We need to discuss postpartum rage and why it happens

There is growing awareness of postpartum depression and anxiety. But what about postpartum rage?
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There is growing awareness of postpartum depression and anxiety. But what about postpartum rage?

We are often being told to look for symptoms of PND including, sadness that lasts beyond the first two weeks, difficulty sleeping, intrusive thoughts, excessive crying and trouble bonding with baby, but there is still one symptom that receives very little attention…

Postpartum rage is that overwhelming feeling of anger. Anger that is so intense it feels like it shouldn’t even be called just “anger.” The kind that sneaks up on you and before you know it, you are exploding.

Postpartum rage can be quite unsettling for women struggling with it. One thing that can be helpful is to understand a bit about where the anger is coming from.

Unhappy mum

It is actually a rather common symptom of postpartum depression and anxiety, but one that very few women talk about. It seems safer to talk about the feelings of sadness than the acts of anger.

“It’s important to reach out for help. You don’t need to suffer through this alone. Your OB, midwife, primary care physician or therapist would all be great places to start exploring options”, says therapist Carolyn Wagner.

“It can also be helpful to begin tracking your episodes of postpartum rage. Where were you? What was happening? Who were you with? What time of day? How tired were you?

“How were you feeling? If you can begin to notice a pattern or situations that tend to bring out the rage, it can help to clue you in on what the underlying issues are that are being expressed in your anger.”

Carolyn says, “postpartum rage affects many, many, many new mums. You are not the only one out there losing her you-know-what on a regular basis. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean that it’s healthy or something you just have to deal with. There are lots of treatment options if you’re able to take that first step and let someone know you’re struggling. Reaching out is scary, but it’s worth it.”

Did you suffer with postpartum rage? How did you manage?

1 in 4 mums suffer from postnatal depression or anxiety – higher than previously thought

Mums are less likely to suffer from postnatal depression if their partner takes paternity leave

If you are struggling please chat to your doctor or call Lifeline 13 11 14.

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