Pakistani Actor Sarwat Gilani Discusses Severe Postpartum Depression; Symptoms To Look Out For


Pakistani actress Sarwat Gilani recently opened up about her intense battle with postpartum depression after giving birth. Her candid revelation sheds light on the often-overlooked challenges new mothers face during postpartum recovery. Gilani recounted her experience of overwhelming emotions after undergoing major surgery and meeting her newborn baby, who was having difficulty feeding. The emotional toll was so severe that she found herself contemplating harmful thoughts towards her baby.

“I had a feeling that it was better to let her go to get rid of the stress I am going through,” Gilani shared. She expressed that she was crying and told her husband, Fahad Mirza, about her distressing thoughts. Mirza, a cosmetic surgeon and also an actor, recognized these signs as postpartum depression and reassured her.

Understanding Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a serious mental health problem that can affect new mothers after giving birth. While many new mothers experience “baby blues,” characterized by mood swings, crying spells, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping, these symptoms usually go away within a few weeks. However, postpartum depression is more severe and long-lasting, and often requires medical intervention.

According to Dr Sakshi Goel, Senior Consultant, M.D., MSc Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital, the postpartum period involves significant physical and emotional adjustments. She stresses the importance of recognising that recovery from childbirth takes time and that new mothers should not expect to immediately return to their pre-pregnancy state.

Symptoms of postpartum depression

Postpartum depression can manifest in a variety of ways, and symptoms can range from mild to severe. Recognizing these symptoms early is key to seeking appropriate treatment and support.

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Symptoms of postpartum sadness

Postpartum blues are common and usually begin in the first few days after delivery and last up to two weeks. Symptoms include mood swings, anxiety, irritability, feeling overwhelmed, difficulty sleeping, decreased concentration, and appetite problems.

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Postpartum depression symptoms

Postpartum depression is more intense and lasts longer than the baby blues. Symptoms may begin a few weeks after delivery or even during pregnancy and may continue for a year or more if left untreated. Symptoms include:

  • Severe mood swings
  • Excessive crying
  • Difficulty bonding with the baby
  • Moving away from loved ones
  • Changes in appetite
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Overwhelming fatigue
  • Loss of interest in activities.
  • Intense irritability and anger.
  • Feelings of incompetence and guilt
  • Difficulty thinking clearly or making decisions.
  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks.
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or the baby.
  • Suicidal thoughts

Postpartum psychosis

Postpartum psychosis is a rare but serious illness that usually develops during the first week after childbirth. Symptoms include:

  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Obsessive thoughts about the baby
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Severe sleep disorders
  • Paranoia
  • Attempts to harm self or baby.

Postpartum psychosis requires immediate medical attention due to its life-threatening nature.

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Bottom line

Sarwat Gilani’s openness about her postpartum depression underlines the importance of awareness and support for new parents. Recognising the symptoms and seeking help early can make a significant difference to the wellbeing of both parent and child. Postpartum depression is a serious condition, but with the right treatment and support, recovery is possible.

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