Before I go any further in to my story, let’s talk facts and stats. The reason why sharing my story is so important. I Googled these facts and stats and pulled them from the CDC and reputable “.gov” sources.
1 in 7 mother’s of live births suffer from postpartum depression. (That means about 25 of my Facebook friends have suffered, and I haven’t heard them talk about it.) And these stats are only based on self-reported cases, and do not include those who’ve miscarried (Did you know you can get postpartum depression from a miscarriage?)
Postpartum depression will affect more women than the combined number of men and women who will contract new cases of leukemia, tuberculosis, MS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Lupus and epilepsy in ONE year.
Only 15% of these women will seek treatment.
Approximately 2 women out of 100,000 births commit suicide. I looked for stats on murder related to postpartum depression, but only found that 64.4% of pregnancy associated deaths were violent.
So, I ask why aren’t we talking about it? Why is there a negative stigma?
Doctor’s need to do a better job screening for this. At my son’s 2 week check-up, I got a postpartum depression screening checklist. At my 6 week OB postpartum appointment, they didn’t ask 1 question about postpartum depression. I told them I was having trouble with crying and anxiety. Do you know what they said? She said she’d refer me to psych, but when they call to schedule DO NOT mention postpartum depression. A medical professional sweeping a serious condition under the rug, telling me to hide it…and we wonder why women don’t report it, when their own doctor’s don’t support them.
On some weird level, I guess, I’m lucky. I have the “good” kind of postpartum depression, if there is such a thing. I don’t want to harm anyone or think about harming anyone. I am just sad and anxious. But there are many days it’s debilitating (I’ll get more in to that later). I am lucky to have a great support system with my husband and my therapist.