You have been blessed by this little bundle of joy...but something's not feeling quite right. It does not feel like joy at all! You're feeling confused and worried by these emotions that were so unexpected.
You are not alone. At least 10-20% of mothers suffer from Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders (PMAD). PMAD is more serious than the “baby blues”, which come earlier, are more mild, and pass quickly.
Women suffering from PMAD may experience one or a combination of symptoms, each ranging from mild to severe. Examples are:
- Exhaustion, insomnia
- Anxiety, tension, panic
- Hopelessness, tearfulness
- Poor concentration, memory loss
- Rapid mood swings
- Obsessions, frightening recurring thoughts
- Lack of enthusiasm
- Self doubt, low self-esteem
- Eating disturbances
- Feeling distance/removed from or lack of love for baby and/or partner
- Thoughts of harming self and/or baby
If you're worried that these symptoms sound just like your experience, the most important thing to know right now, is that PMAD is highly treatable and you can get better. You CAN get to the place of being the mom you want to be and the mom your baby needs.