So yesterday, I finally rented the movie A Mouthful of Air on Amazon. It is a movie about a woman who gets postpartum depression. There will be major spoilers in this if you have not already seen it and there are so many triggers in this. If you are easily triggered by discussion of suicide or suicide attempts, please do not read ahead. I am trying to be more understanding of people’s triggers, but I personally like to be triggered so I can face things head on. Many don’t understand it, but it is often part of how I heal. I already had seen and heard spoilers before I watched this movie, but they were much needed to emotionally prepare me to watch it personally. I was told before watching that the character takes her own life, and when I saw that the movie was rated R, I expected some graphic scenes I did not want to watch, but that was not the case. I am honestly not sure why it is rated R. I guess you cannot even openly discuss suicide without it being rated that, but why? I think it should be PG-13 personally.
There is a warning at the beginning that if you have a history of depression and anxiety this may be hard to watch and there are tons of warnings elsewhere warning many they may not want to watch. I do have that history, and it was hard to watch, but I am still glad I did. I personally am far enough in the healing process I thought I could handle it and I could. Not only did I handle it, despite the sad ending, relating to the character still comforted me in ways, that feeling again of not being alone, but it also brought so many emotions back for me again. I cried during the movie, and I cried for a little bit after the movie had even gone off. I know I am making a truly hard sell on watching this, right? But hear me out. I often feel that those close to me probably think I dwell on the worst time in my life, but that is not the case. I will never stop talking about it because it would have helped me if others had talked about, if others had warned me, that is it. I am happy now, my life is great, and I am thankful that my story ended with my daughter reading a book about how I conquered it instead of the book the daughter in the movie got. I also hope that one day my story, or at least one more like it, will become a big movie to show people the happy ending you can have, but I do also think it is important to see the possible unhappy endings too.
I am going to try to possibly get rawer in this post than ever before, which those of you know me know that is pretty raw, and I will try to turn this into a podcast soon for those of you who prefer it to blogs. I did not have a happy ending because I was braver or stronger or a better person than the woman in this movie. I also did not have one because I had more support than her, she actually had more than I did because no one around me knew what was going on because I was even better at the character at hiding it for a very long time, but even once I no longer did, most did not seem to understand and seemed angry at me instead. Even though I had never been the person it was all about, it was always about everyone else, I think for once I wanted it to be about me, I needed love and help and attention and I was treated the same as people who act like that their entire life, even though I had never acted like that before. I thought it was my turn, but instead I eventually learned to set boundaries and take better care of myself.
I never tried to take my own life. I prayed to go to sleep and not wake up, that way it would not be my fault, and no one would be mad at me, but I could still have peace and the pain could go away. I had thoughts about if an 18-wheeler swerved into my lane and hit me I would not care when driving alone and the thought of driving into a wall or off a bridge sometimes crossed my mind for a moment, but I am not sure if I could have ever actually acted on it. People are often called cowards for committing suicide, but I honestly think being a coward saved me. Recently watching the Yellowstone Prequal 1883 with my husband, a character who lost her husband and 7 children to death ends her life with a gun to her head after her last remaining child dies. While burying the character, Sam Elliott’s character mentions how brave she had to be to do that, and Tim McGraw’s character disagrees at first, but Sam Elliott continues to basically say that it took guts. I knew what he meant. We don’t want to say that because it feels like we are encouraging suicide, but that is not what he meant nor is it what I mean. The thought of cutting myself or shooting myself or doing anything else painful to myself just never truly crossed my mind and never has. However, if there had been a pill in front of me that I could have taken and known it would have happened quick, I might have done it. I had heard of people taking a lot of pills but often that did not work and resulted in them waking up in the hospital upset they were still alive and now everyone was mad at them, and they were in physical pain as well.
I watched the first season of 13 Reasons Why before they cut the graphic details of the suicide scene. I honestly never knew how people slit their wrists until seeing it portrayed in that show. I honestly thought people must just cut the bottom of their wrist and it is a spot that just bleeds so much you would die quick, but no she went all the way up one arm and then the other and died a lot slower than I thought. My arms hurt watching and not only did I not want to do that, but I had even less of a desire than ever before to ever think about doing anything like that to myself. In the movie, those around the main character were not aware of her condition at first until she tried to take her own life once and failed in doing so. When she is later explaining to her doctor and her husband why she did what she did, I did relate to that part though. She said that any time she was alone with her child she would constantly worry something was going to happen to him. If she got distracted at all while giving him a bath he might drown, something might fall on him, he might fall and hit something, etc. She thought he would be better off with someone else and someone else was on the way over to visit and she did it then because she knew that person would take care of the baby.
