A new mother holds her head with one hand and her baby with the other

How long does postpartum depression last? Understanding PPD

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a relatively common issue for parents following the birth of a child.

Depressive symptoms during the postpartum period interfere with daily life. They cause problems during a happy but also stressful time, as your family adjusts to its new addition. As a parent, you might struggle with insomnia and mood swings, find it hard to bond with your baby, and more.

Let’s take a closer look at the specifics of this mental health concern. We’ll cover common topics, from how long it tends to last, symptoms and treatment options.

Common symptoms of postpartum depression

Some symptoms regularly associated with postpartum depression include:

  • Feelings of sadness and anxiety
  • Low mood and energy
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in appetite
  • Lack of satisfaction in activities you once enjoyed
  • Difficulty caring for and connecting with your baby
  • Difficulty caring for yourself

If you experience common symptoms of postpartum depression, it’s important to seek treatment from a mental health professional.

Suicidal thoughts can be a symptom of postpartum depression. If you’re struggling with  thoughts of suicide, help is available right now. Contact 911 and/or the National Canadian Helpline at 1-800-273-8255 or the National Crisis textline via SMS at: 686868.

Is postpartum depression the same as baby blues?

Although both can involve feelings of sadness, baby blues is not the same as postpartum depression. MedicalNewsToday explains baby blues affects most mothers and tends to last for only a matter of days. It isn’t as serious or long-lasting as postpartum depression.

Men and postpartum depression

It’s entirely possible for men to experience postpartum depression. Treatment is largely the same for men and women. Medication, counselling, and lifestyle changes can all help to improve your mental and overall health.

Postpartum depression: How long does it last?

Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health explains that postpartum depression can last for weeks or months. At times, parents experience postpartum depression for years— requiring long-term, ongoing treatment in some situations.

Symptoms can develop during pregnancy or as long as a year after birth, the Mayo Clinic says.

Does postpartum depression ever go away?

How long does it take to fully recover from postpartum depression? This condition can last for years or become chronic, especially without treatment. With treatment, postpartum depression can resolve in a relatively short time frame — in a matter of weeks or months. 

You can manage postpartum depression with the support of a qualified counsellor. Support groups, volunteer networks (such as Postpartum Support International), and crisis hotlines can all also provide valuable guidance and help.

Finding treatment for postpartum depression

You can conveniently access support for your postpartum depression with online counselling. With a new child at home, working with a counsellor online can be much more practical than visiting an office.
Wellin5’s online counsellors are equipped to help you deal with any symptoms of depression, giving you the support you need to feel better.