Many new moms can have an expectation that they will feel nothing but happiness after they give birth. So when they experience postpartum rage, it can be confusing, frustrating, and even scary.
In this blog post, we will discuss what postpartum rage is, the symptoms to look out for, and how to deal with postpartum rage after birth effectively.
What is postpartum rage, and what are the symptoms?
Most people have heard of postpartum depression and anxiety. Still, postpartum rage is a lesser-known yet equally debilitating condition that can occur after childbirth. Postpartum rage is characterized by feelings of anger, irritability, and even aggression. These outbursts can be directed at loved ones, strangers, inanimate objects, or even oneself.
While postpartum depression can sometimes be accompanied by rage, postpartum rage is a distinct condition that can occur in the first few weeks post-birth. And the effects can last anywhere from a few days to several months.
Postpartum rage is often triggered by seemingly innocuous things like a crying baby, a messy house, or even someone asking how you are doing. In the moment, you can feel completely out of your control, and you may find yourself saying or doing things that you would never dream of under normal circumstances.
The symptoms of postpartum rage can vary but may include:
- Having difficulty bonding with your baby
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling isolated and alone
- Feeling irritable or short-tempered all the time
- Having outbursts of anger
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Feeling like you’re “losing it”
- Feeling anxious or on edge
- Feeling like you’re about to explode
- Having difficulty controlling your emotions
- Snapping at people for no reason
- Feeling like you’re a bad mother
What are some of the causes of postpartum rage?
In many cases, the causes are similar to the causes of postpartum depression. However, it is unclear why some women experience rage specifically instead of depression or anxiety.
Some experts believe that postpartum rage is caused by a combination of hormonal changes, lack of sleep, and the stress of caring for a new baby.
It is also thought that it may be caused by unresolved anger from previous experiences in life. This can include things like childhood trauma, abuse, or even just feeling like you’ve been mistreated in the past. For some women, the experience may be a way of finally dealing with all the pent-up anger they’ve been holding inside for years.
Some causes that may lead to the development of postpartum rage include:
- Hormonal changes: After childbirth, there is a sudden drop in the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which can lead to mood swings and irritability.
- Traumatic delivery: If you have a traumatic delivery experience, it can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can in turn trigger postpartum rage.
- Sleep deprivation: It’s no secret that new parents are often sleep-deprived, which can affect your mental health.
- Stress: Between the lack of sleep, the demands of caring for a baby, and adjusting to life with a new family member, it’s no wonder that many new parents feel stressed out.
- Anxiety: Many new mothers experience anxiety about their ability to care for their baby. This can be exacerbated by postpartum depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) if you have a history of mental health conditions.
- History of mental health conditions: If you have a history of mental health conditions, you may be more likely to experience postpartum rage.
How can postpartum rage be managed effectively?
If you’re experiencing postpartum rage, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. They can help you understand what you’re going through and develop a treatment plan to address your specific needs.
In some cases, it may be a symptom of postpartum depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If this is the case, you will likely need to receive treatment for these underlying conditions to manage your postpartum rage effectively.
Here are some ways you can begin to manage postpartum rage effectively:
- Talk to your doctor: If you’re experiencing symptoms of rage after birth, talk to your doctor about what you’re going through. They can rule out any medical causes and refer you to a mental health professional if necessary.
- See a mental health professional: A therapist or counselor can help you understand and manage your postpartum rage.
- Join a support group: There are many online and in-person support groups for women struggling with postpartum. This can be a great way to connect with other mothers who understand what you’re going through.
- Get enough sleep: Sleep deprivation can worsen symptoms of rage, so it’s important to get as much sleep as possible.
- Exercise: Exercise can help improve your mood and reduce stress.
- Eat a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet can also help improve your mood and reduce stress.
- Make time for yourself: It’s important to find time to do things that make you happy and relax. This can be anything from reading, taking a bath, or going for a walk.
- Talk to your partner: If you’re struggling with symptoms of rage, talk to your partner about what you’re going through. They can be a great source of support.
How can partners and loved ones help support a new mom experiencing postpartum rage?
If you’re the partner or loved one of a new mom experiencing postpartum rage, it’s important to be supportive and understanding. Here are some things you can do to help:
- Listen: One of the best things you can do is simply listen to what she has to say. This can be a great way to show your support and understanding.
- Be patient: It’s important to be patient with your partner as they adjust to life with a new baby.
- Offer help: If she’s struggling to care for her baby or manage the household, offer to help out where you can.
- Give her space: Sometimes, all she may need is some time alone. Respect her wishes if she needs some time to herself.
- Talk to her doctor: If you’re concerned about her symptoms of rage, talk to her doctor. They can provide additional support and resources.
Can postpartum rage lead to other mental health issues down the road?
Postpartum rage is a serious condition that should not be ignored. If left untreated, it can lead to other mental health issues, such as postpartum depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you’re struggling with symptoms of rage after birth, please seek help from a mental health professional.
Makin Wellness is here to help if you need help navigating life after birth. We offer online counseling services that can help you from the comfort of your home and at a time that works for you. Schedule an appointment today!