Postpartum depression refers to depression that happens after childbirth. It is a common disorder after pregnancy, affecting 1 in 9 new parents source.
It’s common for people to experience “baby blues,” or feelings of sadness or emptiness after childbirth. For many people, these symptoms go away in a couple of days.
But if you feel sad, hopeless, or empty for longer than 2 weeks post-childbirth, you may have postpartum depression.
Symptoms of postpartum depression can range from mild to severe and can include trusted source:
- feeling restless or moody
- feeling sad, hopeless, or overwhelmed
- having thoughts of hurting the baby or yourself
- not having an interest in the baby, feeling disconnected, or as if your baby is someone else’s
- having no energy or motivation
- eating too little or too much
- sleeping too little or too much
- having trouble focusing
- having memory problems
- feeling worthless, guilty, or like a bad parent
- withdrawing from activities you once enjoyed
- withdrawing from friends and family
- having headaches, aches, or stomach issues that don’t go away
- feeling empty, unconnected, or as though you might not love or care for the baby
Postpartum depression is thought to be triggered by trusted source the dramatic hormonal changes that take place after pregnancy.
Bipolar depression occurs in certain types of bipolar disorder when a person experiences a depressive episode.
Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes distinct changes in mood, energy, concentration, and the ability to carry out your day-to-day tasks.
There are three types of bipolar disorder, all of which include periods known as manic episodes, where you feel extremely “up,” elated, or energized, and depressive episodes where you feel “down,” sad, or hopeless.
If you have bipolar disorder, it can be hard to recognize the harmful effects of each “mood episode.”
People having a depressive episode
- feel very sad, hopeless, or empty
- feel slowed down or restless
- have trouble falling asleep, wake up too early, or sleep too much
- have an increased appetite and weight gain
- talk very slowly, forget things, or feel like they have nothing to say
- have trouble concentrating or making decisions
- feel unable to do basic tasks
- have little interest in activities
- have a decreased or absent sex drive
- have thoughts of death or suicide
Symptoms during a depressive episode last every day for most of the day and can last for several days or weeks.
If bipolar disorder is treated, many will experience fewer and less severe symptoms of depression, if they experience depressive episodes