Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Help Katie, Help Yourself, Help the Future

BlogHers Act: Blog Day for the Mothers Act

I yelled in meetings. I swore at my boss and made incoherent rants during discussions at work.

I shoved someone into a cubicle wall.

Me. While not exactly mild-mannered this was not my usual demeanor.

I wanted to mow people down in parking lots for crossing intersections too slowly. I saw no reason why I couldn't. I am not joking. I thought it was perfectly logical to ram into someone, hit them, or even possibly maim them for life all to save me a mintue of my time.

I had inexplicable never ending amounts of rage.

I wanted to live in our storage space and never come out. I thought it would be a better world if no one found me. The fetal position was never so good.

Again. Me. Not normal behavior for myself. While I've never been a Susie Sunshine type my dark side does recede on most days. I felt like a great White shark trolling dark, murky waters always looking for something else to attack. I felt alienated and hostile.

I could barely brush my teeth some days. I cried while I dried my hair before work everyday because no one would hear me.

I was diagnosed with Post Partum Depression (PPD). It was such a relief! I started taking the meds and went to weekly therapy sessions. I began to return to the world of more colors and less anger management. Then it swung wildly back the other way. I felt homicidal and was told I had been given too strong of a prescription. Great. My OBGYN and my therapist weren't talking to each other and I became confused. After four months of medication and therapy I took myself off cold turkey. Not the wisest thing but I knew in my heart I had passed the brink the first time and I might not make it back the second time if I didn't just stop taking the meds.

For me it worked. I consider myself lucky. For many women, including my own mother who spent years in a state of post-partum depression, they are not so lucky. In the late 1970's when it was my mothers turn at this grim affliction there was no one to talk to, the stigma was burning bright and health insurance sure as hell didn't pay for these types of "female maladies" that were all in your head. Ha. Those were some dark years my friends. For everyone involved.

I am extremely thankful and grateful to my mother for her incredible honesty to me as I grew up. I knew that PPD existed and that it might haunt me one day. She saw it in my eyes way before anyone else. That alone was one of the greatest comforts. It made it that much easier to see it and accept it. I can never thank her enough for that. It pains me to know that many women still suffer so deeply and desperately from this form of depression. That it is still so difficult to diagnose properly and treat. Something needs to be done! NOW! TODAY!

Today, October 24, is MOTHERS ACT day. I urge you to post about PPD on your blog and spread the word, arm yourself with knowledge and email, write, fax, or call your Senators to assist in passing the Mothers Act bill with the HELP bill that is
currently sitting in the Senate. The Mothers Act bill will help new moms-

Providing important education and screening on postpartum depression (PPD) that can lead to early identification and treatment. The legislation includes two grants to help health care providers educate, identify and treat PPD.
Expanding important research to improve and discover new treatments, diagnostic tools and educational materials for providers. Since the exact cause of PPD isn't known, research continues to be the key to unlocking the mystery of this condition.



So what else do you have to do today? Oh right! A ton. I know I do too. But this really will only take a moment. Help women like Katie, a missing Rhode Island woman and mother. Instead of being sent home with her family after her release from the hospital and diagnosis of PPD she was let go in a taxi. She has now been missing for over a month. This is more than tragic. For more information and ways to help Mothers Act read here. It is your good deed for today and for the future.

6 comments:

  1. What a sad but all too true story. Be glad you figured it out and took care of it before you lost precious years with your child. Because you don't get the time back, once it's gone, it's gone.

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  2. Thank you Vicky.

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  3. Thank you so much for writing about Blog Day for the MOTHERS Act. I hope you will continue to encourage your readers to call their Senators throughout the rest of the week, as I hear that the phone lines were pretty busy today. Every single call is SO important. Thanks again for your support of women with postpartum depression!

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  4. This is so misunderstood, misdiagnosed and mistreated, often tragically.

    Good post.

    Julie
    Using My Words

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  5. Thanks for your support of the MOTHERS Act. Too often postpartum depression is a problem that goes unnoticed, and most women with PPD never receive any type of treatment. PPD is a treatable illness, and it is essential that we continue to educate ourselves and others about this important issue.

    For more information on PPD, visit us at The MGH Center for Women's Mental Health.

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  6. I'd like to invite you to join our Surviving and Thriving Mothers Photo Album (http://postpartumprogress.typepad.com/photos/happy_healthy_mom/index.html) at Postpartum Progress. The photo album helps to show mothers who are currently suffering that they will survive and become happy mothers. It features women who have recovered from postpartum mood disorders and their children. If you would like to be in it, email me a jpeg to stonecallis@msn.com, and include your first name and last initial, as well as which illness you suffered and what year it was, and the state you live in!

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Thanks for commenting! It's always good to hear from a reader and not say, a robot.