You just brought your baby home from the hospital, and while you had imagined yourself soaking up all the new baby smells, cuddles, and love, you instead feel angry and irritable. You may be asking yourself, is this normal? Postpartum rage is a wave of overwhelming and intense anger that can seemingly come out of nowhere. This anger is often directed at things that would not ordinarily bother you- like dishes in the sink, a pet getting in your way, or someone else needing something from you. These feelings can leave you feeling confused, shameful, out of control, and sometimes even angrier. While postpartum rage is not an easy thing to go through, there is hope and support available to help you navigate your emotions and experience.
Common Symptoms of Postpartum Rage
- Difficulty controlling your temper
- Dwelling on things that made you upset or angry
- Feeling more irritable than normal
- Increased yelling or swearing
- Violent urges or thoughts
- Overwhelming feelings of anger from things that usually would not bother you
Why am I so mad at my husband or spouse?
Another aspect of postpartum rage is that it affects our loved ones. It doesn't always mean that you are yelling or fighting with your spouse. It can be internal resentment or anger. Sometimes women are silent when angry, which is from our societal pressure not to express anger. This anger might also be directed at a spouse because anger toward a baby can be so unsettling that a mom may direct it towards a spouse. That is another good reason to seek out therapy. Although it can be overlooked, the relationship between parents or caregivers is also vital to a child's development.
Why does this happen?
Having a baby is a big transition and change, which can cause a lot of emotions, such as anger. Feeling intense anger or rage is often a sign of a postpartum mood disorder like depression or anxiety. Anger is often one of the most accessible emotions to express. Therefore can become our go-to response even though we may feel other emotions such as sadness, anxiety, resentment, guilt, or shame. Consequently, it is essential to identify the underlying emotion or issue that is causing your anger so you can address it. So you can get back to feeling like yourself and really enjoy those new baby cuddles.
How can therapy help?
Therapy can be crucial in treating postpartum rage. Through the therapy process, you can work to identify your triggers and learn coping skills to manage those difficult moments better. Therapy can also help you feel less alone and provide much-needed support.
If you are feeling postpartum rage or experiencing any of these symptoms, please know you are not alone. These feelings and symptoms are prevalent. Unfortunately, these postpartum rage and emotions are not talked about enough. This silence is due to the feelings of guilt and shame attached to them. If you are struggling and need a nonjudgmental and caring space to talk through your experience, please reach out. Our postpartum therapists in our Whitefish Bay, WI location are here to help.
Ready to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation?
Claire Whetter MS, LPC-IT, NCC
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