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TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5798
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi, I am having a big problem with my wifes postpartum depression.

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Hi, I am having a big problem with my wife's postpartum depression. I know it much be so hard for her.We are not together so we communicate via skype. She is going to counseling for this, which is a good thing. But she seems to be so tired and annoyed with our baby who cries a lot. I don't blame her, and I try to be as supportive as possible. But the really hard part is that when we talk on skype and she is in a really bad mood. I don't know what to do. She is silient and it is like pulling teeth. So, then I get upset and frustrated. She doesn't want to talk, so I told her we should not talk if she is not feeling in the mood, because, I can't just stay on the line and listen to dead air. But, she is not happy if I say that. But I am not happy if there is dead air. What can I do?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your wife is under a lot of stress. Any mother with a new baby has the potential to experience post partum depression. And if your wife is alone caring for the child herself, the experience can be a lot worse.

When your wife gives so much energy to the baby, she has no way to replenish her own needs. Everyone, even the most extroverted person, needs time to rest. And with small children, it is almost impossible to focus on any of your own needs. Even going to the bathroom becomes nearly impossible. When you deal with a total focus on the baby's needs day after day without much support, it is easy to quickly become exhausted.

It sounds like she needs some support and a break. If there is anyway she can get someone to stay with the baby, that can help a lot. Even if you have to pay a babysitter for a couple of hours, it may be worth it. She can use those hours totally on herself. A new haircut, browsing a bookstore or even meeting someone to talk for some adult time is worth it.

You may want to consider getting help in your home for your wife as well. If you can afford a couple of hours a week of help, then hire someone to help. It is worth the cost so she can have more time to do other things or get some rest.

Your wife may also want to consider joining other mothers in a group activity if she can. The support and shared stories can make her feel better and help her feel less alone. And she can set up a shared babysitting situation so she can get help.

Most of all, let her know that this will pass. Her days are very long now, but it does go by. Before she knows it, the baby will be less dependent and she will have more time to herself. And be as supportive as possible. Sometimes just being there with her, even if she is not speaking, can make her feel less alone. And if it is possible, consider being home more often. Just knowing she will have support can make her feel better.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
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