When Will Clueless Comments about PPD Stop?

Wow, 3 posts in a row!  What inspired me to write at 12:30 AM on a Friday night?   Something irked me.  Irked me real good…or bad, actually.   Wanna guess?  Oh, the title gave it away?  Darn.  Well, let me just tell you then.  I ran into some more ignorant comments about PPD just now, which got my blood boiling. 

I am just going to highlight this one in particular because it just shows how a person who’s NEVER BEEN DEPRESSED AND THEREFORE HASN’T GOT A CLUE WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE DEPRESSED can let such words come out of her mouth without realizing the impact such ignorance has on moms who have suffered or are currently suffering from a postpartum mood disorder: 

I have hypothyroid and if I don’t take a thyroid pill everyday…I’m exhausted like I haven’t slept in weeks. As a mom, [exhaustion and sleep deprivation don’t] stop me from loving my child and taking care of her.  I know I’m not going to let my condition get in the way of my parenting.

Excuse me?  You KNOW you’re not going to let your condition get in the way?  You think a mother just brings PPD upon herself?  You think a mother (like me) who’s dreamed of having a baby–only to have those dreams come crashing down a few weeks postpartum with the sudden and unexpected onset of  PPD symptoms–brings these symptoms upon herself and she has full control over them?   All of a sudden, she can’t sleep, she can’t eat, she may have panic attacks, she is completely and utterly debilitated, she can’t smile, she can’t function, PERIOD, and there are those like you who question whether there is a physical/biological basis to these symptoms?  Well, I’d say not sleeping, not eating, and not being able to function–even if it entirely the desire of the new mother to do all that plus take care of her baby–are all physical/biological issues.  PPD is NOT a mind over matter kind of thing.   

Society overall uses the word depression in the context of a state of mind where “sad” and “depressed” are interchangeable, which feeds the misconception.  Misunderstood not just by the public at large, but by medical professionals, and largely because there is no singular cause.  Though the word “depression” implies a mental condition that impacts a person’s thoughts and feelings, its symptoms—caused by a combination of biological and psychosocial factors—are physical, affecting the way a person eats, sleeps and functions.

I’m going to end with these last few thoughts.  Get real, lady.  It’s comments like yours that contribute to the stigma keeping mothers out there suffering in silence.  Until you have experienced PPD for yourself, keep these types of comments to yourself and stop judging others.   Just remember that PPD is the #1 complication of childbirth.  That is not a fictional statistic.  No one is immune, not even you.  It just might do you some good to become familiar with what PPD is REALLY about.   You never know if you or someone you know may end up with PPD one day.  Read some of the blogs out there that belong to PPD survivors.  Read some books.   Become educated and do us all a favor and stop saying and thinking those ignorant things!

13 thoughts on “When Will Clueless Comments about PPD Stop?

  1. Hi Ivy, I just found your blog as I was surfing the web about PPD. I’ve been suffering for the past 6 months. It’s been a rough go. It started out with lying awake in the hospital for 5 days right after giving birth. I knew right away something had to be up. The doctors just said I needed to relax. I got home from the hospital and I was only sleeping 2-3 hrs a night and napping in the daytime was impossible!! I couldn’t understand what was wrong with me. I just couldn’t sleep and this is coming from a person who’s nickname was “professional sleeper”. It eventually got so bad that I started wishing I never had a child and wanting my old life back. Then the panic attacks set in…will I ever sleep again… In my life before PPD I could sleep anytime anywhere. Sleep was a non-issue. To make a long story short, 6 months later, I’m still struggling but I started an anti-depressant about 5 weeks ago and my sleep has improved drastically. Not yet perfect, but getting there. It’s been a long journey part of it because I listened to uneducated people that made me think I just needed to suck it up and learn to relax as a new mom. Thank you for posting your comments…especially about how society uses the word “depression” to mean “sad”..etc. It’s so true because I too thought that and didn’t realize that depression was physical/biological until I started going through this. I’m definitely going to be reading more in your blog but I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. It makes going through this a lot easier when you can read survival stories and know that you’re not alone.