In another part of the movie, the main character can hardly hold a conversation with other adults because she is constantly watching her son and worrying about him even when around tons of other people. I was the same way. I worried if I looked away for a moment someone might take her, or everyone else might not be paying attention and she might run off or hurt herself or tons of other horrible scenarios and it would be my fault because I am her mother, and it is my job to protect her. My worst fear was something happening to her and the burden of constantly trying to stop or prevent that was too much to bear making me at times want to run away or wish I’d never had a child or making me wish for death for relief. In one line of the movie, I believe it is when she leaves behind a children’s book that she wrote to explain to her daughter why she did what she did, but how much she loved her, she says, “She knew the beauty she was leaving behind, yet her pain was so bad, death was her only option.” She discusses how the little girl, and her mommy were best friends, but the mommy got sick and could not get better. The mom had been on medication, but when she found out she was pregnant again when her first child was still a year old and not even out of diapers, she was afraid to take her medication because she thought it might hurt the baby and prevent her from breastfeeding and bonding with her child.
I have been in a lot of online support groups and often women have more children before they have even healed from postpartum depression. They also often refuse to take medicine despite the advice of their doctors and/or family and friends for the same reasons. This happened in the movie. So, despite having support from others, despite knowing medicine helped, she chose not take medicine but even that decision was not rooted in selfishness, it was out of concern for her child. Her OBGYN told her once in the movie that he now asked women how they were doing emotionally not just physically when they came in for appointments. When I say the movie brought back emotions, anger was one of them in moments like that one, like why was this not already a thing? But mixed with that anger was hope, that what she went through, despite the sad ending, did change people, people around her did grow from the experience and learned, but that is possible even with a happy ending I can say, speaking from experience.
I lost a fellow author and friend to suicide a little while back. This friend had already tried once and actually used that experience to blog and write books like me and try to help others. However, like in the movie, he had been through such bad childhood trauma he still could not overcome it and the second time he attempted, he did not fail. I don’t know that we can always prevent it. We want to and we often blame the person and/or ourselves, but I think our number one focus personally should be trying to prevent these traumas from happening in the first place, so people do not have to overcome them, and I do feel that overall, that is happening in so many ways. I think everyone has some trauma and some can overcome it, and some cannot, but it is not as simple as being a better person or being stronger or having more support. Support often can and does help and I still strongly encourage it, but when I say I have some childhood trauma it comes from many things, but I also still feel like I had a pretty good childhood overall. Also, when I went through what I did, my mom and stepdad did not understand at first, but like every other time in my life, they tried their best to be there for me and my daughter. We all made mistakes along the way, but we learned from them, and we learned from each other.
My friend who died by suicide was molested as a child by a neighbor and I don’t think much if anything was ever done to the person who did it. Yes, we have all been through trauma, but I had not been through as much trauma as he had been. You just never know who has been through worse and what people’s limits are. A person can only take so much. Despite the sad ending for my friend, he still impacted many lives before he passed, including my own. He helped me in being brave enough to share my story and he helped me become more confident in being my true self. Even in those unhappy endings, you can still find some good.
‘She Matters is currently looking for doulas, licensed clinical social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists to DONATE up to five hours to support Black mamas during the first 40 days of their postpartum period. She Matters is making huge strides to make change, we are establishing partnerships with hospitals and other organizations to bring QUALITY postpartum care to Black moms everywhere. We are selecting 25 therapists et al. to be part of our pilot program that will soon be adopted by a hospital network. Our volunteers will receive FREE access to our cultural competence certification and access to our network of over 7,500 Black moms ready for therapy and coaching. If you are interested, please complete the form below. We look forward to hearing from you! Thank you for your support. Happy Holidays to you and your families! Best,Jade KearneyCEO/Co-Founder, She Matters”
She Matters is a digital health platform designed to support postpartum Black mothers experiencing anxiety and depression through community, culturally relevant resources and culturally competent therapists. We also train mental health professionals as well as healthcare organizations on how to become better resources to Black moms.
