I recently stumbled across an Internet site that had “Gimick” and “Scam” written all over it. How could I tell? Well, from some clearcut indicators in the form of catch phrases like “cure your PPD fast” or “stop PPD in its tracks” or “quick, reliable, and easy way to rid yourself of the feelings and worries you’ve been having so you can enjoy motherhood and be the mother you’ve always dreamed of being.” All you need to do is make such and such a purchase from their website.
Hold on a minute! Before you do anything, check for evidence that a true expert can speak to the authenticity of the information offered on this website. How do you know this person is certified or licensed to treat PPD? Is this person asking you to put your trust in them to help you overcome your PPD a medical doctor (MD) that possesses training and expertise in treating physical conditions (i.e., general practitioner) or mental health conditions (i.e., psychiatrist). Does he/she possess a PhD or PsyD to practice psychology? Can they provide actual evidence that their method has truly cured the thousands they say they have cured? How come we never heard about this miracle cure in the news, and why isn’t everyone using this method? If this method were so reliable in curing PPD, why hasn’t it become the standard for curing PPD? Is their website HONcode certified?
What does HONcode certified mean? Anyone offering to help cure PPD via information they offer online should be HONcode certified. Health on the Net certifies websites as offering reliable (and accurate) healthcare information. For example, Postpartum Progress is HONcode certified. Click here for Lauren Hale’s excellent post “Tips on Identifying Reliable Health Information on the Internet.”
My blog is not HONcode certified, but that doesn’t mean I won’t pursue that down the road. My blog disclaimer clearly states that “The information posted on my blog is for educational and advocacy purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any physical or mental health condition. I am not a health professional; rather, I’m a PPD survivor committed to helping others who are suffering from some form of postpartum mood disorder (PPMD) by sharing my story and what I learned from my experience, as well as suggesting resources to help you learn more about PPD and/or feel less alone in your experience (if you’re currently ill with a PPMD). Please consult with your healthcare provider for individual advice regarding your own situation.”
Do NOT fall for any one person promising to help you overcome your PPD simply by buying into their propaganda. A woman who is already feeling desperate to be back to her old self and doesn’t know anything about PPD will jump at the opportunity for an instant cure–an absolutely false claim because there is no such thing as an instant cure for depression (even medication can’t cure depression immediately).
Beware of gimicks that from outward appearances look and sound genuinely caring, but are really about taking advantage of desperate women suffering from PPD who are looking for help, answers and a way to return to their old selves as quickly as possible. These websites should be ashamed of themselves because what they are doing is preventing women from getting proper treatment. Not getting proper treatment can have disastrous consequences.