The first few months after having a baby were some of the most emotionally intense I've ever experienced. From the terrible nightmares to the unrelenting worry to the tightness in my chest, the pain was never ending. Little did I know I was showing early signs of postpartum anxiety, or PPA. It can de difficult to discern when everyday, common worries cross over into the realm of something more serious, especially when you've just been through a life-changing experience like becoming a mother. But if you're in tune with what is normal for you, it may be easier to pick up on the signs that something is off, even if they're subtle at first.
As psychologist Jonathan Abramowitz told Parents magazine, postpartum anxiety is a hidden disorder, because it is often unrecognized and undiagnosed, meaning symptoms are often written off as a response to the new role as mother, and don't receive proper treatment. However, the condition has received more research and attention recently, making health care professionals more vigilant in pinpointing signs of PPA in their patients. According to Psychology Today, moms with PPA experience intense anxiety and worried feelings starting immediately after the birth as well as gradually over the first year of their baby's life, which makes recognizing these 12 early signs the key to getting an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.