When I got severe postpartum depression after my daughter was born, I found myself analyzing my entire life wondering how I went from someone who was so happy most of the time, to someone who did not want to live anymore. I eventually came to realize that I had always had OCD and it caused Anxiety and I finally got help for it. I also finally realized that I had depression at one other point in my life and had not even realized it. When I was in middle school, we moved for the third and final time. I had just started 6th grade and was almost 12 years old. We had moved a couple of times before due to my stepdad being promoted. The first time we moved from where I was born in Alabama near Anniston to South Carolina. I was only 6 at the time and had just started school so the move was not devastating to me, and we did not have a lot of money before and now we would have more. I did miss some family though, so when we did get to move back to Alabama two years later I was actually excited about that move, and it meant even more money again, because we were still far from being well off. We would still be two hours away from where we before, closer to Huntsville, but that was better than how far we were now.
We ended up living in this new place for almost four years and it ended up being my favorite place we ever lived. We moved right around by 8th birthday so I remember my family taking me to Chuckecheese because I did know anyone else yet. We lived in the country on three acres. My mom and stepdad still rented the brick house we lived in, and would not finally own their own home until our next final move. We got a new dog once we had been there about a year that my parents would end up having until she died of old age when I was 23, the year I got married. I will never forget the day we got her. My parents called us all into the living room and we thought we were in trouble, then my stepdad walks in with a little mixed weenie dog puppy from the pound we named Sissy. Sissy was a major part of my childhood and truly a member of the family. She was always following us kids around wanting to be involved in everything we did, and finding her way in to most pictures. I eventually made a best friend who was like a sister. We were always at each other’s houses. She loved my dog too and I loved her cats. We both took baton lessons at the same place outside of school. She got off the bus with us the day of the Blizzard of 1993 hit until her dad could come get her, and we got the closest to making a truly large snowman we ever had as Sissy was hopping through the snow nearby chasing rabbits.
When another move and possible promotion a couple hours away near Birmingham, AL came up not long after that, I was not happy about it this time. The dog even had a hard time with the move, because we went from the country to the suburbs and she went from 3 acres and wandering as she wished and coming back in the house whenever she wanted, to a fenced in back yard when she was not inside. My mom had to start taking her for walks in the morning, and she would often break free if we left a door open too long, but she always came back usually within about 3 hours or less. She also once learned how to jump their small fence until my stepdad found something to put at the top of it to stop her. The move was hard on my mom as well. Where we used to live she would get off at 4pm every day and went to the gym regularly with my stepdad. In the new place, with the same company, they often worked her to death and she would sometimes work until 9pm. Our allergies seemed to get worse and we all got sick more too, and I think it was partially due to living closer to a bigger more polluted city like Birmingham.
Right before we had moved I got a call I had made Silver Belles, which was the highest honor at my baton place. High school girls were in it and I was going to be in 6th grade! My mom had trouble finding a baton place like the old one I went to at first and I never got put back into it. By the time I could try out for majorette in high school, which they would not let you do until 10th grade here, I did not think I was good enough to even try to make it anymore. I think my sister had just made the dance team before we moved, so I know she went through her own similar troubles. My stepbrother was in college by this time, but our move to the country I loved so much, was the move I think was the hardest on him. He was in high school and went from a big city to a country high school, and just did not feel like he fit in, and he had to leave his long time girlfriend.
I would eventually understand his pain. In this new school district, there were as many people in the high school for 9th to 12th grade as their had been at the entire K-12 school I went before. Yes, every grade was in one school so it was an adjustment to say the least, especially at a time I now realize is hard for most kids that age regardless of moving. My daughter is now 13 and in 8th grade and 6th grade was a rough year for her and most of her peers. Everyone is hormonal and mean and going through so many changes. I felt like there were already cliques here and we did not have those yet at my old school, or maybe we did but I had so many friends I had not noticed them until I had no friends at first. Even though I had always enjoyed school and did well in school, the first couple of years I cried a lot and I missed a lot of school due to migraine headaches. My mom had migraines before and knew how painful they were, so she did everything she could to try and help me. She would miss work, which I felt bad for, to take me to a headache clinic, I had an MRI done and was checked for jaw issues, etc. We never figured out the cause, but the headaches eventually stopped. I now realize it is because over the next two years I would eventually have a good group of friends and was very active playing drums in band and loved it. I also enjoyed high school even more and ended up meeting my future husband there. The fact he had to move here in 7th grade and leave his best friend was probably what bonded us the most.
Back when we moved, we did not have Facebook and face time, etc., but now we do and I do keep in touch with my childhood best friend. She lives in D.C. now and I have met up with her time both times I visited. Instead of mourning how close we might have still been today had I not moved, I now realize I might not have my husband or daughter if we had not, and moving enabled us to have opportunities we never would have had otherwise and resulted in some generational curses being broken. I truly think I had depression back then now. It was not talked about as much back then so my parents nor I had any idea, but I feel like if the same thing happened to my daughter today, I would realize it and be better able to help her, and I think that means we have made a lot of progress in society, although we still have a ways to go of course.
