Postpartum depression (PPD) is a complex mix of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that happen in a woman after giving birth. According to the DSM IV, a manual used to diagnose mental disorders, PPD is a form of major depression that has its onset within four weeks after delivery. The diagnosis of postpartum depression is based not only on the length of time between delivery and onset, but also on the severity of the depression.
Feel restless and not be able to sit still, or you may sit
quietly and feel that moving takes great effort. Others can easily see this
Feel unusually tired or as if you have no energy.
Feel unworthy or guilty. You may have low
self-esteem and worry that people don't like you.
Find it hard to focus, remember things, or make decisions. You may feel anxious or worried about things.
Are you depressed?
If you have
at least five of the above symptoms for 2 weeks or longer, and one of the
symptoms is either sadness or loss of interest, you may have depression and may
Even if you have fewer symptoms, you may still
be depressed and may benefit from treatment. No matter how many symptoms you
have, it's important to see your doctor. The sooner you get treatment, the
better your chance for a quick and full recovery.
If you think you may
have depression, take a short quiz to check your symptoms:
Postpartum psychosis is considered an emergency requiring
immediate medical treatment. If you have any psychotic symptoms,
seek emergency help right away. Until you tell your
doctor and get treatment, you are at high risk of suddenly harming yourself or
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
April 16, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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