Is my depression post pardum, or just depression?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I had a question about the difference between post pardum depression, and depression? In my personal situation, I can’t tell if my intense depression, is from having my second child 8 months ago, or losing my Grandmother the woman who has cared for me my entire life, 3 weeks after my baby was born. I feel more depressed now then I’ve ever felt before, and I’ve battled depression all my life. If my symptoms were later diagnosed as post pardum depression, can the depression continue to get worse without seeking proffesional help? Can two different depressions intermingle, and cause an even more serious depression? Or could my depression just be a normal process of grieving? There are all sorts of other conflicts in my life that contribute to my intense sadness, like having no support, no family, and no friends. I don’t feel any intense or horrible feelings towards my babies, but I have distance myself from them. If you could let me know what you think I would appreciate it. I hope the information is enough to give you an idea of my problem.

A. I can’t say for sure. We would need to sit down in therapy to begin the probing which is necessary to identify a problem. My best guess, the one that is most probable but not necessarily correct is that you are grieving the loss of your grandmother which meant the loss of family support.

From what I have read, she was your support in life. She gave you the feeling that you give to your children. They turn to “mommy”, when frightened, unsure, worried, just as you turned to your grandmother.

Could your depression be because you have, no friends, no family or no support? Of course it could and very likely is a major contributing factor. Is it likely to be simple post partum depression? No, that is far too simplistic an answer for someone with real problems in her life.

You love your children and they love you. Always remember that. Focus on that love. Counseling would be ”sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo” beneficial to you. You’ll find that you are not alone and that someone, your therapist, really does care about you. If you don’t feel that from your therapist, try a new one. Please, let me know how you are doing.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Dec 2005

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2006). Is my depression post pardum, or just depression?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2005/12/22/is-my-depression-post-pardum-or-just-depression/