping you from feeling like yourself and enjoying life. The best thing you can do is to reach out to a doctor or therapist to discuss this further. You can be happy again and you absolutely do not need to feel like this forever. Reach out, mama. You are worth it.

  39. I’m the same , I’ve been having horrible thoughts of my baby being scolded & drowning it’s happened so many times n I don’t know how to explain it to my family or friends I’ve tried telling my partner but I don’t think he actually understands what I mean n how serious it actually is 🙁 wen I have these thoughts they make me cry n upset me & it annoys me coz I can’t control them I don’t even no how to explain to my doctor either

    • Heather King says:


      These intrusive thoughts are awful, I’m sorry you’re going through this. If this continues and is effecting your everyday life and making you struggle, you may want to consider looking for a doctor that specializes in perinatal mood disorders. You can google your location + psychiatrists that specialize in postpartum mood disorders. Help is out there and there is no shame in reaching for it. I wish you all the best.

  40. I read this post and was almost brought to tears. This is EXACTLY how I feel everyday. I get angry almost all the time, I get frustrated quickly, I have moments when I just want to be left alone. I feel guilty and just want to give up and I have been crying at least 2x a week. Heck, there are even times when I feel like crying, but I can’t. I get mad at my boyfriend all the time and I don’t know why. My concentration is off. Just yesterday I missed my turn while driving on the way home and then turned down the wrong street. I also get the tingling sensation in my legs, arms, and legs.
    My youngest is 5 months old and she’s my fifth child for me, and I thought, well if I have postpartum depression, why now? I don’t remember having it after my first child so I shouldn’t have it now, right? I haven’t been to the doctor yet but I am going to go to one soon. I am just tired of feeling this way. I’m trying to remember how long I’ve had these symptoms and I think it’s been a couple of years, but I know that it’s gotten worse. All I’ve wanted to know was what are these feelings caused and how can I get rid of them. Thank you for this post because now I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

    • Heather King says:

      Catherine, I’m sorry you have been struggling for so long. I’m glad to hear that you will see your doctor. This is nothing to be ashamed of and you’re right, you are definitely not alone! You will get better when you reach out for help and make a plan for your recovery. I’m sending you peace…

  41. I am going through something similar…I don’t know if it’s ppd..my baby is already 15 months and I have been dealing with this feeling since she was about 6 months…I feel angry easily, no sex drive, never talk nicely with my partner, get angry at my kids…along with that I have bad back pain, feeling feverish but no fever, tired, dizzy spells, headache, acidity, sharp pain in my abdomen on both sides which I think is caused by carrying my 12 kilos baby around too much…I don’t feel like myself and I miss being myself…I don’t know what to do…if I have a headache I convince myself it’s something serious…not long ago I ran to er thinking I had a heart attack but nothing as such…doctor blamed it on gas…
    I feel so helpless…any advice would be of great help

    • Heather King says:

      Jennie, it sounds to me like you are struggling with at least anxiety. It would be so freeing for you to talk with your doctor and start getting some help to manage it. You don’t necessarily have to go on medication, but if you and your doctor decide that is best after you speak honestly with them, then there is no shame in it. There is also therapy and support groups, and it is always good for you to start thinking of YOU again–take some breaks, do something kind for yourself. You want to feel like you again and your family needs you, so the first step is calling a doctor who knows about postpartum mood disorders. We have a list on this site of providers by area, under “Get Help” at the top of the page. Let me know if you have questions. Peace to you, mama.

  42. At about 5 weeks postpartum I started having little panic attacks where my heart would drop and then I’d start shaking, these would happen at random times and usually when everything was calm. I then started to have the inside shakes for most of the day, my doctor put me on zoloft he said it could be postpartum depression but I didn’t feel depressed, I took it anyways and that night I had a severe panic attack and ended up in the ER. my doctor told me to keep taking the zoloft and gave me ativan until the zoloft started working, it’s been 4 weeks and the doctor upped my dose to 50mg at 3 weeks and I still feel shaky on and off and I can’t sleep. I just don’t know if this is postpartum depression or if it’s a different medical issue. I feel like my sleep has been worse since starting the medication also.

