2. Don’t Try to Fix Her.
Don’t tell your wife she just needs to get out of the house/stay home more, start exercising, color her hair, lose the baby weight, go back to work/stay home from work, or spend more time with family/friends and she’ll feel better. This can result in feelings of failure, which can deepen the depression, when these suggestions don’t cure her PPD.
3. Don’t Snap at Her.
Telling your wife to “snap out of it," or “just get over it" is not going to make it happen. Just as women who suffer from PPD did not choose to be depressed, they can not choose when they will feel better either. It’s a process and it will take time.
4. Don’t Wait For Her To Ask.
Your wife may not ask for help. She may not be able to ask for help. She may be in denial that she needs help. Don’t wait for her to ask before you seek help for her if you suspect that she may be suffer from PPD. Her recovery – and safety – may depend on it. Professionals can offer invaluable advice and support on how to help your wife if she has post partum depression.
5. Don’t Wish for your Old Wife.
Your wife is not a different person. She is simply suffering from an illness that affects her moods, and emotional, and sometimes mental state. Telling your wife that you liked her better before she had the baby, or that you’re tired of her acting this way can make her symptoms worse. Feelings of helplessness, low self-worth, and guilt are present and comments such as these can make these feelings intensify.
6. Don’t Say What Should Be
Feeling of guilt can be present during PPD, as well as those of hopelessness. Telling your wife that this should be the happiest time of your lives, or that she’s missing time with the baby can make her feel that she is a bad mother, intensifying those feelings of guilt.
7. Don’t Let Money Get in the Way.
With a new baby comes a new expense. However, do not let money or financial issues get in the way of your wife getting the help she needs. If your insurance doesn’t cover the treatment that is needed, there are other options to explore – payment schedules, sliding scale fees, deferred payments, grants, financial assistance through local charities, or perhaps even a plan through your employer. Be very careful how you discuss this issue with your wife, as addressing worries about money could sabotage her recovery by making her feel guilty.
8. PPD is a Family issue.
PPD affects everyone in the family. Do not make the mistake of letting your wife attempt to deal with this illness alone. It is very important for you to show support for her decision to go to therapy, as well as any other steps she makes toward her recovery. Keep in mind that while PPD can last for months or years, depending on the severity of your wife’s illness, she should begin feeling some relief in symptoms and show a slight improvement overall within the first few weeks.