Post partum anxiety. WTF?
Most people are aware of post partum depression, but most don’t know that anxiety can be another problem facing moms who have just given birth. They are very closely related, but they aren’t exactly the same thing. Some have both at the same time, and that can be a double whammy for any woman.
Post partum anxiety is a lot like the anxiety problems someone may suffer from any other time in life. Quite often the symptoms are hard to separate from the normal type of stress new parents can have, but after a while it will become obvious to the partner that something is wrong. Post partum anxiety is something that has been rather under-diagnosed in the past, but doctors are much quicker to pick it up these days, and that means quicker help for the moms who are feeling the burden of anxiety and panic.
If you are concerned you or someone you love might be suffering from post partum anxiety, you have to look for the signs. One of the biggest is anxiety attacks. These are often scary, and the person experiencing the attack thinks something horrible is about to happen to them. They may be short of breath, dizzy, and unable to function. The heart rate will go up dramatically, and there may be some confusion. If you research the usual signs of anxiety, they should match what a new mother may be experiencing. Anyone with this should see a doctor as soon as they can to be sure something else is going on.
Once post partum anxiety is diagnosed, the new mom can get help right away. About fifteen percent of all new moms will have a problem with post partum issues, but only under five percent will experience post partum anxiety. That doesn’t mean it’s not real, and not a real possibility, so err on the side of caution and see someone right away. If your spouse is exhibiting signs of anxiety, there may not be much you can do other than getting them into seeing the doctor. Trying to help more with the new baby may help some, but it’s essential to get medical intervention as soon as possible.