    • Heather King says:

      Tonya, I’m sorry this has been so hard. I hope you can find the right dosage and some relief. I can’t tell you exactly what you are dealing with, but talk with your doctor about the continuing symptoms. You can find your way through this. It takes time and help, but it can get better! If the increased anxiety continues, let the doctor know you are concerned this might not be the right med and see what they think. Hang in there, mama. Peace.

  43. Im married to a beautiful woman, sweet as can be…….but I miss her. I have not seen her in over a month. Since birthing our beautiful daughter, she has been someone else. She speaks hateful to me, tears me down emotionally, accuses me of things, judges my motives, gets angry about the smallest things. I feel emotionally abused and battered. I help out with the kids ALL the time. I get the kids ready for school, and take them to school. I own my own business so i stick around to listen for the 19 month old to wake up of the infant to wake up so I can take them downstairs so she can sleep longer. I bathe the kids, help clean house, put away laundry, and she just naggs me and puts me down continually. It really sucks that women go through this internally, but one cant help and wonder how devistating the damage to others by this condition. Eventually the woman gets out of it, but the trail of devistation left in the wake of this will always have its footprints cemented in the time past. I am devistated by the way im treated and talked too.

    • Heather King says:

      shalom, my heart hurts for you. You are right, this is so hard and so damaging. So many partners feel what you are feeling and it is such a struggle to understand that this is NOT your wife, but an illness. I hope the two of you can find help together. It sounds like your wife could use some therapy and a consultation with a doctor, if she is this much NOT like herself. I’m sending peace to you and yours…

  44. Lyall Dawson says:

    Hi. I am in Australia and I was wondering if you have any programs here for my beautiful loving and adored wife who has many of the simptons you have described. She has told me she feels trapped and needs help but we are not sure where to start. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  45. My youngest is ten months old. My oldest is nineteen months old. Is it possible for post partum to show up this late? I’ve felt so hopeless and can never sleep. I’ve had some very terrible dreams and they manifest for weeks afterwards. I’m angry and sad. Anxious and just feel so out of control of everything. I’m losing my mind.

    • Heather King says:

      Yes, Samantha, it is possible. It would be good to talk to a doctor about how you are feeling. It isn’t your fault, you are exhausted and could possibly be struggling with PPD/PPA or another postpartum mental health issue. That isn’t something YOU did, it is something your body is doing. We all need help sometimes, mama. I hope you can make that call. If you don’t have a doctor to call, please let me know and I can help you.

  46. Thank you for posting this. I’ve been suffering with depression and anxiety for most of my life but was made worse with this pregnancy. But because I have never done anything about it I thought I could get through it on my own. I went to the Drs today and have postpartum depression, anxiety and small amount of OCD. But I fear I was too late. A month ago my spouse left. I am a single mom with a 7 year old and now a 4month old. I think I ruined any chance my daughters had a normal life. I was always angry with my spouse and pushed him away when he attempted to get close again, and instead of recognizing my illness, blamed him. Now he’s gone. I’m having horrible visions of my children being hurt and I just want to feel normal again. I hope there’s light at the end of this.

    Thanks you

    • Heather King says:

      Candice, there IS light at the end of this. I’m so sorry you struggled for so long without knowing what it was, but you KNOW now and that is so empowering. Freeing. This is NOT your fault. This is an illness, it is not you. It is common and treatable and you are on the right track now. It’s going to be okay, your kids are going to be okay. No matter what happens with your spouse, what your kids need most is a healthy mama. You are going to be their healthy mama no matter what, in time and with help. I’m sending you peace.

  47. My 43 year old daughter is experiencing post pardum blues but not seeking help. I’ve held back expressing to her I see this progressing because she responds with very negative & angry words. When I text asking how her day’s going it’s always “SOS”. Her baby’s 14 months young & is very much in love with her. Just last week I did tell her she’s in post partum blues to seek medical help. I also offered to either let me help with my grandson but there is not room for me to stay. I’ve also offered to allow me to bring our baby boy to my home while she seeks medical help. My daughter lives in another state & I am willing to help her. But she’s not receptive.
    If anyone has had a similar situation kindly respond with any suggestions that helped.