    • Canadianmama,
      I’m so glad you found my blog and you find my comments/posts helpful! Sounds like suffered a similar experience as me. I’m glad to hear you are on the road to recovery! Depression and PPD are things that, unless you experience it firsthand, is very difficult to really understand. It’s only through people speaking up at every opportunity regarding their personal experiences that we can overcome this stigma. It’s difficult but I don’t think impossible. Look forward to our continued correspondence!


  2. Ivy, I am so glad there are people like you, Kimberly and all the other’s who I follow, that can put into words all the emotions that these horrible comments lately have stirred in me, cause I can’t. It just hurts. Just cause you can’t see me, doesn’t mean I’m not standing up for us… Thank you for being my “voice”! Julie


    • Hi Julie,
      So nice to hear from you! I am so glad to hear that my blog is helping you (and hopefully others out there). Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if my rants just scare people away. I don’t really know for sure because I don’t get many comments on my posts other than my usual friends (like Kimberly, for one)! Sorry these ignorant comments made by people who shouldn’t be making them in the first place! If I were still suffering from PPD, I wouldn’t have the strength to do what I’m doing today. As always, I hope you will find yourself at the end of your road to recovery very, very soon. If you ever need to chat, just let me know and we can chat by email or phone. Take very good care, Julie!


      • Thank you so much for the offer to chat. I may take you up on that..days and days at home with a baby can get long! You do great work with this blog…don’t ever think otherwise! Like I said, just cause people don’t comment, doesn’t mean they aren’t “listening”. I am seeing a lot more light than dark these days..so I KNOW I am getting better..thanks again for the very kind words. They mean so much to me..Julie


        • Julie, I have your email address…I can send you my email address for you to have on-hand, just in case, if you’d like. I am SO glad to hear you are doing better these days. There are quite a few people I’ve come to know from my blogging, like you, that I wish I could just meet in person some day. Once you are well, I wish I could be there to celebrate with you!


          • That would be great if you could email it to me. Wouldn’t that be awesome? To have a PPD Survivor /Blog friends convention..or something like that! I would so be there. There are few of you that I feel like I know and have been SO supportive of me through this trying time. That would be a great celebration..:-)


  3. Thanks Ivy for standing up!! I too got a pingback from a post that I wrote regarding the PAt Brown comments that made me steam. Oy…I just don’t understand how people can make such judgments about PPD or any mental illness or ANY ILLNESS without having walked in our shoes…or knowing the FACTS.


    • Hi lady! Good hearin from ya! It wasn’t really a pingback. I was checking out her tweets last night. It’s called people who think & claim they know it all, but they actually don’t because they’re lacking one very critical thing: EXPERIENCE.


  4. That one made my blood boil, too. We need to step away from the FB page. It is not helping.

    I thought about “liking” her just so I could get in on the discussion, but then I decided to spend that time and energy on my kids, instead.

    We did a good thing this week. We got her cruel, damaging words removed from AOL News, but unfortunately we’re not going to be able to convince everyone of the truth.

    I told my mom last night, “Even though I wish she understood, and even though I’m SO angry, I still wouldn’t wish what I went through on Pat Brown or anyone else.”

    We KNOW. They don’t even know what they don’t know, and they should thank God.


    • Amy,
      I read through the comments on that page, and only found that 1 comment to be worth highlighting because of the sheer ignorance of it. But that’s the last time I’m going there. No one should be bringing attention to that FB page. Not worth it. All the other comments were mumbo jumbo lawyer and anti-pharma perspectives of this profiler and others who claim they know it all. The only thing that can change their perspective is living through the sheer hell of PPD. Not that I’m wishing it on them. But the truth is they’ll never get it, unfortunately. Only firsthand experience will open their eyes.


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