How to recognize baby blues and tell it apart from a postpartum depression?

The postpartum depression is often confused with the baby blues state, which is much less bothersome. The mother may feel worried about the baby, be sad and prone to crying, but she doesn’t lose touch with the baby, as is the case with postpartum depression. Baby blues impacts as many as 50 to 80 percent of young moms, whereas with the postpartum depression it is only 10-20 percent.

Postpartum sadness

The postpartum sadness (baby blues) is a very common occurrence, affecting about 50–80% women after birth. It is a woman’s physiological reaction to childbirth that doesn’t last long and goes away on its own. The beginning of this state usually takes place within the first few days after the birth, and the symptoms peak around the 4th–5th day. The postpartum sadness can last from about a dozen hours to several days and usually goes away around the 10th day from birth.

Postpartum depression

The postpartum depression develops within a few to about a dozen weeks from the childbirth, and the severity of symptoms and disorders is much greater than in case of postpartum sadness. This disorder impacts about 7–20% women.

Symptoms of postpartum depression

The postpartum depression is similar to other episodes of clinical depression in how it manifests itself, but there have been separate, characteristic traits of it described, among which are:

  • obsessively recurring thoughts and worries in the young mother that due to her incompetence, lack of experience, irresponsibility or ineptitude, she is incapable of optimally taking care of her child, or even that she can inadvertently harm it. For that reason, contact with the child might be a stressful experience for the woman that she will try to avoid, which is usually accompanied by feeling guilty, hurt or helpless;
  • mood swings, tendency to cry and complains about insufferable sadness, fatigue, helplessness, demanding help and emphasizing own powerlessness and being convinced about losing widely defined attractiveness;
  • being convinced that her own child causes unique problems with taking care of it, more than other children;
  • states of intensified fear, sometimes with panic attacks, worrying and excessive, inadequate concern about own and baby’s health accompanied by hypochondriac symptoms;
  • feeling lonely, abandoned, misunderstood, as well as struggling with expressing emotions – especially love (towards loved ones, including the baby);
  • tendency to cry, insomnia, impaired concentration, frequent complaints about somatic problems;
  • feeling guilty and Suicidal.
postpartum sadness (baby blues)

Diagnostics and treatment

To make a diagnosis, the doctor or psychologist will need to have a conversation and conduct different psychological tests where he will ask about the mood, thoughts and behavior. It is also a good idea to visit an internist as the lowered mood might be caused by such things as Thyroid illnesses. The postpartum depression requires treatment, which utilizes such things as pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy and psychoeducation.

An incredibly important thing is support from the closest family. Anti-depression drugs are used as well. Since these are left in mother’s milk, each treatment requires a Doctor’s supervision. The lowest possible drug dosage is used that can cure the illness. After about 6 weeks, the effectiveness of the treatment is evaluated. The average treatment time is 7 months. If there is no improvement after 6 weeks, a visit to a psychiatrist is needed.

Somniphobia – fear of sleeping. Causes, symptoms, consequences and treatment

A long enough, quality sleep is an integral element of good health. It is considered to be a basic human need, just like eating, drinking or breathing. Most of us associate sleep with something very pleasant – with relax, blissful rest and forgetting about the problems of daily life. These days, when we live very fast and have so Many expectations placed on us, a long enough sleep is pretty much considered a luxury that not everyone can afford. There are people, though, who associate the very thought of falling asleep with paralyzing fear that makes it impossible to function normally. Where does the pathological fear of sleeping comes from and what is somniphobia?

The dangers of somniphobia

The phobia’s symptoms occur not only right before falling asleep – in many cases the Fear arises already during the early evening hours and increases as the night time approaches. Besides the fear itself, the following might be present: nausea, dryness in mouth, stream of thought, breathing difficulties, or even panic attacks. The first reaction of a person suffering from somniphobia is to limit and eventually to completely avoid sleep.

After some time, the insufficient amount of sleep starts having not only physical but also mental consequences. A person suffering from the phobia feels constantly fatigued, their resistance and ability to concentrate drop significantly. Then comes the feeling of irritation, which leads to deteriorating relations with others (including loved ones) or stress related to lower work performance.

This downward spiral might lead to even more serious disorders – Neurosis or depression. Due to the dangers to the body that might appear as a result of long-term sleep deficiency, a person suffering from somniphobia should really contact a psychologist. Trying to deal with the problem on your own, like by taking sleeping pills, might cause more damage than good.

What is also important is to determine the cause – if it exists – of the phobia developing.

