Postpartum Depression and Anxiety Counseling

Are you Questioning if What you are Feeling is “Normal”?

The transition to motherhood is a big deal for all new mothers. But maybe you are having a particularly tough time. Possibly the “baby blues” just kept on going long past two weeks. Or maybe the first couple of weeks went super well: you had lots of help and the baby let you sleep some and everything seemed to be off to a smooth start. But now there seems to be way too many long, sad days.

You don’t feel at all like having a baby is what you thought it would be like.  It’s more than just being tired, a little nervous or sad.  You feel totally flooded with anxiety and/or depression.  You feel disconnected from youself, your baby and your partner.  You’re really trying hard to keep it together, but everywhere you look, there are things that remind you just how much you believe you are messing up.  As though you’re not good enough.  Laundry piles up, the sink is filled with dishes and you can’t even remember the last time you actually took a simple shower that you actually enjoyed and relaxed a little.

The truth is that being overwhelmed and having self-doubts as a new mom is common, but how do you know if you are experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety?  Do you find yourself feeling:

  • Persistently sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Fatigued, miserable, angry, irritable and weepy
  • Hopelessness, pessimistic
  • Guilty, worthless, or helpless
  • Loss of interest in being with baby, family, friends or your partner
  • Racing thoughts that don’t seem to be able to stop
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Struggling to stay asleep

Postpartum Symptoms Can Sneak Up on You

Perhaps you’re looking longingly backward at the person you used to be: that person who went to an office, had time to go to the gym and wore “regular,” clean clothes every day.

And you feel so guilty even thinking this way.  You love your baby.  You love being a mom.  But, truth be told, motherhood is just way harder than you thought it was going to be.

Possibly you are looking at your friends who have babies and wondering how they have it all figured out.  You feel a little cheated out of this sort of “perfect” motherhood experience.  It takes so much more effort to leave the house these days.  Maybe some days you don’t bother.  It’s easier to just stay home and stay on top of the laundry.

Maybe you’ve been quietly trying to silence a voice inside that is questioning if this is how it is supposed to be.  And you feel like you can’t tell anybody, because you already told them everything was great.

Plus, you don’t want to even think that something like postpartum depression could be happening to you.  You searched the internet already.  You’ve never felt like this before, but you’re not sure.  Truth be told, sometimes your thoughts get a little bit dark.  You’ve been hoping this would just go away on its own. But now you’re starting to wonder if this is a permanent change in you.  And that’s a really scary thing to think about.

Postpartum Anxiety and Depression Are Common

It is possible to be a loving mother and still experience a sense of sadness and loss following the birth of your baby.  The statistics tell the story more fully.  According to the March of Dimes, it is estimated that about 80 percent of women experience the “baby blues” within the first couple of weeks following childbirth.  About one in seven women experience ongoing postpartum depression, which can go last weeks or months.  Another 10 percent of women develop postpartum anxiety, according to experts at Postpartum Support International.

Despite how common mood issues are known to be in the postpartum, many women do not receive treatment.  Social stigma regarding mental health continues.  Mothers also feel pressure to resume “normal” life quickly after childbirth.  They tend to present themselves in the best light possible when having contact with health care providers like the pediatrician and their gynecologist out of shame or fear.  In the meantime, new moms suffer unnecessarily.

Perinatal Support Can Make All the Difference

It can be hard to accept help, especially right now when you are feeling so responsible for your dependent infant.  Unfortunately, continuing to pedal along in your current state will only get you and your baby so far.  Both of you will do better in the long run if you take a chance and let someone see what’s really going on with you.  It’s possible that a thorough assessment will wind up setting your mind at rest and that all you need is a little support.  If the assessment reveals that you have anxiety or depression, the good news is that help is available.  There is a way out of this stuck place you are in.  You can recover and feel better.

Our work together will certainly be tailored to your individual needs and symptoms.  We will explore in depth how you are feeling about yourself overall and as a mother.  We will talk about all those skills and abilities that you developed before the baby arrived and how you can incorporate them into your new life.  We will explore your expectations for yourself and motherhood.  Along the way we may discuss cultural norms that make you feel pressured to be a happy, perfect mother all the time.  We may need to experiment with taking a step back from any perfectionism that this encourages.  We may also try tweaking some of your automatic thoughts to see if this improves your daily life.

There can be incredible relief in simply having a private place where you can go, have a moment of rest, and talk freely about your struggles.  By allowing time for yourself and facing how you really feel, you may soon find that you feel less overwhelmed and tearful.  I can hold your distress while you heal.

Maybe You Still Have Some Concerns?

I Don’t Want to Take Medication.

Medication is certainly a possibility, and is absolutely necessary in some circumstances. Safety for you and your baby is a very important consideration. Medication is not always required, though. This is a decision that we can discuss together when we have a better grasp upon your particular situation.

I’m Worried That People Will Think I’m Crazy If They Know I See a Therapist.

You don’t have to be “crazy” to benefit from some support. Getting a little help when you need it can take you much further than you can go on your own.  Postpartum support can help you feel like you are a better mother to your baby.

I Don’t Have Time.

Without a doubt, there is always a lot to do with a new baby in the house.  The chores and laundry pile up fast.  When you are struggling with postpartum symptoms, time is lost every day to just plain not feeling good.  You will become more efficient with all your daily tasks if you take care for yourself first.

Get Back to Being “You”

If you are thinking that you could possibly benefit from postpartum support, the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby is reach out.  There is Help and Hope and I can show you how to get back to feeling more like yourself. We can work together on helping you feel better.

Still having doubts if your symptoms of Postpartum are serious enough to seek counseling?  Call now and we can talk about what you are going through to see if counseling can help you.


Contact Today

249 East Main Street Suite #3
East Setauket, NY 11733
(631) 406-3139

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