I know I said my next post was going to be about the importance of sleep for postpartum moms, but there are times that I cannot wait to get my thoughts–not to mention anger–out of my system (and onto this blog…after all, that’s what my blog’s for…to vent and share my thoughts with others). What’s got me riled up this time? I’ll let you guess (but then again, my title is a give-away, isn’t it?). As many of my friends (and blog followers know), my #1 anger trigger is when people say things out of ignorance/stupidity/condescension/racism. What falls under this category of anger triggers is when the media wastes its ability to reach out to mass audiences with the truth, and instead focuses on one thing, which is to generate sales and attract attention while distorting the truth and adding to the misconceptions (or myths) that exist about motherhood and postpartum depression (PPD).
Check out the Time article I am ranting about. It’s about the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act. And here is my letter that I sent to the editor on Friday in response. I am sharing this with you because, quite frankly, I doubt anyone at Time would pay any attention to it. Why would they? After all, they chose not to include my interview in the article because I don’t say things that shock and disturb. I’m only telling the truth from a PPD survivor’s perspective, who has taken on blogging and writing a book to join the growing numbers of women who are gaining the courage to share their experiences with others.
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Frankly, I am shocked and dismayed at this article, which shows a completely one-sided view with respect to the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act. Catherine Elton only named an opponent but no advocates, despite the fact that she interviewed me and a couple of other PPD survivors who are active on the PPD blogging scene. By failing to mention advocates, you are giving—whether intended or not—the appearance of a lack of support for this bill, particularly of women who happened to survive a perinatal mood disorder, happen to have their eyes wide open, and can see clearly how this bill would bring us from out of the Dark Ages and into the 21st century in terms of public awareness and once and for all ending the myths that keep women suffering unnecessarily in silence.
Passage of this legislation would benefit thousands of mothers in this country each year through an increase in public awareness campaigns, education, support services, and research to ensure early detection and treatment of perinatal mood disorders. Those with a strictly anti-pharma agenda fail to see what this bill is truly about. They are letting their hatred of medications cloud their ability to see the benefits and, even worse, imagine things that don’t even exist in the language of the bill—i.e., forced screening and drugging of expectant mothers.
I am shocked that you would consider this fair and accurate reporting. This is but another example of another opportunity to educate the public about PPD completely wasted with attention-getting headlines and a biased focus that serve to prevent progress that’s so desperately needed with respect to public awareness of PPD. If you think this article is helping mothers out there, you are dreadfully mistaken.
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By writing an article about this bill, Time should have done so with all sides equally represented. There ARE MANY supporters of this bill that are PPD survivors and friends and family members that saw what these women had to suffer through, and totally support this legislation. Such a one-sided view, as this article was written in, only shows there might be some kind of bias on the part of the editor and/or author. Makes you kind of think there is a hidden agenda….
It’s a shame that words of hate and anger on the part of the bill opponents–so much louder and attention-getting because they are so much more frightening (not in a good way, mind you)–can easily distort the truth. In the long run, all this does is work against the very people this bill is trying to help…MOTHERS.