Unable to tell the difference: Is it PPD or just an anger management problem?

Alicia - posted on 03/02/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )




I've been having issues dealing with my son's crying since he was born. He was colicky for the first three months, and I'm wondering if that has something to do with why I have such an issue dealing with his crying now. I don't want to get into too much detail, I will just clarify that it's not normal anger or frustration that I feel when he cries (for no reason). I have to leave him with my fiance or in his crib bc I feel so overwhelmed with anger, and this is just about every single time he's fussy without cause. However, I discussed it with the doctor who delivered him, and she said my anger was normal, but not outside of depression. PPD depression runs in my family-my mom and two of my aunts had it-- so I was prepared to recognize it and get meds if I needed them. However, I'm not sure that's what this is. Not trying to throw out TMI from my past, but I was raised by an abusive grandmother who hated when I cried, and blew up whenever I did. Altho I work at being nothing like her, I'm afraid that this stems from my past, and am unsure of how to get past this. We don't have insurance, and we're low on money bc we recently moved, so I don't know what to do, even though I've looked at different options. I can either get meds for PPD, or go to anger management classes, but I don't know which I should do and I don't have enough money to do both! I realize, as I write this, that it seems a bit ridiculous asking for other ppl's opinions on something like this, but I guess what I'd like to know is if anyone else has dealt with this, and what they did about it.


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Sarah - posted on 11/04/2011




I know this is an older posting, I just wanted to check on you to see how you were doing.

Angela - posted on 03/02/2010




My first son was very colicky for the first six months and I understand the anger and frustration. I have had major issues with depression since I was 16 so I also understand that part.

First, I wouldn't worry about your past. You are obviously not that same person she was, otherwise you wouldn't be worried about yourself at all. Second; if he is fed, changed, in dry clothes, and his doctor has ruled out any other cause for his crying, it is okay to put him somewhere safe and go outside or in another room (somewhere you can't hear him) and take a few breaths to calm yourself down. Third; I think every mom gets to that point, especially with colicky kids. I used to find something that calmed me down (puzzles) and do that when I was feeling overwhelmed.

If you have never had anger issues in the past then it is mostly likely just inability to adjust to the situation. Having had depression issues in the past, I did have to up my meds for about a year after my son was born. It did help but I also had to figure out alternative ways to calm myself down when I felt the emotions getting out of control. As always, talk to your doctor and let her know every aspect of what is going on and come to a decision together. This was just my experience with the PPD. Hope that helps.

Kristin - posted on 03/02/2010




If you are concerned enough to be asking, you should go talk to a mental health professional. With the history you've included, I would go anyway. Your OB, while a doctor only did a brief rotation in mental health and was still more focused on the body, not the mind. I dealt with some depression/anger issues in the past, before kids, through the concilling services at a local church. I first called the Health Department in my area and they directed me to a sliding pay scale group. I paid $10 a session, I think. There are usually lots of options out there. If there is a University with a Psych Department, you might be able to get low cost sessions there with doctoral students. You would be seeing a student who is supervised by a faculty member. Again lots of options, so call around.

You are doing a very wonderful thing by pursuing things beyond what your delivery doctor told you. Your son is likely bringing up feelings from your past and you are totally right to want to get a handle on them. You are brave to bring it up, so many wouldn't.

On another note, your son probably isn't crying for no reason. You don't say how old he is, but I'm gathering the colick has ended. First, make sure there isn't something phsiologically wrong with him; sick, hot, acid reflux, etc. Babies are just fussy from time to time, and it is okay. Just take a breath, it will pass, for both of you. He may need more stimulation, be frustrated that he isn't positioned how he would like to be, maybe he just wants a different toy. Does he like music, how about you? What relaxes you? Try doing that alone, then with him in the room, and then maybe letting him join in. He may just be reacting to your frustration over his crying. It's a viscious cycle and you are doing a great thing in trying to stop it. My oldest really only got fussy when I wasn't holding him, so I just had to accept that he was always going to be with me. My other got fussy when he didn't know what I was doing. Initially that meant he was always with me, but with his growig independence I was able to tell him and that would mostly satisfy him.

Be patient with both yourself and your son, this takes time and help. You are doing a wonderful thing in trying to get help. I hope you have friends and family you can talk to as well. Peace to you and feel free to look me up if you need to talk more.

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