This morning, I woke conflicted. I wrestled with which article I should post. All the while feeling guilty because I thought there was a more important topic to talk about… Postpartum Depression (PPD), Postpartum Anxiety and Antenatal Depression.
Last night, I went to a showing of Dark Side of the Full Moon, a film which covered those topics. The documentary brought me to tears, so much so I had to exit the theater for fear of my sobbing interrupting the audience. I know, for most of you having such an emotional reaction may seem odd. I felt strange myself. I don’t or have never had PPD or any depression for that matter. Is it appropriate for me to even want to share or help? I don’t know, but I do know what my conscious and emotions are telling me. I am a mother and a human being. I believe it is my duty to help other mothers and parents in anyway I can. I want to be part of the solution. If for today, the first step is to raise awareness, then that is what I’ll do.
I think the most important thing to express to society is that we need to support all moms. Although every being on this planet is important to love and care for, moms are doing the a most vital job: raising the future generation. A generation that deserves a healthy society to grow and flourish within. A society that will then need to also raise healthy minds and so on until the end of time. If the planets mothers are not healthy, the world will crumble and fall into disrepair.
This is not an issue that one should hear about and dismiss. If you see someone with symptoms, ask them how they are feeling, check in with them. If a mother confides in you, don’t think, “Oh, it’s not my problem.” More people are affected than you may know, as many as 15 percent of all births result in PPD (National Institute of Mental Illness). People are dying, jumping off buildings, overdosing on medication, purposely colliding with cars. If you are not interested in helping for the mother’s sake, then do so for their children.
PPD is not just an illness to do with harming oneself or one’s baby physically. It’s an emotional rollercoaster that can effect every moment in a mother’s postpartum life, therefore effecting their baby, children, spouse, whomever! I am not a doctor or even an appropriate spokeswoman for this disorder. But Postpartum Depression is a global issue, whether you are young or old, male or female, have depression, or know someone who does or may. I encourage you to watch the documentary and help lift the stigma of mental illness. Help the globe by continuing the conversation. The first step in change is awareness, the second is lifting the fear and stigma, then comes progress and then change.
Thank you, Maureen Fura and Jennifer Shultz-Silliman for embarking on this journey of change and aid. Thank you, Dani and Nadia Monroe. To all the women who participated in the film. I feel blessed and changed that I have experienced it.
I am not a healthcare professional. But if you are experiencing symptoms of what may be Postpartum Depression, Antenatal Depression or any other form…
Here are some resources.
Healthy New Moms: 443-901-1550
Postpartum Support Maryland: 240-432-4497
24 hour hotline in Maryland: 800-422-0009
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK
National Institute of Mental Health (NIH)
Do you have Postpartum Depression?
If you answer yes to a few of these, call NIH 301-496-9576
- I feel sad
- I feel anxious
- I feel emotionally numb
- I feel worthless
- I feel guilty
- I cry a lot
- I worry too much
- I have disturbing thoughts
- I have trouble concentrating
- I have trouble sleeping
- I am not interested in my baby
- I fear I many hurt my baby of myself
- I have withdrawn from my family & friends
- I have less energy than I think I should
- I want to be alone
- I have lost interest in things I used to enjoy
If for some reason you do not get the help that you need, feel free to contact me at email@example.com and I’ll do everything in my power to help you find the resources you need.
With all my love, Ashley
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I am not the authority on any topic asked in this forum. For questions that may have medical implications, please consult your doctor or midwife. The purpose of this section of the site is to provide support, help, or a sounding board for individuals. Whether a person is going through struggles, would like to know they’re not alone, or find out which bottle worked best for my children, I will do my best to answer. There are going to be many ways to reply to all questions posted. I am merely providing my perspective. This forum is not meant for debate.