During depression the world disappears. Language itself. One has nothing to say. Nothing. Kristin experienced this misery, yet still managed to touch many lives and even in death continues to help others find help for their depression.
The Kristin Brooks Hope Center was created to help those in crisis find help and hope immediately. The site and her story gives you a raw, personal glimpse into depression, and how it affects those around you. In addition, you will find the only clear, step-by-step path for you to follow out of the darkness. There is hope and you can feel happy again! If you need to speak with someone right now call: 1.800.442.HOPE
(1.800.442.4673)

Postpartum Mood Disorders

Any of the following five postpartum mood disorders can also occur during pregnancy.

•  Depression and/or Anxiety

•  Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

•  Panic Disorder

•  Psychosis

•  Postpartum Psychiatric Illness Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

 

“Baby Blues” — Not Considered a Disorder

•  This is not considered a disorder since the majority of mothers experience it.

•  Occurs in about 80 percent of mothers

•  Usual onset within first week postpartum

•  Symptoms may persist up to three weeks

Symptoms

•  Mood instability

•  Weepiness

•  Sadness

•  Anxiety

•  Lack of concentration

•  Feelings of dependency

Etiology

•  Rapid hormonal changes

•  Physical and emotional stress of birthing

•  Physical discomforts

•  Emotional letdown after pregnancy and birth

•  Awareness and anxiety about increased responsibility

•  Fatigue and sleep deprivation

•  Disappointments including the birth, spousal support, nursing, and the baby

 

Depression and/or Anxiety

•  Occurs in 15 to 20 percent of mothers

•  Onset is usually gradual, but it can be rapid and begin any time in the first year

•  Excessive worry or anxiety

•  Irritability or short temper

•  Feeling overwhelmed, difficulty making decisions

•  Sad mood, feelings of guilt, phobias

•  Hopelessness

•  Sleep problems (often the woman cannot sleep or sleeps too much), fatigue

•  Physical symptoms or complaints without apparent physical cause

•  Discomfort around the baby or a lack of feeling toward the baby

•  Loss of focus and concentration (may miss appointments, for example)

•  Loss of interest or pleasure, decreased libido

•  Changes in appetite; significant weight loss or gain

Risk factors

•  50 to 80 percent risk if previous postpartum depression

•  Depression or anxiety during pregnancy

•  Personal or family history of depression/anxiety

•  Abrupt weaning

•  Social isolation or poor support

•  History of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

•  Mood changes while taking birth control pill or fertility medication, such as Clomid

•  Thyroid dysfunction

Treatment:

•  Psychotherapy and psychiatrist for medication. Antidepressant and attending a support group for PPD MOMS. If the mom is bi-polar the treatment is mood stabilizers and no anti depressants as they can trigger an SSRI syndrome.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

•  3 to 5 percent of new mothers develop obsessive symptoms

Symptoms

•  Intrusive, repetitive, and persistent thoughts or mental pictures

•  Thoughts often are about hurting or killing the baby

•  Tremendous sense of horror and disgust about these thoughts (ego-alien)

•  Thoughts may be accompanied by behaviors to reduce the anxiety (for example, hiding knives)

•  Counting, checking, cleaning or other repetitive behaviors

 

Panic Disorder

• Occurs in about 10 percent of postpartum women

Symptoms

•  Episodes of extreme anxiety

•  Shortness of breath, chest pain, sensations of choking or smothering, dizziness

•  Hot or cold flashes, trembling, palpitations, numbness or tingling sensations

•  Restlessness, agitation, or irritability

•  During attack the woman may fear she is going crazy, dying, or losing control

•  Panic attack may wake her up

•  Often no identifiable trigger for panic

•  Excessive worry or fears (including fear of more panic attacks)

Risk factors

•  Personal or family history of anxiety or panic disorder

•  Thyroid dysfunction

Treatment:

•  Psychotherapy and psychiatrist for medication. Antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication, attending a support group for PPD MOMS. If the mom is bi-polar the treatment is mood stabilizers and no anti depressants as they can trigger an SSRI syndrome.

 

Psychosis

•  Occurs in one to two per thousand

•  Onset usually two to three days postpartum

•  This disorder has a 5 percent suicide and 4 percent infanticide rate

Symptoms

•  Visual or auditory hallucinations

•  Delusional thinking (for example, about infant's death, denial of birth, or need to kill baby)

•  Delirium and/or mania

Risk factors

•  Personal or family history of psychosis, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia

•  Previous postpartum psychotic or bipolar episode

Treatment :

•  Immediate hospitalization. Psychotherapy and psychiatrist for medication. Antidepressants and attending a support group for PPD MOMS. If the mom is bi-polar the treatment is mood stabilizers and no anti depressants as they can trigger an SSRI syndrome.

 

Postpartum Psychiatric Illness Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

•  There is no available data regarding the prevalence or onset

Symptoms

•  Recurrent nightmares

•  Extreme anxiety

•  Reliving past traumatic events (for example, sexual, physical, emotional, and childbirth)

 

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Kristin Brooks Hope Center, and its programs:

National Hopeline Network
IMAlive crisis chat
Pick Up The Phone Tour
Alive! Mental Health Fair
and others

are funded solely by individual donors

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