I wanted to share a part of my book so those who have not read it yet can understand why the book, and the chapter this part is from are called Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine…
“From the time a woman is pregnant, her life changes forever. When people hear that, they think of the fact that you have a tiny person living inside you. You bond with that person, which forever changes your life for the better. But suddenly, you are not just one person anymore. You can’t even walk around in public without some stranger thinking they have the right to touch you without asking because you have a baby inside you, and it fascinates them. They believe they should have a say in how you should give birth and the right to tell you how to raise this child that hasn’t been born yet, even though they don’t know you. This doesn’t stop once the baby is born. People think they can walk up in public and touch your baby without asking, and that you should listen to them about everything: how the child’s hair should be, what clothes they should wear, what they should eat, what you should be doing to prepare them for school. If they aren’t potty-trained fast enough or don’t seem smart enough for their age or tall enough or skinny enough or don’t act well enough in their opinion, you are going to hear about that, too. I now realize everyone is excited and trying to help, but when you have just become a new parent, all this input can overwhelm you and make you feel like a failure. When you learn you can’t please everyone, you can quit trying and do your best.
Another thing that can be overwhelming: People don’t only tell you what they think you should do when it comes to the baby. Because you are now the baby’s mother, they have opinions about what you should do with your life. This is especially true when you are pregnant. When I was pregnant, I didn’t get depressed. I was one of those happy pregnant women that other pregnant women hate. I felt very bonded with Aubrie. I talked to her all the time and couldn’t wait to meet her. However, I now see that some things started then that did affect me over time—especially the feeling that I could never be good enough as a mother, a woman, or a wife. I never did anything I thought could be dangerous for my child when I was pregnant, but that does not stop people from telling you how much rest you should be getting, what you should be eating, etc. You already feel these concerns have little to do with you and everything to do with the baby. After the baby is born, it starts to feel like the only reason anyone is concerned with you is so you can care for the baby. Being a mother is a very important role in life, but what about your other roles as wife, daughter, sister, friend, employee, or simply a human being?
Some people, especially women who have been through this before, understand and try to think of the woman. They give her attention when she is pregnant and when the baby is first born. I have heard someone make the statement before that they bought someone a new dress so she would not get postpartum depression. If only it were that simple. It is a nice gesture, but it would be even nicer if everyone was aware of this happening and tried to give mother and baby both the attention they need, knowing it benefited both mother and child. This would not require gifts or constant attention, just showing a legitimate concern for the person and making sure they feel loved too. It is easy to love that little baby so much that you forget to give the mother the attention and love she still needs. After having the baby, the mother typically gets less medical attention and fewer checkups than the baby. She is expected to continue her everyday duties and care for a newborn while recovering…. People always think the husband should step up, notice if something is wrong with the wife, and help her. Often, he does, but other times he is as affected as she is. Approximately half of men whose wives get postpartum depression will get depressed, too. Your husband is your partner, and what affects you affects him. If you experienced deaths in your family and a layoff, your partner did, too. They have a new baby, too. They are also working and not getting any sleep. They also miss the time you two used to have together, and their life is completely changed as well.”
The estimates vary but it is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women experience baby blues the first two weeks after having a baby. These go away on their own but another 10 to 20 percent develop postpartum mood disorders such as postpartum depression, postpartum OCD or postpartum anxiety. Approximately 10 percent of men do as well. These men and women could be your spouse, your child, your parent, your sibling or other family member, your employee, your boss, your coworker or your friend. Sometimes men or women develop more than one and how long they last can often depend on how quickly they get help. If you do not get help and continue to have more children, they can last for years and symptoms can worsen. Less than one percent of women develop postpartum psychosis which is what you normally see cases of on the news due to women harming themselves and/or their children. Even most women with this disorder do not harm their children. Usually the symptoms are more obvious, so it is caught earlier and they normally get help earlier. What this tells us is that most women get depressed if even for a short time after having a child, but most of them do not end up harming their child. The fear of people thinking they will harm their child is one big reason a lot of people do not get help sooner. They are scared to tell anyone and they feel ashamed for their thoughts, even if they cannot help it and do not act on them.
