I’ve been through this before. Not exactly this, but a much worse version of postpartum depression (PPD) after my second child. Because I have been through it, I started noticing symptoms a few months ago and did my best to cope: meditation, rest, reading, etc. However, I am not able to cope as well as I had hoped I would.
So, when I opened up to a good friend she made a few recommendations: first, see a doctor and then, write anything and everything I was feeling. As I was writing, I started thinking about my previous post, 5 Things Every Pregnant College Student Should Know, and thought to myself, “I can’t be the only one dealing with this.” That’s why I am writing today. For you, the college student who is suffering from PPD or is nearing the end of your pregnancy with worries that you might experience PPD.
Not everyone experiences all the criteria for PPD in dramatic ways. In fact, I often tell myself that I must be fine because I smile and act the part of the happy student most days on campus. But it’s just that — a part I am playing and I am tired of pretending to be OK when I’m not. So, here are some (but not all) of the major symptoms: guilt, disconnection from your baby (and others, possibly), anger, emptiness, loneliness, deep sadness, fatigue, excessive sleep or inability to sleep, lack of appetite or a constant need to eat, and an overwhelming feeling that you cannot keep going. In more serious instances, you may also worry about death or consider suicide.
As you can see, some of these symptoms seem “normal”for the postpartum period, but having several can be a red flag, especially the last two. Regardless, if you are feeling any combination of these symptoms and have had a baby, even in the last year, call your doctor. Do not hesitate to be evaluated for PPD and receive the care you need and deserve. I know I was hesitant to see a doctor, and still am, but I have to do it. I need to get better for my children, my husband, and myself. I don’t want to feel this way, and if you are also suffering from PPD, I know that you want to feel better too.