First symptoms of somniphobia

During the initial stage of the illness, a person suffering from it might function fairly normally during the day. The first feelings of fear at the time develop as it gets darker and the bedtime approaches. Of course the type and severity of symptoms of somniphobia depend on individual traits, but the most Common symptoms before sleep are:

  • palpitation,
  • increased pressure,
  • excessive sweating,
  • aching limbs,
  • aching stomach,
  • short breath,
  • nausea,
  • headaches.

Curing the fear of sleeping

If the problems with falling asleep occur for a longer time, it’s a good idea to visit a psychologist who will determine the causes and start an adequate therapy based on that. Throughout its duration, the treating physician helps Control the emotions and fight the illness. Pharmacological treatment might support psychological sessions by temporarily suppressing the symptoms, but that’s certainly not a way to cure the disease.

It needs to be kept in mind that the drug withdrawal symptoms might be bothersome. Psychological and pharmacological treatments can also be supported at home, through rituals that make it easier to fall asleep, like going on a walk, green tea, or reading before sleep. What is very important in treatment is support of the loved ones.

Long distance relationships – on the art of missing someone

These days many couples are in long distance relationships. Sometimes the reason is work (often when one person works overseas), sometimes studying at a university. Sometimes a couple meets through the Internet and it turns out that they live very far away from each other. In the era of modern technology keeping in touch should not be a problem, yet still keeping a sense of Intimacy in a long-distance relationship may be quite an issue.

Being together, yet apart – the shades of being single

If two people consciously choose to be in a long distance relationship – so if they live their lives in a newly defined LAT (Living Apart Together) way – it doesn’t have to mean that the relationship will fail later, when they eventually choose to share the roof. But the LAT model isn’t the key factor in a relationship – it would be hard to form one if, for example, two newlyweds bought two separate houses. This kind of relationships shows how differently being single may be defined – one could say they are half single, half in a relationship.

To people that are particularly active and Can’t stand monotony, this way of living is in a way an alternative to a relationship-based stabilisation and routine everyday tasks, which may be a great fear for them. This kind of people can’t stand stagnation and change, and variation is a key factor in their lifestyle.

Love in letters

An important factor in long distance relationship is whether it comes from a Personal choice or if it is a necessity. Not everyone is cut out for a long-distance relationship. People who like to share every moment of their life with their Significant other will probably experience it badly.

It is important to put effort in the relationship, have time for the other person, care about them and support them, no matter the physical distance.

long distance relationship

How to deal with separation?

In the long run, a long-distance relationship may feel odd: you do have a Significant other, but they’re not really around. Similarly to traditional relationships, the spark may go out at some point: at the beginning it feels like no distance is too big to overcome and you’re ready for anything life throws at you… but at some point you’ve had enough. Enough of spending your life commuting, of sleeping in airports and trains. The thought of travelling to meet again becomes Unpleasant, and the trips turn into chores.

On the other hand, when the relationship becomes stagnant, separation may come as some sort of rescue. Or at least it will give you a moment to breathe and figure out if the other person really is the one. You may find yourself missing them in your life, forgetting the disagreements. Or, alternatively, you won’t miss them at all: you don’t need them in your life, and the only reason you were together was out of habit. With the new Perspective that separation gave you, at least you will know what to do now.

Depression after a divorce – how to deal with it?

On a psychological scale, the experience of divorce is as difficult as the death of a loved one. Sometimes, apart from stress, both sides are accompanied by insomnia, loneliness, and even depression. At this time you cannot ignore these emotions, but Accept them. You should also seek support from your loved ones.

Divorce destroys the psyche

When a marriage breaks up, we are accompanied by various feelings: disbelief, denial, insecurity, distrust of other people, despair, tearing, loneliness, feeling of emptiness, regret. To this are added other symptoms of depression – sleep problems (insomnia or excessive sleepiness), loss of appetite (or on the contrary, absorbing huge amounts of food), fatigue, emotional instability, remorse, problems with concentration and memory, tendency to be aggressive, drastic drop in Self-esteem. There may also be melting of sorrows in alcohol, and in some cases a suicide attempt.

How can I help myself?

Your world has collapsed, your plans and dreams are ruined. To rebuild yourself, you need TIME. After such a big crisis, emotional balance is achieved in small steps.