It is actually more common for the mother to harm herself. Suicide is the leading cause of death in new moms. Others suffer for years, never acting on any possible suicidal thoughts, but suffering in silence while it often starts to affect their entire life including their physical health, their marriage, their job, and their relationship with their children and everyone else around them. Some even abandon their children, but again this is rare. However, thinking it is a pretty common symptom. My daughter was planned, but I still thought I regretted having her at times and wanted to run away to the beach. I never acted on this, but even thinking it hurt my husband and also hurt someone else close to me. It hurt my husband for obvious reasons, but it hurt the other person because they had been told all of their childhood that their mother never wanted them or their siblings, so they were actually angry at me at first for saying it or even thinking it. Their mom truly did not ever want to get married or have kids and was forced out of their home as a teenager into marriage. They eventually saw that I did not truly feel that way and it was something I could not control thinking and did not want to feel. If anything, it eventually made us both more sympathetic to their own mother, whose mental health got worse with every child, and whose choices had never seemed to be her own as she was born in a different time. Her mother also never left, and could have, and she had some good moments as a mom, so where we judged her before, we now both tried to be more sympathetic.
Also, that person has always tried to be the opposite of their mother, always telling her children they were her biggest blessing and always wanting to be a servant to everyone. She is the opposite of her in so many ways and a good mother. However, she has sometimes shown that same resentment as her mother without ever even realizing it, because she has always taken care of others ahead of herself which always results in burnout, because everyone is human. This resulted in her daughter trying to do the same when she became a mom and quickly realizing she needed to take care of herself first, and she needed to teach her daughter to do the same if she was going to break this generational curse. My family and I knew nothing about postpartum mood disorders until I went through one myself, and it almost destroyed my marriage and I did not want to live anymore. After getting help and starting to educate others, older women in my family started to tell me they think they suffered from it too, but they did not realize what it was and just suffered in silence for years. We all now see so many generational curses that this caused or continued. I just want anyone going through this to know, you are not alone and you can get better. A lot of people do not want to talk about it because it is depressing, which is why my book has some humor in it and so do some of my blogs and posts on my pages. Learning to laugh about everything again was another step in healing for me. If mood disorders are not treated, the effects and aftermath can not only last years, the harm it does to individuals and families can last for generations to come.
I was a guest on the podcast, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made with Ria Story, a fellow author who also happens to be my second cousin! Here is the link to the podcast and the youtube of it, please check it out! She has a lot of wonderful resources through her pages as well:
Just Buy Her a Dress with Amanda Gremillion – YouTube (I should have shut that closet door behind me, please ignore the hangers lol and I was using the camera on my daughter’s chromebook which is apparently not so great, so I just got a newer nicer one for my computer for future video, yay!)
I have never been what you would call a helicopter mom. Even when my child was pretty young, I would not hover over her at the playground, fearing every boo boo that might come. Even now that she is older, I am one of those moms who would let you fail if you just refuse to do your own homework. This has never been an issue though because she does it, usually without help, but I do help when occasionally needed of course. However, when it came to things that could be life or death, such as swimming, or getting into things once she could crawl and walk, I constantly worried and hovered. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and it causes Anxiety. It got severe postpartum before I finally realized I had always had it and got some help. Medication, therapy and a lot of other things helped. Once she got old enough to not get into everything that helped as well.
Looking back, I would have maybe done more to make me feel better safety wise too. I mean I baby proofed and took certain precautions, but years later I now work in a preschool where the environment is set up for kids to play freely without constant fear of them getting into everything. It is harder to do that with your entire home, but maybe with certain areas at least you can. Also, when it came to swimming, I would have scheduled swim lessons sooner, as early as possible. You can even teach babies. What happened to me though, apparently happens to a lot of people. It is like that overprotective mama bear goes overboard. You take sole responsibility for this new life and think anything that happens to them is now your fault and responsibility, even things that may be out of your control. Of course it is good to be protective of your child, but not to the point that you are in a constant state of panic and anxiety.
Many women have thoughts of something bad happening to their child, and when they have them as often as I did and they become obsessive, you will often hear them called intrusive thoughts. Sometimes, these even turn into thoughts of the mother hurting the child. This did not happen to me, but I will say as I have said many times before, that if a mom admits to having these thoughts and ask for help, she is asking for help because she feels guilty for having these thoughts. She does not have control over them and she does not want to hurt her child. She is being a good mom, doing the right thing, and deserves to get help without judgment or without having her children taken away. I had a friend tell me she once thought about driving into a pole with her child in the car years before when she had postpartum anxiety. She thought for a moment that she would be doing the right thing by taking her daughter with her. I instead wanted to run away at times, or prayed to not wake up, or had thoughts about driving into stuff when alone, thinking my daughter would be better off without me.
