Is it possible to have postpartum depression when your child is 2 1/2 yrs old?

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23  Answers

4 0

Generally, depression defined as "postpartum" ends a year to a year and a half after having a baby. This is because most of the hormonal adjustments, etc., have been made by that time. If you're starting -- or continuing -- to feel depressed when the baby is 2 1/2, I'd still do the same thing as for postpartum depression:

See your doctor first to rule out physical causes (request a full thyroid workup, have them check your hemoglobin, that sort of thing). If everything's fine physically, then I'd see a psychiatrist for a full workup and a therapist for talk therapy, and find out whether I'd be better served by medication or by talk therapy (or both).

If I'm honest, I've struggled with depression long after the postpartum period, ever since I started staying home with my kids. Everyone thinks I should stay home, but this has been very adverse to my physical and emotional health. But Mom's well-being is the lowest possible priority, where I live. When the kids are a year or two older I will be going back to work; and while work presents its own challenges, it will also help pull me out of this tailspin.

It is completely normal to feel depressed when doing a job that is by definition repetitive, physically and emotionally grueling, disrespected, and uncompensated. (People acting approving that you're staying home with your kids doesn't count as respect; try talking to those same people about your opinions on public policy or any other issue of the day, and see how they respond.) I have stayed home with my kids because my husband is a complete workaholic and I didn't think it would be fair to our children to bring them into the world and have them have nobody. If I'd left it to DH, they would have had nobody. So I've stuck by them even though it's entirely not me to be a full-time stay-at-home mom. Some good things have come out of it, and some not so good.

So please do what it takes to care for Mom. That's not politically correct; you're supposed to care for your child and sacrifice whatever well-being you have to the child. This isn't good for anyone, though. Please follow through and help yourself so you will not only continue to be a good mom, but will also have a good quality of life. No one deserves that more than mothers.Sending you good thoughts and wishing you all the best.

6 13

you are stuck in a rut i reckon i have a 2 n 5 month old boy , kids are alot of work if you make it that way , everything depends on perspective, i mean its how you choose to look at something that defines what it is to you , try to look at things from a less serious angle , and look at it like this your 2 year old will only be 2 once , you wanna be able to look back at all the fun you had with that age cause once they grow up its gone , love laugh live , smile the worlds yours , you have what people all over the earth are begging for a child to love and love you back

4 0

Thanks Melody. I am deeply grateful for my children every day, which is why I stayed home with them. That is a good perspective to have. Being honest about society's ingratitude about the work of motherhood, and being honest about my own talents lying in a different direction than full-time parenting, does not mean I love my children less or feel less grateful for them. That's why I'm with them. Both perspectives are valid and true and can exist at the same time. (On a personal note -- kids are a lot of work no matter how positive/negative one's perspective is! But being positive means we value the work rather than devaluing it. Again, that's why I'm here with my kids.)

55 21

Lara hope things are getting a bit better now. Please don't worry about what other people think. you need to do what is best for you and your kids. There are some great childcare options available and i found a wonderful nursery for mine which helped my depression no end. If you can spend some of your time doing something which makes you feel happy; so long as your kids get plenty of your time and attention too; you will be helping them. I've found working part time and being happier has improved my time with my children immensely and a great local nursery has made the decision a lot easier.

0 0

I know this was written long time ago. But I am finding myself in the same situation.... I have bad thoughts that I have never had before. I am angry at my husband and my older kids... I can even enjoy writing or reading anymore... I can't go to thr doctors because I have no time for myself. Its like I have all these prision guards all over me... I don't know what to do.... And this is not my first rodeo, it is the last one... After 4 children the 5th just dragged all this baggage... I love my babies and I will never hurt them but I am not sure I love myself anymore... I pray every night for this to go away... Any thoughts of how to deal with it by myself?

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24 42

I agree with Lara Jones on everything but one thing-you could have had postpartum depression the whole time and were not diagnosed or really noticed the symptoms until much later.

4 31

I can only speak from my experience and in my experience, most definitely! I was first diagnosed with PND when my first child was just over 2 years old. I questioned my GP as I too could not believe PND could still occur that length of time after having a child. My GP told me that I'd had PND all along, however it had not been dealt with so was till an issue. Medication and counselling later I was back to my old self. I also got it with my second child, however because of my previous experience, it was diagnosed when he was 6 weeks old. PND is not a state of mind you can snap yourself out of. Women with seemingly perfect lives with "nothing to complain about" can get it, as can women who are struggling in every aspect of theirs. It does not discriminate. My advice is that if you're even thinking you have it, go and see your doctor, it'll be the best thing you ever did for yourself! You can choose whether to medicate or not but choose what is right for you. Don't listen to those who are willing to judge, they have not walked in your shoes!! Most of all BE KIND TO YOURSELF! Recognise that what you're doing is a damn hard job and by the sounds of it you're doing a cracking job at it despite a workaholic hubby and your desire to work yourself. By the way, I totally get the working thing. I stayed at home for a year for my first and for just under a year for my second and was itching to get back to work. I accepted that this Mum was happiest when she combined raising her children with working and so that's what I did. Do what works for you because at the end of the day, happy mum = happy kids :)

