Tragic Consequences from Untreated PPD

At a training event co-sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services for New Jersey healthcare providers earlier in the year, Randy Gibbs, founder and executive director of Jenny’s Light, spoke about his sister, Jenny Gibbs Bankston, who suffered from undiagnosed postpartum depression (PPD) and took her infant son’s life and then her own on December 19, 2007.  Had Jenny’s PPD been detected and treated, both she and her son would be alive today.  As the 3rd anniversary of this tragedy approaches in just a few days, I felt the need to share this important message. 

Randy created this not-for-profit organization in his sister’s memory.  The mission of Jenny’s Light is to try to help prevent such tragedies from happening to others by spreading awareness about, as well as providing resources and support to moms and their families who are suffering from, perinatal mood disorders.

Thank you, Randy, for sharing your family’s story with us.   Hopefully, enough people will view this and other videos, read the blogs out there (see my PPD Blogroll), and go to trustworthy websites (see my PPD Websites) to become educated so that mothers and their loved ones will NOT be caught off-guard and suffer tragic consequences.


4 thoughts on “Tragic Consequences from Untreated PPD

  1. I cried reading this. My husband and I were talking in the car tonight about what a crazy year it has been with our new son and my PPD crisis. Thinking about how my family and friends rallied around me to offer support was overwhelming. But I kept trying to push the voice out of my head that whispered, “But what if you hadn’t had that support? What if no one helped you? What if you hadn’t admitted what was happening?” That terrified me. I totally understand how someone like Jenny could become that desperate. I wish she had reached out to someone. I hope that her story, your story, my story and all of our stories help women to understand that PPD is real, treatable and NOT their fault. Thank you for sharing this and for your story as well – it’s where I turned when I was in Jenny’s shoes.

    • Hi Hilary,
      Thanks again for stopping by and leaving a comment! How long ago did you have PPD? So glad you had such a great support network! It’s so, so sad that Jenny didn’t know that she wasn’t alone and there are so many other moms out there suffering from PPD too, and that she would’ve recovered with the right help. I, too, can understand completely how someone like Jenny could become that desperate. As I was just telling Kimberly, any one of us PPD survivors could’ve become desperate enough to want to end it all had we not gotten the help we did. Education/awareness, support, and treatment are critical components to both prevention and recovery. We need serious improvements in making all these components available to all new moms suffering from a postpartum mood disorder!

  2. This is absolutely heartbreaking. It pains me to know that she suffered so much and that she felt that there was no way out.
    It scares me because I was her.
    I could have been her.
    Thank you Randy for taking something so tragic, and turning it into something so positive. Thank you for standing up for women and giving us a voice.

    • Kimberly,
      Yes, it is hearbreaking. Any one of us who survived PPD could easily have been like Jenny if we didn’t get the help that we did. It is VERY scary indeed.

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