When We Know Better

When we know better, we do better. I wish I’d known more about postpartum mood disorders before Magoo was born. I wish more people were more informed. It is this wish that’s caused me to write my 3-part series at Parenting about my experiences with postpartum anxiety and panic, the conclusion of which was posted today. Part 1 and Part 2 are still on the site as well.

It’s not fun to talk about. It’s an incredibly personal experience and there are so many feelings of guilt and inadequacy associated with it. I’m open about what happened to me because I want other people to know that the problem is real and that help is available.

Since I started this blog 2 years ago as part of my healing process, I’ve corresponded with several women who have gotten help because they finally realized that they were not alone. If you know anyone who’s not doing well after the birth of a child (I mean REALLY not doing well, more than the normal I-just-had-a-baby-OH-HELP not doing well.), any time during the first year, encourage them to find out more about postpartum mood disorders and help them find the support they need to heal.

I went to a support group at the hospital, to an OB, to a therapist and psychiatrist. I got the help I needed and my family is intact because of it.

Right now there’s a bipartisan bill in the Senate to do early screening for postpartum depression and offer more education and support to new moms.

It’s called the Mothers Act and I encourage you to call your Senator and urge her to support this bill. I rarely call my Senator about anything. We don’t exactly hang out and watch The Office together, but I called about this and I wish you would too.

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10 Responses to When We Know Better

  1. Melissa says:

    This is a very good thing! Thanks for the heads up!

  2. surcie says:

    I’m glad to see your links to postpartum.net because it was through them that I found a wonderful therapist who not only specialized in treating moms, but also had her own experience with PPD.

  3. Veronica says:

    Thankyou for sharing your story about PPD. Here (OZ), we get screened for PPD at 2weeks, 6weeks and 6mths. It’s good, because it give you an oppurtunity to discuss everything with the Child Health Nurse.

  4. maggie says:

    I just cried through all 3 posts. This is the first time I’ve read anyone’s experience with post partum ANXIETY, which is what I was sure was going to happen to me after my son was born. I went through a lot of the anxiety stuff you describe, but way before I had a baby, and it was, hands down, the most awful thing that ever happened to me. I considered myself an excellent candidate for PPD so I spent my entire pregnancy preparing for it. And then it never happened, which I still can’t believe. Reading your posts, though, took me back to how terrifying it is. I’m so sorry you went through it and so grateful you wrote about it.

  5. Carrie says:

    Thank you for sharing your private pain so that others may learn from it, Kathryn. Your courage speaks volumes about you, as a person and I really admire what you’ve done.

  6. 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

  7. marian says:

    Thanks for exercising the vulnerability and courage needed to share your story. How wonderful that the hobby of writing is what emerged from that struggle.

  8. RGLHM says:

    Again, I am so sorry you went through that. How terrifying. And yet reading it is so powerful b/c it is a message of hope and healing. I am much better myself. I’m glad you were there to understand when I was crazy myself:-)

  9. jodijean says:

    thank you for sharing your touching story kathryn. it brought tears to my eyes, literally. i’m sure it was hard to write it all out again, thank you. you are so brave. i’ll take a page from wayne … “i’m not worthy, i’m not worthy” you are amazing!

  10. I can’t decide if this makes me want to slap Tom Cruise in the face, or cry that he (and so many others) are so ignorant about a true disease of which the sufferers have no control over (poor, poor new moms–is there any more vulnerable group anyway?). Thanks for helping others know about this by exposing yourself. That is very brave, and very very helpful.

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