When the average person thinks of depression, they probably picture someone who is simply very sad. In reality, depression can bring a whole range of emotions besides (and sometimes not even including) sadness. A person experiencing a depressive episode may feel angry, tense, irritable, or grouchy. Feeling agitated and restless is also possible. Many people experience a lack of emotion, sometimes described as feeling absent, hollow, empty, or numb.
A person experiencing depression isn't necessarily weepy, either. While experiencing an episode of depression (several years prior to my pregnancy) that lasted over a year, I didn’t shed a single tear. It wasn't until the episode had resolved that I was really able to cry again and express myself in that way.
It is important that mothers who are not feeling “sad” per se, but are otherwise emotionally or mentally unwell, seek effective help. Postpartum mood disorders are under-reported and under-treated, and I believe that one of the many reasons is because most people don’t realize that depression is not the same as feeling sad and do not identify as “depressed”.
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