If Only There’s Such a Thing as a Real-Time Bleeper for Ignorant Words Used in Media Re: PPD

Okay, so much for the 6 blog posts I still have yet to post.  This one now takes precedence!

The purpose of tonight’s post is to provide a wonderful example of PPD moms/survivors speaking up when they see something misleading (to put it nicely) about postpartum depression (PPD) in the media.  This time it was an article over at babycenter.com titled “Can color cure PPD?”  What?  Whoa!  Hold on to your horses.  <record scratch>  I had to do a double take, and then when I did, I realized with dismay “Oh, great! Here we go again. Another false claim to an easy way out of PPD.  A reliable cure for PPD. And yes, this time it’s in the form of….hold onto your seat….COLOR THERAPY!  All you need to do is purchase these beautifully-colored tank tops and bras, and voila, NO MORE PPD!”

Seems like all the reactions to this article in the form of tweets and blog posts occurred during work hours for me, so by the time I realized what was going on, the damage control had already been done.  The title was changed to a much more realistic and acceptable one “Can color help postpartum blues?”  Much, much better and thank you babycenter.com!  And thank you to all the individuals who tweeted, posted on Facebook, and wrote blog posts!  Look at the good that comes out of speaking up!

I feel so encouraged by this, because such concern and diligence for public awareness is of utmost importance in combating the plague that refuses to be cured….otherwise known as STIGMA.  Kudos to all the fellow stigma/myth busters and maternal mental health champions (a/k/a #PPDArmy)!  I am so, so glad to see how the growing number of PPD moms are on the alert and addressing ridiculousness like this.

This is one of my favorite tweets I spotted.  It’s by @SocraticMrMeth: “seriously. #PPD kills and @Babycenter has whipped back to the 50’s to suggest women try prettying up some, not ‘SEE A DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY’.”

I’d like to highlight the efforts of the following #PPDArmy, all of whom I know from Twitter:

  1. Amanda’s tweet: “I am disgusted that you would use #PPD to market tank tops! Way to make #PPDmoms feel no support!”
  2. Kimberly’s tweet: “I’m actually wearing neon bra and matching undies. Last time I checked I was still depressed.”
  3. Esther Dale’s comment on the babycenter.com Facebook page.
  4. Comment to the article by Lexy: “As a two-time sufferer of PPD, I opened this with genuine interest. I was then met with a somewhat bland description of postpartum depression which quickly transferred into a sales pitch for a tank top. Granted, I love clothes too, and I’d probably be very interested in this shirt otherwise. PPD is a bigger, uglier beast than that – clothes and bright colors won’t ‘cure’ it. It almost makes PPD sound like a malady a new mom can quickly overcome or ‘snap out of.’ I’m normally not one to be argumentative, but this subject hit close to home.”
  5. Comment to the article by Amanda: “As a mom currently suffering from PPD that required hospitalization, continued therapy, and meds I find it offensive that you would use PPD as a way to market tank tops…I have been an avid user of your site but will no longer be visiting. I find this as inappropriate as if the headline read Can Color Cure Cancer? No it can’t.”
  6. Comment to the article by Stephanie: “That title is offensive. PPD is not just being sad after having a baby. It’s not about the stress of the adjustment. It’s not about feeling frumpy and different. It is a medical condition that makes some women want to harm themselves or their babies. It can literally ruin the bonding between mother and child.”
  7. Comment to the article by Andrea: “I find this pretty offensive that you could even suggest that color could help postpartum blues!!! As someone who has been through ppd, I know that seeing brighter colors didn’t cure me. This makes me sad that there are women out there really struggling & may find hope when seeing a title like this then just to be disappointed. There is obviously still a lot for you to learn about postpartum mood disorders.”
  8. And of course there was Lauren, author of the My Postpartum Voice blog and #PPDChat moderator on Twitter, armed with her wit, came up with this tweet: “So we should have been prescribed a colour wheel instead of meds and therapy?”  Speaking of Lauren if you haven’t been over to her awesome post in response to this article, then please hop on over there now!  Here’s an excerpt:  “Postpartum Depression is a diagnosis. It’s not a marketing tool, people…….Dear marketers, please, do not use the term “cure for PPD” in your materials. It’s highly offensive and ultimately disingenuous to vulnerable mothers and desperate family members truly searching for successful treatment options.”

I so wish there was such a mechanism as a real-time bleep for every ignorant word used in conjunction with perinatal mood disorders.  But we are much better-equipped for handling such situations than we were just a few years ago, thanks to the #PPDArmy!

You ladies give me hope.  You ladies rock!


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