Did you know that 1 in 7 women will experience a Maternal Mental Health Complication, such as Postpartum Depression? So, if you know 7 women, then chances are you know a mom who has experienced or is experiencing a Perinatal Mood/Anxiety Disorder. And the consequences of not treating things like depression and anxiety can be detrimental on mothers, babies, and families.
Do you think you would know if a mom you know is depressed? It may not be so simple. She may look like the woman pictured above, crying and in obvious despair. Or she may look something like this...
A mom with depression may not look sad. She may be quite skilled at keeping her sadness hidden. And, often, the sadness will come in waves, or may only be there about 50% of the time.
Depression may not come out as sadness at all. Sometimes a depressed mom will look something like this...
Just kinda... Meh. Emotionless. Numb. Blah.
Or even this...
Yep, it's fairly common for depression to come out as anger, or even full-blown rage. She might seem like she's always mad at the world.
She may not have the motivation or energy to care for her children. But, more often, she will be able to meet her baby's needs above and beyond, but not have the motivation or energy for much else.
So, how might you know that a mom you know is struggling with depression? ASK HER. Then ask her again in a few days. Then again every few weeks or every few months. And not just, "Are you depressed?" Ask her how her mood has been. Ask her how she's sleeping. Ask her if she's enjoying motherhood. Ask her if she worries a lot, cries more than once or twice a week, or feels sad more than 50% of the time. Ask her if she feels lonely. Ask her if she feels more angry than usual. Ask her if she feels nothing at all. Tell her it's ok to be real with you and admit it if everything is not ok. Ask her.