Possible post partum depression

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I am a very upbeat, positive person. I had a little boy in the end of January. Lately, I have begun yelling at other managers at work, constantly feel like no one cares about anything and have not been very nice to my husband. I’m sure there are many factors contributing to my feelings, but I have been very sad. I hide it, but I cannot continue to lash out at my co-workers and be quiet towards my husband. The only time I smile and laugh is when I’m with the baby. I work overnights, 12 hour shifts and work about 46-52 hours a week. My mother watches my son so I can sleep in the morning. I just would like to know if this could be post partum or is it is just that I am overstressed at my job and taking it out on others? I have very bad headaches, that I never really had this often and I had a cyst rupture on my ovary two weeks ago that landed me in the Emergency room. I also have be put on Ortho Tri-Cyclen for my cysts. I cried uncontrollably tonight because my husband wanted to spend time with his brother and friends on my first night off. This is just not like me. Thanks for the consideration.

A. You have had a lot going on within the past year. Your mood definitely seems to have changed since the baby. Since the baby, you are depressed, irritable and moody and according to your e-mail, prior to his birth, you were very upbeat and positive. It is certainly possible that you are experiencing some post partum depression. A majority of women experience “post partum blues” right after giving birth but for many, this subsides within a few weeks or months. The fact that you are still experiencing depression and it has been almost a year is of concern. You should consider seeing a therapist or your PCP about some of your depression symptoms. Counseling or a support group may really help you. Some women benefit from antidepressant medications. You should also see a doctor about your headaches. The headaches should be examined as well by your doctor. In summation, my advice is to seek counseling from a mental health professional about your unstable mood, see your PCP (or psychiatrist) about the possibility of medication and certainly have the headaches examined. I hope this helps.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Nov 2006

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2006). Possible post partum depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/11/27/possible-post-partum-depression/