From the irresistible urge to throw objects to screaming at the top of your voice, postpartum rage can get messy and make you feel crazy for some moments. It is an overwhelming feeling of anger and frustration, often considered part of the spectrum of mood disorders that follow the first six weeks of giving birth.
Not all new mothers experience postpartum rage. And those that do, have varying degrees of intensity depending on the contributing factor.
So, whether you’re a new mom experiencing postpartum rage, a pregnant mom, or a curious new mom, this article will discuss all you must know about this rage. You’ll learn about the symptoms, causes, and treatment. But before that …
What Is Postpartum Rage?
Postpartum rage is a mood disorder, in addition to postpartum depression and anxiety, that new moms may experience during their postpartum period. This disorder is a mixture of anxiety, frustration, irritation, anger, and other depressive symptoms.
Many women with postpartum rage often have this urge to throw, scream, cry, or punch something. To worsen the situation, the feeling is directed towards their partner, baby, or other persons close to them, thus resulting in guilt and sadness.
While some women might only experience postpartum rage, others experience it with postpartum depression and anxiety. Also, the intensity and length of this disorder varies from person to person.
Postpartum Rage Symptoms
Like other mood disorders, postpartum rage has its warning signs any new mom can watch out for. Here are some of them;
- Sudden outbursts of anger or irritability that feel disproportionate to the situation
- Difficulty controlling emotions and impulses
- Feeling like you’re on edge or constantly frustrated
- Guilt and shame after experiencing episodes of rage
- Fear of harming yourself, the baby, or others
- Physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, trembling or feeling hot
Postpartum Rage Causes
Postpartum rage doesn’t just happen. It has some contributing factors, most of which are associated with hormonal changes and lifestyle changes. Here are some possible causes of this rare mental condition:
During pregnancy, there is likely to be a surge in estrogen and progesterone meant to support the pregnancy and prepare the body for childbirth. As soon as the baby is delivered, there is a rapid decline in these hormone levels. This sudden shift in hormone levels affects brain chemistry and contributes to mood swings, irritability, and emotional sensitivity.
A lot of things could deprive a nursing mother from sleeping. It could be due to the baby’s feeding schedule or frequent awakenings during the night. However, sleep is essential for maintaining emotional balance and cognitive function. When it is deprived, it can lead to heightened irritability and difficulty managing emotions.
Emotional Challenges Of Adjusting To Motherhood
The constant need for new moms to adapt and adjust to their new daily routines and responsibilities can trigger some emotions, leading to uncertainty, anxiety, and frustration. All these emotional build-ups may eventually cause postpartum rage.
Depression In Family
When there is a history of depression in your family, whether from your family or some close relative, there are chances that you experience mood disorder, which is likely to be higher during the postpartum period.
The combination of hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, and the emotional demands of motherhood can result in mood swings and heightened emotions. These emotional ups and downs can result in intense anger that seems out of nowhere.
Postpartum Rage Treatment
Treatment for postpartum rage can include a combination of therapies.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or other forms of psychotherapy can help you manage your emotions, develop coping strategies, and address any underlying issues. Visiting any trained therapist near you may help.
Participating in support groups can help you reduce feelings of isolation. It also serves as a safe space to share experiences.
Sometimes, your doctor might recommend medication to help you regulate your mood and emotions, often based on the severity of symptoms. Some of these medications include SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), and SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) can help you have more control over your anger.