How To Deal With Post Partum Rage
You are not alone and you don’t have to beat yourself up for it. We all go through baby blues for about the first two weeks after childbirth. It’s relatively common and normal. Your body has gone through so much stress and pain followed by experiencing the real picture of motherhood. Let’s admit it, the only pretty part of this picture is the baby. The sleepless nights, fatigue and exhaustion pretty much make the postpartum emotional landscape turn ugly.
UNDERSTANDING POST PARTUM RAGE
We all are familiar with the term PPD or Post-partum depression. It is an extension of the so called ‘baby-blues’ experienced by every mother with raging hormones, constant breast-feeding leading to sore breasts, weight gain, hair loss and mood swings. Postpartum rage is one of the symptoms of Postpartum depression.
But that is not PPD.
WHAT IS POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION?
To be able to get proper help and support let us first understand what PPD is.
Here is a list of symptoms you need to check:
- DURATION: It is different than baby blues. If you feel the blues for longer than two weeks then it is a red flag for you.
- MOOD: Anger, anxiety, guilt and loss of interest.
- PHYSICAL: Weight gain/loss, lethargy, loss of appetite.
- EMOTIONAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL: Fear, lack of concentration, sadness, feeling of loss.
- BEHAVIOURAL: Constant crying, irritability or restlessness.
Although there is a wider range of symptoms, here you will find only the alarming signs that you need to identify if you have a similar condition.
As you can see clearly, anger is one of the signs and you need to understand why you should look out for this symptom particularly.
So what happens with us mothers is that when we feel a negative emotion after childbirth, we try to supress it and even worse hide it. As we have discussed a variety of reasons for a new mom to feel guilt, shame and anger, supressing any of these feelings will lead to post-partum depression.
POST-PARTUM RAGE SYMPTOMS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
- Have you ‘suddenly’ started getting angry over small issues which were previously not even issues for you?
- Are there sudden outbursts on situations that are not even related to your motherhood?
- Even if you have valid reasons to get angry, do you ‘explode’ in manners which you never did before?
- Have you started hating your husband, family members or house help unnecessarily, despite their support?
- Is your behaviour getting worse?
Delving into reasons for this rage, there are a lot of situational and emotional reasons like feeling helpless with so much added responsibility, being judged by in laws or friends for parenting or not having a strong support symptom.
HOW CAN THIS RAGE LEAD TO A SERIOUS PPD?
When women try to supress their anger, it comes back in the form of depression eventually. Watch out for the signs and seek help or start self-care.
SOME SELF CARE STRATEGIES
- Identify your triggers.
- Stop neglecting your own needs.
- Talk to a friend or relative who understands you.
- Learn to calm down using breathing exercises.
- Try Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is very effective in making a person self-aware and helps in identifying emotions and controlling them.
If you don’t want to seek professional help, start with downloading a few apps for CBT. Here is a list of recommended apps:
- CBT through diary
Finally if you feel that any of these self help tools are not working, consider talking to a therapist.
Medicines and counselling do not hurt. They help in FIXING the chemical imbalance and improve the overall quality of your life and relationships.
Whatever you choose, remember this is just a phase and it will pass in a few months when your little sunshine will settle down with her/his routine. Maybe you will even laugh over those silly bouts of anger in a few months.
Consider the fact that you should not let your near and dear ones suffer because of this or God forbid leave some scars forever. Rather choose to seek help so that you can enjoy these special days of your life with your little bundle of joy.
What do you think?
Ismat Sameer is a proud mom to Samaira and Inaayah. She is also an early childhood educator and has a rich experience of 18 years. She is the Director of a chain of kindergarten schools in her city. She is a certified Emotional Intelligence trainer from Yale University. She has also studied cognitive behavioural therapy and has been blogging about parenting through her website.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.