1 0

I completely agree with Renee. You have to remind your husband that this is a two man job and once he's home, he needs to be HOME. That means play with the kids, maybe make it his responsibility to give them their baths, and girl, take that chance and be a grownup for 45 minutes! Call a girlfriend or just kick back with some music and/or a book. And I can't tell you how important it is to have a grown up night! Once a week, get a sitter and go on a date with your husband. Not only will you get some grown up conversation, but you get a chance to refresh your relationship with him, which does WONDERS for your mood. Every couple of weeks you should try to plan a ladies' night too. Get your girlfriends together and go out, or have a "you" night. Go get a pedicure or something. Treat yourself! You DESERVE it. I hope this helped. I can only tell you what works for me. Just because you don't bring in a paycheck does not mean you aren't working your tail off and everybody deserves a day off!

2 12

In my opinion- yes!! Especially since it sounds like you feel you're doing the mom thing alone (workaholic hubby)!!! The answer is support, support, support! You also need "me" time, even if its just 10 minutes a day.

5 20

Yes it is possible. Like others have said you may have had it all along and never diagnosed with it.

9 15

I agree with the comments in regards to the seeing the doctor and also with the stress of taking care of a child.

Did you breastfeed and when did you wean? I've had friends that weaned her child at about 2 yrs of age and then went through some depression.

Also, could it be seasonal? Have you had trouble at this time of year before?

1 96

If you want accurate information about postpartum depression and anxiety, please go to,, or

87 12

Are you still nursing? I had postpartum for over 4 years straight between nursing and being pregnant with two kids. I weaned my son when he turned 3 and I could feel the hormonal changes ♥

2 0

I'm 25 and have a daughter who's 4 in feb and a 1 year old boy. I I have anxiety and suffer depression but find it difficult to talk to my partner. I feel very alone and often lost and irritable in the day when he. Goes to work 8-5. Recently I have felt really unhappy and don't get dressed or brush my hair etc. I find it hard to feel motivated. I am on 40 mg citalopram a day but recently feel it isn't helping me. I feel guilty and that I'm not doing enough. I really struggle when I go out by myself as I panick and feel scared, even to the shops round the corner. Any advice and comments are welcome.

0 0

Literally the same. This comment is old.. how did it get better?

9 0

Yes. My mother is currently in record books for the worst severe form of postpartum. It happened after she had my brother. 30 years later and never recovered.

62 0

It's probably just regular depression now - I think it's all pretty much the same just called different names :) - you may just be absolutely exhausted too - which always makes everything seem awful.. I have been very depressed before and was given pills - which I only took for about 2 weeks as they made me a zombie - I found that getting out of the house was the biggest thing - even if it was just by myself to the park for a walk or to have a coffee somewhere. I think for me it was mostly my mindset - "I am depressed" therefore kept telling myself I was and in turn felt that way.. Then started telling myself that no I was not depressed I am just tired and having a bad day - my life is actually not that bad..and got much better.. Not that I think it can be cured by that alone but looking at things positively did help.. Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance - so when your body goes through something like pregnancy - with all those hormones and changes happening it is very common - Changing what I ate was also a massive help - this article was brilliant (have posted link at the bottom) - plus it's fun finding new things to cook and be creative with.. And the biggest thing - MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF!!! - even if it's just to have a bath - it's 5 mins at least just for you - get some lavender - it helps you to relax - and some candles and make your bath your time out - it doesn't seem like much but when your feeling like utter crap it does wonders - helps you relax your body and gives you time just to stop thinking and give your mind a rest too - It helped me through some really crappy times..

353 0

It is possible. My sister in law had problems that long. I would talk to the doctor about it to rule out any other problems. Also after birth your hormones are just not the same. Those that say oh I went back exactly how I was before- ugh!!! Most women do not. I never had any problems with my periods and barely had one before I got pregnant and then bam once I did give birth and got my period back it was horrible!! Now I am going thru the change of life and it stinks.

48 13

All the doctors I have seen said that PPD only last for 12 months (yeah right you try having it) but then will diagnose it as an Adjustment Disorder after the 12 months, which makes so sense to me, how can you just turn off PPD 12 months after a child is born. My daughter is 3 1\2 and I still have some days every now and then.

0 0

0 0

Yes. You absolutely can. And like others have commented before me, it's not just a state of mind you can snap yourself out of. I wish it were as easy as positive thinking! It's chemical . Who knows why it happens but it does. And I can sympathize with those who are going through it too!