  48. I have all these symptoms but feel like no one will listen then I think I’m just tired. My second child is 6 months old and some days I feel like locking myself away from everything. I’m constantly taking it out on my 3 year old and my partner. I think it’s time to seek help but what if no one listens?

  49. Hi – I’m an American living in Greece and I need help for PPD but can’t find resources here in English. Do you know if there are any therapists for PPD that could work with me via Skype or phone??

    • Heather King says:

      Hi Anna, this is a common question and I wish we had a really helpful answer. We are not aware of those that specialize in perinatal mental health and do their work this way. I’m sure they exist, but we often hear of providers who specialize after they reach out to us. This isn’t a community of providers we have heard from and when we do research, we find apps, etc, but we hate to lead people to someone who isn’t going to understand postpartum mental health as they should do serve you well. When we don’t have the answers, we never stop looking. If we come up with someone who is known to work well with mamas, I will certainly let you know.

  50. A a great article. How long can PPD last?

  51. I think that i am died soon

    • Heather King says:

      I’m sorry, I’m not sure what you mean. How can we help you? If you are saying you think you will be dead soon, can you explain? If you are feeling suicidal, please reach out to someone who could help you. The number is 1 800 273 8255.

  52. Gwendolyn says:

    Do you think ppd occurs more when there is a lack of parental support for examples grandparents, in-laws, domestic help, family etc?

  53. I have a four and a half year old and an 8 month old. With my first child I experienced the same symptoms I have now but pushed through it all with the help of my mom. However now that child two is here, it’s all come rushing back. I have no energy, I’m always tired, grouchy, lost connection to my fiance, we fight all the time and then I lose my appetite. I’m a stay at home mom of my kids, and we live with my fiances parents. I clean up after not only my kids but my fiance as well as his dad. I clean everyday. The same messes. Over and over. I feel like if I’m not doing something then there must be something I’m forgetting to do. Literally nothing gets done without me. I’m exhausted emotionally and physically. I love my family and always put them first, but constantly feel like there’s a rain cloud over my head. My fiance gets so upset so fast so there’s a pressure on me to be the mediator. I constantly have someone asking me something, needing me to do something or just needing me. I’m depressed more often then not, I feel like everything wrong is my fault. Often times I feel numb. I feel like it may affect my baby, always seeing me cry. I’m constantly overwhelmed. Even when he tries to help me clean because he doesn’t know how to. He literally cannot look around and see what needs to get done. He has to ask me what needs to be done and like how to do it. I feel trapped. I would never hurt myself or my kids. I always have headaches, (used to occur after baby number 2 only when I got my period but has been everyday now for a while). I’m unhappy with myself mentally and physically. I don’t know. I just know there’s something wrong. Can you help me out? Where would I start? Would I start by telling this all to my OBGYN?

    • Heather King says:

      Yes, mama. You can start by talking with your OBGYN. Reach out, you deserve to feel better than this. You deserve to be taken care of, supported and respected. Getting well takes time and help, but you will get there. I’m sending you peace.

  54. I felt all of these things early on and bad. I was breast feeding and didn’t want to take anything. Things seemed to get better to a point but sometimes I still feel the sadness, hopelessness, loneliness, worthlessness and I have the bad thoughts and wake up in a panic that something bad is happening to my baby and some nights just can’t really sleep much at all. It’s not all the time and it comes and goes. He is 14 months now. How long does this last can anybody share?

    • Heather King says:

      There is no certain timeline, every mama is different. What matters most is that you get help to get better. This is an illness that needs treatment. I hope you have the option of seeing a doctor and therapist. This can and will get better with help and time. Peace to you.

  55. Do these symptoms also apply to all depression generally? Like someone who definitely does not have PPD?

    • Heather King says:

      Hi G,
      There are things that are unique to PPD, but of course, depression that is not postpartum related reflects many of the same symptoms. So if you see yourself or someone else you know in this list, whether or not a pregnancy was involved, it is most likely depression. Thankfully, both are treatable conditions and get better with time and help.

