It’s natural to feel emotional suffering and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or postpartum depression (PPD) after experiencing pregnancy loss – whether it’s miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of your newborn baby. These feelings can appear as early as three months after the loss of your baby and last up to one year. However, there are effective coping mechanisms that can help you heal, even though it takes time. Here are some tips on how to deal with post-miscarriage trauma or postpartum depression (PPD) and start moving on with your life.
What is Postpartum Depression?
The type of depression that occurs after pregnancy has a specific name: postpartum depression (PPD).
Symptoms of postpartum depression include:
- feeling anxious,
- irritable, or sad
- sleeping too much or too little
- not eating enough or having cravings for certain foods
- losing interest in your baby.
- feeling overwhelmed by daily tasks
Most women who experience postpartum depression are usually ‘the first-time moms’, but it can happen again if you’ve experienced postpartum depression before.
Women who experience complications with their pregnancy (such as stillbirth) are at an increased risk of experiencing postpartum depression as well. Treatment generally includes psychotherapy, antidepressants, or both. If you are also facing this issue, talk to your doctor about what might be best suited to treat your symptoms.
How To Identify The Symptoms Of PPD Early
If you’ve recently suffered a miscarriage, it’s important to look out for postpartum depression. If you ignore it, postpartum depression may cause many other mental health problems and more serious conditions such as postpartum psychosis and suicidal thoughts. Learn about the signs of PPD and how to get help if you think your symptoms are getting worse.
According to The National Center for PTSD, some of these common symptoms include:
- flashbacks to traumatic events
- nightmares or frightening thoughts
- feeling emotionally numb
- feeling angry or irritable
- trouble sleeping or concentrating
- hypervigilance (feeling on edge or easily startled)
- avoiding people, places, or activities that remind one of the traumatic incidents.
If you’re suffering from any of these symptoms, it might be time to get help. Treatment for PPD involves psychotherapy and medications tailored to your needs and specific situation. If you have postpartum depression and/or anxiety, seek help and care.
How To Deal With Postpartum Depression
Treatment Options For PPD
PPD has a number of treatment options available, including:
- prescription drugs
It’s important to start with therapy – which can be either in an individual or group setting (to learn how to cope with your condition). After you begin to feel better or are at least at a place where you can function normally in your day-to-day life, it’s time to think about medication. If your therapist doesn’t suggest something right away, ask if there’s anything he or she thinks might help you feel less depressed/anxious. If they still don’t offer any suggestions, reach out to other women who have experienced loss. They may have already tried various medications and feel comfortable recommending one for you. But always consult your doctor before starting any medication.
Postpartum Anxiety vs Depression
What’s The Difference?
Post-child birth, experiencing baby blues is common. However, in certain situations, it may get alarming and call for serious medical attention.
Pregnancy loss and postpartum depression are real issues that do not discriminate based on gender or social status. They affect anyone, so know that you aren’t alone if you are struggling with mental illness related to pregnancy loss.
Startling Facts About Postpartum Depression
Having a happy and healthy pregnancy does not guarantee a smooth postpartum period. Up to 20% of women experience symptoms of depression following childbirth – that is roughly 1 out of every 5 new mothers! Hard to believe but postpartum depression can be so serious that new moms experiencing it may experience difficulty bonding with their baby, and may even have violent thoughts. These feelings aren’t easy, but they are very real and treatable. Learning more about postpartum depression can help you decide what treatment options are best for you.
Finding Support And Help
People who themselves might have experienced pregnancy loss may try to help you in their own way, but very often they don’t know how to help you with your unique situation. It’s important to find someone who understands what you are going through and can provide you with support. This person doesn’t have to be a stranger – it could be a friend or family member – and there are many ways to get connected. So what’s the first step in getting support and help?
Well, first off, speak up! Let others know about your experience and that you need help. Don’t suffer alone. There is hope out there. Look for it and reach out for assistance when needed.
The loss of a pregnancy can be a traumatic event for some women, leading to what is known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you’re in the same boat, chances are you may as well suffer from PTSD symptoms. However, the good news is that these feelings are typically temporary and can be managed over time. Make sure to find ways to express your emotions through an outlet such as journaling or meditation.
If you or someone you know and care for has experienced miscarriage, these books may help them to learn how to deal with Postpartum Depression.
- The Postpartum Depression Workbook: Strategies to Overcome Negative Thoughts, Calm Stress, and Improve Your Mood by Abigail Burd LCSW PMH-C
- This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression by Karen R. Kleiman (Author), Valerie Davis Raskin MD
- Complex PTSD Workbook: A Mind-Body Approach To Regaining Emotional Control And Becoming Whole by Arielle Schwartz
- Retrain Your Brain: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in 7 Weeks: A Workbook for Managing Depression by Seth J. Gillihan