How do you know if what you are feeling is okay or not?

You’re irritable. Who wouldn’t be, you haven’t slept well in weeks.

You’re weepy. Don’t all new mothers feel overwhelmed and sad sometimes?

You’re anxious. Of course you are. There are so many changes to get used to at once.

How do you know if what you are feeling is okay or not?

There are clinical guidelines, diagnostic criteria and comprehensive medical evaluations. You can talk about it with your partner, ask a friend, discuss it with your mother or look it up on the Internet. But believe it or not, the single best way to determine whether what you are feeling is okay or not, is to trust your instincts.

How can I trust my instincts when I am feeling so overwhelmed and unsure of myself?

No one knows you as well as you do. Even if you are not thinking as clearly as you would like, you KNOW when something is wrong. That doesn’t mean that anything bad is happening. It doesn’t mean that you might not be worrying about nothing. What is means is, if you think something is wrong, you need to follow up with that gut feeling.

If you don’t feel like yourself, it doesn’t matter how many well-meaning friends or family members tell you that “everything is fine.” Sure, it feels good to be reassured. For a moment. Then, if the obsessing sets in or the anxious thoughts start spinning, the reassurance quickly dissipates into thin air. Right?

Stop looking up your symptoms on the Internet.

Stop asking for guarantees that this will get better.

Stop hoping this will go away on its own.

Stop thinking you are doing something wrong or not getting a hang of this mothering thing.

You may or may not be experiencing a clinical depression.  What you are feeling may be transitory or it may last for a while.  Regardless of how it fits into someone else’s definition, the bottom line is this: If you do not like the way you are feeling, that is enough reason to seek professional support.

Trust your instincts. Call your doctor. Call a therapist. They can help you determine whether something needs medical attention or not.

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