  56. Feel like i have a name for what ive been going through .x

  57. Woodworth says:

    What if this girl is married but had affair has one daughter. Finally she tells husband an he stays with her for 6 months and then he left. We try to help get things for baby is there anything we can do all we get told is leave me alone. There hE not been one diaper clothes bottle nothing for this baby. And she is due anytime an I am her mother an I don’t know the father I know who he is but I haven’t gone to him yet an don’t know what to do. Now I believe her husband says if this guy doesn’t sow up an take no responsibility. At all. He will come back. My email is. pepper13716@gmail.com. pleAse give me some advice worried mother

    • Heather King says:

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. It is difficult to understand the story in your comment, but it sounds very complicated and hard. It would be best to seek professional help. Let a doctor or therapist know how stressed you are and that you don’t know what to do. I’m sending you peace.

  58. Could you tell me how to start conversation with a doctor. I had my daughter about a year ago and I really haven’t seen a doctor since then. I haven’t really felt the same since I had my daughter. It’s hard to approach a doctor for me and tell them how I feel because I don’t know where to start. Where I live I feel like people just go to seek help just to get meds and it messes it up for the ones who really need it. I just don’t want to get looked down upon like that’s what I’m trying to do. My symptoms I’m feeling include helplessness, anger, anxiousness, sleeplessness, feeling like I failed in life. If you could please reply thanks for your time.

    • Heather King says:

      Hello Serena,

      I’m sorry you’ve been feeling like this, and I know you can get better. I know you can reach out for help. You asked a good question and I hope the answer helps: Try not to make assumptions about what the doctor may or may not think. If you are being honest and reaching out for help, they are not trained to make negative assumptions about that, but to consider your health first. Your symptoms are that of PPD and expressing to the doctor that you have been feeling like this since the birth of your baby will indicate that it is most likely PPD. That’s all you have to say, something like, “I have been feeling helpless, unable to sleep, like a failure and anxious since my baby was born…I know it’s Postpartum Depression and/or Anxiety.” Let them take it from there. You don’t have to say more than that at first. They will ask questions. Just answer honestly and trust the process. If you find the doctor to be somehow unreceptive, try another doctor. Most understand, but there are some that don’t fully get postpartum mental health. Seeking a specialist would be very helpful, as they will know exactly what you are describing and there is more potential that they will know the right ways to help you. There is a specialist list on this site under “Find Help”. I hope there is someone near you!

      • Thank you for your help. I’m going to try and take my first steps to bettering myself for me and my family. I can’t live like this anymore it’s tearing my family apart. Thanks again

  59. Hi everyone ,recently about 2 months I started to have physical symptoms. I need have a 8 month old baby this all started when my baby was 6 months. Where to begin let see
    When I had my baby inexperience the baby blues but after 3 to 4 weeks they went away. I didn’t taught much about it. Time went by and I continue graduate school while taking care of the baby . I was really stress out but I continue and graduated about 4 weeks ago . My symptoms started with pin and needles on my arms and face ,sometimes burning pain I tought it was neurological I got an MRI to rule out any disorder that might have the same symptoms but it came back normal. Later I started stomach issues ,muscle twitching and the latest one which scares me so much it’s the feeling of shakiness inside. The neurologist say that he thinks it’s all anxiety related. I also have anxiety feelings, saddnes,emptiness and I am scared I won’t be able to take. Care of.her. I just created because I just want to be the best mom for my daughter. Could this be ppd or ppa??? Has anyone experience this ?

    • Heather King says:

      Hello Cathy, it’s possible it could be PPA or PPD. We can’t say for sure of course, but it would be good to talk with a doctor you trust about that possibility, or look for someone who specializes in postpartum mental health and see what they think.

      Peace to you!

