Once upon a time I was a Kirstie Alley fan…well, what happened, you ask, that would change my mind? Well, evidently she has decided to go on some kind of anti-MOTHERS Act–or what she refers to as MOTHER F_ _ _ERS Act (real nice) kick–leading all her fans and Twitter followers out there, just as the Pied Piper led all the mice that were blinded by his music….a perfect analogy in my opinion because these people are blinded by ignorance that breeds fear and conspiracy theories.
By the mere mention of the word “screening” these people choose to believe the government is out to get everyone because it couldn’t possibly want to do something to actually help people. They choose to jump to the conclusion that we are moving to a “1984”-like society with Big Brother moving in on us. Wow, that was an amazing leap, cuz nowhere in the bill does it say that screening is mandatory!
And by the mere mention of the word “treatment” these people jump to the conclusion that we are now going to force all mothers out there to swallow pills. Um, okay then. Again, the bill does not state such a ridiculous notion. I read some of the exchanges and stopped because it was all a bit much and was giving me indigestion. I get it, you’re angry. You hate the government. You hate meds. But DO NOT stand in the way of what can make such a positive difference in the lives of so many women who are currently suffering (or will suffer) from postpartum depression…what many people even today don’t even acknowledge as a real illness.
I see the bill as an opportunity to educate this country on an illness that more women have suffered from than people will ever know. It’s also an opportunity to get increased funding in research to improve medications and discover more alternative treatment options, as well as an increase in postpartum support services.
Kirstie, you can accuse me of being naïve all you want, but hear this. Screening–which again is NOT mandatory– is having a doctor ask the patient a few questions to determine if she is feeling alright. What in the world can be the harm in that?! Plus, the woman has THE RIGHT to decline if she so desires. We are in a free country, aren’t we? Personally, I wouldn’t mind answering a few questions. And by the way, what the heck is the harm in that anyway? Oh, yeah, that’s right….those with conspiracy theories think this is an invasion of privacy…another Big Brother ploy by the government.
Kirstie, did you even bother to consider that, if a woman is suffering from depression during pregnancy and is diagnosed at that point, it will improve her chances of getting some form of treatment and support early on so it doesn’t follow her postpartum?! Heck, if my OB/GYN and his staff had screened me once it was determined I had insomnia (at 6 weeks postpartum, which should have been so obvious that I had PPD rather than the blues), I could’ve been spared the painful journey that I traveled in the following weeks.
Kirstie, if you think you are doing a noble deed and helping other moms out there with respect to perinatal mood disorders, then think again. Instead of blocking progress, do something that will make progress happen.
Kirstie, let me ask you. Are you and others like you willing to take the charge and educate the public about perinatal mood disorders? Will you champion this cause? Because that’s the key to banishing the stigma and myths, the major hurdles to women seeking help for a perinatal mood disorder.
Kirstie, do you know what the occurrence rate of PPD is in this country? Probably not. All you and others like you choose to focus on is one thing and only one thing. Your conspiracy theories. Just remember that, as long as society remains ignorant about PPD the stigma associated with mental illnesses–particularly around a time that is supposed to be happy (i.e., childbirth)–will continue to keep mothers mouths shut and suffering unnecessarily in silence.
Another hurdle is people not realizing the difference between the blues and PPD. Just in the past week, I spoke to 2 people who didn’t know the difference. Why doesn’t everyone not realize what symptoms to look out for? Because there is a shameful lack of information made available to the public. What we need are: MORE EDUCATION, MORE RESEARCH, MORE SUPPORT SERVICES. This, ladies and gents is what this country needs if we want to stop the silent suffering of mothers!
Without a federal mandate, more women are going to continue suffering unnecessarily, families will be torn apart, and deaths will occur…all because there aren’t enough resources and funding out there to make a difference at the rate we are progressing, which is at a snail’s pace. Simply unacceptable!