  • Accept the situation
    There’s no hiding it – a divorce is a “bitter pill” to swallow, but only by coming to terms with what happened, you can go further. It will not happen immediately and without stopping to reflect. It’s a time when a person has the right to feel powerless, weak, tired. Nevertheless, it is dangerous to fall into complaining mode. Looking at yourself Calmly, finding inner peace and thinking about what you want can help you more. These answers do not come immediately. Everyone’s at a different pace.
  • Take care of yourself
    Self-care is one of the most important activities during and after a divorce. Join a new group of people, meditate, try to stimulate a sense of love for yourself. Exercises are a great idea – they prevent depression and help to manage emotions.
  • Take care of building Self-esteem
    Forgive your mistakes and learn from them. You won’t go back in time, but you can build a better self. Self-confidence is created when you Accept yourself with your pros and cons.
  • Behold your loved ones
    One of the worst things you can do to yourself after a divorce is to keep your friends and relatives away from you. Let yourself be Helped, let yourself be confided in by a person who will certainly understand and listen to you – suppressing and leaving thoughts and feelings to yourself will not help you at all.


Allowing yourself to experience difficult emotions and turn to your loved ones is one thing. Depression after a divorce should be treated. You should go to a psychologist or psychiatrist. Your doctor will probably recommend taking antidepressants or mood stabilisers. Psychotherapy is also very important. There are support groups for people after a divorce in many places. Participation in such meetings will help you to cope with the pain. You will be listened to, and you will learn how others cope with your pain after the divorce.

How to cope with being cheated on?

In psychological terms, cheating means deliberate and intentional violation of trust given by the partner. We need to remember, though, that cheating doesn’t mean the end of the world. It might turn out to be a building crisis. The only condition for Repairing such relationship is mutual willingness to return to normal life together.

Why do we cheat?

When someone gets cheated on, “why?” is the question that most often and most persistently echoes around the head. There might be many reasons. The most common one is lack of sexual satisfaction in the relationship, or lack of any sex. The longing for new experiences, for spicing up the sex life. In many cases, purely physical aspects have many underlying emotional causes, it might be a need for affection, or acceptance, it might be longing for Warmth and understanding, which the partner isn’t getting in the relationship.

Sometimes infidelity might be a revenge against the partner for causing suffering or humiliation. In some cases it is being Disappointed with the relationship. Sometimes the cheater jumps on opportunity, loses control, like when under influence of alcohol.

There is also an increased risk of infidelity when going through a crisis in life. A common reason is desire to validate own value and attractiveness. There might also be a fear of intimacy. There are plenty of motives for cheating and it often seems to us that we should find one specific cause, but the reality is that the basis for cheating is a configuration of many different factors.


How to handle the pain?

Every relationship means risk. No one can guarantee us an eternal, unfading love and life without obstacles. When saying “I do”, none of us certainly ever thought that you might one day have to solve the issue of cheating. And yet it happened. All that is left is emptiness, pain, feeling hurt, shame, bitterness, sadness and tears.

What to do in such situation? There are two options: either leave with pride and hope for a better relationship with someone else in the future, or forgive cheating. The latter is more difficult and is all about not forgetting what happened yet being able to learn from mistakes and Never repeat them again.

They say that damaged things are to be repaired and not thrown away. It is convenient to abandon all hope and start a new life, but it’s a good idea to ask yourself if it wouldn’t be nice to try to fix this relationship between two people, which often lasted for many years.

If we feel such need, we can turn to our family for advice, although the best solution is visiting a psychologist. Another good idea is couples counseling, the purpose of which is to understand both parties and find a way to fix the relationship. It has helped plenty of couples get their old life back and get over cheating.

The fear of intimacy – where does it come from, how to recognise it, how to defeat it?

The fear of intimacy is in fact the fear of risk, of going in blind, into the unknown and giving a piece of yourself to another person. It is the fear of the Uncertain and rejection. Also a fear of strong emotions, also the difficult ones, which can appear in a relationship and make us feel helpless and vulnerable. It houses a whole range of feelings, many worries and doubts, typical especially at the beginning of relationships.

What is the fear of intimacy?

The fear of intimacy can be unrealised. A lot of people try to rationalise it for years, stating that being single is what they really need. It provides freedom, suits your lifestyle, allows you to fulfil yourself professionally. It is characteristic that people who have a fear of intimacy often choose a career which requires constant relocation. A trader, translator, truck driver, stewardess. Jobs like this favour distancing yourself.

It is not easy to recognise that our partner suffers from the fear of being intimate. After all, they are caring, protective, open. From time to time, there is however an element of pushing you away, building a brick wall. They do not pick up their phone, disappear for a few days with no trace, does not want to hear about meeting your parents, makes plans with your friends reluctantly.

The fear of intimacy can take other forms too, e.g. we try to win our partner’s love by fulfilling their needs or we have unrealistic expectations of them ourselves. We can also live believing that an ideal relationship is a relationship with no Crises and conflicts.

