Have I got it?
To read the Introducton to Post Natal Depression Click Here
"I was really desperate and I knew something was not right and I thought it was because I was so tired and because my baby wasn't settling..."
The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Questionnaire (EPDS)
- Was designed as a ‘screening instrument’, in other words it was designed to identify women who probably suffer from depression (or perhaps other similar conditions).
- Is not a way of making a definite diagnosis.
- If you score over 10-12 you should see your health professional for assessment.
- If you score less than 10 it is still possible that you may be suffering from depression.
Click here to complete the EPDS online
Click here for a printable version
The EPDS and method of scoring
- If you have scored over 10 please see your health professional and explain how you are feeling.
- If you are feeling suicidal it is important to seek urgent help – a lot can be done to help you to feel better. Do not suffer alone.
Can it be something else?
Yes it could be and that is one reason why it is important to see a doctor.
Even if both you and your doctor think it is depression it may be worth having a few blood tests to make sure, for example, that you are not anaemic and that your thyroid gland, liver and kidneys are working properly.
There may be other medical conditions which need to be assessed and discussed with your doctor.
You may be suffering from some other mental illness instead (or as well as). See the Related Conditions section.
What struck me most was the overwhelming tiredness. All I wanted to do was stay in bed. As soon as my baby was settled or if my husband was home to look after her, I would go back to bed. I told everyone (and myself) that this tiredness was due to the fact that I was breast feeding and my baby still woke in the night for a feed.
While at home, all I managed to do was the basics. I was able to care for my other children and go to part-time work but it was being at home alone with my baby when I felt totally exhausted. Going to bed allowed me to escape from the reality of my life. Because I had excellent family supports and had extra help with housework and childcare, my symptoms dragged on.
I was reluctant to admit to anyone exactly how I was feeling. After all, I felt that on the outside, I appeared to be coping well, doing everything as well as working part-time. Friends and family admired me and told me how well I was doing. Finally everything fell apart and I had to admit how terrible I felt.
At that stage, I got the help that I needed and went onto medication. I felt better quite quickly and wondered why it had taken me so long to admit that I had a problem and get help. My advice to other women is to swallow their pride, admit that they are not coping and ask for help.