Becoming a mom is an incredible, challenging time in a woman's life. But for up to 16 percent of us, it's accompanied by a sadness that simply won't go away. What to do when the dark cloud turns out to be more than just the baby blues? NYC psychologist Dr. Karen Binder-Brynes offered us her best tips on how to tell if you're suffering from postpartum depression and what can be done to overcome it. In Dr. Binder-Brynes's own words:
"The first step is in recognizing that [you're suffering from the] more severe condition we call postpartum depression, and not just having your typical postbirth blues. Most mothers experience some 'letdown' after their baby's birth, but what we are addressing here is the more severe and long-lasting syndrome of postpartum depression. There is still tremendous shame around this condition and often women loathe to admit these dark emotions to their husbands, relatives, friends, and even their doctors."
So how does one go about identifying the symptoms of postpartum depression? Here are five behaviors (and suggestions for help) that should help you make the assessment.