Ten Signs It’s Time to Seek Therapy for Postpartum Depression

Ten Signs It’s Time to Seek Therapy for Postpartum Depression

Photo focused on a woman who with her hand on her head and eyes closed, wearing ripped jeans and a plaid shirt, sitting in the living room with her baby playing near her. Postpartum depression and anxiety can be treated with help from our Northern Virginia women's mental health therapists.

You just had a baby. Everyone is oOo-ing and aww-ing over that sweet little bundle and asking you a million questions. You are sleep deprived. You’re hungry. Plus, you’re covered in sweat, spit up and not sure when you showered last.

Perhaps, your baby is turning a year old soon! But, you have no idea why you can’t seem to care about planning their perfect little party. You browse the blogs and Pin some ideas, but there is just something keeping you from making actual plans.

Postpartum depression is mean. It’s sneaky. And rude. It is a thief. Often, it takes what could be a truly magical time in our lives and dampens the feeling of joy. It sends us messages about our parenting that feed on our deepest fears and doubts about ourselves.

This voice is NOT real.

You do not have to suffer through postpartum depression alone. You can talk to someone about these scary, intrusive and disruptive thoughts. Over the years, we have worked with countless parents dealing with postpartum depression. They have found hope again. Soon, they discover the joy they knew was possible after having a baby. You can have this joy too.

Postpartum Depression Symptoms: Ten Things To Look For

Feelings of anger or rage.

Anger and rage are totally normal human emotions! However, when these feelings are more prevalent than they have been in the past, and these changes occur after a baby is born, it is often a sign that something else is going on. Postpartum depression can show up as a confusing mess of anger and rage toward anything and everything. Maybe there was a cause, but does the response match? Or, was the blowup made more intense by your brain? It’s okay if you don’t know for sure. If you’re questioning this, it could be time to call in an expert.

Frequent annoyance, without a clear cause.

No, your spouse doesn’t count here! However, we all know that feeling of waking up on the “wrong side of the bed”, right? Those days when it seems like nothing is going right and everyone is just trying to push our buttons? When experiencing postpartum depression, these days become more common. Seemingly little things become major triggers, even if they aren’t logical.

Inability to cope with baby’s needs.

These are very basic. Very simple. Does that mean that taking care of a baby is easy? No way! Of course it is tough to manage everything in life, while adjusting to the needs of a new baby. However, those needs are not very complex at all. Eat. Sleep. New diaper. Genuine affection. These needs should not feel overwhelming to a parent whose basic needs are also being taken care of.

Lack of interest in baby.

Everyone needs a break from time to time. However, if you have very little interest in being around your baby, this could be a sign of something bigger. Whether they are crying non-stop, or calm and cute, feeling no desire to deal with the baby is often a sign to get help.

Appetite loss: You aren’t hungry.

Truly, any major shift in appetite can be a sign of depression, but during the postpartum season, it is pretty normal to keep up that pregnancy appetite or even increase a bit now that your stomach has more room. This is especially true if you are breastfeeding, since your baby is going to take first pick of the nutrients you consume.

Sleep disturbance.

It’s okay. Go ahead and laugh. I get it. Sleep might be a rare thing around your house these days! But, if your brain is keeping you up instead of your baby, that can signal a problem.

Crying and sadness.

A little bit of “baby blues” in the first couple of weeks is totally normal. Your hormones are shifting in major ways and your life has changed completely. But, if you find yourself waking up with extreme sadness or crying at a stoplight, give someone a call.

Feelings of guilt and shame.

“Mom guilt” is such a normalized term in our culture lately. But, when we play the comparison game, everyone loses. All-consuming feelings of guilt about going back to work, staying home, missing time with the older kids and neglecting your spouse make sense. However, these feelings should not get in the way of living your life how you want and need to.

No interest, joy, or pleasure in things you used to love.

While the activities you often enjoy might change with the birth of a baby, there should still be joy somewhere. If you are struggling to find joy and connection, consider reaching out to further explore the issue.

Hopelessness.

Some parents feel like their families would be better off without them. Sometimes, these feelings include thoughts of running away, abandoning the family or worse. No matter which of these thoughts, or others, you might be having, please do not wait to get help. You matter. Your family needs you. It does get better.

Photo of family jumping and dancing in the living room, two children and two adults looking very happy together. Hope and healing is possible in Northern Virginia with postpartum depression treatment

The postpartum season is hard! But, it does get easier. Sometimes, it can feel like you will never feel “normal” again. With the right help and support, you can have a full and joyful life like so many parents after seeking treatment for postpartum depression.

Counseling for Postpartum Concerns in Northern Virginia

While postpartum depression is more common than most know, you do not have to suffer alone. It is often helpful to talk about these thoughts with a mental health professional and have the support of a therapist who can guide you through the postpartum season.

If you or a loved one is interested in postpartum counseling, the caring therapists of Postpartum Wellness are here to support you. Our McLean, VA women’s counseling center has skilled therapists who specialize in counseling for women and parents during the post natal period. We serve clients in the Northern Virginia and Washington DC area.

Beginning Counseling at Postpartum Wellness

It may feel like a giant step to reach out and ask for help, but we make the process as easy as possible. To begin counseling for any postpartum concern, just follow these steps:

  1. Contact Postpartum Wellness to schedule an intake counseling session
  2. Meet with a caring therapist
  3. Begin the journey toward a more joyful postpartum season

Postpartum depression may be a part of your story, but it is possible to enjoy this time in spite of this heavy feeling. You deserve support through this process and we can help.

Other Mental Health Services for Women & Parents

Close-up photo of a sunflower, with a blue filter applied. Hope. Joy. Healing. Postpartum Wellness Counseling and Therapy Services | Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia

Additional Services for High-Risk Mothers at Postpartum Wellness
At our Northern Virginia counseling office, we help all mothers navigate their pregnancy and postpartum seasons. Our skilled therapists are passionate about helping women as they journey into motherhood. We offer a variety of services, including therapy for postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety treatment and infertility counseling. We also help women find healing after traumatic births as well helping parents cope with the grief and loss of a miscarriage through counseling. You are not alone in this journey. We are here to walk with you. Contact us today to begin receiving support on your motherhood journey.

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