It was so conflicting to be such a protective mama bear, scared to have anything happen to a child you love so much, but at the same time feel so overwhelmed being this mama bear, that you just felt like you could not keep going sometimes. It is because no one can keep going in the state I was in, and no one should have to. They need the help I eventually got and wish I had gotten sooner. My daughter is 13 now, and deep down, my worst fear is still something happening to her. I do not think that fear ever goes completely goes away as a parent, so a little fear of that is normal, just like a fear of death in general. As Eleanor on the show the Good Place once said, “All humans are aware of death, so we are a little bit sad all of the time. That’s just the deal.” I think she is right, that is the deal, but I have learned to live with it and to not let it consume me anymore, because that does not have to be part of the deal.
Someone asked me recently if they should give my book to a pregnant woman or would it scare her? She apparently already had some anxiety about becoming a new mom which is why they were thinking about it giving it to her in the first place. I told them I think it would be a good thing to give it to them. I wrote it with some humor to lighten the subject and it has helpful information for any new or soon to be mom outside of just the postpartum mood disorder part. Then today, in a support group I am in to provide support, a discussion began about how people, including a lot of doctors, do not discuss postpartum depression with pregnant women because they do not want to scare them. I think this is a huge mistake of course. I understand the concern. The last thing you want to do is stress a pregnant woman out, especially if she is already stressed. You are worried about her health and the health of the baby, but yet they do not mind putting you through the same regarding other health conditions that affect a lot less mothers. Every woman is screened for gestational diabetes despite the amount who get it being much lower, but every woman is not screened for postpartum mood disorders. My doctors scared me as a new first time mom a couple of times while I was pregnant. We had to have extra ultrasounds to keep an eye on a possible kidney condition that turned out to be nothing. We also did extra ones to keep an eye on her large size, but she ended up coming on her own three and a half weeks earlier than they thought healthy and weighing eight and a half pounds. I am still glad we took these precautions even if it scared me a little and turned out to be nothing.
The fact that I thought motherhood would be mainly butterflies and rainbows is part of why I got postpartum depression in the first place. No one did my any favors by withholding helpful true information. If anything, maybe it could have prevented it, or at least made it less severe, or I could have at least gotten help sooner. Most women will not get a postpartum mood disorder but a lot will. Most will get the baby blues for the first couple of weeks though, it is pretty normal, and most statistics I hear show up to 80 percent of new moms get these. If they do not know about those, they might feel guilty for not feeling joyful right away and that guilt could lead to them feeling blue for even longer. I think so much of what many new moms go through can be prevented and that is why I try to shout all that happened to me from the rooftops. Women and everyone around them should know all about postpartum mood disorders even before they get pregnant, it should be common knowledge. That is my hope for one day. Learning about them should not be scary, and if hearing about them does scare someone a lot, they probably already have some anxiety which is a risk factor for getting them, so they really need the information.
Pretending they do not exist does not make them go away. Talking about them actually takes away their power. So what happens when someone does not get help? They often suffer in silence for years, and yes it can last for years, especially if you have a child, do not get better, have another child and so on. Maybe it sometimes eventually goes away on it’s own, but I think it instead it just changes from a postpartum mood disorder to a regular mood disorder or back to a regular mood disorder if you had one before, like me without realizing. If you never got help though and never address it, I think it will affect you and your children in negative ways. It adds to generational trauma and this is a best case scenario. Worst case scenario is of course what you see on the news, a woman harming herself and/or her children. This is the reason a lot of women do not seek help. They worry someone will think they will hurt their children. That is rare, but still can happen without help, so help should be encouraged, not discouraged and a mom seeking help is a good mom. She should get the help she needs and if that requires a short time away from her kids, she should be reunited with them as quickly as possible once better.
It is more likely that a woman will harm herself and everything should be done to try and prevent this as well. Some other pretty bad things that can happen is postpartum mood disorders can destroy a marriage and break up a family. Sometimes maybe this was bound to happen anyways and that was just the breaking point, but it can even destroy the best of relationships. It can ruin other relationships as well with other family, friends and with your own children. So if having posters and pamphlets everywhere, even in the waiting room during your pre and post birth appointments, or keeping those regular appointments you have before birth, even after birth and being screened regularly and checked on even for the first couple of years can prevent all of that, why would we not do it? If this was a regular thing would it not make it less scary? If people knew more about it, if people knew what to do if they have some of the risk factors or symptoms is this again, not less scary?