Blog - Beach House Rehab Center
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October 25, 2022

How Long Does Postpartum Anxiety Last?

It is normal for people to worry before, during, and after pregnancy. But some women experience severe anxiety after giving birth that goes beyond average worry. Thankfully, there is professional help for people whose postpartum anxiety affects their quality of life.

What is Postpartum Anxiety?

People with postpartum anxiety stay up at night worrying about their babies. They are on edge most of the time, always wondering if things are okay and feeling a sense of impending doom. Their concern is so all-consuming that it interferes with their day-to-day functioning. Along with these feelings of worry and dread, several other symptoms indicate this type of anxiety.

Postpartum Anxiety Symptoms

People with postpartum anxiety often have trouble sleeping. This occurs not just because the newborn keeps them up; instead, constant worry is to blame, even when the baby is asleep. Their thoughts also race with fear throughout the day. Additionally, there are several physical symptoms of postpartum anxiety, including:

  • Racing heart
  • Hyperventilating
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Trembling or shaking

People with postpartum anxiety may have some or all of these symptoms. When the combination of symptoms makes them unable to focus on work, family, or both, they should seek an assessment and treatment from a professional.

How Long Does Postpartum Anxiety Last?

There is no simple answer to how long postpartum depression lasts. Each person has their own experiences before, during, and after childbirth that affect how long they feel the persistent worry and sense of doom that mark their anxiety. The anxiety won’t go on forever, but it doesn’t usually go away without some intervention.

The best way for people to recover from postpartum anxiety is to get treatment. Concern about what others think should not stop women from seeing professionals who have experience treating these specific symptoms.

The Relationship Between Anxiety and Addiction

There is a clear connection between anxiety and substance use disorders. As many as 20% of Americans who report having anxiety or a mood-related problem like depression also have a substance use problem. It is difficult to tell which one comes first, and dealing with them can be a vicious cycle.

Someone with a substance use disorder might be anxious because of their drinking or drug use. That anxiety could worsen during and after pregnancy as they wonder if their substance use will affect the baby. They may also have anxiety if they stopped using during their pregnancy and are fighting off a relapse.

Additionally, women who are anxious after birth may turn to drugs or alcohol to relieve their anxiety. While alcohol or drugs might be associated with a short-term sedative effect, they can actually increase anxiety symptoms in the long run. Alcohol is never the answer, and only medications prescribed by a doctor are suitable for postpartum anxiety.

Get Proven, Effective Treatment for Anxiety

You or a loved one don’t have to experience postpartum or another form of anxiety affecting your quality of life. To get help, contact Beach House to receive an accurate anxiety assessment and a fully customized treatment plan. We offer cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy treatments that can help you to live the life you deserve—one full of love and connection.