falcongrrl: (Default)
A while back, I posted this with the intention of writing down my experience later that day. And I didn't. And the most compelling reason I have is that that no one wants to write about this shit, and no one wants to read about it. Which isn't strictly true, of course - just look at Brooke Shields.

I admire the hell out of her for having the courage to write - and publish - Down Came the Rain, and I have my own copy...but I can't bring myself to actually read it. It sounds melodramatic, maybe, but reliving the shit is hard. While reading Shields's book would be interesting in an academic, analytical sort of way, I just can't bring myself to do it. Of course, I can't bring myself to get rid of the book either.

I think I've always been somewhat depressed, my earliest happy moments fleeting and often bittersweet. I think the first time I really knew what it was to feel happy was when I went on antidepressant medication. Not high-happy - that I could and did get from alcohol as an adolescent - but clear-happy, or maybe just confident, or content. Not-uncomfortable. Comfortable. Able. Not all the time, but sometimes.

Anyway, after Daniel was born I had my first diagnosed "major depressive episode," so that's what I'm going to try to describe here. cut for length, and because no one wants to read this shit. ;-) )
falcongrrl: (Default)
I'll try to post about my experiences with ppd later today, but for now, I'll just copy and paste the information I saw on Ask Moxie. Please read.

" What is the MOTHERS Act? The Moms Opportunity to Access Help, Education, Research and Support for Postpartum Depression Act, or MOTHERS Act (S. 3529), will ensure that new mothers and their families are educated about postpartum depression, screened for symptoms and provided with essential services. In addition, it will increase research into the causes, diagnoses and treatments for postpartum depression. The bill is sponsored by Senators Menendez and Durbin.

This is important. Really important. AS many as 800,000 American women every year get PPD or another postpartum mood disorder, and only 15% of them will be assessed or treated. That's tragic, and we shouldn't fall through the cracks.

I'm going to ask you to do three things:

1. If you're an American or live in the US, call your senators' office today to ask them to support the MOTHERS Act (S. 3529). Find your senators' contact info by going to www.senate.gov and using the drop-down box in the top right corner to find your state.

2. Start talking about PPD. If you experienced it, share your experience. When you see other new moms out and about, ask how they are, and really look at them when they answer. You might be a vital part of the safety net we should have in place.

3. When I figure out how to this morning, I'm going to post a PDF of 14 Tips to Prevent Postpartum Depression, over there on the left-hand side of this page. Please download it and print it out, and give it to the pregnant women and new moms you know. (If you want more than five copies or to reprint it, please email me about rights.) It's better to prevent PPD than to try to battle it, so let's make sure women know there are things they can do to lessen their likelihood of getting serious PPD."

Again, the above is a quote from Moxie - the link goes to her website, which is where you should be able to find the pdf file soon.

On behalf of myself and the other moms who have struggled with ppd, thanks for anything that you can do.


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