Postpartum anxiety disorder is a state of clinical depression which affects women post delivery. It has also been found to affect men after childbirth but the cases have been very, very rare. Though the causes for the disorder are not yet fully understood but there are numerous symptoms of postpartum anxiety which have been recognised. A woman experiencing any of the symptoms stated below may be suffering from the problem and must be given proper medical assistance. The symptoms are as follows:
- Baby Blues: This is a class of symptoms which include- crying for no apparent reason (at all), or experiencing a feeling of being let down, being unnecessarily restless, impatient and feeling irritable. It has been found that these symptoms are experienced by about 80% of the new mothers all around the world.
- There are also some other very common post partum signs of depression. The signs include changes in the appetite of the mother, frequent episodes of sadness (for no apparent reason) or going through periods of extreme emotional numbness. These are so common as to be experienced by about 1 in 5 new mothers on an average.
- Sleep related disorders are also signs of post partum depression. These sleep related signs include experiencing insomnia or hypersomnia (either or the two) or other sort of discomfort in getting quality sleep.
- Some women affected by postpartum depression are also found to experience intense fatigue with low moods. They can be irritable with the surge of anger, or even have episodes of frightening feelings regarding the general well being of the baby or themselves. Having fearful thoughts or images about the baby can also make them overly concerned.
- Some mothers have also been found to experience a lack of feeling for their baby, lack of interest in sex and dramatic changes in their emotions ranging from being sad to the extremes of thinking about suicide. Most of these postpartum depression symptoms appear within few days of delivery and disappear gradually within the first year of the baby’s birth.
- There have also been cases when a new mother does not feel depressed, instead she may feel very anxious. This is called postpartum panic disorder.
- Some women may have hot and/ or cold flashes which are also indications of postpartum disorder. Some women may also experience signs of dizziness in addition to the hot/ cold flashes.