55 21

Childbirth can be a trigger for depression in some people and even if you've been diagnosed with postpartum depression it can last a lot longer than just when the hormones have reverted to normal. My mum had depression for about seven years after my younger sister was born so you are not alone.

Depression of any nature is horrible and makes you feel worthless. You are not. You need to look after yourself and get some help because by doing this you will be looking after your child too. Take any opportunity you can to get out and meet with other people - this will help but most importantly please find a way to take some time out for you; doing whatever makes you feel good about yourself!

1 4

I'm glad to see this question posted. I have personally struggled with postpartum depression since my son was born 4 YEARS AGO! I have be able to over come it and get a job when at home with family, but since moving to another base, it has been a struggle to fight off the depression. I'm glad to know I'm not alone!

63 29

It is possible and taking care of a child is stressful especially if you're depressed. I experienced the same thing last year a couple times and the worst was when I decided to go back to my homeland Philippines to get help from family and relatives. That time I felt like it's just too much to handle so I told my husband about it and he disagree of course. I told him that if he wants me and our daughter to stay here then he has to help me to make my life easier. He's very supportive to any plans that I suggest if it's good for everybody. It's very important to have time for yourself or with friends. My daughter's Pediatrician told DH one time that I need to be away from my child even just for an hour so I can breathe and get my energy back from the stress a child brings. She even added that I need it and it will make me a good mom. Going out with my friends for dinner once a week or every other week really helped a lot. Having time for myself doing something that I like is very refreshing. The moment I step out the door for my Me time felt good but that moment I started to miss my daughter also. And while I'm with my friends or doing shopping by myself, my mind is thinking about my daughter. Then it feels so good when it's time to go home coz I'm excited to see my daughter and husband again wondering if they're having fun. Why don't you try telling your husband to help you around the house and your child so you can rest a little bit? Maybe he'll agree and give you some Me time while he and your child have some bonding time. I hope this helps. Good luck and don't forget to take care of yourself. You deserve it!

1,767 6

Yes. Although, I think that it is most likely a sign that the depression/anxiety was something that you might have been struggling with for some periods of your life other than the post partum one. I also think if you don't choose to use medication, hormonal birth control or any other pharma to help get you through the beginning of it and just choose the talk therapy route, it can take longer. This is not a bad thing, this is what I've done. I just find it takes a bit longer than average (since it seem the average thing to do is to medicate).

I'm still dealing with PPD/PPA and my daughter is 2 1/2, my therapist will be the first person to back me up on that. However, as I said before, if I am honest with myself, I have suffered, to a minor degree with these issues most of my life. The PPD just shines a bright light over the gaps in my growth as a person. It has actually been, if you can believe it, an opportunity to finally try to figure out why I think certain things and what triggers these thoughts. As painful as it has been, I have grown and am still growing.

Don't get down on yourself or get frustrated about how long it lasts, the more I accept that it may just be a part of my life, for the rest of my life - the better it gets.

12 23

It most certainly is possible because I had this same thing happen to me. The crappy part is the anti-depressants. They take sex drive down to a new low.

5 15

Hm weird cause I was still depressed after a year.. my baby is 2 1/2 right now also but I'm getting a little better.

4 18

I feel YES!!!
Only now I have started 2 realize how HARD it is 2 hold a family 2gether...
I have a 16yr old Girl & 4 Boys 14, 11, 08 & 3
I stayed home as I'm in the country, NO BUS & Busy roads & just being there 2 take them 2 watever event the needed...
It has crashed now as have all the above, had a car accident 3.5 yrs agom, brain injury which has changed me 2 a TOTAL DIFERENT person...& no Husband, (left as I 2 different & now 2 find 4 another person). DEPRESSION is a Label we dont like 2 here, as 2 ADHD (Hmmm should no I have 4 & 1 showing signs)...But its all about trying 2 talk & feel or shown how we can manage...I still have bad days & yep some worse then others. But being there 4 the kids has kept me wanting 2 work through, not easy but IF WE LOVE THEM, THEY DO C IT & SHOW IT BACK...We just duck, hide 2 regather ourselves. KEY 4 ME- Talk, ball, through the words @ some1 that can listen & want 2 help.

2 12

in my experience i had PND with my 1st child which was'nt diagnosed or treated properly which resulted in having a type of nervous breakdown when child was 2 1/2 i was given treatment & attended outpatients counselling, it took time but i got through when i was expecting my 2nd child felt the familiar feeling of anxiousness & panic & was put back on meds that had previously taken, since then ive been told that with my history of depression that my meds will be indefinite as whatever chemical in the brain needs these meds in people suffering from depression this chemical is lower than in others, i hope you get the help & support you need as this is really what everyone needs to be able to speak about the way they're feeling without feeling they are labelled etc, i still have my down days & what i tell myself is tomorrow is another day & it will be better !!!

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