For the longest time they were saying between 1 out of 8 women suffer from a perinatal (before, during or after childbirth) mood disorder. Then, they said between 1 out of 7. And more recently, literature indicates it’s now approximately 15%-21%, which is anywhere between 1 out of 5 and 1 out of 6, with 21% experiencing a postpartum mood disorder.
If you are suffering from a perinatal mood disorder, you can see from these numbers and in many places online–from a multitude of Facebook support pages, blogs and on Twitter–and in newspapers that you are not alone. For example, in today’s Upworthy, my friend Heidi Koss shares her experience after the birth of her daughters. She is a PPD survivor and now helps other moms suffering from perinatal mood disorders. Her story was also mentioned in an NPR article a week ago today.
You need to know when you need to get help from a doctor and/or therapist. Get it early. Know the facts. Know the difference between postpartum blues and postpartum depression (PPD). Know the difference between PPD, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD and postpartum psychosis. Click here for helpful information that can help you.
You need help for you.
You need help for your baby(ies).
You need help for your family as a whole, including your significant other.
I just found out tonight about the fate of Carol Coronado about whom I blogged in May 2014. She suffered from postpartum psychosis (not PPD as some newspapers allude to), didn’t get the right help and was just sentenced to life in jail. Carol, her babies, and her husband were failed by the system. The same system that failed to ensure she got help is punishing her for their failure. Sound fair to you? No! Her case sounds similar to Andrea Yates case nearly 15 years ago. I pray for Carol and her family. She has suffered enough and does not need to spend the rest of her life in jail. I saw a Facebook comment about Carol that triggered me to write this post. The coldness and lack of understanding are a reflection of just how close-minded people can be. It amazes me, really. It’s really hard to beat down stigma when you have such barriers in the way. But don’t let any of that deter you from getting help. YOU are important. Forget these clueless people. Get the help you need. Don’t delay!
Whenever you read about these stories in the news, please remember the facts. Get information from the right resources (links above would be great place to start). And don’t let stigma and ignorance steer you away from understanding and compassion. Don’t let stigma, ignorance, and the close-mindedness of people (those who choose not to understand and would rather continue their misogynistic, super hokey, religious extremist mindset in which women are second class citizens) steer you away from getting the help you need to be well again! Stay strong! There is help out there! Reach out to me. Reach out to the Postpartum Support International Facebook page (closed group) for support.