How long can postpartum depression last and what are common symptoms?

LeftBehind2Scar Asked: How long can postpartum depression last and what are common symptoms?

My wife and I started a family real young. When we first met, she was in college and I had a decent paying job. Because we were madly in love, after only 2 months of dating she quit college and moved 2 hours south of her hometown to live with me in an apartment. 1 month later we found out she was pregnant (2 months along) and that's when our relationship changed dramatically. We had our first kid when I was 20 and she just turned 21. We had our second when I was 24 and she was 25. Today, I am 29 and my wife is 30. I'm really worried about my wife's addiction of (dependence on) the children and I need your advice if it's a valid concern and if any of you have went through what I'm about to say. The more I read about it, the more it sounds like postpartum depression that just never went away from my first child's birth.

My wife is very avoidant when it comes to our marriage. When there's a conflict, she either wants to not resolve it (talk in circles to avoid progress or argue about petty things to distract me) or she wants to end the marriage entirely and claims she "never loved me"… I can't deal with unresolved conflict; not to mention emotional abuse when she threatens divorce to end an argument and sweep it under the rug.

My children are virtually smothered. When she sits on the couch to watch a movie, she has raised the children (9 and 5) to sit next to her and cuddle her while watching it. If the children (normally my 9 year old) don't react this way at first, she will call them over for "cuddle time".

My wife also controls what the kids do outside of school. I don't know if this is normal, but my wife wants to have the kids do lots of activities after school because she wants them to be exposed to many things. Cub scouts, soccer, karate, dance, daisy scouts, swimming… Mind you, we can't afford all these things, but her girlfriends (Moms that are 5 years or older than her) can so she tries to put the kids in classes that these women put their children in so they can "socialize".

Intimacy with her is a joke. I can't discuss our future together (only her future without me). I can't discuss sex because she is not comfortable with her sexuality still (not my fault, apparently some kids played "doctor" with her and made her feel uncomfortable). I can't talk about my feelings and the marriage. But what I *CAN* talk about is the children, her work, and family vacations she wants to take the kids on…

On Facebook, she is a very politically correct poster. She doesn't post ANYTHING except news about her kids and pictures of the kids (none of me – no exaggeration either). On my Facebook, she will try to tell me what is "appropriate" to post online and what isn't; so I've retorted to posting pictures of myself, the kids, and just playing games online since I can't enjoy having a Facebook like everyone else…

Now, I'm currently a stay at home dad (I lost my job that supported the family and because of a major back injury and because I have NO college education, I'm without work). When I was working, the house was NEVER clean; she spent all her time devoted to the children and set the expectations of attention REALLY high for me when I came home. I'm not one to have a dirty house; even though my spine is fractured and I have arthritis (with no pain meds), I still try to have the house perfect but equally give the kids attention when they ask for it. But because of her conditioning, the kids want attention ALL THE TIME!!!

Now, my son and I have ADHD. This complicates the matters more because my wife doesn't understand that it's a result of slow brain development and always being 3 to 5 years behind the development of other people their age; she's convinced it's a result of bad parenting and not enough discipline (which is NOT true). And here's the kicker, my son didn't start showing signs of ADHD (in her eyes) until I was an at home dad… So she's blaming ME for his ADHD and his difficulties in school…

I don't know, can someone analyze this post and tell me if it sounds like postpartum depression? Or is it bipolar? Or is it PTSD?


Macrocompassion Answered:
Your question is far too long for anybody but a well qualified consulting psychiatrist to answer in depth.

However as a passing stranger with slight interest, I would suggest that the trouble is not postpartum depression. In many marriage situations where one partner blames the other BOTH ARE INVOLVED and your participation is also of significance to your wife's behaviour. For example, control freeks only are satisfied when there is a reply to their (unreasonable ) demands, so it cuts both ways.

Constantine S Answered:
It doesn't seem to me that your wife is suffering from postpartum depression since it usually lasts from a few weeks to a few months after child birth. She may have some form of postpartum psychosis, however it is a very serious condition and the correct diagnosis she can only get from a specialist. Postpartum psychosis most likely affects women who have bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression, or who have had postpartum psychosis before. It is possible for a woman with postpartum psychosis to hide her symptoms from people close to her, though not indefinitely. Untreated postpartum psychosis can worsen rapidly and lead to dangerous, irrational behavior that a woman cannot control.

Apart from all this it does seem that your wife is very much emotionally immature and as a result very egotistical. You may consider some form of counseling for both of you. However, in order for any form of counseling to work both you and her need to be open for change.

ok Answered:
Your wife is taking care of the children, as she was responsible to do.Not a lot about this sounds like anything she is doing wrong.It sounds like you are feeling left out and don't feel like a part of the family.
You need help with your pain and joblessness and relationship to your wife and children, and she needs help with the children in productive ways and on how to relate to each other again.
You were both very young.
she gave up her college, and you gave up yours.
You both need someone dedicated to helping you revive your relationship ,
and get back on track.
you need someone like dr phil dot com.
No one here can help you get through that, only encourage you to get the right help, so you can move on with your life.
a TENS machine for back pain works well and arthritis pain
You need help to work this out. is the best

ShadowCat Answered:
fox and msnbc have more journalistic integrity than aol

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