Ambivalent childhood

You desire love, but are afraid of rejection? You crave a stable relationship, but are afraid you do not Deserve it? As we can see from the results of the theory of Attachment by Bowlby and Ainsworth, those contradictory feelings and aspirations are connected to the conditions under which the first bond between a parent and an infant was formed.

Parents, who show support and hugging only as a form of rewarding good and desired behaviour while withdrawing and distancing themselves from the child when it does not fulfil their expectations – the child is sad, upset, screaming, they contribute to developing the example of having to Deserve love and affection. Therefore, the child doubts whether it is deserving of love and good enough to be loved by someone else.

fear of intimacy

How to deal with the fear of intimacy?

The key to overcoming the fear of intimacy is self-awareness. The more we are aware of our own emotions and needs, the greater the chance of creating strong bonds and relationships is. Acknowledging that I am the one to decide whether or not I get angry, for how long and how angry I will be. It needs to be understood, that I am the one getting angry, not that another person is annoying me.

I decide how I react to a given situation. In order to stop fearing intimacy, we need to learn to be close with ourselves. It’s worth beginning with the present in order to avoid living with past or future emotions. We need to understand that only right here and now is real, since the past is distorted by memory and the future is unknown. Secondly, it is worth accepting our fear of intimacy. The more we fight it, the more energy we give it. Through accepting our own feelings, we help them disperse and leave.

Miscarriage – adequate psychological care at the hospital

Miscarriage is a premature termination of pregnancy that has lasted for less than 22 weeks. We may also talk about a miscarriage if the fetus doesn’t weight more than 500 grams. One of the frequent causes of miscarriages are developmental defects of the fetus. It is estimated that approx. 20% of premature terminations of pregnancy are the so-called spontaneous miscarriages.

The most common causes of miscarriages

The causes of miscarriage, or losing a pregnancy, can vary. Among the ones listed most often are: genetic, anatomical, immunological, hormonal and infectious factors. There is also a large group of miscarriages without any explainable origin. These are referred to as idiomatic miscarriages. When talking about the genetic causes of miscarriages, one could especially mention the incorrect number of chromosomes.

Spontaneous miscarriages are also caused by Anatomical reasons. These include congenital defects of the uterus related to menstrual disorders that have a negative impact on the embryo implantation process. Other anatomical causes responsible for early miscarriages are intrauterine adhesions and cervical failures. Immunological causes are also pointed at, although they play a minor role during the early losses of pregnancy.

The next group of causes is the hormonal causes, which constitute about 5% of causes of recurring miscarriages. The infectious factors are the least responsible for miscarriages. However, pregnant women get routinely tested for toxoplasmosis, rubella and the herpes virus.

Symptoms of miscarriage

There are two basic clinical symptoms of a miscarriage: Bleeding and pain. The earliest symptom of miscarriage is staining, in which case it is suggested to conduct the necessary tests with the doctor. It is a basic procedure that allows to determine the characteristic of bleeding in early pregnancy. If the bleeding is abundant then it might indicate a partial placental abruption. The pain is of paroxysmal nature, with different stages of severity. Most of the time women feel it around their lower abdomen or around their lower back.

causes of miscarriage

No matter in which week of pregnancy a woman lost her baby – the medical personnel should provide her with adequate Medical care and required psychological support. Sadly, the least attention is still focused on the mental state of a woman after miscarriage. Meanwhile, losing a pregnancy Exposes women to such emotions as: shock, denial, wrath, anger, guilt and helplessness.

In many cases, women affected by a miscarriage suffer from depression, especially if they aren’t provided with adequate support from those around them. They may also develop an anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. That’s what makes it so important to put more and more emphasis on providing standards for care for women who lose their pregnancy due to miscarriage.

Habitual, or recurring miscarriages

Habitual, or recurring miscarriages affect about 2% of women. This term refers to three or more subsequent losses of early pregnancies. It is estimated that recurring miscarriages constitute about 5% of all spontaneous miscarriages. Research shows that the course of the first pregnancy is not without an impact on the subsequent pregnancies.

In a woman that has already miscarried once, the threshold rises as high as up to 20 percent. The risk accumulates with the number of miscarriages and is connected to the woman’s age. Most women lose pregnancy at an early stage of its development. Recurrent miscarriages are very stressful to a woman.

Especially since their cause is hard to determine or might arise from a combination of several factors. That’s why it is so important in the medical procedure to not only diagnose it but to also approach the patient empathetically. In case of diagnosis, it is important to determine the age of the fetus, the time of death and to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the gynecological and obstetrical history.