I have to admit, I am a bit behind on blogging about current events that by now are no longer current in the literal sense, but will always be an important topic that should always discussed in as many media as possible–in person via conversations and in both online and print format. Postpartum depression (PPD), or actually mental health, is a topic that must stay in mainstream news. Experiences must be shared regularly everywhere if we want to clear away the stigma and misconceptions about PPD.
In the past few weeks, most if not all of us who keep abreast of news have heard about Hayden Panetierre’s struggle with PPD. Click here for a video of her interview on “Live with Kelly and Michael” and here for a recording of a discussion about PPD on On Point with Tom Ashbrook that includes Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody (Director of the Perinatal Psychiatry Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Mood Disorders), Aimee Danielson (Director of the Women’s Mental Health Program in the Department of Psychiatry at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital), and Dr. Deborah Da Costa (Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada). Realizing her condition was something that she needed professional help for, she checked herself into a facility to help with her recovery.
Ever since her role in Heroes, I have admired her. I admired her even more when I learned she’s a huge marine wildlife activist and very much involved with Sea Shepherd. I am passionate about marine wildlife and support Sea Shepherd. And I admire her even more now that I know she’s struggled with PPD and realizes the urgency of spreading awareness and the great deal of stigma that is associated with PPD.
Coincidentally, right around the same time, Drew Barrymore opened up about her battle with PPD.
And then a few other articles popped up via Hollywood Reporter and US Magazine about other celebrity PPD survivors, like Brooke Shields, Marie Osmond, Bryce Dallas Howard and Gwyneth Paltrow–all of whom I’ve blogged previously about–plus Courteney Cox, Vanessa Lachey, Amanda Peet and Alanis Morissette.
I am truly grateful for these celebrity moms sharing with the public the fact that they struggled with a postpartum mood disorder (PMD). By sharing their struggles it further shows that new mothers of all financial and social situations may experience a PMD. One out of eight (or approximately 15-20%) of new mothers succumb to PPD. PPD is experienced by women of all cultures, ethnicities, social statuses, and religions. It’s primarily thanks to celebrities speaking up about their experiences that postpartum depression stories reach people far and wide. It’s extremely challenging for the average mother’s story (like mine or any of the other mothers chosen for the A Plus article I blogged about last night) to get any attention, which is why–and I must reiterate from yesterday–I am so grateful that A Plus chose my story to share with its readership.