So just recently I saw something on the news about a woman who drove herself and her 4 children off a bridge and killed everyone. As the news anchor was talking to parents about the tragedy all the comments were the same. How could she do that to her children? What mother would do that? Man she must have been on something? I can’t believe it! As I sat there an watched it I casually stated to my husband, “I can see it” He then turned to me as if asking for further explanation of what I meant. I answered him by explaining that I could totally see a mother doing that. Mother’s when dealing with Postpartum Depression and get to that point, don’t really see their children anymore. They more see a problem that they want to end. We as outsiders will never know the true reason why, but I can see why a mother might do something like that. Now I have to say that I in no way condone what these women do, but I understand it from a different level.
I know from personal experience how hard it is to get help. I know that even someone like myself who did ask for help, was met with a lot of barriers. I remember at one point I only needed a medication change, since my medication was no longer working and my doctor couldn’t see me, but advised me to go to the hospital. Well the hospital would have put me in the psych ward and striped me of everything I had that I could potentially use as a weapon against me. Let’s not even talk about what the consequences would have been for my children and my job. All of that for a medication change. Something that a 15 minute doctor appointment would have taken care of.
I know what it feels like to not want to hurt my children, but to want the problem to stop. When a mother gets to that point they no longer are looking at their children, they are no longer seeing what you and I see, they are seeing no way out. They feel like they are in a room with no door and the walls closing in. They just want it to end. Whatever that last straw is, triggers all of the built up feelings.
Postpartum Depression can manifest in so many different ways and at any point in time. Just recently the New York Times posted an article about it. The medical world is still finding so much more information about Postpartum depression and perinatal depression and anxiety.
If you have been through it, please share your story. If you think you are going through it, please do not be afraid to ask for help. If you are unsure, ask anyway. No question or comment or thought is too small for your doctor. Please seek help.