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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is it possible to have postnatal depression 11 months after birth?

    I am increasingly feeling so anxious and like my emotions are out of daughter is one next month, and for the first six months, I was fine, positive, happy, coping. Now, I feel like it is a struggle to get up in the morning. I lose my temper with my husband at the slightest provocation, and I find myself feeling an intense dread almost constantly. I swing between feeling great, to being on the verge of tears. I feel so guilty that I feel this way, especially since my daughter is such a good baby, I feel like I should be more grateful and happier, but I cannot drag myself out of this rut.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Emma Thompson


    Emma has over 10 years experience working with women, children, young people and their families in a variety of roles. This includes significant experience working … View Profile

    It sounds like you are really struggling at the moment, and you're not alone - some studies suggest that up to 40% of women experience psychological distress after the birth of a baby. It is definitely possible to develop postnatal depression 11 months after the birth of your baby, the first year of parenting, especially with your first child is a massive transition and adjustment period for all parents and it is also a time when having lots of positive supports are really important. It would definitely be worth talking to your GP about how you are feeling and possibly exploring the idea of talking to a professional about things. The beyond blue website : has a section beyond babyblues which has resources and a symptom checklist which you may find helpful.
    Good luck and remember you are not alone.

  • 1


    Bruce Jenkins

    Psychologist, Psychotherapist

    ABOUT BRUCE Registered psychologist since 1991 Broadly Humanistic approach with special interest in Person Centred therapy Over sixteen years experience as a supervisor Taught Counselling … View Profile

    One important thing is to be gentle with yourself and try not to let that inner self-critic get too loud.  But that is sometimes easier said than done, isn't it?  A new baby is SUCH a time of change and upheaval…  And it is not at all unusual to hit some sort of emotional turbulence after the initial stage seems to have passed.  Certainly checking out ‘beyond baby blues’ is worthwhile and if you are concerned then talking to a sympathetic GP (in the first instance) or a trained counsellor/psychologist can be helpful. Support is available. I hope you find what you need.

  • 1


    Dr Wendy Roncolato

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Cloudberry Clinic is a clinical psychology practice specialising in women's mental health concerns. We offer a safe space to reflect honestly and explore emotions with … View Profile

    I imagine exhaustion has a role to play here too. I would encourage you to make that first step to getting some support and highly recommend the beyond blue website for general information as suggested by Emma and Bruce.

    Even though the term postnatal depression suggests that depressive symptoms are experienced, anxiety symptoms are often just as prevalent. The guilt and self-criticism that you mention are also common.

    That fact that you have a lot of insight into what you are thinking and feeling makes me think you would benefit greatly from a cognitive behavioural therapy program. 

  • Dr Pek Ang


    Specialist Psychiatrist - management of Depression and Anxiety Disorders, PTSD, Bipolar, ADHD, Autism, Mood and Anger problems and Personality Disorders. Management of Psychological problems associated … View Profile

    The feeling of anxiety can be part of a depression or of itself.

    Not sure if your husband feels the same way?  Sometimes men also feel the same anxiety and depression as their partners but may handle it differently.

    It would be good to see your GP again to review where things are up to.  Apart from talking to a Psychologist or Counsellor it may be helpful to review if there is a family history of anxiety or depression.

    Getting a blood test to check hormones among other things may be helpful.  Social support, exercise and lifestyle measures [especially sleep] and time for self pursuits and connecting with your husband and friends are also important.

    Most of all there is help for this.  So please reach out to a caring health professional like your GP to get started.

    It is good to keep a mood chart.  I suggest my patients do this twice a day [breakfast and dinner time].  You can download one from the Black Dog Institute website.  There are 2 there.  One for Unipolar Depression which is only on a positive scale.  The other is a Bipolar Depression scale which has a negative, middle and a high range.  Often if the mood fluctuates quickly and often, it doesn't hurt to use the Bipolar one just to see the fluctuations.  It doesn't mean you have BIpolar.  If it really swings more than you thought than show it to your GP.

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