  60. Fayme Spencer says:

    Hello to all the other moms out there that are suffering and think that their the only ones feeling this way. I am a new mom myself and my son is 2 months old. Everything was perfect until a week after he was born. I was home with my son while my husband was at work. Suddenly I experienced my first intrusive thought. It sent me through a full blown panic attack. I felt pins and needles throughout my body and a huge weight on my chest. Started shaking and crying. I called my husband to come home as i didnt feel comfortable alone with my son and thought there was something horribly wrong with me but didn’t know what it was….. No one ever mentioned anything to me about PPD etc. As the days went on i became much worse. Could not sleep, eat, constant intrusive thoughts, crying, anxiety attacks. By this point i had enough of the torture and went to the hospital. I had no idea what was going on at the time ans had never even heard of intrusive thoughts. I am glad i toke that step, got help and told the truth. I was so afraid that they’d think i was crazy but they didn’t. I now speak to a crisis worker bi weekly through our local hospital, i also see a shrink too. Ive been diagnosed with PPD,PPA and maybe OCD. Still not sure about OCD, we think its all anxiety driven. She has put me on medication that has helped me in my recovery. I am still not 100% back to the old me but im getting there one day at a time. I write in my journal daily as well as CBT workbook. I never saw this coming and im so greatful to have such a supportive family. You are not alone, you are not crazy and we will get through this. Sending much love to anyone suffering.

  61. I am going thru this and need to,go to Vanderbilt ER I am not able to do so until after I handle,a few affairs.

  62. I’d like to see more articles that talk about this subject, but also include paternal post partum presenting with the same or similar symptoms. It may be common for dads and yet is scarcely discussed, but is equally important.

  63. YES yes yes to intrusive, scary thoughts. I had these WHILE pregnant and could not find many resources on what was happening. I think the lack of information was due in part because us moms experiencing it are so fearful of others knowing, and are scared left to wonder “Will it be like this forever?”

    After doing research, I wrote a blog about this due to the lack of support and resources I could easily find while it was happening. I wanted to help moms find the support and information they needed. In it, I offer a lot of resources for moms who are experiencing it.

  64. I have a lot of these symptoms on and off and I’ve been feeling like a failure as a mother and wife because of the anger and wanting to just run away. I love my baby and husband more than anything and it hurts that I feel like this and I’m always yelling at him and walking away from the baby when she cries and I’m glad I found this because I’m going to the dr soon and I just hope he listens to me about this because I’m MISERABLE!

  65. What more are the sign of post partum depression? A month before the birth of my daughter, I felt dizzy, body weakness, headache, nauseated, I easilly forget something.. That sometimes I felt unconnected. Very anxious with my body..

  66. Heather King says:

    The main symptoms of postpartum depression are listed in the post, but there can also be physical symptoms as you describe them. It is best to talk it over with a doctor. A medical professional is the best person to answer these questions. I will be hoping with you that you find the answers that you need.

  67. Hi I am using my partners email that’s why it has come up as his name. My name is Natasha and my GP has diagnosed me with PPD. It all began when my second daughter was around 2 months old with having an ache down my right arm and fin ding a breast lump in my right breast. I thought these were signs of cancer and thought I was going to be diagnosed when i went to have it checked out. Once I had the lump checked I thought they had got it wrong as I could still feel the lump and told was sore (probably because I kept prodding it). I have also had other issues like a headache and blurred vision and thought I had something serious. I understand all these things and realise that it was all to do with how I thought. But the symptom I have now is there is a constant state of nothingness. It’s really hard to explain but I have described it as a blank thought or just an awareness of nothing because it’s something that’s there that I can’t take my focus off but I don’t know what it specifically is. I can do things with it there as I am still looking after my children but am finding it really difficult. I am taking medication at the moment and seeing a therapist and hope that this will.work. I just find it frustrating that I can’t explain this symptom properly so nobody understands. It has stopped me from sleeping too. Have you ever heard anything like this?

  68. Heather King says:

    Yes, mama. We have heard of this. It sounds like possibly something called “derealization” which you could look up and read about and see what you think. Or dissociation. I am not diagnosing these things, but they are worth reading about and talking them over with your doctor. Therapy is really helpful in getting past both of them. Peace to you!


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