The truth is, once a woman with postpartum depression has admitted that she has had thoughts of hurting herself, she needs to enter a protective hospital environment immediately. And the fear of having their children taken from them, shame, and also the voices of mental illness keep women from admitting they need this level of help. And many, many times that has deadly consequences.
So, my friends, I ask that you, with me, become part of a GRASSROOTS movement to care for each other by sharing and spreading the word about postpartum depression and psychosis. If you are pregnant, talk with your husband and loved ones about making a written plan of action if you express postpartum feelings of self-harm or harming the baby. ASK your postpartum friends the HARD questions, even if you have no reason to suspect. And ADVOCATE for those who are suffering. Go to doctor’s appointments. Help them care for their children. Build them up and gave unconditional love to cast out the shame.
Women, we can’t be silent about this. Only TOGETHER can we tame the stigma that comes with postpartum mental illness.
Honor these moms: three women who died by suicide due to postpartum psychosis, whose stories I’ve covered: